Bush stays the course — right off a cliff

by Ogi Overman

One doesn’t exactly need an Easy Button to figure out how we got to this abysmal point in human history (how we get out of it is a whole ’nother story), but just incase you’ve beenin a catatonic state since November The Big “O” 2000, here’s the short version: “President” George W. Bush. Or the shorter version: the Duh. Actually, there’s a more perfect yet equally succinct explanation that zeroes in on his one character defect, an explanation that summarizes the last seven and a half years so eloquently that it ought to be posted in the Oval Office. It comes in the form of a quote I found, serendipitously, while researching an unrelated article for another publication. It’s attributed to a 19th contradicted it, and never veered from it. Never admitted, much less corrected, a mistake, never even gave an opposing view a second thought, never doubted the surety of his convictions. And never lost a blissfully ignorant moment of sleep over any of it. -century theologian named Tryon Edwards, whose signature work, I found out later, was titled, New Dictionary of Thoughts. Read ’em and weep: “He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today.” Remind you of anybody? How gut-wrenchingly sad it is that we let it get to this point; that this cascading series of events that could have been prevented, corrected, forestalled or at least diverted has now brought us to the brink of economic, environmental, military and social collapse? Lay it all at the feet, brothers and sisters, of a man who came into office with a flawed ideology that disregarded any fact or theory that He was a bag of rocks coming in and he’s a bag of rocks going out. Naturally I don’t expect any better of him now than then, but a couple of examples lately illustrate how acutely out of touch and unaware of his surroundings the man really is. (You could pick any two issues out of a hat and reach the same conclusion; these are just two of the most recent. And most egregiously wrong.) Here’s the lead paragraph of the AP story July 12: “The Bush administration, dismissing the recommendations of its top experts, rejected regulating the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming Friday, saying it would cripple the US economy.” No news here — he’s been rejecting the top experts in every field ofendeavor unless they rubber–stamped his ill-conceived, neo-con notionsfrom day one. But what is really galling is that his excuse is the sameas it was when he pulled the US out of the Kyoto Protocols in 2001,citing potential job losses and damage to the economy. So,how’s that worked out for you, Duh? Lucky for us you had the foresightto protect big business profits, otherwise we might be seeing 438,000jobs lost in 2008 alone, a stock market that’s lost 2,000 points in afew months, foreclosures soaring, the federal deficit ballooning tounfathomable numbers, consumer confidence shot to hell. Why, withoutyour brilliance, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be on the verge ofmeltdown, airlines could be declaring bankruptcy weekly, the value ofthe dollar could be plummeting to unprecedented lows. Lordy, we couldeven be looking at four-dollar gas prices. Besides, what are afew polar bears? It’s even worse than I imagined when I penned my firstcolumn calling for his impeachment in August, 2001. Kyoto was the firstwarning sign that it was going to be a Bush’s Americavs. the rest of the world, that we were in for a long, dark ride, buteven I had no idea we’d be peering over the abyss by now. But thenagain, in my worst nightmares I could not have predicted that theAmerican voters could be so gullible and ignorant to elect this goomeragain. Oh, and just to allay fears of the 7 percent at theshallow end of the gene pool who still support him that he hasn’tveered off course, immediately after his greenhouse gas-emissionsdecision, he lifted the presidential ban on offshore oil drilling.Never mind that it would take 20 years for it to have even minimalimpact on gas prices, by God if it will make Big Oil one more nickel,the Duh is all for it. Hey, the Gulf Coast, the Outer Banks and Cap Codare all overrated. What’s a little oil in your seawater? If you wannaswim, that’s why God invented pools. But the most poetic ironyin this is that the offshore drilling ban was first signed by… hisfather. That’s showing him, Duh. Wisdom is way overrated. Ogi may be reached at and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.