My depression is lifting. I have read and heard a lot of stuff. There is some degree of finger pointing, which is normal and to be expected. Now someone needs to do the autopsy. What happened and why? No, Hillary Clinton wasn’t a perfect candidate. Do we need to run a perfect candidate, Barack Obama, all the time in order to win a national election? Obama was so good that the GOP had to make up stuff – Born in Kenya, was a Muslim, hates America, etc.
I have been watching Dallas Cowboys games all this week. With modern technology, you don’t have to listen to the news if you don’t want to. Ever. No MSNBC. No FOX News. No CNN. It was necessary in order for me to decompress. I needed to reassess.
So, we have been through this before. Progressives have lost elections which they (we) were supposed to win (see John Kerry verses George W. Bush). Where do we go from here? What do we need to do, not just to win an election, but to truly help the American people?
Right now, we are excruciatingly close to historic deal. Pres. Obama and the White House may have done something that no one thought they could do, force the Iranian government into a verifiable nuclear deal. At first glance, this deal appears to have everything that we want. We want to have intrusive inspections where we can verify that Iran is holding up their end of the bargain. Secondly, we want to have a deal in which the international community is overwhelmingly supportive. We have that. (Even Russia’s on board.) I hesitate to be too exuberant but… Damn, this really looks good.
The preliminary agreement between Iran and the major powers is a significant achievement that makes it more likely Iran will never be a nuclear threat. President Obama said it would “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.”
Officials said some important issues have not been resolved, like the possible lifting of a United Nations arms embargo, and writing the technical sections could also cause problems before the deal’s finalization, expected by June 30. Even so, the agreement announced on Thursday after eight days of negotiations appears more specific and comprehensive than expected.
Over the last several days I’ve had the pleasure of several people coming up to me and asking what I thought about President Obama and Syria. Almost everybody I talk to questions whether the president was telling the truth, not because they inherently distrust Barack Obama, but because they had a fresh memory of George W. Bush and his war machine. As I was watching John Kerry present before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I had flashbacks of Colin Powell presenting in front of the UN. The problem is that we don’t know what the actual data show. We have no way of knowing whether Barack Obama is twisting the information to suit his own needs.
He’s there in every corner of Congress where a microphone fronts a politician, there in Russia and the British Parliament and the Vatican. You may think George W. Bush is at home in his bathtub, painting pictures of his toenails, but in fact he’s the biggest presence in the debate over what to do in Syria.
His legacy is paralysis, hypocrisy and uncertainty practiced in varying degrees by those who want to learn from history and those who deny it. Let’s grant some validity to the waffling, though none of it is coming from the architects of the worst global fiasco in a generation.
Time should not soften what President George W. Bush, and his apologists, did in an eight-year war costing the United States more than a trillion dollars, 4,400 American soldiers dead and the displacement of two million Iraqis. The years should not gauze over how the world was conned into an awful conflict. History should hold him accountable for the current muddy debate over what to do in the face of a state-sanctioned mass killer.
Blame Bush? Of course, President Obama has to lead; it’s his superpower now, his armies to move, his stage. But the prior president gave every world leader, every member of Congress a reason to keep the dogs of war on a leash. The isolationists in the Republican Party are a direct result of the Bush foreign policy. A war-weary public that can turn an eye from children being gassed — or express doubt that it happened — is another poisoned fruit of the Bush years. And for the nearly 200 members of both houses of Congress who voted on the Iraq war in 2002 and are still in office and facing a vote this month, Bush shadows them like Scrooge’s ghost.