How’d They Get The Keys To The Car Again?

Dave Johnson

Holy smokes, who gave Republicans the keys to the car again? Just look what they did this time! Haven’t We the People learned our lesson yet?

We saw what they did to the country after Bush got elected. Remember the Onion headline: Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’,

Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.”

“My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.”

It was in the Onion, but it wasn’t a joke. We went almost immediately from a budget surplus to big deficits, and Bush celebrated. Bush called the deficits “incredibly positive news” because they would manufacture a crisis that would give Republicans cover to cut government, get it out of the way of the billionaires and their giant corporations. (Yes, those are quotation marks there. He said that.)

Bush refused to enforce trade laws, handing so much of our manufacturing ecosystem to China, costing us more than 50,000 factories and millions of jobs — and we haven’t even started to recover. His administration refused to enforce labor laws, and wages declined. They refused to enforce environmental regulations. They refused to govern.

9/11. The Iraq War. Doubling the military budget… Remember all the corruption and cronyism? Remember the smears and attacks on people who opposed him? Valerie Plame?

And then, of course, the crash. When Bush left office our economy was losing more than 800,000 jobs a month. He left behind a $1.4 trillion deficit. Did Bush leave us bankrupt, corrupt, ungovernable?

We fought back, had an election and thought we threw that crowd out so things would get better. And now this? Shutting down the government because of a law saying that companies can’t deny insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, and have to actually pay what they promised if people get sick?

It’s time to take away the keys to the car. For good.

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