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Beast of the Month - April 2007
George W. Bush, Two-Time Presidential Election Loser
"I yam an anti-Christ..."
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"
Stephen Colbert, mocking the Democrats on their response to Bush's criminal reign
Boy, does time fly by or what? Has it really been 10 years that The Konformists Beast of the Month has been in existence, making it the longest lasting monthly award for vile behavior given out over the Internet? (Of course, we still are a bit behind Hustler and its "Asshole of the Month" prize in longevity.)
Hard to believe then, in the ten years of BOTM existence, that George W. Bush has never before won the prize all by his lone gunman self. True, he has shared part of the prize a record eight times before this month: twice in 2000, co-winning with Al Gore in September for running a bland, uninspiring Presidential campaign and in December for stealing the 2000 election; in October 2001 for exploiting 9/11 to promote a cynical agenda supporting big business, big defense and a police state; in September 2002 for his part in Enrongate; in June 2004 for the Iraqi Quagmire; twice in 2005, in October for his Katrina failures and December for participating in the Plame-outing Treasongate; and last June for creating a kreepy secret police network. Perhaps the main reason he never won it by himself is, though he is indeed a Beast, it's seems he's incapable of pulling off anything really kreepy all by himself.
But ten years is ten years, and considering all he has done in that time, enough is enough. Little Georgie is finally getting his due as a solo artist, both for past and current deeds. He is, after all, to The Konformist what Donald Trump was to Spy Magazine, a kreep that represents everything The Konformist opposes so much, you'd almost think he was a fictional character created as a vicious satire.
Of course, just like Spy after Trump's early 90s financial problems, we're kind of kicking a man while he's down. (Not that The Konformist feels sorry about that.) Conventional wisdom says he's a lame duck loser destined to finish off his term with little to no support, a pathetic shell of what he once was. The Konformist would argue that even this is way too benevolent, as the massive criminality of his reign (even ignoring his massive incompetence) should rightfully earn Bush an impeachment. Sadly, though his actions deserve the "I" word more than Nixon or Clinton ever did, we suspect he's gonna get off scot-free. Officially, Nancy Pelosi has declared impeachment to be "off the table" during this term, and though politicians do regularly lie or change their mind, the Democrats are (as Stephen Colbert noted) likely too sniveling of cowards to push impeachment through.
Still, though the Democrats will likely go soft on Shrub the next two years, history will be deservedly cruel to him. Already the phrase "Worst President Ever" is being heard regularly from respectable sources (though few have bothered to imitate The Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons while saying it.) Looking at Bush's reign, it's clear such assessments are based on his performance and not getting caught up in the moment.
Granted, Bush still has two years to screw things up even more, and though The Konformist would like to count him out, we have to admit that Dubya was essentially telling the truth for once when he declared of his critics, "They misunderestimate me." We also must admit that while Spy Magazine is no longer published, Donald Trump is still smirking around on TV ripping on Rosie O'Donnell and yelling "You're fired!" That said, this may be a premature ejaculation in presenting a political obit for Bush, but if Bush ever launches a comeback worthy of Muhammed Ali or Mariah Carey, we'll just make do and present a Bush's Greatest Hits, Volume II. In the meantime, here is Volume I, a list of the sweet sixteen things the Shrub years will one day be infamous for:
* GAS GOUGING: As is often repeated with the Bush Team, everything is about the oil. With oil prices having soared past $3 for the first time in US history and ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhilips all earning record profits, everything has been doing very well, thank you very much.
* KORPORATE KORRUPTION: True, korporate monolith's using ties to government for ill-gotten gain didn't begin with Bush and his pals. But the ties between the Bush mob and crony capitalists are practically transparent: for example, Cheney headed Halliburton, Condi Rice had a Chevron oil tanker named after her and Dubya was made a multi-millionaire thanks to the vice-chairman of Clear Channel. The link between sleazy business and Bush isn't incestuous, it's masturbation.
* GOVERNMENT KORRUPTION: From Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff, to Cheney's secret energy meetings and politicized attorney firings, an arrogant culture of being above the law developed among DC Republicans that puts Nixon's shenanigans to shame.
* "FAIR & BALANCED": The Bush Team wouldn't have gotten away with so much without the help of a well-organized right-wing propaganda unit of brownshirts. Thanks to Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, among others, the talking points of Bush and co. were presented as "We report, you decide" by Fox News and Clear Channel.
* NEOCONS GONE WILD!: Until Bush Jr., the neocons just had crazy impractical dreams of running the world through reckless wars and rampant militarism, all under the banner of a "New American Century" as the goal. Finally they got their chance. Funny, the strategy worked a lot better when they used it playing Risk.
* USA - WORLD PARIAH: And to think of all the goodwill the US had after 9/11. Even the French were saying "We are all Americans." But all of it was wasted in a flash by Bush with his contempt for international protocol. On Kyoto, Iraq and the Geneva Convention, Bush has given the world the finger, and now America is paying the tab.
* SHRUBONOMICS: Tax cuts for the rich, huge payouts for big business, massive dollars to oil giants and military contractors, and he still became the first dude in the White House to see a four-year loss of American jobs since Herbert Hoover. At least Reaganomics promised a trickle down.
* BANKRUPTING AMERICA: Hard to believe in Bill Clinton's last year in office, there was a budget surplus of $230 billion with sound projections that the national debt would be erased by 2012. Now the reckless budgetary policies of the Reagan-Bush years have returned on steroids during the Shrub years, and future generations will have to pay the price.
* DESTROYING JUSTICE: The Bush Team has had contempt for rule of law as their trademark stance. The attorney firing scandal is only the latest mockery of justice under Bush. While suppressing voter rights and violating civil liberties, they have packed the courts with right-wing hacks from the Federalist Society in hopes of creating a rubber stamp justice system.
* SECRET PRISONS & TORTURE: Abu Ghraib and Guantamano have put great shame on the US military, with repulsive violations of the Geneva Convention that it once was instrumental in forming. Cruel torture and abuse of POWs is now the official norm for Team USA.
* BIG BROTHER SPYING: Based on what is already known about the NSA spying programs (eavesdropping on phone calls and email of Americans without a court order, collection of nearly all phone records of Americans in a giant database) this should be, point blank, a trigger for impeachment. Instead, those who've disclosed the programs have been denounced as traitors in the right-wing press.
* HURRICANE KATRINA: Perhaps even more than Iraq, the major point of no return in Bush's deserved decline in popularity. With 1,836 official deaths and 700 more still "missing" from the disaster, the death toll rivals 9/11 in number, and proved the myth that Bush would protect Americans from danger as yet another lie.
* 9/11: The perversity of the Bush years is that his goodwill was earned on what would be arguably his greatest mistake. That is, if the security failures that led to the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans were indeed a mistake and not by conspiratorial design. Either way, Bush's sleazy exploitation of the blood from 9/11 makes the event more Reichstag than Pearl Harbor.
* "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED": Just imagine: if the Bush Team hadn't screwed up so badly in Iraq, they might have gotten away with it all, thanks to 9/11 hysteria and a lapdog press. But now, with over 3,000 Americans and 650,000 Iraqis dead, the miserable failure is widely seen as his Waterloo.
* MOCKERY OF DEMOCRACY: This original sin of the Shrub years is still arguably the biggest of all. After all, for whatever faults the US government and its presidents had before him, you still had to concede that team USA had an illusion as a government "of the people by the people, and for the people. But now, after Florida in 2000, Ohio in 2004 and electronic voting machines, this illusion appears to be gone.
* ENEMY OF THE PLANET: With all due respect to everything else Bush and his minions have done, his environmental policies may be the most damaging of all. Even more than 9/11 and Iraq, the consequences of saying no to Kyoto and the avoidance of dealing with the danger of climatic change will have a likely lasting impact that bin Laden could only wish to cause.
In any case, we salute George W. Bush as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Georgie!!!
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