Published on
the Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin)

I Told You So: Bush's Damage Staggering

Dave Zweifel

When George W. Bush was surprisingly re-elected president in November 2004, I predicted that in a couple of years -- just like after the re-election of Richard Nixon -- you'd have problems finding people who would admit having voted for him.

It's unfortunate, but that is in fact the case in 2007 as even longtime Republicans are counting the days left until this administration is history.

Indeed, there are many Republicans joining the growing chorus that wants to impeach Bush and Dick Cheney and get rid of these two guys now before they do even more damage to this great country of ours.

Frankly, it's remarkable how total the damage has been. The lies to get us into a war with Iraq and then the incompetence in handling it were bad enough. But the war is just a piece of the utter devastation that this administration has caused in everything from the administration of justice to the stewardship of our national parks, from the reputation of the Food and Drug Administration to the nation's ability to respond to emergencies.

If shortsighted ideology didn't get in the way of working for the common good, incompetent cronies did.

Instead of putting experienced foreign affairs people in jobs to handle the Iraqi transition from Saddam Hussein to some form of democracy, the administration filled those jobs with inexperienced, mostly young people, whose only qualification was that they were doctrinaire Republicans. It was the same sort of nonsense that prevailed at Homeland Security, where the completely unqualifed Michael "you're doing a heckuva job" Brown turned FEMA into a national laughingstock.

Now comes the news that even the surgeon general's office -- a federal agency whose sole purpose is to promote the public's health -- was manipulated by the Bush team.

Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona testified before a congressional committee recently that the administration repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

According to a New York Times story, Dr. Carmona told the committee that he wasn't allowed to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education or prison, mental health and global health issues. Whenever he gave a speech, he was instructed to make sure Bush's name was mentioned at least three times on every page.

Plus, he was discouraged from attending the Special Olympics because of the charitable organization's long ties to a "prominent family." He wouldn't give the name on the record, but he was obviously referring to the Kennedys, who have long been associated with the Olympic events for the disabled.

Bill Clinton may have had some personal defects, all of which led to his being impeached by a partisan House of Representatives. Like Alex Rodriguez of baseball fame, he may cheat on his wife, but he hit home runs when they mattered.

The Bush crowd is straight out of the gang that couldn't shoot straight.

If lying about sex gets you impeached, what do we do with an administration whose lies have led to a world calamity and whose ideology trumps even common sense? The answer couldn't be more clear.

Dave Zweifel is editor of The Capital Times.

© 2007 Capital Newspapers

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