Of course there is room for forgiveness for all the lies, deceptions, mistakes, and general crookedness of the administration of George W. Bush. But Mr. Bush will have to do more than simply make his last lap as president with a solemn and melancholy look on his face. Honesty, openness, and forgiveness requests will be honored. Until then, let us never, never forget what he did. He brutalized the reputation of the United States, he gave handouts to the richest Americans at the expense of the poor and middle class, invaded a SOVEREIGN nation illegally, lied over and over to the American people, screwed up an already unfair health care system, cheated the military veterans out of needed benefits, took a federal budget surplus that he inherited and turned it into an economic disaster that our children and grandchildren will pay for in far more taxes, ignored warnings about the pending 9-11 disaster, held secret energy meetings in which the American public was forced to hand over trillions of dollars unnecessarily to Bush and Cheney corporate buddies, the invasion of Iraq set up al Quaeda in that country for the first time, his policies in the Middle East greatly enhanced the power and influence of Iran, gave no-bid and no-accountabiity contracts to Halliburton, Blackwater, etc., acted as a Saudi surrogate as he again carried out horrible plans to help the Saudis illegally as his father and grandfather had done, endangered the health and safety of every American with policies that harmed the environment and hampered the Environmental Protection Agency, approved actions that tortured people, snooped on innocent American citizens, held thousands in Guantanamo without ever charging them with any crime, and this despicable list goes on endlessly.
To claim that he protected us is the height of folly. His administration proactively sought to silence the EPA from releasing data about harmful products, including some that harmed babies. Some kind of protection. His administration greatly hampered stem cell research that might already be helping persons suffering from Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and a host of other crippling illnesses. Some protection. 4,300 Americans have lost their lives in Bush's illegal war in Iraq, Some protection. His administration pushed policies that greatly harmed the environment and endangered the future for our children and grandchildren. Some protection. He hampered additional funding for military veterans. Some protection. He sat on his hands as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated, and now, finally, got involved at the end of his administration. Some protection. He sat by and dropped negotiations with nuclear-armed North Korea. Some protection. More and more people are now without healthcare insurance than in 2001. Protection? Our food banks cannot keep up with the avalanche of people needing help. Protection? The Bush administration has actively put in place programs and policies that have greatly hurt millions of Americans.
The last eight years have been some of the saddest in American history. I hope George W. Bush, who never fails to parade his fundamentalist religion, will reflect on what he has done to the United States of America. Confession, contrition, and atonement are then, and only then, possible.