Consequences And Credibility
During the administration of former President George W. Bush, the United States was led into a war in Afghanistan. The war was a direct result of the September 11 attack on the United States by Al Queda. When President Bush announced that the United States was attacking the group within Afghanistan, Americans were united behind the President. President Bush had the so called "blank check" to win that battle, get Osama Bin Laden and exact revenge on behalf of the United States.
Instead, President Bush invaded Iraq and left Afghanistan without the necessary resources and soldiers to do what needed to be done. Instead of keeping the country united, President Bush engaged in policies that divided the country to the point of no return. He attacked opposition as unpatriotic. He disintegrated the Bill of Rights in the name of Homeland Security. He encouraged torture as a means of interrogation. He sat idly by while the waters rose and drowned an entire metropolitan city. He sat idly by and watched the economy slip into depression like conditions and only acted at the last moment to try to salvage his legacy. These are the facts, and they cannot honestly be disputed.
President Bush was not alone in his utter failure as an administration. In fact, it appears he had little to do with it. George Bush had a core group around his that advised his every move. President Bush's failure are their failures. And in terms of credibility, failure has consequences.
So since George W. Bush left office and President Obama took office, this group has been dead set on changing the facts of the Bush years. They have systematically distanced themselves from the failures and are trying to obtain credit for things they have had nothing to do with. To put it simply, they are trying to create a legacy for George Bush to save their own legacies and, aided by the likes of Sean Hannity, will stop at nothing to change the reality of the Bush years.
Vice President Dick Cheney
No former Bush advisor has been more adamant at securing a positive legacy than former Vice President Dick Cheney. Since leaving office, Vice President Cheney has done more interviews about what he perceives as mistakes by the Obama administration than he ever did as Vice President. When George Bush won the Republican nomination in 2000, many questioned his level of experience in foreign relations and it was the nomination of Dick Cheney, a man with vast experience in government and business, that made George Bush a viable foreign relations candidate. Yet, the Bush years show that experience is not everything.
Dick Cheney proved to be one of the most influential vice presidents in history. And because of his influence over President Bush the United States went to war against Iraq and dropped the ball in Afghanistan. Cheney pushed for the Iraq war, the promotion of torture, illegal wiretaps, detention of suspects without a trial or right to appeal, manipulation of intelligence to support a war and an overhaul of Presidential power that threatens the very bounds of the Constitution.
Now Dick Cheney blasts a sitting President and has been doing so since January 21. He has blamed President Obama for the situation in Afghanistan, a war started under George Bush and then forgotten due to Cheney's influence and manipulation of intelligence. When asked if Cheney felt the Bush Administration should receive any blame for how it handled the Afghan War, he stated, “I basically don’t,” (from Politico.com) Instead, Cheney points to a small upgrade in troops made in November 2008 as evidence that the Afghan war was fine when he left.
The facts bear different. The facts show that after taking Kabul the Bush Administration set its sights on Iraq. The Bush Administration, led by Cheney, began developing strategies to sell the war to the American people including manipulating intelligence and going on television to assure the American People that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Because of Cheney the war happened. No weapons were found. No threat to the American homeland was ever found. But Halliburton, the company Cheney led before becoming Vice President, profited.
Dick Cheney questions President Obama for taking too long to make a decision. Perhaps what he really questions is a Preisdent that thinks for himself and doesn't just acquience to adviosors with more "so called" experience. Former Vice President Cheney will be remember as a Vice President with too much power who used his influence to stregtehn the financial positions of his friends while undermining Civil Rights in America. His attempts to change that legacy now destroy whatever credibility he had left when he left office.
Karl Rove, Fox News And The Right Wing Agenda
Another Bush advisor making the rounds blasting President Obama is Karl Rove. Karl Rove is known as the "architect" who devised the strategy that took George W. Bush to the White House. In truth, Rove devised the strategy of destructive politics, that called John McCain "crazy" and "angry" and convinced enough Americans that George Bush was a war hero while John Kerry and Max Cleland were cowards.
Yet, Rove is on television almost every night as a contributor on Fox News. In fact, Rove is on the Sean Hannity show every night. It appears that Fox News has allowed Rove to have a pulpit from which to consistently berate the current administration with insults and accusations without a real journalist to question him.
For the most part, Shephard Smith the only exception, Fox News has become one long anti-Obama pro conservative infomercial. The likes of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity do nothing all day but pass accusations, innuendo and sometimes flat out lies off as news. For example, President Obama announced a troop increase in Afghanistan of more than 30,000 troops. Many Republican lawmakers applauded the move. Hannity, Rove and the former White House Press Secretary blasted the President for the timeline while the three discussed how in fact the new plan was George Bush's plan all along. Another example, during the past few weeks while the economy showed signs of improvement, Hannity and Rove applauded President Bush and claimed that the current indicators were a direct result of Bush's tax cut of over seven years ago.
The simple truth is that Sean Hannity and most of the pundits on Fox News, including Karl Rove, will spend the Obama years blaiming him for Bush's mistakes and taking credit for any improvement in the nation made during the Obama administration. The simple right wing agenda here, destroy Obama despite the effects on the nation to salvage their own legacies. One might argue that the right wing media is trying to improve the Republican position for 2010 and 2012, yet it doesn't appear so. With the exception of Sarah Palin, they are not courting any Republican Presidential hopefuls. They are not giving suggestions on better policy, just pointing out what they claim as flaws in the current policies. They are not creating anything, just destroying everything Obama has touched and destroying any Republican who dares cross party lines, including Olympia Snow and Colin Powell.
Republicans argue that President Obama needs to stop reminding Americans what he inherited as President and take ownership of the Nation's problems. There is some truth to that. President Obama must take on the problems that face the Country and look forward, not backwards.
However, this does not mean that former Bush advisers can run around Fox News and stand in front of every camera and explain how none of what happened under George Bush was their fault and Obama is to blame. Like always, if you don't want President Obama to look backwards, you can't change what actually happened. President Obama inherited two wars, an economy in shambles, loss of respect around the world. He inherited it, but did not cause it. There are consequences to leaving the country in the shape it was in on January 20, 2009 and those don't change just because the Presidency changed hands. And to try to deflect and blame others for your own mistakes, destroys any credibility you may have had.
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