Why I Want Bush Out

Warning: Political rant ahead! Skip if you’re not in the mood.
I keep getting e-mails from people in which they apologize for being Republicans, like they expect me to shun them or something. Do I give off some sort of intolerant vibe? Really, folks, you’re perfectly entitled to your opinion. I won’t bite your head off. I have no problem with people who think differently from me… as long as they can back up those beliefs. You have to have done your homework. You have to support your position. If you support Bush because your family has always been Republican, or because he’s got a Southern accent, or because he constantly invokes God, then I’m sorry but I think you’re an idiot. If you’ve got a concrete reason – like you run a corporation, or you’re a gun lobbyist, or you’re a homophobic religious fundamentalist – then I guess I can understand it. But for the average American trying to get by on the average American wage, I just don’t get it. What has he done that was actually good for you? Jobs are being lost, freedoms are being restricted, and soldiers are dying. Who could possibly think these are good things? I’m honestly asking here. I’ll even play along myself. Here are my complaints about Dubya:- Attacks on women’s reproductive rights. I support a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. It’s a hard choice and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I think it should be available. (Full disclosure: I helped a friend procure an abortion in the UK. She made a stupid mistake and it would have ruined her life. I don’t regret it for a second and I’m profoundly thankful that it happened in a country where she had access to the procedure.) Not only is he trying to appease the religious wackos by limiting our rights in the US, but he’s exporting those beliefs to other countries. The fact that he withdrew funding for international women’s clinics because they provide abortion information is repugnant. There is an AIDS epidemic in Africa. They don’t need a white guy on the other side of the country telling them that his God doesn’t want them to have sex; they need cheap access to condoms and medical help.

The whole Iraq fiasco. Yeah, Saddam Hussein sucked and he needed to be removed. No one disputes that. However, there never was any link between Saddam and what happened on 9/11. He had nothing to do with it. He might have cackled evilly over his morning tea when he read about it, but that’s it. The fact that a majority of Americans still think there was some sort of link astonishes me. Bush and cronies completely manipulated the 9/11 tragedy to advance a pet grudge. They ignored the UN and then later had the gall to ask them for help when the situation turned ugly. They completely overstated the case for weapons of mass destruction and are now desperately trying to backpedal (even engaging in character assassination on the few occasions someone’s broken ranks to speak publicly). Over 600 US soldiers have died (and thousands of Iraqis), yet the administration refuses to let the coffins be photographed for fear the public will suddenly realize that it’s not just a number. He completely squandered all the good will we had after the 9/11 tragedy (I’ve been overseas the whole time; I saw it happen with my own eyes) and set us up as the swaggering egotistical cowboy asshat of the world. We are less safe than we were a year ago.

Restrictions on stem cell research. Remember when America was on the cutting-edge of science and technology? Now we’re the laughingstock of the world. We have the means and the opportunity to completely eradicate many diseases and change the lives of thousands of affected people, but our researchers are hamstrung by Bush’s religious convictions about a lump of undifferentiated cells. Reminds me of those deliberate know-nothings in Kansas who tried to outlaw the teaching of evolution.

The economy. Yes, the economy is cyclical. Yes, Bush can’t be held personally responsible for the entire economic slowdown post 9/11. That still doesn’t mean he’s been doing a good job. He gave $300 tax rebates as a meaningless feel-good gesture that we can’t afford. He promised job growth but has not delivered. He got us involved in a costly war overseas that shows every sign of devolving into a big ol’ mess. His administration has been extremely lax in prosecuting corporate fat cats like Ken Lay of Enron (who Bush initially denied knowing, despite having called him a friend on previous occasions). The rich love Bush; they’re getting richer every day. The poor are worse off than they’ve ever been. Those in the middle aspire to be the rich and disdain the poor, so they ignore the unemployment rate and plummeting dollar as long as there’s somebody worse off than them. Bush vacations at the “ranch” and plays like he’s one of the good ol’ boys to disguise the fact that he’s an uppity East Coast silver-spoon rich kid who never worked a day in his life.

The proposed Constitutional “Hetero Marriage” Amendment. This makes me so mad I could spit. Whether you like gays or think they’re all going to hell, America is founded on the principle that all people are created equal. It doesn’t matter what your religion says. I’m an atheist with no plans to have children, yet I could fly to Vegas tomorrow and get married. Meanwhile a Unitarian gay couple that want only to be accepted and start a family are not. It’s discrimination, pure and simple. If some people are allowed to shack up and get special legal status, everybody else should be able to as well. Personally, I’d be happiest if they completely removed the legal status of marriages and introduced civil unions for everybody. Want a big church wedding? Go right ahead. You won’t get the legal benefits unless you do the civil thing too. This is the big issue for me, to be honest. I have a hard time understanding why any intelligent person would argue against letting gays marry. It sounds as stupid to me as arguing against interracial marriage.

I could go on and on. Note: I’ve never said that John Kerry is absolutely perfect either. In fact, he agrees with Bush on a disturbing number of issues. But the fact remains that he’s the only alternative, and he is definitely the lesser of two evils.

Republicans and Bush supporters are welcome to defend their guy in the comments below, but I reserve the right to mock you if you can’t make a reasoned (and legible) argument.

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  1. ok, i’ll bite. >:)

    no really. only thing i really disagree with is your saying that “Little B” (as in Dale Earnhardt Jr, or “Little E” – ha!) is only trying to “appease the religious wackos by limiting our rights in the US.”

    i actually don’t think bush is that discriminatory when it comes to the people he’s trying to please. he wants to appease whoever has money and/or will give him a vote. (and even if they’re gay, they can jump on board…as long as they don’t want to get married!)

    oh…and your use of the phrase “religious wacko” was inflammatory and probably unnecessary. “religious right-wing” might have been more appropriate for what you were going for? i don’t think it’s fair to classify all people who are “religious” as wackos. being an atheist (depending upon your specific definition of it) could also involve being religious, you know. i’m just sayin’…. 🙂

  2. I pose this question all the time. I don’t care if someone disagrees with me per se – I am just curious *why* anyone (besides the mentioned corporate multimillionaires and Christian Fundamentalists) would support Dubya?
    A few people who’ve answered said something like “well he’s better than a ‘liberal” or “at least better than a Democrat” – but these statements don’t really answer the question. Better *how*, exactly?
    It’s one of the great mysteries of U.S. politics – many working class “NASCAR Dads” from all over – the South, Midwest, West, and even the North just luuuuuve Republicans – yet Republican policies, on healthcare, jobs, the environment, civil rights, taxes, education – virtually every issue you can name, effects this class much more negatively than Democratic policies.
    How to account for it? Mainly ignorance, I think. If it wasn’t ignorance, they could at least articulate the particular reasons for their support. Ignorance, plus a steady diet of AM talk radio and FOX news seems to be enough to sway their minds. I guess you can’t expect too much from a country where less than 40% of the eligible voters even bother to vote in a Presidential election. Then there is the whole issue of the Democrats becoming “Republican Lite” – turning off traditional Progressives, yet not strong enough to attract the Conservatives. And also the Electoral College, of course. That’s a big one. Dubya doesn’t have to win the popular vote (He lost it in 2000) – he knows he just has to win the Electoral vote. His insane social agenda is designed to win just enough support in states like Ohio, Florida, and Colorado to take the Electoral College. He’s betting he can fire up a greater number of Fundies to come out and vote than the number of Democrats Kerry can get out to vote. I’m hoping that since Dubya is *so* unpopular among almost everyone outside his core support group, there will be sufficient motive for people to come vote – even if it’s only to vote against him.
    A few people also buy the story that Dubya is “stronger on the military” or “stronger on the war on terror” talking points. But we’re seeing this unravel more and more by the day – so hopefully that will really weaken.

  3. I totally agree with you that Bush will bend over backwards for anybody that can do him a favor, but you’ve gotta admit that he seems to favor the Christians above everybody else. He’s in bed with the NRA but he doesn’t mention them everyday. He supports drilling in the Alaskan wilderness but doesn’t suggest we make an Amendment about it. In short, I’m saying he panders to the religious fundies most because A) there’s a lot of them and B) they’re easily swayed.

    Sorry for the “wacko” implication, but I honestly wasn’t saying all people that are religious are wackos. Anybody can be a wacko. I imagine a big Venn diagram with a circle for all religious types, with a smaller overlapping circle of “wackos”. They’re the ones that want to force everybody else to have to live by their own beliefs. Wackos stand outside abortion clinics and murder doctors. They insist that schools continue to offer “abstinance-only” sex education despite studies that show rising rates of STD infection in teenagers that now believe intercourse is evil but blow jobs are safe. Wackos would rather go back to the old system where women died from backalley abortions.

    I’m getting off on a tangent again.

    Anyway, I apologize if you felt I was tarring-and-feathering all religious types with the same brush. I honestly didn’t mean it. I know some great Christian folks and I really respect their faith and what it means to them.

  4. There are many sites I can visit if I want to read political “bantering”. Heated and well researched to represent any viewpoint or dogma I might desire. The thing I’m always left with is the seemingly intolerance and closed-mindedness I find. It matters not which “side”. What I have discovered in everyday politics is this- a government body whether local, state, or federal needs diversity in order to function best. That means I learn to tolerate people who have opposing viewpoints from mine. Because sometimes an idea from a different angle shows me something I couldn’t see before. I’ve dealt with really intolerable politicians from both sides. I’ve learned to simply walk away from those whose minds are so closed they are unable to see truth if it opposes their political paradigm. Having a strong oppinion isn’t an indication of an enlightened mind. It really isn’t an indication of an educated mind either. What I’m saying is that I’m having a hard time distinguishing your ranting from the ranting of the fanatics you refer to. I don’t think that’s what you’re trying to achieve is it?

  5. I completely tolerate opposing viewpoints, Cindy, as long as the person can make a reasonable argument for their belief. In no way would I like to surround myself with people who only think the way I do. For goodness sake, I went to a conservative Catholic university! If that doesn’t build tolerance, nothing does. 🙂

    Anyway, you really don’t see any difference between my ranting and a religious fanatic? I see a huge one: I have reasons grounded in logic, fairness, and tolerance. Theirs are based on religion, superiority, ignorance, and fear. Yes, we’re both loud and pissed off, but that’s what happens when you feel passionately about something. Would you tell Martin Luther King, Jr that his ranting made him indistinguishable from the racists he deplored? Just because someone is loud and forthright doesn’t mean they’re not right.

    Besides, if I was exhibiting the closed-mindedness and intolerance you mentioned, I wouldn’t have asked for this argument. I’m honestly asking for people to explain their positions. I want to know. Maybe there’s some facet of Bush’s leadership that I haven’t considered. I’m not just saying “Bush SUX!”. I’m trying to have a grown-up discussion about what people actually see in the guy. I dunno. Maybe it’s like discussing smoking, where everybody knows it’ll kill you but some smokers are so pigheaded and perverse that when you point this out, it only makes them want to smoke more. Maybe Bush will similarly benefit from the “spite” vote…

  6. Hmmm. Upon reading my original post, I will concede that there are some thoughtless, angry phrases in there. (The “swaggering egotistical cowboy asshat” comment comes to mind.) You’re right; I shouldn’t stoop to the level of name-calling. It’s just frustrating to have witnessed this stuff from “outside” and not be able to do anything about it. I still think that even if you remove those contentious remarks, the facts still stand. Bush has cut funding for international women’s clinics. He did say he’d push for a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage. He did unilaterally decide to ignore the United Nations. While you may disagree with my vehemence, you can’t disagree with the facts.

  7. Here here to all you’ve said. I hope Bush and Howard both go down this year. If they both win, I think I’ll have to drop out of society and become a hermit.

  8. Not a hermit! Too lonely. We’ll just start a commune. 🙂


  10. Heh. Danke, Bruder.

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