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The Festivus Airing of Grievances

by RonChusid

Today is Festivus, the nondenominational holiday made famous on Seinfeld. The Festivus celebration includes The Airing of Grievances in which each participate at the Festivus Dinner tells each other all the instances where they disappointed him or her that year. In the spirit of George Lakoff’s “strict father” model for Republican leadership style, for Festivus this year I rant to one and all about all the ways in which George Bush has disappointed me:

George, you twice took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution and you claim to support judges who look to the intentions of its framers. Yet you take executive powers, and the powers of the commander in chief, far beyond what the framers ever intended. Emergency powers are intended to allow for immediate response to a crisis, not to allow for an indefinite expansion of your powers without legislative approval or judicial review.

You failed in the most important duties of your office, protecting the country when under attack. You ignored the warnings about al Qaeda from your predecessor upon taking office. You ignored warnings in your own intelligence briefings that terrorists planned an attack involving hijacked airplanes, and then on the day of the actual attack you sat down to read a book, possibly for the first time in your life. I hope you enjoyed The Pet Goat. Now if you would only read a few books explaining the background to the problems you have been mishandling.

After failing to take action to protect us from an imminent attack, you totally screw up in retaliating against the wrong country. Your failure to settle matters in Afghanistan before attacking Iraq allowed Bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora when he could have been captured.

Who has your foreign policy helped? You sure helped al Qaeda grow, as Saudi and Israeli studies showed that it was opposition to the war which radicalized those fighting American troops. The other big winner has been Iran as you have spread our military too thin to respond to problems beyond Iraq.

You even considered bombing al-Jazeera. Listen, if you really wanted to get rid of a bunch of religious fanatics and political extremists who were using biased news reports to prop up a corrupt government and reduce freedom you should have gone after Fox News. If Pravda had been as effective in deceiving the public as Fox News and the rest of the right wing noise machine is, the Soviet Union would probably still exist.

Then there’s this Medicare plan of yours. The plan is so messed up that only one million have voluntarily enrolled so far. The rest are people who were automatically signed up because they were already in Medicaid programs. Those in Medicaid programs had their prescriptions paid for at negotiated discount prices, but your plan prevents such discounts in the Medicare programs providing a financial windfall to the pharmaceutical industry at the expense of the taxpayers. What a great deal for the pharmaceutical companies who donated fortunes to you–plus you gave them a great excuse to eliminate their patient assistance programs. Of course don’t forget the insurance industry, which also makes out great thanks to the subsidies you are providing for Medicare managed care plans–plans which have historically been so inefficient that insurance companies will only get involved if they receive such subsidies, again at taxpayer’s expense.

You sure are great for your friends in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Then there’s the oil companies. How much did they stand to gain if you got away with the ANWR drilling? I’m sure they would have gotten a better deal than the consumers who would have save a whole one cent per gallon at the pump.

Besides undermining our national security and harming the environment, you have run up record deficits to undermine our financial futures while giving huge tax cuts which primarily benefit the rich. You have undermined important parts of the Constitution as you have engaged in illegal surveillance of American citizens, worked to destroy the checks and balances which have so far saved us tyranny, and you have harmed the separation of church and state which is so important to guarantee that everyone can practice (or not practice) religion in the manner they desire.

Your disdain for the democratic process was especially seen in your campaign last year. You both avoided contact with all but firm supporters, and avoided discussing any real issues. You were too afraid of a real discussion of the issues, knowing in such a situation you would be rejected, so instead you based your campaign upon distorting the positions and record of your opponent. I don’t think you ever commented on a single position actually held by John Kerry.

You were even so far off the wall as to suggest that intelligent design be taught in schools as an alternative to evolution. At least you aren’t flip flopping this time (which is something you and not John Kerry has been guilty of). Supporting such superstition over science is consistent with your overall disregard for science. Calling intelligent design a valid alternative to evolution to explain the development of life is as nonsensical as promoting the belief that earth quakes occur because the gods are angry as a valid alternative to geology.

Traditionally, at the Festivus dinner we have the The Feats of Strength. This year I propose that we show our strength by working to remove from Congress those who have collaborated with you and replace them with new members who are willing to vote for your censure or impeachment and restore Constitutional rule as intended by the Founding Fathers. You already have the distinction of being the first President to admit to an impeachable offense in your illegal surveillance, and your lying us into war was an even worse crime. Both are certainly more deserving of impeachment than a private sexual affair and creative uses of cigars.

Next year, when we have a Congress willing to take action against you and to reestablish the form of government envisioned by the Founding Fathers, we can call it a Festivus Miracle.

Now, in the spirit of Festivus, I invite you all gather around an aluminum pole to air your grievances or perform a feat of strength.

26 Responses to “The Festivus Airing of Grievances”

  1. You are speaking of:”Festivus for the rest of us” are you not?

  2. *KJ stands tall with a grand air*

    George, I dunna like you. Or your mutha or your futhur. Or your poetry-fearing spouse.

    And, with the aluminum pole as my witness, I pledge to work verra verra to return you to your home in Crawford where you fit so well, and out of our White House, where you don’t fit at all.

    *sits down and passes the pole*

  3. *grabs pole rudely*
    I mean, work verra verra HARD
    *re-passes pole*

  4. Hello all! Sorry I was gone so long, I’ve missed you! But I have great news: everything is officially set, I will move to Massachusetts in August 2006!

    Nice list of grievances. Funny, having a list of grievances against a tyrannical leader named George…

  5. Native Texan,

    Yes, I did see the similarity.

    In the past I’ve considered a Declaration of Indpendence type list to go along with the historical analogy, but once Festivus came it seemed the appropriate celebration.

  6. I’m sure everyone is hard at work reading all the linked material. 🙂

    Ok, maybe not, but nevertheless I’ve fixed a couple of links in the initial draft in case anyone actually tried to get to further info on some of these points and failed.

    By the way, a copy of this post has rapidly been moving up the Greatest List at Democratic Underground.

    It’s also cross posted at Dembloggers and The Unofficial Kerry Blog

  7. Saw my old friend, the avatar.

    Read a complaint not meatier. I guess he meant swear words.

    Really loved it, and will link it, of course.

  8. On the money with all of these Ron. My biggest grievance is that we can’t snap our fingers and have him disappear.

  9. I feel compelled to point out an item of singular and glaring factual error in your post. One that will likely change the tenor of it in its entirety and more correctly explain the position of our president.

    You are one of many on the Left who have engaged in this obvious false and misleading characterization, and I feel I cannot be too strenuous in my condemnation of it.

    The fact is that the title of the book under discussion is *The* Pet Goat. It is not *My* Pet Goat. Please make careful note of it, and correct this glaringly obvious falsehood that is clearly an odious, but ultimately futile, attempt at a Left Wing Conspiricy to deny our president his Rightful Place in History.

    Other than that, I pretty much agree with everything you said. Thank you.

  10. Is this irony, or what to make of a change of “my” to “the” as a glaring error in a supposed defense of Bush, but you believe everything else pretty awful said about him?

    Apologies if too tired to get the humor. I don’t always.

  11. I stand corrected, and will make the necessary corrections in the post.

  12. Is it really The Pet Goat? Why does everyone say “My”?

  13. It goes far beyond irony. It’s pure . Sorry if it confused anyone. And last time I checked, it really was “The Pet Goat.” Of course that’s the beauty of the . My post had a single sliver of truth surrounded by seas of complete hokum. It’s what the administration has been using to us all with for 5 years.

  14. That post was a mess. Sorry.

  15. John, really, you are absolutely clear and perfectly correct in your explanation of their propaganda and story-telling.

    Almost doesn’t matter what they say, if they scare us into not thinking, or if media says it’s good anyway. .

  16. John West

    Huh? They been twisting everything for the past 5 years? Yep!

  17. Marjorie G

    It does not really matter who’s goat – he (W)certainly got all of ours!

  18. Ron: “I stand corrected, and will make the necessary corrections in the post.”

    John: Darn. That ruins my snark, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

  19. Darn,

    Is it too late to air a grievance? It’s still the 23rd in Hawaii.

    W, I am generally and particularly grieved that you are not yet ‘dead as a dodo bird”. However, (since they just found all the dodo bird skeletons) now you will know what you will look like when you are…

    I am specifically grieved at all the effort and hard work you are causing for the rest of us. We had other plans for our lives. Now we are going to be cleaning up after you for generations.

    Which means for many, many years, Festivus is likely to be dominated by Dodo bird grievances.

    Maybe we will tar and feather the aluminum poles.

  20. As a health care worker, my holidays are often “rescheduled” because I have to work the actual holiday. So this year I am jumping from Festivus to Christmas, and 12/25 becomes 12/26, if you follow.

    Before I go on to celebrate the birth (whenever it really happened) of the Prince of Peace, I have one more grievance.

    W, for someone who claims to have been saved and to know your Savior, it grieves me the most that you clearly do not understand this:

    “Let there be Peace on Earth and Let it Begin with ME”

    Merry Christmas All

  21. I don’t care what the date is, I have a greivance. I’ve spent too damn many years of my life hating George Bushes. 12 for the first one, and, so far, 5 for the second one. I want someone new to hate. Someone with a different last name.

  22. One of the wonders of Festivus is that it can be celebrated on any day, and its rules are flexible.

    Some celebrate Festivus earlier in December, so there is no reason why its celebration cannot continue later in the month.

  23. *stands and applauds*

    This was my first ever Festivus. However, sadly, I come away from the celebration with a grievance. A grievance that, if left ignored, could reap dire consequences upon the populace.

    😐 *ahem*

    Why? WHY I ASK YOU? is Festivas limited to the month of December? Festivas should be continued indefinitely! INDEFINITELY!

    Does no one understand that this is a time of war? A time of WAR and as such, all normal rules and traditions and articles of the Constitution that apply to Festivas no longer apply?

    Does no one see that those spineless anti-Festivas “citizens” who condone the limitation of Festivas to the month of December are aiding our enemies?!

    I ahbor! this War on Festivas!

    I demand! that the Festival of Festivas be extended to the term not to exceed the time the misAdministration finds themselves in Washington, DC!

    (sheesh. spineless anti-Festivas fops should be sent to Gitmo, then they’d learn what a gift Festivas is to the rest of us.)

  24. KJ,

    Some say Festivus may take place anytime between December and May.

    Others say that Festivus occurs on the day between yesterday and tomorrow.

    Therefore you may express your grievances at anytime.

  25. Ron, thank you. As a Festivas novice, I was concerned there might be rules around the festival. (I confess, I didn’t read the link about Festivas close enough to glean the significance of the “day between yesterday and tommorrow” reference)

    I am much relieved. I would be distressed if you, or anyone here, were in any way limited in their ability to proclaim, in unfettered language, their grievances against the man I call, well… what I call him shouldn’t be aired, even during Festivas, on a public blog.

  26. Happy Festivus!
    What is Festiuvs? Its for the rest of us.