Some acts are not made right by an apology. "Sorry" becomes inadequate past a certain point of misbehavior and irresponsibility. A vile philosophy held for one's entire adult life cannot be dismissed as a mistake to be corrected with a quick mea culpa. Eight years of hell cannot be washed away with a few insincere words of regret.
George Bush pleads with us to remember him as a politician who went into politics with one set of values and who "came out with the same set of values." Yes, George, we will remember you, exactly as you wish, as a president who came in and left with his values intact. Unfortunately for the citizens of this great country, and for peoples of the world, your values are a nightmare. Steadfast adherence to an immoral worldview is no virtue.
As you wish, we will remember you for your values as clearly revealed in the following actions:
• Supporting torture
• Suspending habeas corpus
• Arresting and holding American citizens with no charge and no access to counsel
• Illegal wiretapping and spying on American citizens
• Politicizing the Justice Department in a way that would make Nixon shudder
• Firing 9 federal prosecutors who refused to investigate bogus election fraud scams
• Exposing the name of an active CIA agent, a treasonous act
• Crumbling the wall separating church and state
• Creating the biggest debts and deficits in our nation's history
• Pushing deregulation, leading to an implosion on Wall Street, and a recession
• Lying about and then incompetently executing two wars
• Sending soldiers to war with inadequate equipment
• Neglecting soldiers returning from war, exemplified by the filth of Walter Reed
• Ignoring genocide in Darfur
• Creating kangaroo courts that make a mockery of justice
• Dismantling the federal government's scientific advisory structure
• Politicizing the FDA, using religion to trump epidemiology and hard science
• Stifling biomedical research with a ban on stem cell research
• Failing to respond to Katrina
• Ignoring climate change
• Disparaging any concern for the loss of tropical forests and biological diversity
• Gutting the endangered species act
• Opening national forests to mining, drilling and intense logging
• Reducing air and water pollution standards
• Failing to support renewable energy, extending our dependence of foreign oil
George, by no means is this list anywhere near comprehensive. But the point is clear: you trampled our civil rights, debased our moral values with torture and endangered the planet. History will indeed judge you. In spite of your delusional fantasy, you are no Harry Truman. If you wish to seek historical precedent, look in the mirror and see the face of Herbert Hoover.
Your values, to which you so proudly cling, represent the worst of humanity. Your values, and the rot and decay of your moral core, have brought a proud nation to its knees, and debased us before the world.
Yes, George, we will remember you, as you wish, as a person "who kept his values."