Thursday, September 28, 2006

The President is Incompetent

I almost titled this blog "The President is a Fool", but then I remembered that pejoratives get in the way of understanding. It's much more productive to deal with facts...and the facts clearly indicate that our current president, George W. Bush, is simply incompetent. Many of us suspected very early that GWB was a dim bulb and easily manipulated, but in the year 2000 we had little idea of how seriously his incompetence could harm the United States. We now are beginning to get a broad understanding of how these many sins of comission and omission will affect this country in the years to come.

The war in Iraq will go down as Bush's most important failure. Successful warriors know that the choice of a battleground has much to do with success or failure. Bush's choice of Iraq, which was surrounded by our enemies and had no consistent culture to rally around, has led to a stalemated conflict where our enemies have all the advantages...time, virtually unlimited manpower, concealment within the indigenous population, and outside technical and financial support. We can't "win" in the traditional sense, but our enemies win because we spend $8 billion per month to continue the fight - $8 billion that we borrow from our children and grandchildren, thus weakening our country's home base for the long term. We should have initiated conflicts only where we could assure victory, thus demoralizing our enemies. Instead, we have fought in a place where our enemies feel successful and they gain support as a result. As Colin Powell said, "You conquer it, you own it." Iraq is a tar baby, and unfortunately, George Bush stepped into it voluntarily.

The Bush administration's fiscal policies are the next most important failure. Our nation's future obligations to its citizens and foreign creditors cannot be met without dramatic changes in our entitlement programs and our management of current accounts like the federal deficit and the foreign trade deficit. The United States is in far worse economic condition than it was six years ago, even though the stock markets have risen. The risk to our nation increases substantially every year that action is not taken. Even though GWB has acknowledged much of what is said above on this topic, he has done nothing. He will be blamed by future generations for their pain.

If the presidency is a "bully pulpit", then the message from GWB has consistently been "come and be stupid with me." There was no call to arms to reduce consumption of, or substitute for, the oil that we depend on our enemies to provide us. Instead, he told us to drill in Anwar, a place where there is a pitifully small amount of oil - as if it could save us from our long term problem with oil supplies. Similarly, on the other side of the energy coin - global warming - he has failed to recognize the threat and mobilize our population and other governments to deal with it seriously. When it comes to the big issues, GWB is nowhere to be found!

I could go on and on about stem cell research, education, corruption (never mentioned by our illustrious president), church and state issues, and the silliness of many of our internal security initiatives. Leadership has been absent, as it was in Katrina.

You have to wonder how a country with so many brilliant and charismatic citizens could elect one of its dullest minds to its highest office. That's democracy, I guess. The good news is that we can recognize our mistake and do much better starting in November!

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