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It's Thanksgiving, and as we Democrats gather around our big table to choose a candidate (do we pass to the right or the left?)....

let's remember what brings us together, and why we're not gonna let George W. Bush win reelection in 2004.  

Hence, the 18 Most Dubious Achievements of the Bush Administration.....feel free to add and amend...

  1.  Squandering the good will and support of the world's nations in the aftermath of 9/11.
  2.  Vilifying Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an 'axis of evil.' The single worst foreign policy formulation ever.  
  3.  Establishing a 'doctrine' of the unilateral and preemptive use of military force that supercedes the UN security council and essentially 'breaks' our European alliance.
  4. a. Using the rhetoric of an "imminent threat" of the use of weapons of mass destruction in the absence of hard intelligence of that threat, the use of said weapons, or, even, the weapons themselves.  Further, lacking evidence of these weapons, nevertheless claiming forthrightly that they exist.
  5. b. Consistently misleading the American public with rhetoric that, among other things, skirts but does not claim that Saddam Hussein was responsible in some way for 9/11.  
  6. Allowing American Intelligence operations to become politicized at a moment of crisis.
  7.  Reversing the Powell doctrine of 'overwhelming force' with a 'clear exit strategy.' for the Rumsfeld doctrine of 'just enough' troops for victory and a 'greet us with open arms' entrance strategy.
  8.  Relying on Reserve and National guard units for extended foreign combat and occupation missions.
  9.  Failing, despite a clear opportunity, to internationalize the effort in "Post Major Combat Iraq" leaving the United States and British forces alone to secure and rebuild the country and U.S. taxpayers to fund it.
  10.  Actively seeking to assassinate (or 'decapitate') the leaders of enemy states and organizations instead of bringing them to trial; and allowing the CIA to assassinate U.S. citizens and foreign nationals abroad.  This includes the killing of Uday and Qusay Hussein, virtually ignored at the time except as a propoganda event; now clearly an error of enormous proportions.  
  11.  Circumventing the Geneva convention through detaining 'foreign combatants' indefinitely and without charge at Guantanamo Bay and, further, detaining and interrogating major al Qaeda and Iraqi arrestees in undisclosed, extraterritorial locations.
  12.  Creating in the office of the Vice President an ancillary, virtual 'second presidency' with Intelligence, Analysis,  and Strategy duties that overlap, if not conflict, with those of established Cabinet positions.  
  13.  Abusing a narrow majority in both Houses of Congress and the subsequent control of the conference committee to:
a).  create legislation that is not what EITHER body voted for or debated. ie.  the current Iraq funding authorization  and

b).  to prevent the House of Representatives from voting or debating almost any significant or controversial legislation proposed by the minority, despite their 208 seats.

  1.  Misusing state redistricting, the judiciary, recall propositions and a  strong-arm electoral strategy to reinforce a slim electoral national majority that relies to an extraordinary degree on the weight of smaller population states.
  2.  Passing the largest tax cut in the history of the United States (much of which is yet to kick in) in the face of a looming crisis in Medicare and Social Security and a current fiscal crisis in nearly every State in the Union, not to mention the fact that we are currently at war and need an additional $87 billion for Iraq.  
  3.  Raising an unprecedented $200 million for a primary campaign with no opponent.  Truly nauseating.
  4. Advocating a Patriot Act that, on its face, temporarily strips away large sections of the Bill of Rights; and allowing that Act, passed in the wake of 9/11, to be used by the Justice Department for non-terrorism related activities, all the while advocating its permanence.  
  5.  Having run as "uniter not a divider", as a "compassionate conservative" who would bring a "new tone" to Washington and work with both sides of the aisle;  and, despite having been elected President with a loss of the popular vote and a judicially mandated victory in the electoral college, this President has overseen the most petty, brutal and anti-bipartisan political operation in the history of the Presidency.
  6.  Finally, "Bring 'em On."  The most clueless, irresponsible, assanine statement ever by a Commander in Chief.  Why he's gotten away with this one, I do not know.
uh and don't forget:  injecting religion into politics and our government agencies, strong arming and intimidating the press, gutting environmental regulations on Friday afternoons, the "top secret" energy meetings that we still don't know about, misleading the public with 'trick' numbers on the average tax cut,  lifting nary a finger while California faced blackouts and Enron profited, giving sweetheart contracts to Halliburton and Bechtel in Iraq, using the Armed Forces as the backdrop for any number of political speeches while neglecting wounded veterans waiting for medical help at home, and Max Cleland.  Never forget what they did to Max Cleland.

Originally posted to kid oakland on Thu Nov 27, 2003 at 11:38 PM PST.

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