Many a friend has expressed the sentiment that now that Bush is gone things can finally be made better and whole again. Its Pipe Dreams. Its taking much more than a fifth of Jim Beam. Its poppycock. The problem is that the Republicans and their benefactors who aided and abated and profited mightily from the Bush regime are largely still in place and planning to do mischief and hold out against reforms and even work tirelessly to embarrass and hamstring long overdue reforms because they will be cut off from feeding at the trough of the very same government that they mock for recklessly spending the “peoples taxes”. The GOP instead of adopting a new and better course are just being steered to see how they can game even more out of the system for their sponsors.
This is the vary same GOP party that espouses fiscal responsibility and business-like spare and cost efficient government. Yet it took more than Bush to turn a budget surplus of hundreds of billions of dollars in 2000 and transmogrify it into a debt of more than $1 trillion – more than 5 times the size of the now gone government surplus. These Faux-Fiscal-Conservatives , crassly rejected Democrat observed pay-as-you-go policies, and instead allowed Health Care , Defense Department, and Homeland Security costs among others to balloon out of control. Worse the GOP of good governance allowed US departments like Justice, Interior, State, CIA, Energy, Environment be gutted with partisan appointments + allegiances, biased policy making and even distortion of the basic science, surveys, and analysis of what is happening in the US and World.
But nowhere can the GOP be seen to be servant of their masters more than in the regulatory arena. Not just energy and medical drug policy going amuck but more poisonously the flagrantly laissez-faire attitude towards financial regulation that proved to be the formula for disaster which now, 2 years later, continues to paralyze financial markets. True, some key Democrats were on board for that financial gravy train (think Schumer, Dowd, and Lieberman among others); but really this is a Republican sponsored dismantling of Federal Financial Oversight and Control. Only SOX and an independent Federal Reserve prevented the second Great Depression from being wrought by Republicans.
So it is no secret why John McCain had to run for President as a maverick. It was not only his own disposition but simply the fact that GOP has not just ruined its brand but has yet to prove to the American people that it is not an ongoing Part of the Malingering Problems Facing the US. Right now the Grand Old Party is like Ann Hathaway in the movie Rachel Getting Married – even without Bush and Cheney, it is still dysfunctional.