As is true with phrases like “Breaking News”, “First on Four” and “The Fed Has Lowered Rates Again”, just because something is a “sneak peek” doesn’t mean it’s worthy of attention, peeking or otherwise.
For example, the following.
But, being as I’ve noticed that almost nobody reads both Burque Babble and the Albuquerque Tribune, I post below my tentative, day-to-day, playing with pain Trib column for this Wednesday. (Or maybe it’s just that nobody reads Burque Babble…but pshaw, for you dear reader are reading this very parenthetical interjection).
Anyway, here’s the unedited, Trib cannot be held responsible version….
I’m taking a wild guess that this is the last Tribune column from me. The apparent demise of this paper is a shame, and one I could blather on about for thousands of words, but I’ll let others more eloquent tackle that.
Instead, before heading out, I want to discuss a fact that will live on beyond the Tribune, me, and, most likely, even the concept of “newspapers”.
George W. Bush is the worst United States President ever.
In a mere 335 days we Americans can claim to have survived the Bush Administration. It hasn’t been easy, and not just for “liberals”. Sure, every single act, gesture and breath of the man has angered anyone to the political left of Jerry Falwell’s ghost, but it goes beyond that.
Fiscal conservatives are apoplectic about Bush tax & spend policies leading to massive deficits. Social conservatives are unhappy the Administration hasn’t overturned Roe v. Wade or gotten the Bible back in public schools.
Osama is still out there somewhere, Iraq has been a preventable quagmire and our number of international friends has dwindled to near zero. Europe is passing us economically, and China is getting larger and larger in the rear-view mirror.
Listing the failure of Bush initiatives is long and embarrassing. Remember when Bush tackled Social Security? How about Bush style immigration reform? This while the President’s own party has been in control of Congress most of the time.
Bush’s only “successes” revolve around fear. Fear has been his best friend, allowing passage of pernicious legislation such as the “PATRIOT” Act and FISA extensions that expand surveillance power and cripple civil liberties. Just ask President John Adams what fear-based legislation did for his long-term reputation. His “Alien and Sedition Acts” are still models of what NOT to do in the face of fear. Or they were until George W. Bush came along.
Then there’s the “Don Knotts Problem”. I love the comedy of Don Knotts. I just never wanted him to be President of the United States. Back in the early carefree days of the Administration, the President was ridiculed because he talked funny, and said things like “nuculur”.
We chalked this talking funny thing up to Bush allegedly being Texan and moved on. Then we found out he didn’t only talk wrong, but made laughably boneheaded decisions. My favorite: the proposed Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court.
One could easily imagine Knott’s famous character Barney Fife goofily defending the Miers nomination for days when it was apparent to everyone, conservative and liberal alike, that this was the gosh-darn stupidest idea since Plessy v. Ferguson.
Two or three years ago considerable discussion took place about whether George W. Bush has been our worst president. Then scholarly discussion died down, a few folks got “Worst. President. Ever.” bumper stickers, and we trudged on through waterboarding, “signing documents” and an economic stimulus package (i.e. “Paying for Votes: 2008”).
But before I, the Tribune and the Barney Fife-in-Chief head out the door it’s worth bringing up again. It’s been rough, almost impossible at times, but we’re gonna survive the Bush Administration. And oh, the stories we can tell our children, grand children and presidential historians.