Esquire: “Bushism must be ripped out, root and branch”

Esquire‘s endorsement of Obama is probably the most devastating piece of writing I’ve seen on the election. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but here are some of the best bits.

More than any other recent election, we are voting this year not merely for a president but to overthrow two governments. The one we can see is the one in which constitutional order has been defaced, the national spirit degraded, and the country unrecognizable because so much of the best of itself has been sold off or frittered away. The other one is the far more insidious one, a doppelgänger nation of black prisons, shredded memos, and secret justifications for even more secret crimes. Moreover, the current administration has worked hard not only to immunize itself from the political and legal consequences of the government we can see, but it has also worked within the one we cannot see in order to perpetuate itself. . .

There is no evidence at all that anything will change under a President John McCain, who has already identified Roberts and Alito as his beau ideals of Supreme Court justices. He has made brave noises about torture and the extraconstitutional prerogatives of the executive, but President Bush and his men went on and did what they wanted anyway, and McCain walked away, begging for votes from fundamentalists who hate him, meeping his displeasure in ways that were barely audible. The virus will gestate and spread on his watch, all throughout the federal government. Bushism must be ripped out, root and branch, everywhere it has been established, or else the presidential election of 2008 is a worthless exercise in futility. Barack Obama may not be the man to do it, but John McCain, for all his laudable qualities, clearly is neither willing nor able to do so.

To continue to govern ourselves this way is unthinkable. It is unsustainable as a democracy to continue to mock so egregiously in secret what we continue to profess in public. That is the task for the next president. That is the main reason to vote for Barack Obama of Illinois. We strongly encourage you to do so.

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6 Responses to “Esquire: “Bushism must be ripped out, root and branch””

  1. Brian Says:

    If only they were right that a new administration would reverse the flow of the last 8 years. More likely it slows it. But why would anyone give back what’s been taken from us? A couple of symbolic gestures, sure. But the entire package? Hell no! That’s in the reserve tank dog. You never know when the Whites might get uppity and need a little timeout in a camp somewhere far away.

    Let’s not oversell the promise of Obama. He gets my vote, but he’s no savior.

  2. David Williams Says:

    They’re fairly explicit that Obama isn’t a magic bullet: “Obama may not be the man to do it. . . ” I think the point is that he’s far more likely to pursue rollback than McCain, who will just tighten the screws/make it worse.

    I also suspect that Bush II is likely to go apeshit with pardons, appointments, and executive orders in his final two months, and this may increase the pressure on Obama to take action , particularly if the Republicans have 40 or less in the Senate.

  3. michelle Says:

    here’s something though….why do we care who esquire is endorsing? sure the article said some interesting things but….

    who do you know that base their decisions on what a magazine or paper or superstar says?

    the fan base, that’s who!

    yankee doodle dandies thrive on what the stars are doing and who is doing a better job of it…..these endorsements mean a lot to the average hobo in america. that is why mc cain drew such a large crowd when schwarzenegger endorsed him….

    do the dandies really give a shit about what’s going on in this country?

    wait, i can answer that myself……

  4. narciso Says:

    Sounds like the clarion call of the narodniki; ( Russian anarchists), a little panicked an endorsement. Frankly some could read it as an incitement to violence. Not to worry, if the downturn is really as bad as they project it to be; we won’t be
    concerned with Esquire, G.Q. or Vanity Fair; The New York Times and McClatchy; already a junk status. their ad revenues are already circling the drain. Their track record hasn’t been so great; Tim Mahoney, Admiral Fallon, talked him self right out of the CENTCOM job. I thought the takeover was inevitable, or do you not believe Erica Jong’s drug induced hallucinations. AQ was reduced to promoting the “B” team. or Mssr. Libi, to do a Halloween scare. Putin’s pipeline play, for the Caucasus fell afoul of the global downturn. Even Ahmadinejad is under the weather nowadays.

  5. Deborah Says:

    If 9-11 hadn’t happened, this would just have been another pedestrian Republican administration, which would have made some further inroads into transferring the wealth to the oldest and the richest, and packing the Supreme Court with conservatives, but would probably otherwise not have had the scary impact it has had. Bush and Cheney were empowered by our fear. In the last few years, the American people have had the chance to step back and take a breath and see what they lost to that fear. We’re afraid now in a different way, it’s true, of losing our security; but we’ve had the recent lesson of trusting the fearmongerers. Historically, this is what we do. We swing to the right, we become our worst selves, greedy, xenophobic, imperialistic, avid consumers of yellow journalism – and then we see what we’ve done and swing the other way. Obama keeps talking about this history, and I think he makes a lot of sense. He seems to be a real student of American history, and to have a grip on how to deal with it. This is going to be very, very, interesting.

  6. David Williams Says:

    agreed. . . the really interesting thing about the SC packing, too, is not just the social conservative part, but the fact that the justices are always believers in near absolute presidential powers (particularly Alito and Roberts).