Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bush=Truman? Have Another Sip!

"The human animal cannot be trusted for anything good except en masse. The combined thought and action of the whole people of any race, creed or nationality, will always point in the right direction."

Harry S Truman
"Our system of free enterprise rests on the conviction that the federal government should interfere in the marketplace only when necessary."
George W. Bush
September 19, 2008

The stupid bastard. He still doesn't get it.

Charles Krauthammer is a disabled conservative columnist. I am referring not to his physical disabilities, but his intellectual ones. In a piece published yesterday in the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY, the perennially clueless Krauthammer wrote the following observational knee-slapper:

"In this respect, Bush is much like Truman, who developed the sinews of war for a new era (the Department of Defence, the CIA, the NSA), expanded the powers of the presidency, established a new doctrine for active intervention abroad, and ultimately engaged in a war (Korea) - also absent an attack on the U.S. - that proved highly unpopular. So unpopular that Truman left office disparaged and highly out of favor. History has reversed that verdict. I have little doubt that Bush will be the subject of a similar reconsideration."

To quote the recently deceased Margaret Truman, whom when told during the campaign of 1988 that George H.W. Bush was comparing himself to her father had only this to say:

"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard."
You've got to hand it to those Trumans. They really had a way of getting right to the heart of the matter.

Recent years have seen a curious transformation on the part of the GOP as far as the subject of Harry Truman is concerned. Once anathema to every thing the right wing stood for, Truman is now viewed by many of them as a kind of secular saint. On his radio program last week, Ed Schultz accurately described him as the Republican party's favorite Democratic president. And why wouldn't this be so? When he left the White House on January 20, 1953, Truman's approval ratings were hovering in the low 30's - not quite as low as George W. Bush's, but low enough to be sure.

His decision to invade Korea was not (as Krauthammer contends) "absent an attack". When North Korea crossed the thirty-eighth parallel in 1950 and invaded its neighbor to the south, President Truman committed American troops to a multilateral, United Nations counter invasion in order to force back the aggression. By January 1953, Korea seemed to be at a stalemate and Americans were growing weary of the "police action" (It wasn't officially a "war"). To makes matters worse, his decision to fire the insubordinate but wildly popular General Douglas MacArthur, only added to the public perception of Truman as a demagogue and a fool.

What a difference fifty-five years makes. When viewed through the subjective lens of 20/20, historical hindsight, Truman's administration stands out for the brave stands it took and and its progressive accomplishments. Whether you agree with his decision or not, America and its allies had committed themselves to defending any nation against Communist aggression. General MacArthur wanted to expand the Korean conflict by invading China - and seemed determined to do so regardless of the president's orders. Had that happened, it most certainly would have precipitated World War Three. Truman had no choice but to discharge him.

He made many other courageous decisions. It was President Truman who, on July 28, 1948, desegregated the armed forces of the United States in the face of near rabid opposition, particularly in the south. At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1948, Truman forced the delegates to accept a comprehensive civil rights platform. That was more than the southern delegation could handle - most of them walked out. Facing a fourth party uprising of Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats on the right and Henry Wallace and the Progressives on the left, everyone believed Harry Truman would be beaten senseless come November. Everyone, that is with the exception of one person - Harry Truman. On Election Day, to the shock of every political "expert" on the scene, he handily defeated Republican Thomas Dewey. As David McCullough wrote in the final sentence of his over one-thousand page biography of the man, "He stands like a rock in memory now." Indeed he does.

True, Harry Truman was not without flaws. This descendant of Scotch-Irish settlers could be stubborn to the point of absurdity - a trait characteristic of his forebears. Although honest to a flaw, his administration was tainted by small elements of corruption. However, to his credit, if an incident of official skulduggery came to his attention, the president would fire to the person or persons involved. To the best of my knowledge, not one of them ever received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His Supreme Court appointments were not particularly notable; and his habit of surrounding himself with cronies from Missouri - loyal men though they were - didn't do him much good in the long run.

But his imperfections aside, Harry S Truman was a good American and a great president - one of the greatest of the twentieth century. Comparing him to George W. Bush is the equivalent of comparing the Bald Eagle to a barnyard chicken.

More than anything, what jumped off of the page of Krauthammer's puff piece on Bush, was the first paragraph:

"For the last 150 years, most American war presidents - most notably Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt - have entered (or re-entered) office knowing war was looming. Not so George Bush."

Beg pardon?

It has been documented - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that the Bush Mob had the invasion on the sovereign nation of Iraq on the table from their very first cabinet meeting in January 2001. The arrogance of Charlie Krauthammer, that he can print as fact something that can be disproven with a modicum or research, is truly stunning. You can be sure that somewhere in the void, Westbrook Pegler is smiling.

"Harry S Truman and George W. Bush".

Wow! Even seeing both of their names printed out in the same sentence is disconcerting, to say the least. It's like comparing apples and rotten mangoes.

Harry S Truman spent his formative years working on his family's modest farm.

George W. Bush was born with "a silver foot in his mouth" (God bless you, Ann Richards).

Harry S Truman eagerly enlisted enlisted in the military at the onset of World War One in spite of the fact that that he was a farmer (a vital occupation during the two world wars) and his poor eyesight (He was technically blind in one eye).

George W. Bush did everything possible to avoid fighting in Vietnam. Once he was safely in place in the National Guard thanks to the connections of his congressman father, the cowardly little thug proceeded to go AWOL.

Harry S Truman believed that big business exists solely for the purpose of serving the American people.

George W. Bush believes the exact opposite. By now that should be obvious to all.

Harry S Truman had an astute understanding of American history and believed - to his core - in the principles put forward in the Constitution of the United States.

George W. Bush has soiled the Constitution.

Harry S Truman understood that government regulation of the marketplace is essential to a healthy economy.

George W. Bush doesn't have a clue (I would only remind you of the quote near the top of this piece). Had strict governmental regulation been in place to begin with and not systematically dismantled during the last twenty-eight years, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in at the moment.

Harry S Truman knew that a healthy and thriving middle class was the fuel that moved America forward.

George W. Bush spent his entire term of office destroying the middle class.

Harry S Truman believed in the promise of America and its people.

George W. Bush believes in George W. Bush.

Harry S Truman once said, "A president either is constantly on top of events or, if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him.

George W. Bush once said,"There's an old saying in Tennessee....I know it's in Texas....Probably in Tennessee, that says 'Fool me once [four second pause] shame on you [six second pause] Fool me....can't get fooled again".

The comparisons between the two men invite so many irresistible analogies: Fine wine and Thunderbird; chicken salad and chicken shit; Tchaikovsky and Lawrence Welk; Billie Holiday and Anita Bryant; Marilyn Monroe and Medusa; caviar and cotton candy; the Rolls Royce and the Hugo; Citizen Kane and Porkys III; Pavarotti and Patti Page; opera and vaudeville; champagne and shampoo; Albert Einstein and Bobo the simpleminded; Laurence Olivier and Larry the Cable Guy; Abraham Lincoln and....well....George W. Bush....I could literally go on for pages and pages.

Twenty-five years from now, historical hindsight will only reaffirm what those of us who bothered to pay attention all these years have known from the beginning: Sending Bush to the White House eight years ago was the worst electoral mistake in American history. Harry Truman he ain't. Give 'em hell, Georgie.

Tom Degan

Goshen, NY


"Truman" by David McCullough


Oh! I almost forgot! There are one-hundred and eighteen days left to go until George W. Bush ("That good fer nothin' son-of-a-bitch" as Harry S Truman would no doubt have described him) is out of office and out of our lives forever!


At 8:19 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, I have to agree with one aspect of what the late, great, Harry S had to say, which is very much in line with the Republican playbook of recent years:

"If you cannot convince them, confuse them."

Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972), 33rd president of the U.S.

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Here's another quotation, attributed to our former 33rd president, that Barack Obama and the current Democratic "leadership" (poor choice of words) would do well to heed:

"Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apologize for anything."

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Great quote, J.G.! Someone, please forward his post to the Obama campaign!


Tom Degan

At 6:01 PM, Blogger stoney13 said...

Harry Truman would kick George Bush's ass, eat his lunch, and make him watch! Then and ONLY then would the astute Mister Truman lay boot leather to buttocks of every, (and I mean EVERY), living soul to ever put his hallowed name in a sentence with ANY member of the Bush Family without a negative verb!

Afterward, if he was feeling particularly sadistic, he would play for them a piece on the piano!

Besides! This election has more to do with 1932 than 1952! Once again the Republicans, and their "Hooray for me, fuck you!" trickle down economics scenario, has put the big dick to this country! The American Economy is fucked hard, and deep, with a barbed wire rubber! I don't know why the American Public isn't heading to Washington with gardening tools, and sporting goods right now!

If "ST. John the Semiconscious" gets one vote after this is over, it will shock the shit out of me! Oh the unmitigated GALL of the man! Have you seen the adds? Oh the lousy fuck stick, LYING-ass sack of shit!! How the fuck do you pour gasoline on a fire, and THEN when caught call it water!

And then he has the unqualified TEMERITY to say he and "Mad Momma Moose Slayer" will "Stand up to the Republicans" WHEN HAS HE EVER STOOD UP TO THE REPUBLICANS!!! HE IS A FUCKING REPUBLICAN!!!!

Holy SHIT!!!! Did he never read the works of Abraham Lincoln? Did he never study the words of the FIRST Republican?

Lincoln said "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

McCain says "Hand me the saw! We'll work out logistics later!"


Does he ACTUALLY think that the American people are that stupid? Does he ACTUALLY have THAT low of an opinion of the American Citizenry?

I can't even watch McCain on television anymore without screaming "YOU LYING PIECE OF SHIT!!" at the screen! (A malady that wins me few friends in North Carolina!)

It makes me want to grab every Republican I find by the neck and shake them 'till they rattle while screaming, "ARE YOU THAT FUCKING STUPID!!! HE ISN'T THE SOLUTION HE'S THE FUCKING PROBLEM!!!! LOOK AT HIS VOTING RECORD YOU BRAIN DEAD FUCKWAD!!!!"


At 6:21 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Ah, Stoney! Another one that deserves to be etched in stone. Someone hand me a chisel!

Here's another great quote from Harry Truman, folks:

"My choice early in life was to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly a difference."

The man was a gem.

So're you, Stoney!

Tom Degan

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Prescott Bush said...

This is a proud moment indeed for the Bush dynasty. When my grandson signs this so-called "deal" this week, he will have achieved a goal that I could only dream of back in the 1930s: the biggest peacetime transfer of power from Congress to the Administration in history, and certainly one of the most concise. The Treasury Secretary (our friend from Goldman Sachs) will be able to buy any assets he wants, on any terms he wants. He will be able to hire anyone he wants to delegate this authority to, and he will be able to appoint private sector companies as financial deputies of the US government. He will be able to write whatever regulations he thinks are needed. Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act will be non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

We manufactured the Wall Street "crisis" through intentional deregulation and corruption, and now this manufactured crisis is to be remedied with the total transfer of Congressional powers (the few that still remain) to the Executive Branch and the total transfer of public funds into corporate (via government as intermediary) hands. I win, Franklin Delano "Traitor to My Class" Roosevelt, you b@stard!!

You've done me proud, grandson!

At 11:36 AM, Blogger stoney13 said...

Why are dead people on the comment board?

Get you ass BACK to Hell Prescott! Hitler wants his hummer, and he wants it now, and he doesn't want some diesel powered civilianized military vehicle!

And when your done with that, he wants his salad tossed! Full tongue this time, too! None of that flicker around the rim shit!

"Being President is like being a jackass in a hail storm! There's nothing to do but stand there and take it!", Lyndon B. Johnson

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

Stoney 13

Being raised in an Irish-Catholic houselhold, I never really understood the concept of Purgatory; you have made the concept clear!

Prescott Bush isn't in hell, he is floating in Purgatory, unknowing whether he has someone praying/paying for a Masses to get him out or if he has all of his coven pleading for intercession that he arrive to govern them again.

Thus, never knowing if he will get the goods or not, he is in a hell that Mephistopheles couldn't deliver; if he was in the REAL Hell he would be able to get accustomed to its services/lack thereof, however, now? His hell is that of a short-seller, hoping that some sucker will pony up the goods so he knows where his stock is going.

Hell be damned, it's not "good" enough for Prescott Bush; Purgatory is the place he will exist for his eternity.

"The human animal cannot be trusted for anything good except en masse. The combined thought and action of the whole people of any race, creed or nationality, will always point in the right direction."

Harry S Truman

E pluribus unum is Latin for "Out of Many, One." Until 1956, this was the unofficial motto of The United States of America. Harry knew what he was talking about and kept it clean.

The "I like Ike" evangelicals had the unofficial motto made words on paper (similar to today's state of The Constitution) in 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H.J. Resolution 396), adopting In God We Trust as the official motto.

Ike may have warned of the Military Industrial Complex; he didn't know that militarism wouldn't come from Defense Departments of a variety of nations but, instead, from the fanatic wolves in front of their flocks (think sheep) extolling the virtue of their brand of wolf deterrent as to the other wolf's.

As the Aussie commercial famously states, "Can't come tonight love, Mum's making a lamb roast."

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Bill Barras said...

One more glaring contrast between Truman & Bush: There is a universe of difference in accountability between "The Buck Stops Here" and "No One could have Forseen [insert crisis]". I am still waiting for the administration to re-evoke this lame excuse again about the current ever broadening economic meltdown.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Prescott Bush....

I recieved this message from my brother in Europe regarding your posting:

"That was brilliant - a bit weird - but brilliant".

I agree.

Tom Degan

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great fucking article!

At 1:31 AM, Blogger mike c said...

Chicken salad and chicken shit?
What a lousy analogy!!
What about "Uncle Jack's barbequed chicken and chicken shit?
Happy belated, cuz.


At 5:20 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Hello, Cousin Mike!

Your lovely niece Nicole was in Goshen this past weekend. What a nice gal! I couldn't get over how much she reminded me of her mother. We all spent Saturday evening looking at films of Uncle Bill going all the way back to 1939when he was a boy. A slendid time was had by all....

Cousin Tom

At 7:34 PM, Blogger Voicedude said...

I was going to post what stoney13 said in his first post: that Harry S. would've punched George W. right in his deviated septum for even inferring a similarity!

Thanx, stoney13!

At 6:09 PM, Blogger ebdoug said...

Tuesday night: I'm an "early to bed, early type of person" but plan to stay up as long as I can keep my eyes open on Tuesday night. Any chance you and your bloggers can keep us up to date on any news heard? Polls should close on the West Coast by midnight here in the eash shouldn't they? ebdoug


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