Monday, January 28, 2008

Not much on the table from final Bush State of the Union address

Anyone expecting President Bush to go out with a bang on his final State of the Union message had to have been disappointed by tonight's insomnia cure.
I heard some analysts call it a "greatest hits" summary, but one would have to have hits in order for that to be true.
If the president's greatest hits were No Child Left Behind, the war in Iraq, jobs outsourced overseas, and deficits that are very much counter to what his party stands for, I would hate to hear what he considers to be his disappointments.
This was a president who had the nation solidly behind him on Sept. 11, 2001, and most of the world, and in a few short months squandered a fountain of good will.

This was a president who pushed through tax cuts for the wealthy, many of whom shipped workers overseas, and then had the nerve to brag about creating many lower-paying jobs.

This was a president who had the opportunity to do something to improve the lot of students across America and instead backed the horrendous No Child Left Behind, an anti-public school measure that imposes impossible benchmarks and has virtually sacrificed the teaching of history, government and the fine arts as schools have trimmed those subjects to concentrate on the federally-mandated math and reading.

This was a president who never showed any inclination to listen to anyone outside of his inner circle and did a horrible job of selecting those who were in that inner circle.

Even the Republican presidential candidates are not invoking President Bush's name.

When historians look over the last few decades, they often cite Richard Nixon as the Republican who brought shame to the White House. Maybe so, but Nixon also brought the Environmental Protection Agency, federal revenue sharing, and diplomatic initiatives to China and Russia.

Even with Watergate, Nixon stands taller than the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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