Democratic Underground

When Good Things Happen to Bad People
November 16, 2001
by Dave Conroy

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I remember from when I was a child a book entitled "When Bad Things Happen to Good People". I never read it but I have to assume that it had platitudes about people getting screwed in this life getting a better deal in the next one. That is the usual answer given.

I have to admit though that for me the harder one to deal with is when good things happen to bad people. Nothing fries me more than to see thoroughly corrupt people getting everything they ever wanted.

George Bush is one of those people. To be honest, I would be almost as outraged that he is President if he had not had the election stolen for him. He is the antithesis of everything this country should be.

This is a man who literally has had everything handed to him on a silver platter due solely to his family name. He was average in high school but got into Yale. He was average at Yale but got into Harvard. He had one failed business after another but still got more and more capital. He drank like crazy until he was forty, held only one very week political office for a grand total of six years, but here he is as President of the United States.

He is a man without accomplishment. He has had precisely one successful business the Texas Rangers. That success came courtesy of a tax payer subsidized stadium and his buddies' money. Even at that he managed to make the worst trade in the 1990's. His political career is one of taking credit for other work. The highlight of this was in the third debate. This man who had vetoed a Patients' Bill of Rights in Texas over the right to sue HMO's claimed credit for the bill. He also took credit for Hate Crime laws that existed before his tenure while having blocked the passage of a new one. He took credit for educational gains that belonged to Governor White.

This would be bad enough if he weren't so completely full of himself. Ann Richards one said of the first President Bush "He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." This is so the description of George W. Every time I see him give one of his self satisfied smirks I literally want to vomit. Time and again speaking off the cuff he will say some horrendously stupid thing and then have this smirk on his face. Then he will deny he said it if he can get away with it.

And of course, thanks to the press, he can. Imagine if a black candidate for President had treated questions about his drug use as cutely as Bush had. Imagine if a pro life woman candidate had been rumored by Larry Flint to have had an abortion. Imagine if a gay candidate for President had lied about being arrested for drunk driving and got caught three days before the election. Heck, imagine if Bill Clinton had served in the National Guard but there were no evidence he had showed up for the last year of his commitment. We all know what would have happened. It would not have been pretty.

Again all of this would be bad enough but he shows a lack of any kind of empathy for the less fortunate or even the pretense of it. This is a man who has heaped money upon the Airlines but not a dime for the workers. Humungous tax breaks for the wealthy nothing for the working poor. A literal giving away of our future Social Security benefits to a handful of corporations.

This is an alcoholic who appointed as drug czar a man who believes drug and alcohol abuse are moral failing in the face of unanimous medical opinion. A beneficiary of white mans affirmative action who will do everything in his power to stop affirmative action for any other group. A man who had a sister die of a disease that could be cured by stem cells who lied about stem cells. A man who never had to worry about a lack of insurance whose staff members are on the record as saying that providing medical insurance to the unemployed would make them to comfortable.

I believe in a country that is a true meritocracy. Where the children of laborer in inner-city Detroit get the same education and have the same ability to succeed as the children of George Bush. If that means the child in Detroit needs to be subsidized then so be it. If he needs some affirmative action to be discovered then so be it. George Bush personifies the idea that connected people get everything handed to them. He personifies the arrogance of a person who consistently gets away with anything he can. He personifies the out of touch privilege that led Imelda Marcos to collect shoes, Marie Antoinette to say "let them eat cake", and his father to have no idea what a grocery scanner was. He personifies the shallowness of an unexamined life. He personifies the alcoholic whose bottom was high and has no time for those who fell lower.

His life has been one taken for granted privilege after another. He avoided military service because of family connections and could not even do his Guard duty. He avoided consequence for his drug use but wants to jack the consequences for others. He avoided responsibility for his sexual irresponsibility but wants to deny that ability to others.

I have no idea why good things happen to bad people but I know that for me George Bush is the face of that for me.


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