No, Bush and Reagan Were Worse
On short memories
While surfing through laptops to replace the one I accidentally broke while angry yesterday, I eavesdropped on a guy who was clearly trying to hit on the girl across the table from him on the porch at Epoch Coffee on North Loop.
He was a young-ish guy; probably in his thirties; with an unkempt beard; messy, greasy hair; wearing an old hoodie and even older Army field jacket and talking far too loudly about things that were either inane or about which he was wrong.
I just listened until they got on the subject of Trump, and then George W. Bush.
One of the things he was — and many foolish leftists with short memories are — wrong about was when he said to the girl, “But what did Bush really accomplish? He wasn’t that bad considering what we have now.”
I couldn’t let that pass.
I turned to him and said, incredulously, “He did start two wars.”
“Did he really start them or was he just continuing them?” he shot back.
“Are we talking about Bush or Obama now?” I asked.
His voice rose to drown me out to say, “I was alive then. I was angry then. I bitched and complained then.” Then he turned back to the girl and moved on to another topic.
Had he answered my question — and likely tried to justify his stance that W. wasn’t as bad as Trump — I had a ready reply:
Tell that to the 6,000+ troops that are dead.
If you really think about it, aside from distracting people with 3rd-grader tweets while the Republicans slowly pass their agenda, Trump is the one who hasn’t accomplished much of anything.
Has he even staffed his government yet? Beyond the tax-cut-that-backfired, administrative changes and executive orders, he hasn’t accomplished anything. And Bush and Obama used the same administrative and executive order to accomplish what they could.
We could say Trump “accomplished” appointing two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, but really all he did was select them — Congress put them on the bench (and completely stopped Obama from exercising the same executive privilege/responsibility afforded Trump).
His foreign policy — on a grand scale — has been limited to pissing off allies and being snookered by dictators. Not war. (Yet.)
Trump’s biggest accomplishment? He’s pissed off just about everyone via Twitter.
Listen: Trump is bad. I believe he and his supporters are partially responsible for these mailbombs. My new chant for Democrats is, “Jobs, Not Terrorists.” (“Jobs, Not Mailbombs” just came to me, too.)
But there’s a direct line from Bush to Trump. To say Bush isn’t as bad as Trump is to say that Reagan wasn’t as bad either, even though he set us on the neoliberal course that led to the massive inequality, racial strife and political disenfranchisement/delusion we’re experiencing today. Now, that’s bad.
The only way to ensure Trump doesn’t become worse is to vote for those who oppose him. Fortunately, we have that opportunity right now (if you’re early voting, like in Texas).
Bullshit hyperbole doesn’t help.
The girl’s boyfriend, who works at Epoch, got off work and the other guy started talking to someone a guy who’d just sat down. He was unsuccessful in getting any of the girl’s information. Poor, dumb, likely wannabe-musician-who-hasn’t-learned-to-play-an-instrument-yet.
I closed my laptop and despaired to Misty about their conversation as we finished our coffees (they can’t use the espresso machines due to the water contamination from the rains). Then, we bailed and came home where it’s warm.
But we didn’t forget how bad Bush was. Or Reagan. Or Trump.