The George W. Bush Legacy Project
On Election Day this November, voters in San Francisco will vote on a local initiative to rename one of the city's largest waste treatment plants in honor of George W. Bush. If the initiative passes --- and since the number of Republicans in the city is statistically zero, it very well might --- the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant will be forever known as the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. It is as fitting a monument to the eight years of the Bush presidency as we can think of, with the possible exception of naming a garbage dump after him.
The San Francisco effort is the work-product of local activists who came up with the idea in the most grassroots of all settings: over beers. Subsequently, the group set up the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco, which handled promotion for the petition drive. On Thursday, the city's Department of Elections certified that the 7,168 signatures the commission submitted were valid and approved the initiative for the November ballot.
Although the organizers in San Francisco are clear that their effort is satire, this is a cause that grassroots organizers in other cities should consider seriously. This nationwide effort could be similar to, but hopefully more successful than, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which was the brainchild of the anti-government lobbyist Grover Norquist, who is best known for his close associations with corrupt Bush cronies like (now-imprisoned) Jack Abramoff and (perhaps incarcerated one day) Karl Rove.
Norquist and company established the Reagan project in 1997 with the goal of naming a monument after Reagan in all 50 states. (They even briefly suggested adding his visage to Mount Rushmore.) The project's failure can be attributed first to the fact that most people recognize that Reagan was, at best, a flawed president who will not be treated kindly by history after sympathetic memories of his lingering illness fade --- and, more importantly, to the sulking, accusatory tone of Norquist and his whining cohorts who are irrevocably invested in their imagined victimization by the corporate media and liberals.
In the battle that will surely come over Bush's legacy over the next decade, a national George W. Bush Legacy Project to rename sewage plants all over America after the 43rd president could provide a perfect foil to the well-funded efforts by Bush dead-enders like Rove to rewrite American history, circa 2000 to 2008, into a series of fictionalized triumphs for their Dear Leader.
For example, here in Los Angeles, the massive Hyperion Treatment Plant, which services the 12 million residents of the United States' largest county, and occupies a (once) beautiful stretch of beach near Los Angeles International Airport, would be an ideal candidate to rename in Bush's honor.
The San Francisco project appears to have hit a nerve in the White House, as evidenced by the way Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino got a little tongue-tied when asked about it:
Q The New York Times reported this morning from San Francisco that the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is planning to ask voters to change the name of the prize-winning water treatment on the shoreline to, "The George W. Bush Sewage Plant." And my question: What is the White House reaction to this New York Times news report?
MS. PERINO: I just don't think it dignifies a response.
Well said, Dana.