Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bush's Bull Goes for a Big Old Busride!!

By Claudia Ricci

We know all too well the ugly mess we're in: the war from hell. Gas prices gone bananas. Millions in danger of losing their homes. Millions more without the health care they need and deserve.

Oh, and the national debt? It's at something like $9,007 trillion. Can you even imagine the number?

We read about the disastrous Bush legacy daily. We see it on TV and listen to it on the radio. Worse, we live it every time we go to the gas pump, or hear of another mother or father losing a beloved son or daughter in Iraq, or another young soldier coming home without limbs or with the worst PTSD imaginable.

Yes, we all know. But now, two terms' worth of Bush bullshit is riding around on a bus, rolling across the U.S. for all to see. A coalition of progressives called Americans United for Change -- the same group that lead the successful fight to defeat Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security three years ago -- has hit the road on a magnificently outfitted, high-media styled, big blue bus.

Inside the bus (no windows) are some rather remarkably sophisticated museum-type exhibits (interactive, sound, video, buttons to push!) that lay out in painful but awfully pretty detail Bush's failed policies as President.

Oh, sure, we all know too well the mess we're in. But honestly, when you're standing in this bus, and you're seeing it spread out all around you -- the ugly desert war (complete with a pair of sand-crusty boots!), the disastrous response to Katrina, the economy in shreds, the gas prices headed for Mars (and displayed on an old-fashioned gas pump!) --

Well, I'll tell you, it's one helluva bus. The Bush Legacy Bus tour launched a week ago in Dayton, Ohio, and wound its way through cities in Pennsylvania and New York before landing on the steps of Albany's state Capitol. It was headed up to Bangor, Maine for the Fourth of July Weekend.

Visitors drawn inside have plenty of praise for the bus, and plenty to say, bashing Bush.

"I think it's great to show us what a scumbag he is," says a woman named Diane who was studying a set of photos of Bush administration officials. "They're all scumbags. We already knew of course, but just look at them. Look at the mess we're in now."

Diane's companion on the bus tour, Suanne, picks up where Diane leaves off: "Yeah, and we're not going to get out of this mess, either."

Julie Blust, press person riding the bus, says the media response has been "amazing."

"Everywhere we go, we get four or five outlets covering us," she says. "And the coverage has been really positive."

Blust will be traveling with the bus for the next few months, as it snakes its way across the U.S. blasting the Bush record. It's a bit like on one of those rock star tours, minus the rock star.

Blust laughs as she is asked where the whirlwind tour will take the bus next.

"I'm losing track," she says. "I'm lucky if I know what day it is."

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