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Cary Brunswick

January 17, 2009

With Bush years over, what now?

It's hard to believe, but it's true. After eight years and dozens of these columns critical of the president, Bush finally is leaving office Tuesday.

How does it feel to have endured two terms of George W. Bush? I don't think that's a question you want to ask too many people right now. I have felt sorriest for, or angriest at, those who voted for him twice, not that anyone in this state could have made a difference in our ``democratic'' elections.

It provides me no consolation to know that I recognized early on that Bush was not the kind of man our nation needed in the White House. It makes you feel sort of powerless to realize that first the voters and then Bush decision-makers in Washington didn't listen to my advice.

Right after the 2000 election, I wrote in shock that Bush would lower the bar of the presidency and I blamed the electorate for being taken in by his naiveté. But I wasn't entirely correct, because he lost the popular vote by half a million votes.

We all remember what happened next: Florida, the Supreme Court, inauguration and the start of our long march back down the hill of social and political progress.

But everybody deserves a honeymoon, and Bush got his. By May 2001, however, it was becoming clear that we had a bunch of warmongers running the country. On May 19, with the president prepared to scrap a major 1972 arms-control agreement and build an anti-missile shield (Star Wars II), I wrote:

``Somehow, the madness has to be stopped before this new obsession with chest-beating "" represented by a new nastiness, threats of nuclear attacks and celestial rocket launchers "" sends the world's insecure leaders (and there are many besides George W. Bush) racing to the brink of war.''

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Cary Brunswick

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