Back in November of 2004, I was riding high. Bush’s first term as President of the United States was winding down and John Kerry seemed to be poised to dethrone King George. Finally, I thought, the American people had had enough of the war in Iraq, fear mongering and the loss of civil liberties that had begun slipping away following 9/11. How wrong I was. Bush went onto beat Kerry and plunged us into four more years of an ill-conceived war, poorly run government disaster responses and turning a blind eye to the problems we faced then and now.
I was so upset after the loss that the very next day I worked up Bush Bingo. I drew up the board based on all of the outrageous things I could think of that might be in store for us over the next four years, printed it out and hung it on my wall. I’ve been keeping score ever since and now I present it to you. If you’d like to play along at home, just download the PDF version and keep score as I have here. I pray that no more spaces get filled, but with so much time left in his second term, he just might pull it off. The saddest part is that even if we win, we really lose. Tune in here from time to time to see how much closer we get to calling out “Bush-O!”. The best chance for a “win” is obviously O 1-5, but given Bush’s track record, anything is possible.
B-3: Oil Reaches $60 a barrel (6/23/05) – This rather quaint milestone didn’t take long to tick off. When I drew up the board and added this space and S-1 I never in my wildest dreams would have thought oil would pass $100 a barrel as it did on February 20th, 2008. America’s dependency on foreign oil has only grown in the 8 years Bush has been President.
B-4: 2nd Conservative Supreme Court Judge Appointed (1/24/06) – After Bush’s failed attempt to nominate his friend and crony, Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court, he instead picked Samuel Alito. Alito was considered so right wing that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) formally opposed his nomination. The ACLU has only taken this step two other times in its entire history, the last time being the nomination of Robert Bork who was rejected by a 58-42 Senate vote.
U-2: 1st Conservative Supreme Court Judge Appointed (9/29/05) – Bush nominates John G. Roberts, Jr., a former Supreme Court litigator and conservative judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
S-1: Oil Reaches $75 a barrel (5/27/07) – This is the highest price for oil in Bush Bingo. When I created the board, I honestly thought it would never get this high in his second term. Another false assumption on my part.
S-4: # of U.S. Forces killed in Iraq passes 2,000 (10/26/05) – This sad milestone was just the first of many for Iraq. At this point in the conflict, there were also some 15,000 U.S. soldiers wounded.
H-3: Patriot Act Renewed Intact (3/6/06) – This highly controversial piece of legislation was passed hurriedly in the days after 9/11 and proved to be the start of erosion of civil liberties in the United States. Many of the provisions of the Patriot Act were considered by many to be unconstitutional, and Democrats and even some Republicans fought hard to repeal certain parts of the code. Finally, after two extensions Bush signed the Patriot Act back into law for at least another 10 years. Although some small changes were made, including the ability to challenge gag orders in court, the bulk of the Patriot Act remained unchanged.
O-1: # of U.S. Forces killed in Iraq passes 3,000 (12/31/06) – I never would have believed that the United States would still be fighting and dying in Iraq in 2008 when I drew up Bush Bingo. If I had, I might have included a space for 4,000 killed or even 5,000. This number was so beyond what I thought was possible, that I didn’t think to include it. As of 2/21/08 the total number of U.S. forces killed in Iraq is 3,969.
O-2: U.S. Economy enters new recession (2/08) – Depending on who you talk to, you might get conflicting answers about this one, but most economists generally agree that the U.S. economy entered a “downturn” in February of 2008. From CNN: “Economist Bob Brusca of FAO Economics said he doubted that the U.S. was in recession a week ago, but now he believes there’s about a 75% chance that a recession began in January.”
O-4: Tony Blair ousted from office (6/27/07) – When I drew up the board for Bush Bingo, this was one of those spaces that totally came off the cuff. I jotted it down although I didn’t seriously believe it would happen. I might have some Nostradamus blood in my veins however. Pressure from factions within his own government over his support and handling of Iraq as well as growing anger from the general populace forced Blair from office in June of 2007.
O-5: # of U.S. Forces wounded in Iraq passes 10,000 (1/5/05) – This stunning figure pales in comparison to how many of our brave men and women have been wounded to date. As of 2/21/08 the total number of soldiers wounded is 29,080. I wonder how many more there will be before George W. Bush leaves office.