Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Campaigning in 2000, George W. Bush styled himself the "CEO president," promising to run the country as a business, governing like a disciplined corporate executive, and delegating key day-to-day functions to a skilled team beneath him. To many, it was an interesting departure form politics-as-usual. But 5 1/2 years later, measured by any yardstick, Bush finds himself with a record that screams miserable failure. In corporate America, the CEO reports to the board of directors. A CEO's failure in the corner office often results in trouble in the boardroom. And therein lies the problem. The United States is not a business, Bush is not a CEO, and there is no board of directors. He clearly lacks accountability. There's no one to report to, and no one to show him the door.
What's more, a new CBS poll released today shows the president's approval rating at an all-time low 34%. His hatchetman Cheney's rating is even more pathetic at 18%. In Bush's corporate fantasyland scenario, voters are therefore shareholders. Well, the shareholders have just rendered a vote of no confidence.
The Bush administration has conducted its business in the most secretive manner in the history of the presidency. It has defiled the Constitution, thumbing its nose at the sacred principles of checks and balances, the separation of powers, and the rule of law. In fact, in the Bush monarchy, King George's mantra is, "I am not above the law, I am the law." What happens in a Democracy when its leadership--those duly elected to carry out the will of the people--violates its owns rules? What message is sent to the American people when the president continuously demonstrates that our nation's laws are mere instruments that he can twist and mangle to further his own political agenda?
That is what we've seen from this president. He lied to Congress about WMD and the need to invade Iraq. He broke the law by leaking, or allowing others to leak, the identity of a covert CIA agent. He broke the law by illegally spying on U.S. citizens. He broke the law by not conducting a Congressionally mandated 45-investigation of the Dubai Ports deal.
Ok, those are some of the more egregious crimes he's committed since 2000. What about sheer performance in office? The black hole in Iraq; the failure to capture Osama bin Laden; allowing N. Korea and Iran to expand nuclear weapons programs; the sagging economy with record deficits, gas and oil prices; rising interest rates and inflation; the dreadful response to Katrina and Rita; the ineptitude of hired hands like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Chertoff, 'Brownie' Brown and others; the Medicare prescription drug failure. The list seems endless.
CEO presidency? That's laughable. With his abysmal record, Bush deserves to follow in the paths of Ken Lay, Bernie Ebbers, Sam Waksal and other former corporate titans who left devastation and destruction in their tracks.