How fitting. The least popular president in American history gives his farewell State of the Union speech, and both the media and the assembled politicians dutifully applaud his effort. Typical. At no time during the 40-minute recitation did Mr. Bush mention the loss of personal privacy, the round-up of innocent Muslims, the spying on peaceful Americans, or the repeal of habeas corpus. All of these were swept under the rug so the president could make yet another impassioned plea to continue the blinkered war on terror.
But it’s not “terror” that Americans are thinking about these days, but their shrinking paychecks, their soaring mortgage payments, the skyrocketing price of food and gas and the insecurity of their jobs. Bush’s “stimulus” handout is a poor substitute for sound economic policy. We’ve been battered by seven years of supply side, “trickle down” mumbo jumbo that has put us on the fast track to recession. Yipee.
There’s no way to summarize the damage that Bush has done to the America. We are not the same people we were when he took office. The optimism is gone. The country is at war, we are less free, and coffers are empty. The “shining city on the hill” turned out to be a U.S. gulag at Guantanamo Bay.
Monday night’s speech neither added nor subtracted anything to the legacy of the man who will be remembered as the worst president in American history. Believe me, the champagne is already chilling for Nov. 4, 2008.