As I have watched the early hours of the new Obama administration taking charge of the levers of power one thing is apparent. From the massive turnout at the inauguration to the overwhelming receptions being received by his cabinet it is clear that the most damage done by the Bush administration was not to the general public, although we were damaged severely but to the apparatus of government. For eight years the Bush administration worked to try and dismantle the government from the inside.
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It has been the goal of every Republican administration since the ”œNew Deal” to try and undo its social framework and safety nets created by the Roosevelt administrations. From its over-reaching policies of Food Stamps for the poor, Social Security for the old, and that communist inspired doctrine of equal pay for equal work they have tried to sabotage them. Each and every Republican administration has had the goal to a varying degree and a platform to undermine the ”œNew Deal” which the Republicans have always viewed as unconstitutional and unnecessary. From Reagan’s ”œNew Federalism” to George W’s. attempts to privatize Social Security the pattern is clear. What most Americans don’t realize is that George W. almost succeeded in the long sought after Republican goal of dismantling the ”œNew Deal” not through legislation, but instead by bankrupting the federal government. Why else would anyone in their right mind in the middle of two wars give out tax-cuts to the wealthy if their goal was not to bankrupt the government. There was a day when the Republicans supposedly stood for fiscal conservatism, not any longer. Think about it; if you can’t shutdown a department through legislation the next best thing to do is to bankrupt the government. If there isn’t any money for those departments then they can only perform their missions on a limited basis or not at all. There would be no money for regulatory agencies, education, or for Medicaid/Medicare. Instead of using a scalpel the Bush administration was using a chainsaw to gut the federal government. He was going to starve the programs designed to help the poor and the middle-class while at the same time feeding the greed of the wealthy through deregulation.
If we look at the record it is abundantly clear what the plan was. He would provide tax-cuts for the wealthy, fight two wars, and allow the greed of Wall Street to go unchecked. All of this of course would strain the federal government to the breaking point. Because of our ”œwar posture” we couldn’t cut defense spending leaving our domestic programs as the only way to cut spending. The result is we starve these programs to death. George W. leaves behind the biggest foreign and economic fiascos in the history of this country. Do not be fooled. I originally thought it was due to sheer incompetence, but as all this plays out it is something more ominous. We have all assumed that Bush was just a likeable bumbling fool with good if not misguided intentions. I now disagree with that assessment because underneath that persona of ineptitude hid a conniving and sinister man with a definite agenda.
Not only was his goal to bankrupt the government, he also sowed the seeds of distrust and bad morale in the institutions of our government. Shortly after the Iraq War began he allowed the Defense Department in the person of Donald Rumsfeld to take over the State Department ending a long tradition of diplomacy as an even partner with defense. He politicized and morally bankrupted the Justice Department through the use of torture and domestic surveillance programs. Instead of appointing competent bureaucrats he appointed political hacks evidenced by the FEMA response to Hurricane Katrina. These are just too many coincidences. No one is this incompetent and rises to the most powerful position in the free world.
But there is a new day in America. Those of us who have been sleepwalking and living a nightmare for the last eight years have finally stopped hitting the snooze button. All over America millions are getting up and starting the task of remaking America. We are restoring more than just our physical infrastructure we are also restoring our moral infrastructure as well. And judging by the reception Secretary Clinton received upon her arrival at State it is long overdue. I would venture to guess that the reception to Secretary Holder will be just as dramatic at the Justice Department. This nation, this government with all its citizens and employees are awakening to the call for change. I don’t think we realized the strain that so many of our federal employees were toiling under with the Bush administration. I think now that the national nightmare is over there will be a litany of revelations from current and former employees of the many illegal and immoral deeds done by the Bush administration in the name of security.
The alarm has sounded. The call to action has been made. I believe that there will be an outpouring of spirit and volunteerism the likes of which this nation has never seen. I caution the Republicans still standing you do not want to be on the wrong side of this tidal wave. Once the sleeping giant awakens there is often backlash, anger, and frustration. We are heading in a new direction and foolish is the man who thinks that he can stop it or reverse it.
”œBe the change you want to see in the world.”-Gandhi