The Bush presidency can be viewed as America's eight year detour into a dark world, more reminiscent of the old movie Road Warrior than the American dream: a world of dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest domestic policy and "have gun will travel" foreign policy.
The signposts along that detour have been a series of iconic moments that will etch the Bush legacy indelibly into our memory. Who can forget Bush strutting across the carrier deck to deliver his "mission accomplished" speech five years ago; Bush's unforgettable "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" to the FEMA Director that presided over the Katrina catastrophe; or the pictures of tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib?
We all remember Bush's "negotiation" over oil prices with King Saud of Saudi Arabia. That's the one where Bush and Saud held hands.
Then there was Bush's reassurance that the health care system was fine. "Every one in America has access to health care," he said, "Just go to an emergency room."
Recently there have been Bush's repeated assurances that "the economy is good and strong."
To me, one of the most amazing iconic images of the Bush presidency was the video clip made famous by the film "Fahrenheit 9/11" of the president exhorting all nations "to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers" and then telling the reporters with him to "watch this drive".
Well yesterday, the president created another iconic memory of the Bush legacy: he revealed he gave up golf for the duration of the War in Iraq.
"I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them," he said. "And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal."
According to Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, Bush's War in Iraq will cost American tax payers $3 trillion. It has cost the lives of over 4,000 men and women and seriously injured almost 30,000 more. It has costs hundreds of thousands of mothers and fathers the opportunity to see their kids grow up.
The Commander-in-Chief's sacrifice: golf.
Americans United for Change has launched a new project to help Americans recall these iconic Bush moments. Today, they're announcing the Bush Legacy Tour, slated to criss-cross the country in June. The Bush Legacy Bus is a museum on wheels, educating Americans about the long-term impact of President Bush's conservative, Republican policies -- and the devastating impact those policies have had on our country.
The Bus will make stops from coast to coast from June through the November elections. Its aim is:
• To remind American voters why they have lost faith in President Bush and his agenda
• To tie Bush and his agenda directly to the conservative brand and its followers; and
• To help shift the center of the political debate away from the conservative frame by contrasting his policies with progressive policies and values.
The Bus will be the focus of press events at the offices of conservative lawmakers who were "Bush enablers" the past eight years, and provide a focal point for events at the two national party conventions.
The key to progressive victory this election year is to remind voters that McCain would provide them a third Bush term. That requires keeping the Bush legacy right in the center in the frame of political dialogue.
Many Americans can't wait for the day with George Bush no longer dominates their television screens. But we must all do everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen until his legacy is put to rest once an for all.
Robert Creamer is a long time political organizer and strategist and author of the recent book: Stand Up Straight. How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com. He also is a consultant for Americans United for Change and the Bush Legacy Tour.