Hey, Did You Hear That Democrats Won The Election?

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Hey, Did You Hear That Democrats Won The Election?

That George Bush, man – what a monster, eh?  I mean, could you even have imagined a president so destructive? 

It's actually worse than you thought, though.  Lately, there's been a spate of fresh revelations about some of the incredibly disastrous policies that were executed by the Bush administration. 

Did you know, for instance, that they... 

...steered hundreds of billions of bail-out dollars to the very people who drove the country into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, required nothing of these sharks in return, and did almost nothing for ordinary Americans struggling to survive this disaster? 

...opposed congressional legislation limiting financial institution incentive pay packages that put the whole global economy at risk? 

...opposed legislation allowing shareholders the right to have even a non-binding say on salaries, even though executives took home billions in bonuses last year while their companies were hemorrhaging money so badly they required a trillion bucks in taxpayer bail-out? 

...actually threatened Britain, America's closest ally in the world, with withdrawal of intelligence data that could prevent terrorist attacks unless the British government blocked one of its courts from accepting documented evidence of torture at Guantánamo? 

...sent droves of Predator-launched missiles into Pakistan – supposedly one of America's allies – killing groups of civilians, even at weddings, thus intensifying hatred toward the United States? 

...tried to shut down a charity's illegal-surveillance suit against the government on the basis of a supposed constitutionally-grounded state secrets privilege which would allow the president to kill any legal case before it is even heard? 

...undertook a blitz of immigration enforcement without reform of civil rights violations so nasty that one professor of immigration law described the policies as "literally the worst of all worlds"? 

...refused to set legally enforceable immigration detention rules covering such basics as health care and legal representation, instead relying on a flawed contractor-based monitoring system? 

...pressured a member of Congress to withdraw an amendment that would have ended the military's disastrous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regime, simply by defunding it? 

...asked a federal court to dismiss a case in which the plaintiffs challenged the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, arguing to the court that heterosexual marriage is "the traditional, and universally recognized, version of marriage"? 

...dramatically increased the influence of religion in government, directly violating the First Amendment, by lavishly spending federal dollars on "faith-based" programs, and giving religious groups massively increased power and access within the White House to shape policy questions? 

...stood by silently, allowing climate legislation to be watered down to nothing, to include generous pollution allowances to coal utilities, and to undermine the EPA's authority to control carbon emissions? 

...backed healthcare legislation that did little for the public and actually increased wasteful federal expenditures, while continuing to enrich insurance, medical, hospital and pharmaceutical corporation vampires? 

...and lots and lots more. 

Can you believe it?  Can you imagine anything as absolutely evil as the Bush administration?  Can you believe the stunts they pulled? 

Well, try this on for size:  Every item above actually reflects the actions of the Obama administration in just its first six months – not George Bush!  (Although, of course, Bush did a lot of these things too, and would have likely done them all, given the chance.) 

That's right, that's right.  Yep.  This is the record of the guy liberals scrambled to put into office, the guy who promised big-time change, and the guy whom foaming-at-the-mouth regressives run around screaming is a socialist ruining America. 

I don't know about you, but I think maybe all those government officials and media reporters who say Democrats won the last election (actually, the last two of them) have just been having a great big ol' laugh at our expense!  Whataya think?  This is change from the last eight years??  This is the party that opposed the horrors of the Bush administration and the Republican Congress??  This is out-of-control liberalism? 

And let's not even talk about the things they aren't doing... 

...Real change in Middle East policy?  Haven't seen it. 

...Remotely serious response to the existential threat of global warming?  Nope – might offend somebody. 

...Single-payer healthcare system, to provide the only cost-effective and fair solution for universal coverage?  Wasn't mentioned by Harry in the commercial.  Or Louise. 

...Serious cuts to annual defense spending now equal to twice what every other country in the world spends, combined?  Nein, dummkopf.  The Pentagon's budget is rising – you know, in order to protect America from its big bad enemy, the, uh..., the, um, what's-their-names again...? 

...Full-court press to curb hugely expanding wealth disparities and protect the economy from Wall Street predators?  Hell, nowadays those clowns have their offices right in the West Wing.  In fact, now it's called the Goldman Sachs Wing. 

Look, I'll be honest.  I supported (sorta) Obama and I voted for him.  But I did so with open eyes.  I knew he could be a progressive once installed in the Oval Office, but that he might well also be a Clinton-like hack for the money boys and a complete coward in standing up to the insane right that is gobbling up America on a steady diet of hate and paranoia. 

In other words, I'm not shocked that he's not FDR.  But why is this guy carrying water for George Bush, covering up his worst crimes?  Why are his civil liberties positions so bad that one attorney described them as "the good old Bush-Cheney inherent presidential power theory" all over again?  Why is he working so hard to make sure Wall Street sucks every drop of blood it possibly can out of the pale-white corpse of the American middle class, even while it ruins the global economy in yet another get-rich scam, then turns to the government for a bail-out when it all comes a cropper, all the while – and without a hint of irony – still loudly singing its effusive praises of Ayn Rand?  Why is it this guy can't simply stand aside and let Congress defund Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a program even the military now wants to jettison?  Why does he go to court arguing on behalf of homophobic repression?  What in the world is this dude going to tell his children when their country is broke and broken, and their planet parched and dying?  "I was just one person.  What could I do?" 

I guess Democrat is the new Republican nowadays. 

Sure, the pathetically feeble Dems are less likely to launch big wars based on lies (at least since LBJ left the White House), and that's nothing to sneeze at.  (Maybe Obama will even end Bush's debacle in Iraq, like he said he would.  Maybe.  I take nothing on faith with this guy, that's for sure.) 

And, yeah, Democrats will move slightly faster in the quest to do nothing and to get nowhere when it comes to protecting the environment, civil rights or civil liberties.  Woo-hoo. 

Otherwise, I'm having a hard time seeing the difference.  Bill Clinton (he of WTO, NAFTA, welfare reform and Telecommunications Bill fame) was the best friend Wall Street could ever have imagined, and they still tried to ride him out on a rail.  Now Obama's got the same Goldman Sachs retreads in there ripping us off again, even as the ship is still going down from the last round. 

So Democrats won the last election, huh? 

Coulda fooled me.  But here's the bigger question: 

What for? 

David Michael Green

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.

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