There is something so irritating about the way politics seems to lag behind public opinion. For months now, President Bush’s public approval ratings have been abysmally depressed. The toll of 6.5 years of blatantly pursuing policy, both domestic and international, that radically departed from former administration norms caused alienation from many constituents.
Now ex-President and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jimmy Carter, has spoken out about W’s administration. He pulls no punches when stating they are the “worst in history.” The White House has taken a standard approach from their well-worn play book- marginalize opposition. As usual, they brush off any criticism as being irrelevant to the “real world’s” reality.
What would prompt such an undiplomatic statement? Why would a man accustomed to the tempered and measured language of politics speak such condemning words? I think that it reflects the frustration of the country as a whole AND the safety of speaking out. Carter follows numerous high-profile power players who have chosen dissent over silence (see my entry on Lee Iaccoca as an example).
I believe these critics are sensing that this administration has strayed too far outside a comfort zone the public is comfortable with. What were and are those issues? Let me list what comes to mind:
– Faith-based initiatives receiving HUGE federal grants. This is completely unacceptable for a country that must have separation between politics and religion!
– Twisting of legal interpretations to serve an agenda that targets opposition. Examples? Try the Valerie Plame Wilson outing or the firing of numerous Attorney Generals by Gonzales.
– Constantly ignoring many world policy organizations treaties and rulings regarding energy, environment and social initiatives. As the greatest consumers on the planet and with the greatest corporate reach, we are forsaking the future for short-term greed, err… gain.
– Oil and gas drilling on public lands (were the people ever consulted? Not here in Colorado where our “public” lands are being raped… literally). We live in Garfield County where one of the world’s largest natural gas fields is being exploited. Sickness of neighboring populations, despoiling of private lands due to off-gassing fumes, construction noise AND trespassing with cross country pipe lines.
– Failing education system
– Mounting debt!!! Where are the fiscally responsible Republicans of old??!
I can’t bear to go on. I’m getting too angry and becoming increasingly apathetic. When will this administration be stopped?