Thursday :: Mar 4, 2004

"Now, George, About Your Grades, ..."


by pessimist

In business, a common practice is to review the performance of an employee. In the United States, we review, directly or indirectly, the performance of our (s)elected Federal employees every two years. As it is once again review time, I thought that I would look at the performance of our SCOTUS-selected pResident, George Warmonger Bush.

But what standards are to be used for such an evaluation? After some thought and research, I selected the following:

Principles of Good Government
(taken from Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address - March 4, 1801)

About to enter fellow citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our government, and consequently those which ought to shape its administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations.
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political

Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none

The support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies

The preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad

A jealous care of the right of election by the people

A mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution, where peaceable remedies are unprovided

Absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism

A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them

The supremacy of the civil over the military authority

Economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened

The honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public faith

Encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid

The diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason

Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person, under the protection of the Habeas Corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected

These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.

So let's examine how the actions of the First Pharisee compare to these principles. Admittedly, some of these principles are not going to exactly match the specific examples of Bush's (non-)compliance, but I will try to keep them as close as possible.

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political

I think the best example of how GWB doesn't adhere to this principle is his proposal to promote a Constitutional amendment to discriminate against gays. Another good example is the speed with which Martha Stewart, a Democratic contributor, went to trial on similar charges that Kenny-boy Lay, a major Bush contributor, has yet to face. There is also the belief on the part of the Bush (mis)Administration that GWB has the right to strip any American citizen of their Constitutional rights merely by declaring said citizen a terrorist. There are too many examples to list them all, but I think you get the idea. F-

Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none

I'll take the second part first. In 1801, such a sentiment was a wise choice to follow as the pace of life was so slow. There were good reasons for not getting involved in issues which took place far from one's own borders. A good example would be the needless Battle of New Orleans, fought two weeks after peace was agreed in Europe and which cost the British 2000 casualties. But since then, because events in one country directly and immediately affect another country halfway around the globe, alliances of one sort or another are almost imperative.

The measure becomes thus: what KIND of an alliance is formed, and is it EXPLOITATIVE of one ally for the benefit of another. If this is an acceptible standard, then Bush fails this miserably. F-

As for the first part, the evidence is extensive that Bush fails this as well - "old" Europe, Taiwan, Iraq, Haiti, Canada, Venezuela, .... F-

The support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies

Look at the "No Child Left Behind" legislation. At least nine States fight No Child Left Behind, calling it intrusive:

Two years after President Bush signed his far-reaching education reform law, lawmakers in Virginia, Utah and seven other states are taking steps to opt out or block using state funds for No Child Left Behind, calling the law an intrusion on local control.

This is only going to grow as the state legislators learn what this act does to education. Odd, isn't it, that the "States Rights" folks are the ones who stomp the hardest on them when they have power! Such issues are only going to become more important, even to conservatives, as the import of such legislation becomes more clear. the issue is - will they understand in time, before there is nothing they can do about their rights being obliterated.

Here's what Jefferson has to say about anti-republican tendencies:

"Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction; to wit: by consolidation first and then corruption, its necessary consequence. The engine of consolidation will be the Federal judiciary; the two other branches the corrupting and corrupted instruments." --Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1821. ME 15:341

Sounds like he was looking into his crystal ball at today! Bush, through his judicial appointments, is seeking to overturn the decisions of the legislative branch of our government, negating the voice of the people in the governance of our nation. F-

The preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad

Supressing the legislature to the will of the executive through the utilization of a corrupt judiciary in order to conduct illegal military adventures abroad which in turn will inspire attacks against us in our homeland. Looks like another failure. F-

A jealous care of the right of election by the people

Six companys - Diebold Election Systems, Advanced Voting Solutions Inc., Election Systems and Software Inc., Hart InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems and Unilect Corp. 'Nuff said. F-

A mild and safe corrective of abuses, which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided

Blocking investigations of the events surrounding 9/11, the Florida vote count, the real reasons for invading Iraq, "First Amendment zones", Cheney's energy commission, ... F-

Absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism

Three words - Florida vote count. In order to prevent the will of the people from being exercised, GOP thugs hounded and harrassed Florida vote canvassers until the counting could be "legally" stopped by the edicts of the corrupted Supreme Court. Such a use of force has resulted in a despotism, however incomplete their control of the nation is at this time. If not ousted this November, under the provisions of the USA Patriot Act such despotism will only grow. F-

A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them

Our military is very well-disciplined, so this isn't aimed at them. They are following the orders of the Commander-in-Chief (sic), regardless of the fact that he's an illegitimate usurper issuing illegal orders. The real issue is whether the Nuremberg Principles still apply, even to US military forces.

We shouldn't ever have to fear, as too many countries do, that the military will overthrow the popularly elected government if it displeases the top military officers. The issue is instead whether the orders given to the military to follow are legal and legitimate. Adjusting the principle to reflect this produces yet another failing grade. F-

The supremacy of the civil over the military authority

The USA Patriot Act is in part intended to subvert the civil authority to that of a militarized national authority. F-

Economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened

Yawning Federal debt from excessive tax cuts and ill-advised miltary adventures, a debt burden massive even for our grandchildren yet unborn. F-

The honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public faith

We are reaching the point where we will have nothing to pay our debts with. Once this happens, our "public faith" - credit - will be unpreservable. F-

Encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid

Let's look at encourage ment of agriculture separately first. According to the Environmental Working Group study of Farm Subsidies:

Federal farm subsidies have skyrocketed in the past several years. Congress says that the subsidy programs are necessary to save small family farms -- but most of the money goes to the biggest of the big farms, not to the small and medium-sized farmers who need it the most.

An 'emergency' farm aid bill before the House will provide an extra $4.6 billion in 'Freedom to Farm' payments, but over half of the funds will go to just 20 congressional districts where farmers grow crops that have been subsidized since the Depression.

Congressional leaders are quietly arranging a pre-election infusion of farm subsidy aid, atop billions in emergency funds already added this year, but extended to only a few thousand of the nation's very largest farm operations.

Taxpayers may not realize it, but the money they send to Washington is hastening the demise of family farms through the agricultural subsidy programs that purport to save them.

This isn't strictly a Bush issue, as some of this went on during the Clinton years, but Bush has done nothing since to make things better for family farmers. What ever happened to your pledge to eliminate waste and fraud from the federal budget, Dumbya? F-

As for boosting commerce, with the efforts of the Bush (mis)Administration benefitting only the top 1% of the population while the other 99% face increaing difficulties (like higher gasoline prices), another failure. F-

The diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason

Secrecy in all things is the watchword of the Bush (mis)Administration, with every investigation of its excesses and crimes thwarted and hindered in every possible way. F-

Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of person, under the protection of the Habeas Corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected

Freedom of religion, as long as you are a Christian. Freedom of the press, as long as you are friendly to the (mis)Administration. Freedom of person, under the protection of the Habeas Corpus - unless you have been declared an enemy combatant by the pResident under the USA Patriot Act. Trial by juries impartially selected, unless you have been turned over to the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. F-

If I ever came home with a report card like this when I was a kid, I'd STILL be grounded!

It's time to fall in behind John Kerry, whether or not he was your choice, and send these fascist morons back to their dark corners and begin the process of healing the nation from the predations of these goons. Let's heed Jefferson's advice:

Let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.
pessimist :: 9:20 AM :: Comments (2) :: Digg It!