If you own one of those Bush Countdown Calendars that have sold so briskly over the last few years, you know that the presidency of George W. Bush will end in 70 days. Anticipating this event, Paul Waldman of Media Matters has penned for The American Prospect a vast compendium of things to which we will soon say “goodbye and good riddance.” Here’s a brief sample:
Goodbye to stocking government agencies with people who are opposed to the very missions those agencies are charged with carrying out. Goodbye to putting industry lobbyists in charge of the agencies that are supposed to regulate those very industries. Goodbye to madly giving away public lands to private interests. Goodbye to a Food and Drug Administration that acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the pharmaceutical industry, except when it acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the fundamentalist puritans who believe that sex is dirty and birth control will turn girls into sluts. Goodbye to the “global gag rule,” which prohibits any entity receiving American funds from even telling women where they can get an abortion if they need it.
There’s a whole lot more, but you get the idea.
But happy as progressives will be to see Bush and his buddies turn in their keys and turn out the lights on their benighted administration, it’s going to be a bit tough adjusting to a post-Bush era, particularly in the blogosphere. W. has represented the still point in a turning world, the Great Galvinizer, the lightning rod, the stimulus to political action, the daily shock to the system, for so very long that many of us will soon struggle for perspective, and even for words. Without a doubt, traffic at progressive political web sites will soon go down, perhaps precipitously, and many bloggers will find themselves trying to decide whether to become policy wonks or cheerleaders or critics of the Obama administration, or simply go dark.
Here at TDS, we are fortunate to have a primary subject matter that is evergreen: the long-term prospects of the Democratic Party, along with the strategic decisions necessary to promote them. But there will be many days when we fire up our computers, stare at the news, and if only for a moment, miss the rich targets served up so regularly by this president and his nightmare of an administration.