On December 20, Representative John Lewis (D-Ga) said it. That being President Bush should be impeached if found guilty of breaking the law with his authorization of spying on Americans. John Lewis knows a thing or two about immoral principles (is that an oxymoron or what?), about government intrusion into private lives and also about government willfully allowing thugs and bullies to run amok and hurt people.

Let’s take a look at the lives of these two individuals in order to get a sense of any moral high ground.
John Lewis in the 1960s

Lewis was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement. In 1961 Lewis became a member of the Freedom Riders. While as chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he was attacked and beaten by racists employing clubs, police dogs and fire hoses—most notably on the Selma to Montgomery march. He also was in on the organization of the 1963 march on Washington where 200,000+ people assembled peacefully at the Lincoln Memorial demanding equal justice for all citizens under the law. This was the event where the late Martin Luther King delivered his electrifying “I Have A Dream” speech.

Lewis also spoke that day–here is his speech:

“We march today for jobs and freedom, but we have nothing to be proud of. For hundreds and thousands of our brothers are not here. They have no money for their transportation, for they are receiving starvation wages or no wages, at all.

In good conscience, we cannot support the administration’s civil rights bill, for it is too little, and too late. There’s not one thing in the bill that will protect our people from police brutality.

This bill will not protect young children and old women from police dogs and fire hoses, for engaging in peaceful demonstrations.

The voting section of this bill will not help thousands of black citizens who want to vote. It will not help the citizens of Mississippi, of Alabama, and Georgia, who are qualified to vote, but lack a 6th Grade education. “One man, one vote,” is the African cry. It is ours, too.

We are now involved in revolution. This nation is still a place of cheap political leaders who build their careers on immoral compromise and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation. What political leader here can stand up and say, “My party is the party of principles”? The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party?

We won’t stop now. All of the forces of Eastland, Barnett, Wallace, and Thurmond won’t stop this revolution. The time will come when we will not confine our marching to Washington. We will march through the South, through the Heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own “scorched earth” policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground – nonviolently. We shall fragment the South into a thousand pieces and put them back together in the image of democracy. We will make the action of the past few months look petty. And I say to you, WAKE UP AMERICA!”

George Bush in the 1960s

Bush attended Yale University and received a B.A. in History in 1968. In May, 1968, with the war in Vietnam raging, Bush became a member of the Texas Air National Guard, joining others from the Texas economic and social upper crust whose families used various forms of influence to leapfrog their sons over others on the Guard waiting list. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in November, 1970.

Comparison: Human rights activist, willing to sacrifice his body and possibly his life in order to make the United States live up to its professed ideals versus prep school, Ivy League graduate who supported the Vietnam War verbally but refused to go fight it and fully embraced his family’s leverage to keep him out of harm’s way.

Lewis in the 70s

Lewis headed the Atlanta-based Voter Education Project from 1970 to 1976. He was director of ACTION from 1977 to 1980    

Bush in the 70s

George Bush departed early from the Texas National Guard in 1974, with many questions remaining about his fulfillment of duty, in order to attend Harvard Business School. He earned an MBA in 1975.

A September 16, 2004, Salon.com, Mary Jacoby-wirtten article contains the following from one of George Bush’s professors at Harvard Business School, Yoshi Tsurumi: “He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. Students jumped on him; I challenged him.” When asked to explain a particular comment, said Tsurumi, Bush would respond, “Oh, I never said that.”

…In 1973, as the oil and energy crisis raged, Tsurumi led a discussion on whether government should assist retirees and other people on fixed incomes with heating costs. Bush, he recalled, “made this ridiculous statement and when I asked him to explain, he said, ‘The government doesn’t have to help poor people — because they are lazy.’ I said, ‘Well, could you explain that assumption?’ Not only could he not explain it, he started backtracking on it, saying, ‘No, I didn’t say that.'”

…Bush once sneered at Tsurumi for showing the film “The Grapes of Wrath,” based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the Depression. “We were in a discussion of the New Deal, and he called Franklin Roosevelt’s policies ‘socialism.’ He denounced labor unions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, Medicare, Social Security, you name it. He denounced the civil rights movement as socialism. To him, socialism and communism were the same thing. And when challenged to explain his prejudice, he could not defend his argument, either ideologically, polemically or academically.”

Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. “In class, he couldn’t challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that’s how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy.”

…Tsurumi’s conclusion: Bush is not as dumb as his detractors allege. “He was just badly brought up, with no discipline, and no compassion,” he said.

In 1978, Bush ran for a Texas seat in the U.S. House of Representatives but lost. In 1979, Bush started a Texas-based oil and gas exploration company called.Arbusto Energy.

Comparison: Community organizer versus inexcusable nitwit, failed political candidate and private businessperson..

Lewis in the 80s

Lewis became the community affairs director for the National Consumer Co-op Bank in Atlanta, holding the post from 1980-86. In 1981, he was elected to a seat on the Atlanta City Council. In 1986, he became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a position he still currently holds.

Bush in the 80s

In 1984, Bush sold the money-losing Arbusto to Spectrum 7 but remained the CEO. Spectrum 7 fared no better than Arbusto and merged into Harken Energy Corporation in 1986. Bush became a director then and earned $600,000 from the sale, was paid as much as $120,000 in annual ‘consulting fees’ and received stock worth $131,250. This even though he spent much of 1987 and 1988 in politics, working on his father’s presidential campaign. Bush later was involved in the purchased of the Texas Rangers baseball team in 1989. Bush also achieved sobriety in the mid-1980s after a very long period of confirmed alcohol abuse.

Comparison: Lewis continued with his efforts to better the lives of everyday people while Bush floundered in private business, keeping afloat through ‘sweetheart’ deals generated by his surname and the contacts of his father.

As for the 90’s up to today, Lewis has remained a member of the House of Representatives. Bush twice won races for the Texas governship and did the same for the U.S. presidency. Those latter four wins cannot be denied but let’s look at where we came in, which is John Lewis currently talking impeachment of George Bush.

George Bush, if he ever truly changed, has reverted back to his younger, former self. Such as saying he is a compassionate conservative but having his actions negate his statements (I won’t go fight it but I support the Vietnam War). As for his classroom antics at Harvard, how many displays of similar behavior have we seen over the past five years? Being in-over-his-head in private business, surviving via the financial kindness of others has so perfectly matched what has finally been exposed as his dubious role in governing this country.

George Bush also knows a thing or two about immoral principles, about government intrusion into private lives and also about government willfully allowing thugs and bullies to run amok and hurt people. The problem is, he’s all for them.

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