Wednesday, June 06, 2007

This car isn't safe

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.” - Winston Churchill

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” - Winston Churchill

What the hell is wrong with this country when we continue to allow the squandering of goodwill in the world? When we allow an arrogant administration and the party that backs it, walking in lock step with it, to weaken our position as leading example for the world?

And why, why, why, is a former leader of the former Soviet Union a far better spokesman for reason, democracy and freedom than the current president of the United States?

Today there was a very good interview with Mikhail Gorbachev on CNN International. It was interesting to hear a reasoned international figure talking about the arrogance of the United States right now. It was clear that he wasn't talking about the country as a whole, but the Bush administration. Despite that, it was also clear that much of the world is beginning to tire of trying to discern the difference.

Bush has cost us a lot already. His administration is a series of failures with no real successes to show for all the bluster and bullying. I asked a conservative friend the other day to name one member of the Bush administration that was competent, much less good, at their job. He had no answer. There's a reason for that. The reason is that this president has chosen cronyism over competence.

And here we are, more than half a year after a resounding rejection of his policies across the board. Has this administration listened to the will of the people? Hell no. The only people this administration cares about are those that are closely allied with it. Those people are the same ones raking in record oil profits, pocketing billions that are supposed to be rebuilding the infrastructure of war-torn Iraq, or socking away much of the money that should be rebuilding our own city of New Orleans and helping those who lost everything in hurricane Katrina. This is an administration with policies built on deception, an administration led by incompetents at best and criminals at worst, and an administration that is making our country less and less safe.

Meanwhile, there are still many in the President's party who refuse to stand up for America and Americans. It's more important to them to help shove the broken ideas of the Bush administration forward despite the obvious lack of wheels, engine, or steering wheel.

This is the wreck of a vehicle that the Republican party wants to tie us to. Screw that. It's time for a new car. And screw the shysters that keep trying to sell us this lemon. Shame on them. Shame on the Republican leadership.

Anyway, back to Gorbachev's interview.

Maybe the most important thing he said was when he was talking about the surplus of goodwill that the United States built up with the then Soviet Union in the 1980s. It was the spirit of partnership that was offered that allowed the Soviet Union to make moves toward democracy, not blustering threats. Keeping that in mind, ask yourself what it means when one of the two men most responsible for ending the Cold War says that the United States has squandered away much of the goodwill it had built up in past decades. He also mentioned one of the above quotes by Winston Churchill - the one about counting on Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else.

Maybe it means nothing. Maybe it's very telling.

Either way, the arrogance and carelessness of the Bush administration and his staunch Republican supporters - several of whom can be found in the Republican primary race - is hurting this country's prestige abroad. It's eroding the moral authority we once had. And it's making the world less safe. Is this a path we should continue down? Should this unsafe vehicle be allowed to stay on the road?

7 comments:

Josh said...

Shawn, this raises one very important question:

Why do you hate America so much?


Yours,
The Copy Desk

Shawn said...

'Why do you hate America so much?'

Easy enough...lack of good beer and the fact that Russian girls are super hot.

By the way, shouldn't you be growing your love or something?

SME said...

OMG, that first quote made me laugh myself blue. Churchill was such a jerk sometimes...but at least he could be funny about it.

Laura said...

Excellent points. It was diplomacy and political pressure that eventually led the Soviet Union to dissolve and eventually spawn democracies. Sure, the ex-USSR states aren't perfect, but they're in their infancy stages of democracy. The imporant thing is that democracy sprung from within, rather than by some external, military force.

I still wonder why some people don't see the irony of spreading democracy through military force.

It's going to take us a long time to build back what Bush tore down in 8 short years.

Miss Kate said...

If I were a registered Republican (but whoo hoo, I'm not!) I would be SERIOUSLY pissed that the yahoos in the Bush administration had control of my party.

The first quote? Pricelessly applicable to Bush & Co.

tshsmom said...

We definitely need to rediscover the lost art of diplomacy!

The Zombieslayer said...

And why, why, why, is a former leader of the former Soviet Union a far better spokesman for reason, democracy and freedom than the current president of the United States?

Well first off, Gorby can speak. Bush can't.

Bush has cost us a lot already.

Not just the war, but economically. Ironically, Clinton was a conservative (from an economic standpoint, nothing to do with social policy). Bush was the worst kind of liberal we've had since Carter.

The reason is that this president has chosen cronyism over competence.

Heh. I remember doing a spoken word piece about that.

Has this administration listened to the will of the people?

Illegal immigration a great example. he loves illegal immigration. America doesn't.

or socking away much of the money that should be rebuilding our own city of New Orleans and helping those who lost everything in hurricane Katrina.

I love New Orleans. If I were running the show, New Orleans would be fixed by now and we wouldn't be in Iraq.

Either way, the arrogance and carelessness of the Bush administration and his staunch Republican supporters - several of whom can be found in the Republican primary race - is hurting this country's prestige abroad.

I'm not a Republican, but most Republicans I know don't like him either.

And no, Shawn. America makes excellent beer. But yes, Russian girls are super hot. Come to San Francisco and I'll show you some hot American girls as well.