I take some modest pride in the knowledge, especially in the wake of the latest Republican-based scandal from Washington (The great US attorney purge) that I have been an inveterate foe of Dubya and all his works almost from the first time that I had heard of him. That, if you are curious was when the media reported, during the candidate debates in 1999, that when asked what political philosopher had had the most influence on him, he answered, “Jesus Christ, because he changed my life.” This response told me three things:
That he was a born again, fundamentalist mental midget,
That he was pandering to his religious base,
That he did not have enough grasp on the subject to tell the difference between a religious figure and a political philosopher, and
That he had never read any political philosophy, and so was supremely unqualified to be president.
In what appears in hindsight to be the utmost in wishful thinking, I assumed then that Dubya had managed to cut his political throat, and that we would never hear of him again past the third or fourth primary. I was wrong. I wish to goodness that I had not been. I underestimated the rising strength of the Religious Right, and the naiveté of the American public. Until 9/11, many people, myself included, believed that he would be a completely ineffective president, a belief that was strengthened by the fact that he appeared to be a “one-issue” politician, and that his mania for “faith-based” programs would continue to be crushed by a Congress that still had some hold on reality. We tend to think of the damage that Mohammed Atta and his gruesome little band did to America in terms of lives lost and buildings destroyed, but that pales in comparison to the fact that they transformed George III (think about it) from a nonentity into possibly the most horrifyingly damaging figure in American history. I remember before the full extent of the disaster became clear that I would say he was the worst president since Warren G. Harding. I now believe that was unfair to President Harding, who was at least aware of his own inadequacies.
I see in the news that the Mayor of Salt Lake City has taken up the cause of impeachment of this president. I fully endorse that position. If President Clinton could be considered for impeachment for lying about his sex life, what are we to make of a President who has entangled us in a foreign war on pretexts that were demonstrated to be false, almost as soon as the war was initiated? A President who has repeatedly used executive power to unconstitutionally pass out funds to religious organizations (Let’s drop the misleading euphemism “faith-based”) against the will of Congress and the American people? A President who has gutted environmental restrictions and subverted scientific findings on global warming in order to accommodate his buddies in the energy business? A President who allowed a government agent to be compromised in order to punish her husband for telling the truth about his corrupt regime? A President who appears to be attempting to make America over as a religious theocracy, and who seized unprecedented power over ordinary Americans by railroading through the Patriot Act? A President who initiates a purge of government attorneys who have placed their duties to America ahead of loyalty to those in power? When is enough enough? How about today?
The only problem I have with impeaching the president is that it does not go far enough to solve our current problem. If we dump Dubya, we are left with his Mephistophelean VP, Dick “Quail Hunter” Cheney. This grey eminence is the Richelieu of this administration, and needs to be included in any impeachment proceedings. Dick has the potential to be an even more disastrous chief executive than Dubya, if only because he is light years more competent and unprincipled.