Sunday, December 28, 2008

George W. Bush, WPE*: Legacy of Death

Seems like you can’t turn on a radio or TV these days without seeing Bush or his crew working hard on his “legacy”. I’ve watched a few minutes, just to get an idea of how they might be trying to spin history in their favor. Bush has no regrets. Laura and Condi think that he’s done a good job. Cheney lives in his own little world and just seems secretly glad that no one figured out that he was the mastermind.

I’ve been mulling it over for some time now. I started working on my own version of what I think Bush’s legacy should be months ago, long before the election and the signal for change by the American people.

One key feature of the Bush administration over the last eight years has been the interesting use of propaganda and word-smithing to hide the true nature of their policies and agendas. For example, the gutting of existing environmental laws was called “The Clean Air Act” and the gigantic over grab for power by the Executive Branch that weakened Constitutional protections was called “The Patriot Act.”

Randi Rhodes, the goddess of left-wing talk radio, recognized early that whatever the neocons called a bill, it actually did the opposite of what the title suggested.

It occurred to me that Bush’s legacy was fraught with irony on many levels. So much incompetence at management despite his MBA “credential”. Wasn’t this supposed to be the first time we brought business management to the White House?

His laughable promise to “control spending” brought us the largest deficit in the history of the US, despite inheriting a surplus.

He campaigned on bringing the country together. We’ve never been split further apart by a leader.

But the real joke on us all was that George W. was “pro-life” in any sense of the word.

I started thinking about this man, who used the religious right wing of his party, particularly the anti-abortionists, to push himself over the magic majority number to win the office in 2000. Interestingly, despite control over the Executive Branch, the US Supreme Court and majorities in both the House and the Senate, he did not accomplish his promised overturn of Roe V. Wade. Think he forgot? Not likely.

Quite the opposite I think.

How the right wing continues to stick with the Republican Party and how 17% still believe this man has done anything good is beyond me.

I propose therefore that we begin Bush’s legacy with an more honest naming of it, specifically, I propose that we call it Bush’s Legacy of Death.

At some point during the last eight years, I began to wonder exactly how many actual deaths George W. Bush might be responsible for. There is no way of course to determine an exact figure, since many of his policies have had indirect effects or effects that are yet to occur, but will cause death in the near and likely distant future. The best I could do then was to find existing estimates of deaths using reputable websites and news sources.

The data is as follows:

(1) Prior to becoming President, Mr. Bush presided over 152 executions in Texas


(2) Despite warnings of an impending terrorist attack using airplanes in the US, 2752 people died as a result of the attacks on 9/11 . (

(3) Coalition soldiers killed in Iraq: 4488 (US troops: 4185)


(4) Iraqi civilian casualties: 87.833


(5) Coalition soldiers killed in Afghanistan: 985 (US soliders: 609)


(6) Afghani civilians casualty estimates: 3000-3400


Policy positions leading to deaths include:

(7) US deaths attributable to lack of health care/insurance: 22,000 per year x 8 years= 176,000


(8) Deaths due to poverty in the US: unknown



(9) Deaths and suffering from slowed medical research including stem cell development: unknown

(10) Deaths attributable to lowered environmental standards: unknown


(11) Deaths due to deregulation of industry- unknown


(12) Hate Crime deaths over the 8 years of the Bush Administration: 96


(13) Deaths associated with Hurricane Katrina: 1698


(14) Deaths attributable to growth and expansion of Al Qaeda in the world: unknown

(15) Deaths among US detainees including Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo: 108


Total deaths, on Bush’s watch, many of which were directly or indirectly a result of his decisions or lack of attention: 277,112 plus countless unknown.

This is a vast underestimate mind you, and I'm sure you may be able to come up with numbers that I've never even considered, but it does speak to the unspeakable damage this man has heaped upon our nation.

So, just like some people would like to put an asterisk by Barry Bonds’ name in the record books for his suspect behavior around steroids, I propose that right by W’s name, we place the letters WPE, to denote his status as Worst President Ever*.

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