Gail Collins in the NYTimes says it succinctly – He’s Leaving. Really. But the problem is that President Bush and the GOP have done as yet immeasurable damage to the the US and the World economicall, politically and socially. What is most troubling is what George Bush has left behind. Not only a Washington whose process and prestige are in tatters but also a party of Republican Senators and Congressmen that are still brazenly partisan and in a time of national crisis callously opportunistic (think of the GOP’s failure to rein in the Bush/Paulson bailout dolings plus the grandstanding on the auto bailout including a sudden yen for fiscal reponsibility that was nowhere to be found for the past 8-10 years.
The GOP and its hopefully fast dwindling group of legislators are primarily to blame for many of the failed Bush policies. Time after time Republican politicians towed the line, caved and more often whole heartedly supported measures like tax cuts for the wealthy, Guantanomo Bay, cuts to renewable energy initiatives, approval for anything the administration asked for in Iraq, dismemberment of Justice, Energy and Environomental branches with blatant”pay to play” partisan appointments and pasrtisan disciplines of ranking bureaucrats and scientists. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
And the Republican elites and think tanks are no better. They were marshelled up and on call to do the Administration’s bidding on any issue. Develop a policy paper or an attack line for any of the above policies – and Party Discipline easily held sway over National Interest. They have done nothing to control Bush’s excesses – for this they should be condemned. There are very few examples of Republican legislators not being at the beck and call of their special interests.
I had hoped beyond hope that the Republican legislators, the party of business that knows how to administer, would insist on keeping TARP under control. These legislators would work the corridors of power to help to curb the excesses that could easily come with TARP bailout moneys. No hope. No sense of Purpose. No attempt to control Treasury and insure the effective application and reporting on the use of funds. The Republicans were in charge and they, by doing nothing, barfed all over the electorate.
So you see in Bush’s leaving; he leaves a party of GOP legislators and elites so diminished in competence and lacking in a sense of common wealth and well being that the US and World likely will see them able and willing to reek their perverse havoc “in clever machinations of scarcely disguised ill will and small political gain.”