TCU Daily Skiff Friday, April 23, 2004
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A last chance to impart politics

Editor in Chief Brandon Ortiz is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Fort Worth

It is a custom here at the Skiff for graduating editors to write a column thanking everyone who has helped them and impart some words of wisdom to the young’uns.

There are so many people for me to thank that I’m not going to list them all — I’m too afraid of leaving somebody out. But you know who you are, and I sincerely thank you.
With that out of the way, I will now devote the rest of this space to explaining why George W. Bush is quite possibly the worst president in American history.

Conservatives often wonder why liberals hate Bush so viscerally. I wonder how any rational person could not hate Bush. The hardest part about making the case for Bush’s incompetence in limited space is choosing what arguments to leave out. (His rank dishonesty is fodder for another column.) This president has an uncanny gift for being monumentally — and arrogantly — wrong on nearly every issue. The old cliché that even a broken clock is right twice a day doesn’t hold true for this president.

I’m not going to beat you over the head with the same-old Democratic charges (which are true) of how Bush has: Squandered the largest surplus in history and pursued a fiscally irresponsible economic policy; wasted the enormous good will this nation received after 9/11, spit on our allies and misled — some would say lied — to the nation so he could take us to war with a country that was not an immediate threat; exploited a national tragedy for his personal political gain; broken his promise and under-funded his own signature education initiative; attempted to privatize Medicare — which, along with Social Security, is responsible for keeping millions of senior citizens out of poverty — with Trojan horse “reform;” raided the Social Security and Medicare trust funds to pay for tax cuts for the ultra wealthy that failed to create a single job (Bush will be the only president since Herbert Hoover to preside over net job loss); turned over the Environmental Protection Agency to the polluters and is gutting clean air laws; ignored the Constitution and eroded our civil liberties through the Patriot Act; supported taking away overtime pay from an estimated eight million workers — including police, firemen and first responders — before recently backtracking under political pressure.

The list goes on and on. Most of you have heard these arguments before, and if you’re not already swayed by them, then I doubt I’ll change your mind by repeating them.

I’m also not going to point out a few things you may not know:

• At a time of (unnecessary) war, when soldiers are fighting bravely without the manpower they need (because this president thinks coalition-building is a sign of weakness), the president has proposed what is essentially a cut in health care spending for veterans and eliminating 540 full-time jobs in the Veterans Benefits Administration, which handles disability and pension claims from former soldiers.

What a great way to reward those who were willing to die for our country — make them pay more for health care and undermine the agency that handles their pension claims. How patriotic.

• Chemical plants and nuclear plants are the most dangerous targets for terrorist attack. The EPA has identified more than 100 chemical facilities where an attack could kill more than one million people.

Let me repeat that: One million people could die if terrorists were to attack one of these chemical plants.

So it seems only logical for the government to impose strict regulations on the chemical industry and take steps to protect chemical plants. But the chemical lobby doesn’t think so — so neither does Bush and the GOP.

Bush — our patriotic “war president” — will do whatever it takes to win the war on terror — as long as it doesn’t inconvenience Big Business.

Oops, I’m out of space. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not sure if the nation could survive another four years of Bush.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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