A quick and non inclusive look at the harsh costs that Bush's need for loyalty within his adminstration have produced.
From September 17, 2006: Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq
After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003, the opportunity to participate in the U.S.-led effort to reconstruct Iraq attracted all manner of Americans...before they could go to Baghdad, they had to get past Jim O'Beirne's office in the Pentagon.
To pass muster with O'Beirne...applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.
O'Beirne's staff posed blunt questions to some candidates about domestic politics: Did you vote for George W. Bush in 2000? Do you support the way the president is fighting the war on terror? Two people who sought jobs with the U.S. occupation authority said they were even asked their views on Roe v. Wade .
Applicants to rebuild Iraq did not need to possess knowledge of the Middle East, (This would include the language, customs, and understanding of the deeply seated religions) or post-conflict reconstruction technical ability (working with pollutants, contaminants, depleted uranium?).
They did not need to know anything about the area they were going to work in, and they did not need to possess knowledge or technical expertise on the work they were going to perform. They needed to be lock step with Bush policies including Bush's views on abortion. (Is something radically wrong when someone's views on abortion are regarded as a qualification in rebuilding a country.)
What are the possibilities that anything of any value or quality would actually be accomplished given this missing set of requirements?
From March 13, 2007: ‘Loyalty’ to Bush and Gonzales Was Factor in Prosecutors’ Firings, E-Mail Shows
In rating the prosecutors, Mr. Sampson factored in whether they “exhibited loyalty to the president and attorney general,” according to documents released by the Justice Department.
Here is a radical idea on how the system of politics could be. The idea has to do with incorporating and valuing people with differing approaches.
What would it be like if our political chambers were based on the principles of empathizing? It is dangerous because it would mean a revolution in how we choose our politicians, how our political chambers govern, and how our politicians think and behave. We have never given such an alternative political process a chance. Might it be better and safer than what we currently have? Since empathy is about keeping in mind the thoughts and feelings of other people (not just your own), and being sensitive to another person's thoughts and feelings (not just riding rough-shod over them), it is clearly incompatible with notions of "doing battle with the opposition" and "defeating the opposition" in order to win and hold on to power. source
This is something to explore and develop. Bush comes in and works to eliminate anyone who does not agree with him. Along the way, he places people into elite positions of power not because they have competence but because they are loyal. Think Katrina and the response. This is the opposite of empathy, this is conquering.
Bush would prefer someone who is loyal verses someone who is capable, knowledgeable, or inspiring.
Look at the failures in Iraq, look at the failures with Katrina, look at the Bush failures in world diplomacy, look at the complete stagnation in the overall atmosphere in the United States over the past 7 soon to be 8 years, all these things point to a lack of exciting, capable, innovative, and simply personable or inspiring people bringing forth quality solutions and energy.
We are stagnant with Bush. He has single handedly reduced the excitement in the essential structures of the country.
This is the real tragedy of the Bush administration.
We need significantly better politicians. We need to get back to being inspired by our leaders. We need to jump over the Bush administration, even now, we need to do it mentally. We need to get way past this tragic and brutal period in America and find all that is positive and rich with possibility.