2000-2009: The "I Wish We Could Have a Do Over" Decade
The Rude Pundit hath summed up the decade in a most foul, vile way that's notable even for him. In his three part series, he takes on sacred cows such as Al Gore, Twitter and Facebook, to name just a few but obviously there are a few other people/entities that escaped his baleful notice.
The Rude One began his meanderings with a reminiscence of what he was doing on New Year's Eve 1999. Those of us who read the news were in the grip of Y2K and were listening to the pre-Homeland Security government telling us to buy bottled water and duct tape if our computers rolled back to the Low Middle Ages. We thought that shit was scary, that our time stamps were going to go back to January 1, 1900.
JP was with his family in Boston "enjoying" First Night. My bladder was bursting thanks to a large cup of joe drunk on the "T" earlier that evening and with Port-O-Potties nowhere in sight. While it didn't stop us from celebrating the new year, decade and millennium, we all had Y2K on the brain. George W. Bush was some dimly recognized dimbulb out of Texas who was somehow related to a former one termer.
Then The Election happened over 10 months later, the Election that changed everything. That dimly recognized dimbulb from Texas had somehow galvanized a class of crazies who were for the most part successfully kept under wraps during the Clinton years and we were led to believe that he'd beaten a man who would turn out to be the poster child for the invertebrate Democratic Party. Not wanting to fight the election results, telling every Democrat in the Senate to not sign a resolution that would've put the kibosh on certifying the results in Florida, Gore and every fucking Democrat in the Senate couldn't have rigged the election for Bush better than as if they actually wanted him.
So Midland's answer to Jed Clampett moves into the White House with his Mayberry hillbillies, a bunch of PNAC maniacs who were nothing more or less than war criminals in waiting who didn't want to hear about al Qaeda but did have a throbbing, oozing case of priapus for oily Iraq. Before we knew it, America had turned into some predatory neighbor who used any excuse to fuck your hot wife and steal all those wonderful power tools in your shed on the grounds that your grass was too tall and bringing down property values, that you diddled your kids and farted at Homeowner's Association meetings. Who cared whether or not the allegations were true or not? Saddam was the only thing standing between us and those oil wells he sat on top of. Once we got there, it was too late to turn back. It was the bloodiest, most massive and expensive game of King of the Hill ever and, by God, we won.
So we diddled in Afghanistan, routing our old business buddies of the Taliban just enough to show that we meant business in spite of the fact that the Taliban had nothing to do with the 9/11 that didn't happen on Bush's watch, according to Dana Perino, a massive fuckup that somehow, with a logic that would only make sense in a universe constructed by Rube Goldberg and M. C. Escher, earned Bush a 95 percent approval rating despite telling his own CIA when they tried to warn him of al Qaeda's plans on his vacation, "Alright, you covered your ass."
And Bush stood atop that mountain of rubble on Ground Zero like a crow cock-a-doodle-doing on a massive, tragic dunghill and made himself into some superhero like Rudy Giuliani, a buck-toothed shit bird who made millions on 9/11 through $100,000 a pop speaking gigs and his security consulting firm who was nonetheless caught as much by surprise by bin Laden as Bush.
So we rah rah, sis boom bahed him as he led tens of thousands into Afghanistan and Iraq and those of us who didn't cheer the war or would question 9/11 were "truthers" at best and "traitors" at worst. For good measure, the NY Times did its part to shore up shaky claims about Iraqi WMD's made by alcoholics, Iraqi counterfeiters and cab drivers by sending Judith Miller, who by the time of the invasion was practically writing policy. There wasn't a major newspaper, radio station or network that didn't support this buttfucking of Iraq in some degree.
So we poked around looking for them pesky WMD's and while we didn't find 'em, we certainly found in nine months the guy who was directly responsible for 9/11 who, as it turned out, wasn't responsible for 9/11 and we hung him after a show trial that lasted longer than most TV series. We'd spent a trillion dollars and wasted more than 3000 American lives and hundreds of thousands of more Iraqi lives to hang one tinpot dictator.
Meanwhile, the real raping was already underway when Jerry Bremer set his Timberland boots on Iraqi sand and set about showing Iraq how a real dictator runs a dictatorship. Under Bremer, the Iraqis had less electricity, less potable water, less food, fewer jobs and fewer rights than under Saddam. Under Bremer, American contractors were neither answerable to American or Iraqi law. The smashed Iraqi military became a ready-made insurgency, al Qaeda would prove the fly paper theory correct and the Halliburton oil pumps no longer had meters.
Meanwhile, at Abu Ghraib, we began rounding up innocent Iraqis, tortured, detained and murdered them then wondered why they weren't grateful. Bremer shut down a dog shit newspaper in Fallujah, thereby giving power and credibility to a slumlord maniac named Muqtada al Sadr. We slaughtered more Iraqis in Fallujah not once but twice yet were outraged when 4 Blackwater mercenaries were murdered, mutilated and hung from a bridge.
Meanwhile, contractors with no Congressional oversight whatsoever (thanks to Jerry) got sleek and bloated for not doing the jobs for which they were contracted. 1/3 of Iraq's "reconstruction" budget was spent on mercenaries like Blackwater which one fine day for no reason whatsoever indiscriminately killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad while the company's founder had the nerve to deny the whole thing before Congress with the kind of oleaginous aplomb that only sociopaths can manage.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan was forgotten year after year. In fact, it seemed the only people who didn't forget about what was at stake in Afghanistan was the resurgent Taliban. Meanwhile, our puppet ruler there, a former secret policeman with ties to the heroin trade, watched his country deteriorate without even a token attempt by us at nation-building (except for spraying his opium crops, which he told us not to do).
Then, in the greatest moment of mass hysteria on human record, tens of millions of us decided that we wanted four more years of this shit.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, we then lost a city full of black people who were blamed by the right wing for the bad weather, Bush's red, white and blue version of the Enabling Act continued stripping away our civil liberties with our regretful but tacit approval, saying that we'd get 'em back after the war on terra was won and our Congress rear-ended us time and again by giving Bush the power to torture and spy on us, by giving credit card companies the right to jack up our APR's while not allowing us to file for bankruptcy and even after the Republicans lost Congress the Democrats still let them call the shots. Moveon was condemned. ACORN was defunded. A brain-dead woman was lionized. America was bent over like a cherry in a prison shower and eventually even the stick between our teeth was yanked out and replaced with corporate cock.
Which brings us to the bailout. Somehow it was rigged that the very people who'd been fucked by these derivative-selling scumbags who'd been boning us all these years would be the very same ones who would wind up bailing them out because they and not the American middle class, were "too big to fail." Never mind that that in itself makes a wonderful argument about shoring up the gutted antitrust laws. Never mind that $12 trillion of our bailout money was shoveled at the feet of sociopathic cocksuckers like Lloyd Blankfein, John Thain and other upholstered ticks on Wall Street with no enforceable preconditions whatsoever. God forbid we should counsel them as to the error of their excessive ways and to get the automakers to make some serious environmentally-friendly changes before getting a penny of our tax dollars.
War veterans came back with only 70-80% of their bodies and we made them live in moldy, filthy rooms at Walter Reed because we outsourced their care to other negligent corporations like the kind who gave our troops in Iraq bacteria-riddled food, contaminated drinking water and electrocuted about two dozen more. Who cares? Putting the clampdown on private industry would be to stifle the free (as in unregulated) market. What are you, a Commie?
Then, a light appeared in the heavens. From that Holy Land of Chicago came a guy who until two years before was a state senator and community organizer, a guy who thought he could get our great nation back on track and 72,000,000 of us agreed with him. Anything was better than McCain and Palin, we all said, and voted for the handsome, articulate, occasionally humorous guy.
And now, a year later, we still have well over 120,000 troops in Iraq in spite of SOFA, Blackwater's still plying its trade in Baghdad in spite of being banned, we'll soon have over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan and will have over 150,000 contractors there alone. Our airliners are still vulnerable, our health care system is about to get exponentially worse, our economy even worse and HMO's, Big Pharma, banks, defense contractors and lobbyists own whatever China doesn't and the price of oil is starting to skyrocket.
A withered dildo like Joe Lieberman gets to hold hostage health reform because he's the magical 60th hijacker, he gets to keep his chairmanships, he gets to caucus with the Democrats and all while pledging to support the next GOP candidate for president in 2012. NAFTA, DOMA and DADT's still in place, the USA PATRIOT Act is still in place, Gitmo's still open for business and, after Christmas, will be for some time to come. We've expanded our adventurism to Yemen and Pakistan. We're hiring more contractors than ever and almost three quarters of the Pentagon has been privatized. InfraGard is still growing, New Orleans isn't close to fully recovering and unemployment is now at double digits and holding steady.
And those of you who think that 2010 will be the start of a better decade, think again. After it hit the iceberg, it still took the Titanic a couple of hours to sink. And I find myself longing for the good ol' days when Y2K and a full bladder were the scariest things I had to face.