Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Train Wreck Waiting to Happen

A friend sent me this today, and I liked the analogy so much I thought I would share it here. James Carroll of the Boston Globe likens the situation in Iraq to the train wreck in California last week. Deranged man starts chain of events that results in the death of many, injury of more, while he stays clear of the fallout. But the bit I like the most is in the final paragraph, where the author equates W with the conductor of a push train, one where the locomotive is in the back pushing the rest of the train along.

"Something else about that California train wreck strikes me. As news reports suggested, so many passengers were killed and injured because the locomotive was pushing the train from behind, which put the lightweight passenger coaches vulnerable in front. If, instead, the heavy, track-clearing locomotive had been leading and had hit the Jeep, it could have pushed the vehicle aside. The jack-knifing and derailment would not have occurred. The American war machine is like a train running in "push-mode," with the engineer safely back away from danger. In the train wreck of Iraq, it is passengers who have borne the brunt. The man with his hand on the throttle couldn't be more securely removed from the terrible consequences of his locomotion. "

Bush's entire presidency is like that push train. Put anything unable to defend itself out front, while the administration hides in the rear, congratulating themselves on what a good job they are doing, all the while planning to jump out of the way before the inevitable happens. Case in point, the tax cuts. Bush loved the tax cuts, claimed they would help push the economy out of recession. The wealthy were behind Bush, literally, while the middle class stood out ahead like those lightweight passenger trains, moving further into debt, both personal and national. Want another fine example, how about "No Child Left Behind"? Another train wreak where the most vulnerable Americans were hung out by the Bush administration as a shining example of compassionate conservatism, only to be left to jump the rails by underfunding and poor administration.

But like the war in Iraq, the most telling ineptitudes of the Bush administration will be felt in the future. What legacy is this runaway train of a president leaving to our children? Disastrous national debt and resultant weak dollar which will make the US more vulnerable to the increasing costs of a global economy. Social Security stripped of its ability to act as a safety net for the elderly & disabled, with an ever increasing underclass of retirees who bought tickets for the Bush Express (to the poor house). A court system full of right-wing Christian conservatives who were nominated for LIFE in their thirties and forties and could therefore be making decisions about abortion, stemcell research and the death penalty based on their religious beliefs, for the next fifty years.

When Bush said in his MisStateMent of the UnionExpressRailroadtoHell speech, "Securing the future is our duty," I wanted to cover my ears, hid my eyes and hurl, cuz I can see the train wreck a coming. Instead, I'm going to keep my eyes open, ear to the ground and see if I can't figure out a way to switch the tracks. Hopelessly Polyanna I know, but I'd like it if the deranged guy in California and the one in Washington were both held accountable for their actions.