To understand the hypocrisy of the Republican National Convention (RNC), one has to look back on what President Bush has accomplished these past four years: nothing (well, nothing of value, anyway).
George W. Bush came to Washington as a minority president, lacking a clear mandate from the voters as well as any real experience in the political world outside the one full four-year term and half-term he served as governor of Texas and his failed run for the House of Representatives.
Once elected, his administration had no focus and no objectives except to enact a series of ridiculous tax breaks that the country clearly would not be able to afford.
All that changed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The horror of 9/11 gave the Bush Administration a chance to organize itself and really accomplish something for the American people. Yet, as we all know, President Bush suffocated his record-high approval ratings to record lows with his isolationist, “you’re either with us or against us” stance on fighting the global war on terror in this ever shrinking world. That is the Bush presidency in a nutshell: the war on terror (which is now, apparently, un-winnable) and enormous tax cuts.
The tax cuts have all but bankrupted the federal government, while the war on terror and homeland security remain under-funded, citing several instances (I have the list if you’d like it) when appropriations bills were brought to a screeching halt because the Bush Administration and Senate Republicans “warned that such spending ‘[would] only expand the size of government.'”
We’ve seen this before with the Bush Administration and the “No Child Left Behind” Act, and we saw it again last week with President Bush’s speech to the RNC. Whether it was healthcare reform, education reform, social security reform, or national security reform, President Bush has failed to fund or ever present a plan for funding any of the things he promised in 2000 and is again promising in 2004.
Perhaps, next to “I suck,” a much more succinct way of paraphrasing Bush’s message, provided by The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, would be along the lines of this: Elect Bush so he can finish the things he never started.
Luke Kosar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.