President Bush (god, it still sounds so awful to say it) just gave the traditional sixth-year “we lost our majority” speech to the nation, with the addition of the announcement of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as Secretary of Defense. Many people will remember Rumsfeld as the jackass who condoned torture (or sought to redefine it), pushed the notion of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, and sought to push forward ideas like the “PATRIOT Act”. He couldn’t be gone soon enough for me. I wonder if this keeps him away from prosecution for war crimes, unless we’ve somehow outlawed that.
Bush used the phrase “we cannot accept defeat in Iraq.” I think it’s incredibly indicative of his views on reality, and even more insightful on the state of his entire presidency. He said that we couldn’t accept defeat, not that we would not avoid it. Many could argue that the campaign in Iraq has been plagued by corruption and failure, and that by any measure of “success”, the United States wasn’t really achieving it, whatever it is or was.
Hopefully this will force bills which will be difficult to attack to be brought up for either the now traditional presidential signing statement, or more hopefully, a veto. I mean, if a law were to be passed which repealed the reprehensible pieces of things like the “PATRIOT Act” and the “Military Commissions Act of 2006″. Of course, we still could see defense of torturing human beings, spying on American citizens who have done nothing wrong, profiling of muslims, and other things which the often-referenced “founding fathers” would denounce with every last breath.
Not to bring comparisons to another historical character with the same name, but President Bush seems to be making strides towards becoming King Bush. Before this is denounced as paranoid conspiracy-oriented rambling, consider the evidence… When the United States was founded, it was founded mainly due to landowners having issues with a King who seemed removed from reality being able to override rule of legislature, being able to declare military rule at any point, and being able to imprison and/or hurt them in some way without the benefit of a trial by peers. As of now, the President has all of those powers, under the guise of fighting “international terrorism.” When we started invading other countries to push our own domestic agenda, I think we started becoming the “international terrorists.” Our populace has remained terrorized; most people voting for Bush in 2004 cited his handling of “the War on Terror” as their reason for reelecting him to the Presidency (any allegations of impropriety aside). Usually I’m pretty disappointed in things like that ; today, I’ll take the changes we’re getting at face value. I’m just happy that a single party doesn’t have control over all three branches of the United States Government, especially not one with such cavalier disregard for the Constitution.
As someone on slashdot pointed out, not living in the United States doesn’t exempt you from its influence, just in your ability to influence it by your vote. Let’s hope that the United States leadership takes their new positions of responsibility with a bit more seriousness than their previous counterparts had.