Patrick Farley sums up the Bush Era: "All Circuses and No Bread

As Stefan says, "This is breathtaking."
"Trying to explain what was wrong with the Bush Era feels like trying to vomit up a cannonball. I don't think my jaw can stretch that wide.

Seriously, where does one even begin? Abu Ghraib? Ahmed Chalabi? Mission Accomplished? The "Battle of Iraq?" Valerie Plame? No-bid contracts? The billions of dollars the Pentagon can't account for, and apparently never will? The Department of Justice firings? The blue Iraqi flag? The staged press conference? The fake Thanksgiving turkey? Terry Schiavo? Freedom Fries?

I can at least say this for Bush: he *didn't* plant any WMDs in Iraq.

But really, Bush himself wasn't the problem. Bush was a cipher, the perfect vacuum at the center of a perfect storm -- an ideological superstorm which rotated, like some slow, sick, wobbling hurricane of raw sewage over America for 8 years, like some brown, shitty version of Jupiter's Great Red Spot. This Neo-Conservative Superstorm, as I'll call it, had three major sources of energy feeding it:

a) a panicked population in need of a Protective Patriarch,

b) a Republican party crowded with brazen and reckless ideologues,

and most significantly:

c) A network of Conservative Think Tanks with deep pockets and a fearsomely coordinated army of media pundits."

And it goes on.

Patrick Farley sums up the Bush Era: "All Circuses and No Bread"


  1. I AM ECSTATIC THAT THOSE SCUMBAG TRAITORS HAVE TUCKED THEIR TAILS BETWEEN THEIR PASTY LEGS AND SLITHERED BACK TO WHENCE THEY CAME! i hope there is a special place in hell for bushco. i hope that as they writhe and burn and suffer that there is some way we can watch via a sort of ” afterlife cable /satallite t.v.” burn you self-serving, greedhead sumbitches, burn!

  2. Seriously, boingboing, when are you going to change the name to barackbarack?

    Ooh, sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the ELECTIONS this morning.

  3. Not to pee on the Hope party, cuz I am excited too, but it’s kind of freaking me out how much newfound trust everyone seems to have in the gov’t. Elected officials still lie, steal, and make honest mistakes. There’s a worrisome *faith* in the air that I can’t wrap my head around. There are left-wing think tanks too. There are brazen left-wing ideologues too…maybe I’m just stating the obvious but watching Obama and Bush make out today, though ceremonial, I got a good reminder that just cause this is the guy I voted for, caucused for, and campaigned for, he’s not my friend.

  4. Lies upon lies.
    Lawless, unrepentant lawlessness.
    Racism, bigotry, homophobia, and intolerance.
    The melding of religion and government.
    And the ends justify the means.
    Except for stem cell research.
    One American embryo is worth a thousand Iraqis.

    I see dead people.

    Tonight, let’s raise a glass, to ourselves, for surviving the Bush Era.

    And let’s raise a second glass to those who didn’t.

  5. Ok, I understand most of that list but a large fraction of the US populace was on the side of Bush on that one. Furthermore, the only thing Bush did at all related to that was drag it out a few days longer by signing the legislation that allowed the case to be moved to federal court.

  6. And the passengers on the Titanic stand on the deck, happily blowing raspberries to the departing captain – departing on the last life boat – while the band plays a merry tune and the crew serves canapés and champagne.

    Enjoy the party, folks. We won’t have another one like this again.

  7. #7 posted by Drew Blood

    I am reminded of bitter arguments with some naive, and not so naive, people on the broad left in Britain when Tony Blair and New Labour were elected for the first time. I didn’t believe in the glad confident morning. I believed what it said in their manifesto. More of the same.

    Obama has a real chance at going down in history as a great man.

    Maybe Blair did too, but he sold us out to the above mentioned scumbags so as not to prejudice lucrative lecture tours in the US. His history in politics prior to the election was one of cynical self advancement. Obama’s history doesn’t look like that.

    Who’s Obama going to sell out to? I don’t really see who. He may fail to clear up the colossal mess he’s inherited, but if he does I’m not going to be trying to come up with a list of other people who would have succeeded.

  8. The Neo-Cons had created an environment where truth not only didn’t matter, truth was outright impossible. If I don’t like the facts, I’ll invent my own facts was the apparent motto of the Bush White House and indeed the whole Conservative movement.


  9. When Bush was re-elected in 2004 a lot of my friends were distraught, and I was too at first, but then I heard from someone who was old enough to remember Nixon in detail, and he had a certain wisdom that proved prescient. His basic idea was that “they can’t get away with it forever, people will eventually see through them when they can’t peddle lies fast enough to cover their asses.” We saw that with Bush. There came a point when all of the think tanks and all of the pundits couldn’t explain away the fiasco that was hurricane Katrina, or convince people that things were going well in Iraq. Add those to Abu Grahib, Guantanamo, the Justice Dept. firings, and a long list of smaller injustices. Farley makes a comparison with phony “Creation scientists” and that is apt enough, but he could just as easily compare them to Soviet apparatchiks: the Party above all, the truth be damned.

    We shouldn’t be at all surprised that not only did the GOP lose the presidential election, but also both houses of congress.

    But we should also remember that the think-tank-punditry brigade is still at work. The latest ploy is to say that “Iraq is Obama’s to lose now”, implying that Bush actually “won” in Iraq (if that’s the case, why haven’t the troops come home?); simply because the violence is down to what appears to be a manageable level is in no way a “victory”– there is still plenty of violence and instability, still lots of people in exile, still water and power shortages– Bush and the neo-cons have just set the bar very low for what constitutes “winning.” I think a lot of the media is buying into that myth too.

  10. I got bread from this administration, in the form of those delicious tax rebate checks. So there was a lot of circus, yes, but there was some bread, too.

  11. What does bush have to do with “Mission Accomplished?” “Terry Schiavo?” and “Freedom Fries?”

    “Mission accomplished” was flown on the aircraft carrier because its mission was completed successfully. The rest is gibberish.

    If the “superstorm” was fed by “a) a panicked population in need of a Protective Patriarch,” you’re insinuating that Clinton was a horrible president.

    I just don’t understand. He was legitimately elected by the same system as Obama, yet you don’t hear Republicans bitchin.

    Have fun finding a new target, my conspiracy loving friends.

  12. But… but.. Bush isn’t a true conservative. Don’t you know that conservativism can never fail, it can only be failed? McCain… he isn’t a conservative either. The fact is that there has never been a real conservative president, ever. This is central to my point.

  13. I was one of those who was distraught and flabbergasted when Bush kept his job in 2004, but in retrospect it may have been for the best.

    Consider: A Kerry win in 2004 would have been too late to prevent the war in Iraq. At best it would have led to four years of “Bush Lite” since their actual policy differences were negligible. That means the 2008 election would have resulted in either four more years of Kerry or whatever candidate the Republicans decided to throw out against the guy they could now blame for losing in Iraq.

  14. Let us hope that Obama will find the nuts to charge the entire Bush “posse” of stumble bum cannibals with the war crimes they deserve. We will never be able to take back the loss of lives, respect, honesty that those DBs took from us. Obama like General Eisenhower should give a complete and rousing tour of the(metaphorical) concentration camps of the Bush years so that none but the insane will question the depth of Bush’s dishonesty.

    for Kappakahi at 15,,,that was not bread those where the crumbs swept off the master’s table.

  15. cheer up Nail, even now there is a tidal wave of stem cell researchers that were driven out by the American taliban and have been working in other countries. They will come flooding back if the research money is there and you will see an incredible blossoming of medical breakthroughs. All of which should be withheld from anyone who ever voted Bush.

  16. @grimc

    That’s why I qualified my statement with “may” have been for the best. We’ll never really know if a President Kerry would have handled Katrina better than the other rich white christian Iraq-invasion-supporting Skull-and-Bonesman New Englander.

  17. @brainspore

    C’mon. Bush’s FAIL was on such an epic scale that Kerry would’ve had to actively try to screw Katrina rescue efforts up.

  18. “I can at least say this for Bush: he *didn’t* plant any WMDs in Iraq. ”

    Maybe he did, he just can’t remember where he put them. Sounds infinitely more likely to me…

  19. That ‘network of well-funded think tanks” came about in the 70s, as a conscious response by a small number of the very wealthy and powerful, to “counter” social changes which had come about spontaneously in the body politic.
    As Gov/Establishment Propaganda at the time was illegal, they became private-sector propaganda organizations, for viewpoints/ideas that benefit those private interests (ie not the majority, not the poor, not the sick and weak,or feeble-minded).
    AEI, Hoover Institute – Why are they tax-exempt? Their “educational/charitable” tax status has got to go.
    Money has had too much influence for far too long, and its influence has served to de-moralize Americans.
    People do not “work hard’ to get rich. people work hard because they think it is the right thing to do.

  20. #17 SWILD

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a prime example of the “genius” created by the incest between conservative think-tanks and media pundits. How many errors of logic or fact can you find in SWILD’s short post?

  21. @#7
    Hope and faith shouldn’t freak you out, because it’s what we are going to need as a nation to get out of this hole. If the american zeitgeist is one of fashionable cynicism, then it’s unlikely that people will put in the effort and take the risks needed to repair the economic and social trauma inflicted on america over the last 8 years.

    I don’t think that Obama is some saint sent from on high to single-handedly fix all the problems in the world, but I DO have a lot of hope for what the nation can accomplish when it is unified and positive. And I am willing to hope that Obama won’t find a way to dampen the optimism and positive intertia that the country is starting to develop.

    Just search for “Bush” in
    I doubt that the single citation of
    will convince you of a relationship between bush and the phrase “freedom fries”, but I invite you to use google on the phrase.

    Referring to “The Democrats” or “The Republicans” as a singular entity exhibits a gigantic blind spot in your ability to think critically. I assure you that if you search around the internet, you will find lots of republicans complaining.

    Finally, Bush’s final approval ratings were around 25%. Unless a lot of americans went democrat, I think you’ll find that there were a lot of republicans that also think that Bush did a pretty bad job in office.

  22. Finally Bush’s reign of terror has ended; let Obama’s reign of terror begin! ;)

    People do not “work hard’ to get rich. people work hard because they think it is the right thing to do.

    I work hard trying to get wealthy. Hard work, like money, is a means not an end.

    The real scumbags are the ones who got rich through graft, fraud, and outright theft. That’s where “the right thing to do” issue crops up.

    Perhaps Scrooge McDuck said it best, Work smarter, not harder.”

    (Obama’s “sobering” talk of sacrifice and service is essentially an extremely elegant way of saying that we have 20-30 years of frugal living ahead of us. We’ll never return to the drunken wastefulness of the past 30 years. c.f. Japans “rich nation, poor people” paradigm. Then remember why films such as Akira and Jin-Roh feature rioting prominently.)

  23. > The blue Iraqi flag?

    Can anyone help with an explanation of that one? I seem to have missed out on that particular scandal/screwup/whatever.

  24. If I remember correctly this was the new Iraqi flag the bushies designed for the new Iraqi government. Surprisingly, this didn’t sit quite right with most Iraqis. Ungrateful bastards..

  25. Blaatann:

    Fair enough. There’s nothing quite like having your new flag delivered to you without consultation to give you that “independent” feeling.

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