“Honor And Dignity”
Remember Bush’s pledge to “restore honor and dignity to the White House” after eight years of the Republican Party machine in high gear trying to smear Clinton with everything they could think of? Well, Clinton may have been nabbed for having sex with an intern, but what Bush has brought to the White House is anything but “honor” or “dignity.” A president who lies to get us into a war and then loses the war? A president who has used false terror warnings as a political weapon, who betrays the American people in favor of wealthy corporations at every turn, who has dirtied the name and reputation of the United States of America all around the world. The first president to enter the White House with a criminal record, who lied about it repeatedly to the American people before he even took office. This is the man who said he’d “restore” such institutions as “honor,” “honesty,” “integrity,” and “dignity” to the White House.
But then, he never promised that he was a genius, that he would be the one with his hands on the wheel. He said that he would “surround himself with good people and build a strong team.” That was the promise to balance his oafishness, his clear lack of intellect: I may not be smart, but I’m a good judge of character, and the people I choose will do the job right.” Of course, he then surrounded himself with manipulative neocons, witless yes-men, and corrupt cronies. His own vice president, whom Bush allowed to choose himself for the job, swears like a sailor, sells the country out piecemeal to corporations, and betrays one of our own intelligence agents so he can dish out political payback. Bush’s chief political advisor, Karl Rove, a destructive, conniving political hack halfway on his way to prison. These are the “honorable” men he chooses? And does Bush act with honor in regards to them? When it was revealed that Rove had a part in revealing Valerie Plame’s CIA identity, Bush promised that anyone involved would get the boot–then reneged and backtracked, so that apparently Rove will have to be frog-marched in handcuffs out of the White House before Bush will ask him to resign. The one honorable man Bush did hire–Colin Powell–was disregarded and dismissed while he lasted, his integrity abused to spread lies to the international community.
And it goes on. Every once in a while, we get a peek at others Bush allows into his inner circle. Take, for example, Claude Allen (pictured at far left), a “top domestic policy adviser.” Allen resigned a month ago, ostensibly to “spend more time with his family.” What he did not say, and neither did Bush (it could not be more obvious that Bush knew at the time), was that he had been arrested for felony theft. Allen, whom Bush had appointed to handle the Katrina response team at the White House, and who advised Bush closely on domestic issues, was reportedly going to Target and Hecht’s stores in his spare time and stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
As explained by the police, Allen would go into the store and buy merchandise, then take it out to his car. He would then return to the store with the empty bag, and place new merchandise identical to that he just bought into the bag while placing additional items into his cart. He would then use his prior receipt to “return” the duplicate goods, and then leave the store with the money as well as the other items in his cart, items he did not pay for. If true, this would indicate a serious character flaw in the man, stealing a few thousand dollars from retail stores when the man makes a $161,000 salary in a West Wing office. Bush even tried to make him an Appeals Court judge, possibly on track for a Supreme Court nomination. (Democrats blocked him from taking the seat, however.)
These are the “good” people Bush surrounds himself with. Now, you might say that Bush can’t be held responsible for these people. However, that is exactly what Bush promised he would do. He promised that he would be responsible for the people he chose–and with that promise, he can’t be excused on the grounds that the people around him are incompetent cronies or corrupt thieves.