From our Better Late Than Never Files, we reprint below Sixth Congressional District representative Lynn Woolsey's Jan. 28 response to President Bush's last State of the Union address. It's great reading regardless of its glacial age (sorry Lynn!), so icy-angry and point-on that we're even ignoring the tacit 'Vote for Hillary' clause at the end. You go, girl.
After seven years of mismanagement, gross incompetence and blinding arrogance, the waning moments of President Bush's term in office can't come fast enough for our nation and the world. To say that this president's term in office has been bad would be an understatement. [Marker]
President Bush has been more than just bad—he has been a miserable and abject failure. Despite this, and perhaps because of this, we now face the great responsibility, and difficulty, of working together to rebuild our nation.
We are tired of the partisan politics and artificial divisions trumpeted as supposed "wedge issues," by the political pundits, and are committed to strengthening our economy, rebuilding our public schools and working together to bring our troops home safely from Iraq.
That's why I'm looking forward to working with the next president to undo the damage that President Bush has done over the past seven years, a list that reads like a catalogue of failures and missed opportunities.
Here at home, this is the man who from day one turned a record surplus into a record deficit; who vowed to overhaul our nation's education system, but then failed to fund it; who turned his back on thousands of Americans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; who ousted a covert CIA officer; who vetoed healthcare for millions of children; who drove partisanship to new levels; and who trampled on the Bill of Rights.
It was under his watch that our nation turned its back on our wounded veterans at Walter Reed; that oil hit $100 a barrel; that our economy suffered; and that millions of Americans [currently] stand at risk of losing their homes.
To the rest of the world, this is the man whose "cowboy diplomacy" included reneging on international treaties; who has defended torture; constructed Guantanamo Bay; and promoted the policy of preemptive unilateral strikes.
Most galling of all, this is the man who sent our sons and daughters to a war of convenience; who accused those of us who stood up in opposition of supporting the enemy, even while he failed to provide our troops with body armor; and who gave a whole new meaning to the term "mission accomplished."
While the road to undoing the damage of the past seven years is long, I have no doubt that the American public is ready to put aside our differences and work together to strengthen our nation.
We need a strong leader in office who can not only unify the country, but has the experience to hit the ground running on day one.
The next president must be just as committed as we are to confronting the problems that face us, and overcome the challenges that this president has left us.