Thursday, October 23, 2008

January 20, 2009

By Gary T. Czerwinski

I already Miss George W. Bush.

No public official made a columnist’s job so easy. All W. had to do was to open his mouth and it was a cinch to type out 500 words why what he had to say was so inane. Or dangerous.

I expect Janurary 20, 2009 his last day in office, will be a day of celebration around the world, the likes of which we’ve never seen. I’m confident it will rival New Year’s, complete with fireworks.

Old W. has mellowed a bit in these, his final days. Gone is his bellicose braggadocio. Gone is the smirk and forced smile. When he appears on television, he’s basically just a footnote that no one wants to read. And no one believes.

I’ve always contended that W. never really felt comfortable in his role as president. His countenance expressed that he wasn’t “elected” president as much as he “pulled it off.”

(What is it with all this facial quirkiness among Republicans? Watching McCain’s grimaces, eye-rolling, tongue-sticking-out in the third debate, I felt like I was back teaching junior high kids. And then Palin’s wink-wink.)

To give him credit, W. has at least been consistent in his resume. Like most of his previous jobs, he leaves this one much the same: in worse shape and broke. Not only is our own economy in a toilet that Joe the Plumber can’t figure out, but the rest of the world’s is jeopardized as well. And to think he began his presidency with a budget surplus! Aren’t you glad he had an MBA?

Ironically, one of the best things he managed to accomplish was to ruin his own party, the GOP. It’s no wonder conservatives like Colin Powell and Christopher Buckley, (son of William F. Buckley considered the “father of modern conservatism”) are jumping ship. If McCain loses, it’s because he’s been unable to organize a winning coalition or message. In his acceptance speech at the GOP convention, that message or theme was “fight with me!”

Huh? Fight?

Americans are tired of fighting. Fight in Iraq. Fight to pay for gasoline. Fight to pay high food costs. Fight to keep your job. That’s all we’ve been doing for eight years. For too long, families have fought just to stay afloat and to feel optimistic in a querulous world his presidency helped to create.

Contrast that to Barack Obama’s stellar campaign organization and message of unity and hope. And intellectualism.

Ignorance and greed can’t grow a nation.

Does W. have any remorse for the damage he’s done and lives he’s ruined? One has to wonder. When he walks the White House halls alone, does he ever wonder, “God, I really screwed up?”

I know there are still die-hards who fervently believe in poor W. There are those who blindly believe his failed policies will somehow be vindicated by history and that his foreign policy has been prescient. But they are the same who believe Sarah Palin is ready to assume the presidency.

Unfortunately, W. is not quite out the door yet. I’m sure he’s already preparing a list of “pardons.” Unknown facts and circumstances will surface as historians sift through the verbiage of his disasters. Slips of the tongue will reveal new details. His visage will drift in and out of focus. But one thing is certain: I doubt that face will ever appear on any of our currency he so infamously devalued. And defamed.