Friday, April 25, 2008


For some time now I’ve been searching for a word on this side of outright obscenity to describe the Bush administration.

No single word captures it: not aloof, arrogant, deceitful, self-serving, hypocritical, self-righteous, corrupt, secretive, insensitive or inhumane.

What word to capture Abu Ghraib, torture, waterboarding, wire-tappings, renditions, lies, ineptitude, tax cuts for the wealthy, war profiteering, cronyism, posturing, stonewalling and fear mongering?

Then yesterday I think I found the word. Or to be exact, it was handed to me by a most unlikely source.

Here it is in context in a New York Times story:

NEW ORLEANS — Senator John McCain took direct aim at the Bush administration on Thursday as he stood in the lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the area hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and declared that “never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in the terrible and disgraceful way that it was handled.”

The Bush presidency in its entirety, not just in its callous mishandling of Katrina, has been, in a single word, a “disgrace.”

Gerald Ford proclaimed on the day Richard Nixon left office that “our long national nightmare” had ended.

To assure us that the disgrace of Bush-Cheney will end next January, McCain, Clinton and Obama should agree that this administration has been a disgrace — to the nation, to its people, to humanity, and, yes, to the planet.

I know it is likely too much to hope for, but to help the healing, those who voted for George W. Bush, starting with McCain, could begin with an apology.

In apologizing, McCain might see the wisdom in abandoning his own major positions, which so far mimic those of the Bush administration.

McCain, who so aptly spoke of disgrace in New Orleans, should see that his own stances are no less disgraceful.

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