After the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks, the door was open to take military action in Afghanistan and squelch our civil rights with the Patriot Act. And just months later all the talk was about an invasion of Iraq.
Aug. 24, 2002: ``As an Iraq invasion blows noisily in the wind, corporate criminals are robbing our savings, the economy stagnates, health-care costs skyrocket and the environmental clouds darken.
``Meanwhile, Americans discuss a possible invasion as if it were a weather forecast, perhaps not realizing what the president has done to our national priorities.’’
Did I become obsessed with Bush and Cheney, their wars and the crackdown on civil liberties at home? Perhaps. But I am not ashamed to admit that half of my columns during Bush’s first term dealt with his wars or the implications of the Patriot Act.
And there was no reason to expect anything different during his second term, since there were no changes in Bush’s policies. The number of columns dealing with those policies dropped to about 40 percent.
However, the biggest controversy of my columnist career arose in 2007 and had nothing to do with Bush or Iraq. For some reason, and many have questioned what that reason might have been, I decided to write about religion, as in, come on, it’s the 21st century, let’s move beyond such obsolete notions. I said too many people were being killed in God’s name.
Needless to say, there was a mad rush of letters to the editor, probably 5-1 against me, with some calling for my ouster.
In 2008, Bush’s last year in office, I turned my attention to the future.
July 12, 2008: ``But the question facing our leaders next year is how do we get out of the mess Bush has created. Some observers say it will take years to right our ship and get it moving in a different direction.’’