View From Lodi, CA: Dubya—Worst President Ever. And Immigration Is A Reason.
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To those of you who voted for George W. Bush in 2000, I forgive you.

But if you voted for Bush a second time, I'm sorry—I cannot extend the same graciousness.

I hold you fully and completely responsible for the terrible condition that our country is in. You have aided and abetted in America's demise.

I understand how Bush hoodwinked you the first time around. Under the tutelage of the soon-to-be-departed Karl Rove, Bush ran a smooth campaign with lots of insincere patter about compassionate conservatism.

Bush's 2000 opponent, the bumbling, fumbling former-Vice President Al Gore eased the path to the White House for the relatively inexperienced Texas governor.

To sum up how inept Gore was: he could not even carry his home state of Tennessee—or the traditional Democratic stronghold of West Virginia.

But going into the 2004 election, Bush supporters should have been guided by the old truism: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

I know that the remaining handful of Bush-backers like to speculate that Senator John Kerry would have been a worse president.

But, sorry, I'm not buying that.

You can speculate all you want about how good or bad Kerry might have been.

But by 2004, we already knew that Bush was a disaster. And Bush gave not the slightest indication that his second term would be any better than his first.

So here we are today with 70 percent of the nation convinced that America is on the wrong track and more than 60 percent of the opinion that the Iraq War was a mistake and has been poorly handled.

Yet, according to an Associated Press report, Bush claimed on August 19th that recent events in isolated Iraqi cities qualify our mission as a success.

But how many Americans would consider that more than 3,700 dead Americans is a fair exchange for six banks reopening in Baqubah or local Ninewa officials establishing a commission to investigate corruption. [Bush Claims Success in Iraq, by Deb Riechmann, Associated Press, August 19, 2007]

Bush's Iraq strategy is stubbornness.

Iraq is Bush's biggest mistake. But along with Iraq are a series of decisions that show such poor judgment that one can only wonder what—if anything—Bush thinks about.

I have dozens of questions about Bush's policies. Among them are why Bush has:

  • Appointed and retains the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff who said: "We don't really have the ability to enforce the law with respect to illegal work in this country in a way that's truly effective."

  • Pushed for more trade agreements with Central and Latin American countries despite evidence that NAFTA, that started it all, has cost millions of American jobs.

Bush may have saved his most destructive measure for last.

In Canada earlier this week, Bush met with Mexican president Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss the possibility of forming a North American Union that would make one country out of the three.

As a first step, the U.S., Canada and Mexico agreed to develop new rules making it easier to cross the border during emergencies such as epidemics and terrorist attacks [Harper Says Security Shouldn't Harm U.S. Relations, Bloomberg News, By Theophilos Argitis, August 21, 2007].

Details are fuzzy but I assume this would mean that during weather disasters like Hurricane Dean, Mexicans could cross freely into the U.S.?

But would they ever go home?

A decade from now Bush may be more infamous for having ended U.S. sovereignty than he is for the Iraq War.

But even if the North American Union fails, Bush's legacy will be an ugly one: worst two-term president in American history—and arguably the worst president of all time.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.

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