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Unfortunately, I seem to be one of the few non-Republicans in my entire extended family.   One of my family forwarded an email to me today that enumerates a whole list of reasons we should "Blame Bush".

Because of the dangers inherent in traversing such a political divide in one's own family, I usually try to exercise restraint when I get these widely-forwarded right-wing scripts.  But today I couldn't help myself; This was just too far over the top.  I had to respond.

One of the things that I truly have difficulty understanding is how this corrupt administration has successfully and completely deceived such a vast portion of our US population, many of whom are intelligent, decent people, and some of whom are members of my own family.  Perhaps it has to do with their mastery and control of the mass media.  Perhaps Karl Rove really is an evil genius.  However they are able to do it, it really is quite sad.   The history books that my grandchildren (and hopefully my children) will read will not reflect kindly on the Bush legacy.

Take a deep breath.  Here goes...

* I want to "blame" Bush for restoring honor to the office of Presidency by being a faithful husband, a good father and a good Christian.

What is honorable about lying to the American people and Congress and sending almost 2000 Americans to their deaths on the basis of those lies?

What is honorable about killing tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians in the name of those lies?

What is honorable about outing an undercover CIA operative in the name of political payback?

What is honorable about engineering and enacting policies that have resulted in the US poverty and infant mortality levels increasing every year of his presidency?  Are those the policies espoused by a "good Christian"?

What is honorable about stealing from the poor (and middle class) and giving to the rich?   Because that's effectively what he has done with his massive tax cuts for the wealthy, subsidies and giveaways to his corporate friends, etc.   We, our kids, and our grandkids will have to pay back the money he has stolen.   Bush is the anti-Robinhood.

And if Bush is the model of a good Christian, that must in part explain why I am not a Christian.

Besides, how does anyone know he's actually a faithful husband?  We only know he hasn't been caught being unfaithful.

* I want to "blame" Bush for standing up to the terrorists after 9/11 and going after them WHEREVER they may be.

That's baloney.  Going after the Taliban and terrorists in Afghanistan was the right thing to do.  Pulling troops out of Afghanistan (specifically at Tora Bora) at a critical time when Osama bin Laden might have been captured or killed (so that Bush could begin his build-up in Iraq) was unforgivable.

The terrorists weren't in Iraq before we invaded.  Now we've created a big mess there.  The terrorists ARE there now, and ... sad to say, we're not going to "win" the war in Iraq.   It's a very bad situation that never needed to come about.  And I do blame Bush for that.

Through his misguided foreign policies, Bush has made America FAR less safe than it was before he took office.

Americans used to be liked throughout the world.  We had many friends and allies.   Because of Bush, that's not the case anymore.

* I want to "blame" Bush for running his Presidency on principles and conviction and not polls and capitulation.

Bush's principles and convictions are centered on enriching his cronies, or put another way, on the concentration of the nation's wealth and power into the hands of a small group of elites.  Conservatism used to include the idea of fiscal responsibility, but Bush's "principles" don't include that.   His principles include policies that ship American jobs overseas, and borrow hundreds of billions of dollars from other countries and saddling future generations with unimaginable debt.

* I want to "blame" Bush for making the military feel as if they deserve honor and they are real people and that they are not to be scorned or treated as plastic G.I. Joes.

Right.  I can't say I've met anyone who doesn't honor our military.  Those guys and gals over there in Iraq are doing a hell of a job, especially given the fact that their commander in chief is a liar and a criminal.  By cutting military pay, sending troops into war without sufficient armor and equipment, by cutting veterans benefits.. That's how he honors the military?   Keeping the public from seeing the coffins of fallen Americans that return from Iraq is honoring them?

* I want to "blame" Bush for appointing qualified people some of which happen to be minorities to positions of real power to show that in America anyone can "make it."

Hilarious.  I suppose Michael Brown is once such appointee?   Michael Brown was qualified to head FEMA: His primary qualification?   He was the college roommate of Bush's campaign manager, AKA a crony.

* I want to "blame" Bush for giving tax cuts to EVERYONE with the majority of them going to the lowest tax brackets. My wallet thanks you.

You're right about the "everyone" part, but If you believe that the majority went to the lowest tax brackets, you have really had the wool pulled over your eyes.    
Here are some real numbers from a CBO (Congressional Budget Office) analysis in 2004:

   INCOME         AVERAGE        AVERAGE          SHARE OF
-----------    --------------  ---------------  -----------
   bottom 20%     $16,620           $250              2.1%
   21-40%         $38,140           $800              6.5%
   41-60%         $57,430         $1,090              9.2%
   61-80%         $84,310         $1,770             14.7%
   81-90%        $116,630         $2,660             11.4%
   91-95%        $154,520         $3,420              7.6%
   96-99%        $243,150         $8,400             14.9%
   top 1%      $1,171,030        $78,460             33.6%
-----------   --------------  ---------------  -------------
TOTAL                                               100.0%

Here's another way of looking at these same numbers:

   INCOME         AVERAGE        AVERAGE          SHARE OF
-----------    --------------  ---------------  -----------
 bottom 90%       $56,625         $1,164             43.9%
 top    10%      $203,740        $12,916             56.1%
-----------   --------------  ---------------  ------------
TOTAL                                               100.0%

So I am not sure, given actual facts (which Bush et al don't much bother with), how anyone can conclude that the majority of the tax cuts go to the lowest brackets.  On the contrary, the majority is going overwhelmingly to the top 10% bracket, and fully ONE THIRD of the tax cuts are going to the top 1% earners.  Put another way, one third of the tax cuts go to people who earn more than $1 million a year.    By the way, guess where most of that $1.1 TRILLION dollars for his tax cuts is actually coming from?  Not from spending cuts, which is how fiscally responsible conservatives used to pay for their tax cuts.  Rather, he's paying for those tax cuts by borrowing, adding massive amounts to the already huge national debt.  Which incidentally will have to be paid by us, our children, and our grandchildren for who knows how many decades to come.

* I want to "blame" Bush for caring more what middle America believes than the Hollyweird crowd.

Not sure who the "Hollyweird crowd" is.  I suppose they must be the people who voted for Hollywood Arnold Schwarzenegger.   But based on the numbers above, it's pretty clear that Bush cares more about the top 1% income earners than anyone else.  Or, to quote directly from Bush:  "What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base."

Straight from the horse's mouth.

* I want to "blame" Bush for daring to believe that Middle-Easterners might actually be capable of having democracies and freedom.

I don't blame him for that.  I believe it also.  In fact, there's one Middle-Eastern country called Israel that actually has a pretty good democracy going.
However, I do blame him for lying to the American people in stating that imposing democracy was his reason for invading Iraq.  And even if he wasn't lying, I blame him for misusing and expending the resources and lives of the American people by invading Iraq.  It's not our responsibility to impose democracy on the world.  Ultimately though, anyone who believes that we didn't go into Iraq so we could control their oil is in a serious state of denial.

Oh yeah, I also blame Bush for eroding democracy right here at home by supporting and benefiting from two consecutive rigged presidential elections.

* I want to "blame" Bush for freeing the world of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein.

Um... the latest reports I've been hearing is that the Taliban is alive and well, and enjoying quite a resurgence in Afghanistan.  As for Saddam Hussein, well, we all know by now that he was fully "contained" through UN sanctions and actively enforced "no-fly-zones" in the north and south of his country.  He was a bad, bad man, but he was no threat to the USA.

* I want to "blame" Bush for ridding the world of Saddam Hussein's two thug sons who were really Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I doubt if anyone is sorry that those two guys are dead, but again: they were no threat to the USA.   Let's get real:  the only reason we're interested in ANY country in the middle east (including Iraq) is to protect our access to their precious oil.   It really is all about oil.

And why aren't we focused, as a nation, on eliminating our dependency on oil?  Oh right, because Bush and Cheney are steeped in the oil industry, and oil companies such as Exxon are enjoying the highest profits in their history.   Hmm.. I wonder if there's some connection?

But I digress.

* I want to "blame" Bush for stepping in and saving New Orleans when it's Mayor and Governor wouldn't and/or couldn't.

The dust has yet to settle on this one, and I'm sure the NO mayor and LA governor have plenty of responsibility for the bungled response as well as Bushie.  Hopefully we'll get an independent, nonpartisan commission (similar to the 9/11 Commission) to investigate and find out.  But in any case, no city or state government has the resources to deal with a catastrophe on this scale, and that is precisely why organizations such as FEMA and DHS exist.  Bush didn't even bother to end his vacation until days after the hurricane, and even then he went to California to play guitar instead of getting to work on helping the hurricane victims.  He screwed up by appointing an unqualified, incompetent crony to head FEMA, and he screwed up again by not firing him as soon as it was apparent that he was in over his head.  He himself has taken responsibility for it (for a change), so why not blame him?

Originally posted to solitodd on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 01:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm Sorry... (none)
    that must be difficult for you.  It is my profound hope that the person(s) involved with that way of thought are good and loving people in their deeds.

    I learned long ago that conservatives -even of the arch variety- can be good, loving people - who live lives of worthwhile deeds, despite their avowed political beliefs.  Similarly, I know some progressives who are REAL, certifiable assholes.

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:01:16 PM PDT

    •  Whooops... (4.00)
      I forgot to mention that I have some family members who, while knowing better than to send CRAP to me, are of pretty conservative leanings.  I look at them with disbelief, want to throttle them until they open their eyes to see what their trust in this regime has wrought...but then I go back to my love for 'em.  Whaddya gonna Tony Soprano would say.

      "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:03:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have those same (none)
        family members and some days want to pick up the phone and scream at them, "You did this!" but, thus far, I've been able to restrain myself.  If they start a conversation on something political, I don't run from it, though.  Thanks to dkos, I now have the ammunition I need for these debates.

        It's all the same fucking day, man. -- Janis Joplin

        by TracieLynn on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:27:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I suppose Nazis are too... (none)
      because the right-wing fundies are as bad or worse as your grassroots Nazis.
    •  actually i think anyone who supports bush is not a (none)
      "nice" person. they are lazy, small minded idiots.
      •  It's not that easy... (none)

        Like it or not, I actually have friends who are Republicans.  And the way that we have been able to remain friends over the years is to simply stay completely clear of politics.   Of course, with the disaster that is the Bush presidency, that's increasingly difficult to do.

        I think there are the stereotypical selfish, greedy Republicans, and then there are those whose political thinking is easily manipulated and who are struggling just to get keep their heads above water, much less give a damn about politics..

  •  re (none)
    wow. great counterpoints.

    Keeera Phillips is a paid member of the Bush AdminTM

    by cookiesandmilk on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:05:00 PM PDT

  •  Let's blame the fucking Republican Party, shall we (4.00)
    They don't get to shrug it off as having been Bush and Bush Alone.

    No, no. The REPUBLICANS did this.

    •  Absolutely right... (none)
      They threw Bush the Elder off the turnip truck because he raised taxes, and was therefore a "bad Republican".  His legacy wasn't resurrected (in their mini-minds) until W invaded Iraq.  

      But W has followed in his footsteps every step of the way (other than depositing his lunch on the Japanese Prime Minister's lap, but the night is young).

      It would surprise me not at all if, in their wisdom, the Pubs find it convenient to throw off the truck as well, so as to position themselves as needing a more fiscally responsible Republican (or whatever) next time .  

      If W's numbers are still in the shitter come election time, they'll have to devise some strategy to save their own sorry wrinkled asses.

  •  Isn't it nice to know the truth?? (4.00)
    Sadly, your extended family will not believe their own eyes and ears.  They will believe what the right wing hacks tell them.  Still, kudos to you for continuing to try.

    "Do Iraqi children scream when the bombs fall if no one is in the White House to hear them?" Bernard Chazelle

    by dmac on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:05:44 PM PDT

  •  These people see politics... (4.00) they see a sportsteam. It's THEIR team, right or wrong--a totally childish view of the world.

    Seriously, do we have any child pscychologists out their? (I suspect there are more than a few on Rove's payroll.) What do we do?

    A start:

    • YOU HAVE BEEN ABANDONED: Point out that the Republican party is dead. Long live the Dixiecrats.

    • OBJECT LESSON: Take a coin out of your pocket and flip it, and say: Heads, I give you a dollar, tails, you give me $2,000. Is that okay with you? Well that's was Bush's gamble on New Orleans, and you lost. (That is  for every dollar he saved on tax breaks of the $140 million he cut from levee maintenance, you are now going to have to pay about $2,000. And BTW, if you win the $1, you actually get a penny. the other 99 cents goes to his rich cronies.)

    • BLUNT: How far up your ass does W. have to shove his dick until you realize you are being screwed?

    • CALL IT: Now Bush says he DOES take responsibilty. Are you calling him a liar?

    • CHALLENGE: I'll let you pick up the tab from now on, since, if you are a Republican, you must be rolling in dough. Seriously man...where's your cut? How much did you get of the $8.8 billion that disappeated in Iraq--so far? Where's your cut of the $140 million cut form levee maintenance in New Orleans? Where's your cut of all the unbid contracts going to Halliburton.
  •  Well (none)
    Brooks and Tierney and Carlson and even Novakula are running from the Chimpster ... so I think your relatives need to get with the program.

    Bush is going down.  The GOP is about to throw him over the side.

  •  That is a beautiful thing. (none)
    That is an excellent reply to that load of bullshit email.

    I have had a few battles with my Rush Limbaugh fan father, well they aren't really battles, he is bright enough not to attempt to defend Bush around me.

    Keep up the good work!

  •  Don't bother trying to educate them. (4.00)
    The country is fast heading into some really bad times ahead, and lil Bush is leading us there faster and faster.

    When the housing bubble pops, and the bills that lil Bush is running up begin to come due, even his backers aren't going to be able to spin an excuse.

    Just sit back with some popcorn, and watch the country slide deeper and deeper into the hole the republicans are digging.

    We can't stop it, so we might as well just take notes so we know what happened.

    Once the country wakes up out of it's self-induced delusion, we are going to have one hell of a mess to clean up.

    by worker on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:23:32 PM PDT

  •  Ahh the blame memo... (none)
    LOL, this exact thing was posted on a board I frequent as if it was written by that poster.

    Not only are they Kool-aid guzzlers, they're plagiarists!

    You want to have some fun, just show them Bush's acceptance speech from last August--it's really worth revisiting. The Muse did last week and, boy what a load of crap were handed...

    "[Mr. President]you told us that you "wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country." Today we know that you may wake up thinking about it but you sure don't bother to check the weather forecast before you go to bed.

    You told us "the murderous regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are history," but today we know both are back and as deadly as ever. You said that "there's nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat," and today we know that despite the simplicity of that proposition 1,759 more American troops have died since you declared mission accomplished.

    That night you narcissistically boasted that so many family members of the fallen had told you in private meetings that "I'm in their prayers" and "offer encouragement to me." But we know now that a grieving mother named Cindy Sheehan does not merit such a meeting because she's off message and you've "got to get on with your life."...

    You promised us your reelection would leave us "confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth." But you delivered a nation that is hurtling toward bankruptcy, hated internationally, and never so torn asunder since Viet Nam, when then, as now, you stand stateside, heckling the doubters while someone else is doing the dying...

    From Mission Demolished

  •  The evil bastards.... (none)
  •  My Advice is to Secede (none)
    When in the course of human events one finds their family intolerable they should look around and find a more congenial family to join.

    I am fortunate in that my family contains only a Moonbat-and-a-half, and that's finally dwindling.

    I frequently consider secession for other reasons...

    Evolution is the organizing principle of all known life. Your God is a theory.

    by The Baculum King on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:40:50 PM PDT

  •  My take on your relatives' idiocy (4.00)
    * I want to "blame" Bush for restoring honor to the office of Presidency by being a faithful husband, a good father and a good Christian...

    ...unlike Ronald Reagan, who divorced his wife.

    * I want to "blame" Bush for standing up to the terrorists after 9/11 and going after them WHEREVER they may be...

    ...except in Tora Bora, where Bin Laden was hiding.

    * I want to "blame" Bush for running his Presidency on principles and conviction and not polls and capitulation... doing things like appointing his political advisor to handle  the reconstruction of New Orleans.

    * I want to "blame" Bush for daring to believe that Middle-Easterners might actually be capable of having democracies and freedom...

    ...and sending our sons and daughters to die for a fundamentalist Shiite Constitution that keeps women in their place, praise Jesus!.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    by expatjourno on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:41:57 PM PDT

  •  Let's Not Blame Bush (4.00)
    I don't want to be unfair to President Bush.  We should not blame him for:
    Being arrogant and self-satisfied.  We should blame Bar and Poppy for that.  Bush is a perfect example of "family values" run amok.
    Being Unable to Think On His Feet.  Haven't we learned by now not to make fun of the mentally disabled?
    Making a Mess of Iraq. It was necessary to make a mess of Iraq so that enough terrorists would enter the country that Bush could then point to the terrorists as a justification for staying.
    The Suffering of the Gulf Coast.  Bush didn't make the hurricane. God did.  And we can't blame Him, can we? So why not blame the terrorists instead?  There must be a few of them out there in the Carribean or the mid-Atlantic or wherever these storms get started.  

    "Our enemy is innovative and resourceful and so are we. Our enemy never stops thinking of new ways to harm us and our country, and neither do we." G.W. Bush

    by litigatormom on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 04:05:25 PM PDT

  •  I want to blame Bush (4.00)
    ...for a steadily increasing abortion rate. Oh wait, I can blame him because that's what his perverted idea of Christian principles has led to.
  •  This "Blame Bush" (none)
    email from the Right is so misinformed, it's comical.  It's so simple-minded, a child without even a beginner's knowledge of today's news headlines could have written it.  It is the sort of mythology that Karl Rove would love Americans to believe.  

    (Yes, America is just Mayberry, and Bush is just a warm, sweet family guy with oodles of integrity...)

    I wish Jon Stewart would do an investigative reporting segment on it on The Daily Show.

    "We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."--Donald Rumsfeld

    by sunbro on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 05:05:59 PM PDT

    •  I got ya' integrity right heere... (none)
      Integrity this!

      "We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."--Donald Rumsfeld

      by sunbro on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 05:14:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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