Monday, January 04, 2010

The Blame Game

Here we stand at the start of a new year, and a new decade. Oh, if it were only as easy as turning the page on a calendar to get a blank slate on which to begin a new year.

But such is not the case.

The aughts began on a much higher note than the teens. (OK, I know officially we're only in the tweens and, as the mother of a 10-year old daughter, I'm not anxious to rush the process. But we're talking about a decade here.)

As Bill Clinton was preparing to leave office, the country was -economically speaking - in great shape. Although Clinton brought about some changes and policies that I didn't agree with, his time in office was certainly was an era of prosperity for the country.

But then came that decade-- The George W. Bush years, and the downfall of the United States of America as we knew it.

So many of the battles scars we're nursing today and the new injuries we're sustaining come as a direct result of that administration.

Let's begin with the attacks or attempted attacks that bookmarked the uh-ohs (my preferred name for the decade that just ended). George W. Bush took office on January 20, 2001. The U.S. was attacked on September 11 of that same year. By that time, W had already spent 96 days on vacation! Seriously, do the math and you'll find that in his first nine months in office, the 43rd president was on vacation 41% of the time!

He was, indeed, on vacation at his Crawford "ranch" when the Presidential Daily Briefing of August 6 warned that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike in the U.S. But he was too busy hauling brush to deal with that imminent threat.

Do you recall anyone on the other side of the aisle chastising him for that? I don't.

I do remember a country that came together around our president to do what was right for our nation.

This magnanimous attitude, by the way, came after years of the Republicans trying to take down a popular Democratic president because of an extramarital affair-- something that Republicans have since proven very proficient at.

Fast forward to the end of the decade. On Christmas day, in the final week of the uh-oh decade, the terrorists who hit us on 9/11/01 attempted another attack. As opposed to their "successful" attack on the World Trade Center which resulted in bringing down the twin towers, a coordinated hijacking and crashing of four planes over US airspace, and the murders of more than 3000 innocent people, this one would have taken out one plane and a few hundred people. Thankfully, it failed.

But the vitriolic finger-pointing from the right toward this president and the Democrats in control has taken us to new depths of despicable politics, and the Republicans seem to have cultivated it as an art form.

This Hypocrisy (yes, with a capital H) is maddening, and the fact that Dick Cheney's constant venom-spewing is covered as news is infuriating and sickening.

He and his puppet George inhabited the White House for eight very long, very frustrating and very costly years. They took us into war -- two wars -- which we should not have been in and, to make matters worse, they refused to pay for them!

The U.S. had never before entered into a war without raising taxes to pay for it. But Bush/Cheney did just that. And now they're trying to blame Obama for the massive deficit that's bankrupting our country and its people?

Connect the dots.

That's the phrase being bandied about in the media today for how the Christmas underwear bomber was able to get on the plane with explosives on his person. No one connected the dots.

Well how about we start this new year, this new decade, by connecting the dots to show us how we got here?

Let's stop paying attention to the man behind the curtain and finally expose Dick Cheney for the walking disaster he is and the bigger one he helped create. At least W has had the sense to remain, for the most part, quiet. Perhaps Dick should, for once, follow the lead of the man who was his boss and just shut up.