by R. Scott Porter
(Swans - February 23, 2009) We haven't heard much from George W. Bush since he ran out of Washington with his tail between his legs. I'll bet he let out a huge sigh of relief when he and Laura closed the door of their new mini-mansion in that guard-gated community of the like-minded back in Texas. I'm sure he won't miss all the "hard work" involved with being the president of the United States.
Thinking back over his eight years in office I remember that phrase "hard work" as a defining moment for me. I have worked in the construction industry for over 30 years. In that time I have had the pleasure of working along side a lot of very hard-working folks. I count myself as one of them. We know about "hard work," and for the most part, we enjoy it. We take it as a challenge, we aren't afraid of it and we don't complain about it. And so, even though I can't speak for everyone, I have to believe that most hard-working Americans were taken aback to hear their president whine about his job. With all the advantages and perks and power in the world, this guy couldn't overcome his sense of entitlement long enough to even put on a good act.
He had no business being our president. Many of us sensed it from the very beginning but the second those words escaped his lips most Americans gave up on him, and resigned themselves, at least subliminally, to the fact that nothing was going to get better, and in fact everything was sure to get a hell of a lot worse, as long as he was at the helm.
If he wasn't delusional he was disingenuous. Either option would disqualify anyone but George W. Bush from remaining on the job. Anyone else would have been run out of town for being such a loser. Only his family connections saved him. Now, as distasteful as the review may be, we, as a nation, must not allow this clown and his buddies to rewrite history. I realize that our new administration has more pressing problems, (i.e., somehow avoiding the eminent total collapse of the world economy!), but even that was brought on, in no small measure, by the disastrous, dunderheaded, anti-tax and "free-trade" policies of the Bush administration. Not to mention the billions of dollars wasted in Iraq. We could sure use that right about now, couldn't we? Surmounting all this, people died because this guy got it wrong. A lot of people. Perhaps millions of people. We must now thoroughly investigate the last eight years. We must see justice done. Only then we might be able to look our children in the eye and tell them we got it right.
Perhaps anyone who wants to be a lawyer, or politician, should first serve a one-year apprenticeship in a trade. I'm sure this sounds common to anyone who aspires to more, but please consider that then they might at least have a better grasp of reality. They would definitely know a little more about what constitutes "hard work." They might develop a modicum of humility and respect for every citizen in our country, and not just those privileged few with whom they so desperately want to associate. At the very least this would give them a backup plan for when they find out that they make terrible lawyers and politicians. Just think, George might have gone to work for "Joe the Plumber" and made an honest living for the first time in his life! Since that is no longer an option, perhaps he and Karl Rove can now learn how to clean a toilet in prison. George might even be Head Cheerleader for the prison football team. Hope springs eternal!
Moving on, which is always difficult after a traumatic experience, we now have someone in the highest office in the land who didn't get handed everything on a silver platter. He actually got "down and dirty" in the inner city and "worked hard" as a community organizer, admittedly not a very physical job, but hard, nonetheless. Hopefully he hasn't been ruined by hanging around the silver-spoon set for the last few years.
With the loss of 3.6 million jobs in the last 13 months, and nearly 600 thousand in the last month alone, we desperately need to create jobs. More tax cuts for the rich are definitely not the answer. The greedy just pocket the money and laugh all the way to their solvent banks in the Cayman Islands. Giving a tax cut to the middle class might stimulate the economy in some anemic way, but it won't create any jobs. If we must go even further into debt, we had better at least put people back to work, and in a big way. Then we can all "work hard" to pay back our children, and theirs.
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