Column: Stop Bush Before He Makes Nixon Look Good

News at Home

Mr. Carpenter is a writer and doctoral candidate in American history at the University of Illinois and a columnist for HNN.

Richard Nixon is beginning to look pretty good. Presidential payoffs to bad guys, enemy lists, misuse of government agencies, even obstruction of justice are taking on the pleasant emergence of wistful nostalgia--a real stroll in the park--compared to the sweeping and open violations of public trust being committed by George W. Bush & Company. One longs for the likes of that brooding president sitting hunched over a tape recorder in the dark of night, snuffing and resnuffing the few puffs of a smoking gun, as opposed to the happy-go-lucky personality who has done more lasting harm in one year than Dick Nixon in six.

At least our 37th president specialized in committing outright political crimes, which by their very clandestine nature were necessarily limited in scope. George W., on the other hand, traffics in legal political vice, which, given the rightward turn in this country since the late 1970s, can be practiced on a widespread scale openly and even boastfully. And legal or not,"vice" is the only way to describe the wholesale political indecency pushed by this White House. Behind virtually every move--whether on the budget, an economic stimulus package, the environment, defense spending, you name it--lies the fundamental motive of padding the pockets of its own socioeconomic class. To hell with others and to hell with the future. There either ain't no tomorrow, or if it does come, at least those at the top won't be burdened by today's consequences.

A jaw-dropping $4 trillion of your money in the form of federal budget surpluses has gone up in smoke, or rather, 41 percent of it into the pockets of W.'s friends. Before ramming through its tax cut last year, the administration was all a-giggle about surpluses now and as far as the eye could see. In fact, projected surpluses were, if anything, too small according to administration officials."There are convincing reasons to assume that higher revenues are more likely than lower revenues and a larger, not smaller, surplus lies ahead," said the White House. Furthermore, it said we'd have a happy $231 billion surplus this year instead of the $106 billion deficit we're now running and the $80 billion bill we'll be handed next year. And just to remind you, it said that fully aware of the recession then in progress.

Odds are a reasonably intelligent orangutan with a pocket calculator could have come up with something closer to today's figures than the White House's had he been hired by the administration a year ago. And it's for damn sure the ape of Borneo would have been more ethical in releasing his findings. Unless W. spends each day absolutely and thus excusably stoned on goof weed, he knowingly lied. That much is clear. But of far more gravity, his lie will cost you and your plucky descendents hundreds of billions of dollars. Nixon's lie only cost you the price of a few prosecutors.

Of course Bush is getting away with it by doing a number on Abe Lincoln's analytical skills: it is indeed possible to fool most of the people most of the time. Or at minimum, you can fool them long enough to get what you want as a plutocratic puppet, then retire to your nice new house on your Texas spread. Abe would be mortified to witness the level of political humbuggery possible today through mass communications, slimy spinsters and slick media advisors--all of which have been about the only things propping W. up.

Yet on deeper reflection one shouldn't dismiss the contributions made by our hard-hitting media, as illustrated by NBC's corporate puff-piece last week on the Bush administration, inanely titled the"Real" West Wing. Rather than airing anything real, the thing appeared to be a remarkable example of the Heisenberg Principle in play; that is, one cannot observe an object without necessitating a change in its behavior. For instance, it was no surprise to see that everyone there had a jam-packed schedule, but this oddly included George. No time for football and pretzels with a camera crew hanging about. So there he was on the phone with good-buddy Tony Blair, letting us know beforehand of his" customary habit" to call. Next Brokaw allowed the vice president to explain politely that what went on in White House policy meetings was, in effect, none of the public's damned business. Good enough. Cut to commercial. I made it through maybe 10 minutes before realizing all the programmed niceness was causing my dinner to back up on me. Sheer survival instinct spurred me to turn it off.

Nevertheless that's what the administration is selling and that's what the public is buying. In the place of even the semblance of sound fiscal management we get artificial pleasantries and stiff upper-lips through which a barely concealed grin beams out,"And we're getting away with this?" Yes, in the face of this White House wrecking crew, Dick Nixon and his indictable offenses are beginning to look pretty good.

© Copyright 2001 P. M. Carpenter

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More Comments:

Steve - 2/6/2002

Hey Matt, Al Gore WAS elected PRESIDENT. The Supreme Court had other plans, however. By over 540,000 votes!

Steve - 2/6/2002

And they complain about the "liberal media". Good grief.
The media is giving poor stupid George Bush a pass..

Check out the BBC for real news.

Have some fun at

Steve - 2/6/2002

Nancy I could not agree with you more. How about impeaching the Supreme Court as well. Senator Dorgan criticized Kenneth Lay for being part of the "culture of corporate corruption."
Gov. Bush should feel right at home there! (Either Governor
Bush - your pick George or Jeb...I refuse to reference GW Bush
as "president" in any way whatsoever, afterall he was elected
Governor by those stupid Texans.)

Edward Winslow - 2/3/2002

President Bunnypants? That's hilarious!

annie - 2/3/2002

I agree with you 100%, he bought the presidency with money from his oil friends. He is only a puppet for this administration, but they are good at spin. He does have quite the back-up singers though, they could make Micky Mouse look good. I just do not understand how the American Press, can think this man could change so much because he stood on that fire truck. Give me a break!!!

If he walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, he is a duck.

Sergei Rostov - 2/3/2002

Also not mentioned earlier:

- during negotiations prior to Sept. 11th, the Bush administration turned down the Taliban's offer to give the US Bin Laden's exact location in advance;
- phone calls to the State and Justice Dept's
from an informer in a German Prison warning of an immiment attack on the US were ignored: one call each day for the three weeks prior to Sept. 11th, but _several_ calls on Sept 10th. (It should be noted that German mosques are known to be among the most active recruitment centers for Al-Qaeda and similar organizations);
- stock trading anomalies were noted in the weeks prior to Sept. 11th. How does this relate to the suject of Bush administration foreknowledge of the attacks? Two ways: First, the FBI uses a piece of software called Promis to scrutinize
the market for signs of terrorist activity. Spikes were noted in short-sell orders for the following three companies: United Airlines, American Airlines, Morgan-Stanley. The Promis software would have red-flagged these as very strong signs of an attmept to profit by a foreseen tragedy. Such signs would most certainly have been immediately reported directly to the 'Presdient'. And what do those companies have in common? The World Trade Center. Second, you've probably heard the figure $5 million in relation to the above trades, but much less reported (I only found one reference to it) was a set of far larger anomalous trades, among these a single trade of $5 billion (!) - an amount far too large for any individual (even Bill Gates) or even most nations (including Saudi Arabia, if that's what you're thinking) to risk on the dubious prospects not only for the success of the attacks, but for the concealment of the trade and undetected transfer of the profits...which points to the G-8 nations in general and the United States in particular...the US especially if there were individuals in the goverment actively thwarting prevention and neutralization efforts...which brings us right back to the FFA and NORAD actions I mentioned in a previous post and Elaine's mentioning of Bush calling off the dogs on the Saudis, Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and the rest of the the Bin Ladens several months prior to Sept. 11th.

Bush has twice now publicly expressed his wish to be a dictator. he has further stated that feels he has been chosen by God to remake America and the world. Would such a man balk from
allowing, facilitating, or even causing the deaths of some of those under his rule if he determined it would further his
'crusade'? This question is one that must be answered.

Sergei Rostov

Sergei Rostov - 2/3/2002

Elaine actually didn't mention a number of things - all in the public record - regarding the actions of the FAA and NORAD:

The FAA:

- waited 17 minutes to declare the planes 'rogue';
- it then waited another 26 minutes
before it informed NORAD of this.

(Note that all this while, the airliners are travelling at 400 mph, or approx. 6 & 2/3 miles per minute)


(according to the testimony of a NORAD general)

- has for some time had as part of their standard training, missions which simulate what actually occurred on 9/11 (not surprising, since there were two incidents of terrorists flying commercial airliners into buildings in 1994 alone; one took place in Algeria, I don't recall offhand where the other took place), and so there would have been no doubt as to procedure;
- the standard intercept speed in this kind of situation is between 1100 and 1200 mph;
- the fighters were travelling at the above
speed (this turned out to be false, as they were actually travelling at 510 mph, less than half of what was standard;

Analysis of the above shows that had the FAA either made a reasonably quicker judgment OR passed the info on to NORAD
sooner, OR had NORAD fighters used the standard intercept speed, the fighters would almost certainly have arrived in time to divert the airliners from their targets , even if that meant flying the fighters right into them (which was one forseen contingency). Why did none of thess things occur?

The above alone is enough to warrant an investigation, and there is much more.

I'll note here that a couple of days ago Cheney publicly warned Daschle to limit his investigation into culpability issues regarding 9/11, and further said that members of the Bush adminstration, if asked to participate, _might not even show up_.

Also, it's been implied elsewhere in this that Bush is too incompetent to have planned 9/11. That's true. But as many of us know, Bush doesn't do the planning and scheming; he's not the brains - or even the esophagus (:)) - of the administration. He's just the mouth. And perhaps even the ever-more-blackening heart. If there were a body part that was the seat of demagoguery and fanaticism, he'd be that, as well. I guess I could say he's the anus, too, but that would imply that "his" administration has only one. :)

Sergei R.

Sergei Rostov - 2/2/2002

Hmm, perhaps America's schools ARE that poor at educating, that you read the article through twice, and yet you either didn't have enough political or historical knowledge - or the ability to correctly analyse it - to realize the obvious: that nearly all of Mr. Carpenter claims said was indeed factual, being solidly grounded not only in historical and political events but also in a correct analysis of same. ( I say 'nearly all' in case you might try to assert that Mr. Carpenter is actually claiming Mr. Bush smokes marijuana - which he is not, of course - but I felt it necessary to explain this to someone such as yourself, who is so obviously lacking in critical thinking skills).
As for your statement regarding the surplus, you failed to take note that Mr. Carpenter anticipated your objection by stating the fact that Mr. Bush said he considered that estimate _low_ . Further, it was uncovered soon after the passage of the cuts that he knew _beforehand_ that not only would the real surplus would be far lower than anyone's claims, but that his
estimate of the real cost of the cuts was far too low. So yes, they were projections, but ones which he knew were far less accurate than what he was claiming. In other words, he deliberately lied about it, and now we're all paying for it.

PatriciaLV - 2/2/2002

And yet, you couldn't seem to counter one single point in the article. You merely showed your "blind allegiance" to the current administration, just like a good little 'Murican.

Absolutely amazing.

Eric Brothers - 2/2/2002

Barrett wrote:

Not to worry, when bin Laden is still on the loose in 2004 and the economy is still in the tank, Bush will go the way of his daddy..

I write:
I am predicting that Bush will come forward with Bin Laden (or a bin laden lookalike) as a prisoner in the few months before the election as a way to get re-elected...Preposterous??? Just wait and see....

nancy boyd - 2/2/2002

I am surely anti-bush,I do not think he was elected, and the idiot does not have the smarts to oversee this war, thank goodness he does seem to have intelligent people working for him, even though they seem to be as dishonest as he is, there has not been any dignity in the white house to this date, his promise is as crooked as his budget, we will never have have a surplus with his math.
Hope he is impeached, and soon.

Ben - 2/2/2002

It may appear as an article not based on fact to one that gets there news on cable channels.The author assumes that the reader is paying some attention to the world about him.the fact that you have access to a computer and are un-familiar with the issues is a shame.

Margie - 2/2/2002

It's so easy to bury your head in the sand, but listen up. In one short year we have gone from peace and prosperity to war and recession. An undeclared war waged by a man who went AWOL from the other undeclared war. The man is a coward and a thief. He knew about 9/11 before it happened and he let it happen anyway. We impeached a legally elected president for an affair, but president bunnypants is literally getting away with murder.

Kent Haag - 1/31/2002

The article, without any factual proof, with the writing style of a semi-literate high school sophmore and the analytical skills of a cat, makes Mr. Carpenter appear to be working for a GED not a Ph.D.

Brad Nemeth - 1/31/2002

Dear Naysayers:

President Bush must be as much of a traitor to this country as a certain DEMOCRATIC president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. I'm sure President Bush knew about the attacks in advance and wanted to glorify his name by allowing them to happen and thus making his approval ratings soar. You just know Roosevelt did the same thing before Pearl Harbor (as some revisionist historians have numerously suggested). I'm sure Roosevelt had it all planned out, thinking, "If I let the Japanese attack us and kill a lot of soldiers and sailors, then we will get in the war and I will lead the way to secure my place in history as one of the greatest presidents of all time! Yessss!" That devious FDR! Wow, if only this revelation had come out back then! Just imagine. And now we have President Bush who I am sure was thinking close to the same thing! That son of a bitch! How could he betray the country like this. It must be because he's a Republican. Oh, wait, Roosevelt was a Democrat! Oh my, what am I to think about all of this! LET'S GET A GRIP, PEOPLE! Of course I'm being sarcastic, but this sounds like some of the nonsense some people are talking about. I guess that's the American way, huh? My question to these people is, "Have YOU lost your minds?"

Brad Nemeth

Barrett Archer - 1/31/2002

I thought the right wing nuts like American Spectator and G. Gordon Liddy had a monopoly on paranoia and conspiracy theories. I guess I was wrong. Seriously, what's up with the "Bush did it" nonsense. The guy is incapable of eating a pretzel for crying out loud!!

Richard Hofstadter was wrong in "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." The conspiracy mindset is not just limited to the right wing. It's anyone who is out of power and feeling threatened. Not to worry, when bin Laden is still on the loose in 2004 and the economy is still in the tank, Bush will go the way of his daddy.

Barrett Archer - 1/31/2002

I think he's trying to look like FDR. How bourgeois.

I'm more intrigued by the "P.M.". How faux-aristocratic. Is he trying to emulate E.P. Thompson? You sir, Mr. Carpenter, are no E.P. Thompson.

Barrett Archer - 1/31/2002

I'm afraid it's neither on-the-job writing or free-time writing. It's what historians teach in the classroom. That is, at least it was at the major universities I went to.

Jon Burack - 1/31/2002

I read Carpenter's anti-Bush screed through twice. The closest to a "factual" claim of any sort was this sentence:

"A jaw-dropping $4 trillion of your money in the form of federal budget surpluses has gone up in smoke, or rather, 41 percent of it into the pockets of W.'s friends."

I love the phoney precision of forty-ONE percent. I take it that's 41% of a 4 trillion dollar projection that no one, Bush included, ever claimed to be anything other than a projection. Now that we've got something real to do with that surplus (as opposed to putting in -- and out -- of non-existent lockboxes), and any deficit we must run, I say bye, bye, 4 imagined trillion. Who cares? I can only add that I projected my own income for the next ten years at 4 billion, but Carpenter's dismayed me so about my future prospects that I lost 41 percent of it this morning wasting time on this message.

Is Carpenter's piece what historians do on the job? Or is it, I pray, only how they unwind?

Jon Burack

personman - 1/30/2002

I agree :( Check this out

Eric Lars - 1/30/2002

Fankly my dear, I'm afraid they have.

It's like living in the twilight zone now.. people glaze over at the words from this monster.
He's told lie after lie and they eat it up because the media present it with legitamacy. They NEVER present the real truth with anything but disgust and disdain.

Anyone bothering to research these things knows GW plotted and was involved with 9-11.
The vast majority of america doesn't even read books or magazines. They gulp down the tripe fed to them on
the FAUX network. and CNN.

Barrett Archer - 1/30/2002





Good Grief

Matt Sullivan - 1/30/2002

I wonder if Jim would feel the same way if VP Gore had been elected President. Thank goodness, I believe the majority of the real intellectuals know, it turned out otherwise.

Regarding the column:

The haughtiness of the cigarette-holder clutching Mr. Carpenter is overwhelming. His disconnection with reality is frightening if it isn't schtick. What ever you do Mr. Carpenter, please do not go into teaching.

Elaine N. Ramey - 1/29/2002

Are we going to allow the horrific events of 9/11 just to slip into eternity without an extensive investigation? How could less than two dozen terrorists bring our country to is knees without our being suspiciously aroused? Israeli intelligence flew on a special trip to Washington in August of 2001 to warn the FBI, the CIA and the FAA that an aerial attack by terrorists was imminent! Salman Rushdie was warned; even San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was warned not to fly just eight hours before the attack. Deputy Director, John O'Neill, top investigator for binLaden on previous attacks, quit in protest just two weeks before 9/11. In the iterim, Bush was ordering the FBI to lay off bin Laden. After the frightful event Bush stated, "I do believe I have hit the trifecta!" Isn't anyone noticing? Ever since Bush stole the White House, I have seen this devious person do and say the most preposterous and shallow things and everyone says he is wonnnn-derful! HAS EVERYONE LOST THEIR MINDS?

Waddie - 1/29/2002


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Jim - 1/28/2002

I agree that this administration has done damage to our constitutions' seperation of powers. Heck, it came into office via the largest constitutional mess ever, elevated by a politicized Supreme Court, and not by the electorate. At least Nixon only comitted a crime to assist his election.