Exit Strategy: How to Fix a Post-Bush Nation

It’s time to start putting the US back together. Herewith, our wide-ranging guide to the country’s most urgent, yet fixable, problems.

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Exit Strategy

The Bush legacy—where to begin? How about eight years ago,
when we started chronicling the foibles and fiascoes of what many of
our colleagues and even some conservative commentators would eventually
recognize as the Worst. Administration. Ever. For us muckrakers, the
Bush era has been a paradoxical paradise: The more dire things got, the
more material we had. We’ve devoted hundreds of pages to the Iraq War,
the war on terror, and the war on the environment. So aside from a
hearty “Don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out,” what’s left
to say?

Actually, a lot. There are the scandals we’ve only begun to piece together—from the gutting of basic consumer protections (The Chinavore’s Dilemma) to the destruction of the very records we’ll need to assess the wreckage (What Was gwb@whitehouse.gov Really Up To?).
Bush and Cheney may ride off into the sunset, but we’ll be sifting
through their debris for years. Iraq will haunt us for a generation or
more, and the implosion of the economy could reverberate just as long.
And even a President Obama might think twice about relinquishing the
kingly powers amassed by this White House. But there are fairly quick
and painless ways to reverse at least some of the damage—like giving
the boot to the ideologues, restoring due process, and bringing science
(and common sense) back to public policy. In this package, we’ve
highlighted some of the most urgent, and most fixable, problems the
next president can tackle. The true measure of the Bush legacy may be
how much of it we’re capable of undoing.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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