May 15, 2006

The Sins Of The Father

A look back in anger at George H. W. Bush:

Unfortunately, many people have forgotten the corruption and incompetence that characterized his time in office -- not even mentioning his record before that -- because they continue to think of him as some bland Northeastern blueblood who returned us to normal establishment rule after Ronald Reagan's reign of Sunbelt-style low tax/high moral dudgeon rightwing Republicanism.

What did the elder Bush bring us? He started by choosing the inexperienced and undistinguished Dan Quayle as his running mate. Then we had a mindless incursion into Panama to depose Manuel Noriega, someone with whom he'd dealt closely enough when he was in charge of drug policy as Vice President under Reagan. Next he was dispatching envoys to toast the Chinese leadership soon after Tiananmen Square. Then we saw him send a U.S. ambassador to tell Saddam Hussein that we had no interest in disputes among Arabs, knowing Iraq's views toward Kuwait. When Saddam Hussein acted on those views, Bush the elder decided that he was the "new Hitler."

Soon we had Clarence Thomas, supposedly the "best qualified" person Bush the elder could find to nominate for the Supreme Court. And then there was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida and exposed the incompetence and political cronyism at the top of FEMA.

Even as he walked out the door, Bush the elder continued to show his contempt for the nation, with his Christmas Eve 1992 pardons of individuals connected to the Iran-Contra affair.

We have never gotten a full portrayal in the mainstream media of the corruption of this man. They continue to treat him as some kind of elder statesman and his family as aristocracy, duly reporting the solipsistic blathering of his vicious harpy of a wife and for all practical purposes shrugging off the financial chicanery of his sons.


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