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Ross M. Levine Headshot

The "W"egacy: Vote Bush in '08!

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I for one wish I could vote for George Bush on November 4 and give him a third term. (And why can't I, given the myriad "revisions" to constitutional law that have already occurred under his presidency?) But before you have me committed, the reason I'd like to re-elect him is that after only eight years, he's left us with an incredible "W"egacy that I figure four more years could only polish even more.

Case in point -- capitalism. Before George Bush, could you have imagined the government of the United States buying up shares in America's largest banks? Could you have conceived of the feds infusing billions into failing investment firms and insurance companies to keep them afloat? Could you have possibly dreamt up stimulus packages and Republican perorations about paying off people's mortgages and meetings with European leaders where we gringos listen attentively to Frenchies and their ilk prattling on about socialism? For eight years, our prez has done everything possible to insure the health and happiness of trickle-down capitalism and now it seems our whole economic framework is on life support. Imagine what he might accomplish in four more years -- perhaps single-handedly destroy the "consume and obey" ethos, the "private wealth, public squalor" culture, the "buy, baby, buy" business model, and leave America with a financial system of a never-before-seen humanitarian nature. I say he deserves that chance.

Then there's the God factor. Before George Bush, would his party have ever considered putting a religious wack job like Sarah Palin on its presidential ticket? No way. Bush has, in two terms, by handing the heart of the Republican Party to a block of religious extremists, made it OK to nominate a VP candidate who's ready to take creationism to the halls of academe, to prove cavemen feasted on barbecued dinosaur, and that somehow it's the Almighty who gets us into war for all the righteous reasons. If we give Bush a bit more time, we might possibly see the Republicans completely fringed out, without a single pretense left of representing those Rockefeller moderates who used to wear red simply because they didn't want to see government spend more than it earned.

Did we just mention war? Bush started out pretty focused on the domestic scene, but once the Twin Towers came down, he began rattling his saber with a palsied intensity. First came Afghanistan, and we wondered, of course, how that war was "won" so quickly when the Ruskies spent years there to no avail. Then came that pre-emptive cakewalk, Iraq. Bush in his flight suit strutting his stuff, and here we are, five and a half years later, still in surge mode. The president only has a couple months left to "bomb, bomb Iran," and chances are he'll forego that pleasure, what with Afghanistan melting down fast and Iraq still "touch and don't go." But with four more years, who knows what new embeddedness might await our illustrious fourth estate? I say give Dub a third-term chance to scratch out one more little war and I predict we'll have a golden age of peace lasting at least a quarter century after he departs. Anyone even thinking war is the answer will be blasted with references to the "Bush Doctrine" -- no, not "attack first, ask questions later," but "victory means never having to say you're leaving."

But what about the Supreme Court you ask? Wouldn't four more Bush years be the final nail in Roe v. Wade? Wouldn't it basically guarantee a kibosh on every progressive impulse in the body politic? Can Justice Stevens hold on till he's 92? Well, let's not be short-sighted. Yes, four more years may give Dub the chance to finally get Harriet Miers on the bench or a worse choice even, or two - or three - but think about it. A court so to the Right that the bench literally capsizes might get Congress to legislate from the legislature for a change. Put progressive laws on the books that the Supremes would be forced to overturn one after another until it finally became obvious and evident to John Q. Public (and even Joe Q. Plumber) that it's the Right that wants to rule from the judiciary, and the Originalists who aren't so much interested in safeguarding the Constitution as deep-freezing it.

And one last reason why I'd like to cast my vote for Dubya next week -- shouldn't he be the one who gets to enjoy the fruits of his labor? They're ripening now like hard-boiled eggs in the hot sun, so why should Obama or, God help us, McCain, get to have all the fun? Why should one of them deal with extricating the arsenal of democracy from an illegitimate war and a global recession? That's like dragging the lead actor off stage just as the curtain has finally opened...

Or, like we've said all along, shuffling the emperor out of view just as the swing voters finally realize he's wearing nothing but that smirk on his face.