Thursday, April 25, 2013


I've seen a lot of right-wing high-fiving in response to a recent poll that says George W. Bush is gaining in popularity. But as his presidential library opens, I have to say I'm not sure why right-wingers want to associate with him.

* In the wake of 9/11, Bush urged Americans not to demonize Muslims. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, many right-wingers have been vigorously demonizing Muslims.

* Bush said (both during and after his presidency) that he'd like the U.S. prison he established at Guantanamo to be closed. Right-wingers have steadfastly refused to allow that to happen, even now when the prison is falling apart and the majority of inmates are on hunger strike.

* In 2008, Bush rejected an Israeli request for bunker-busting bombs to attack Iran. Right-wingers (and some non-right-wingers) continue to urge military action against Iran.

* Bush pushed for immigration reform as president, and hopes reform can pass now. Many (most?) right-wingers are unswervingly opposed to immigration reform.

* Bush pushed through a stimulus package in 2008 after his policies helped cause a financial collapse. Many right-wingers advocate a balanced budget amendment that would effectively make it impossible to do stimulus spending in a recession.

If Bush were in office now, and could (God help us) run for yet another term, he'd definitely be primaried from the right.


Shorter said...

He's a Republican and they just like to be seen as "winning". His 27-ish % approval ratings were making them look like losers.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Because it's good for the GOP vote.

Victor said...

Pretty much everything you've mentioned in your post about foreign affairs, was done AFTER Rummy left, and Rice took over influence from Cheney.

Somewhere along the path, maybe even an inexperienced and dim bulb like W, realized he was being misled.

He seemed to swallow the whole War on Terror crap fast enough - probably because he wanted to conquer Iraq, and to show his Daddy whose dick was bigger and harder.

And, I think Cheney and Rummy where there to spoon-feed him the PNAC BS.

I think eventually, with Rummy gone, and Rice working on him (because, despite what happened before 9/11, she's no dummy, and never was one - she, like Powell, were Bush Crime Family team players), he started to see what was the cause of his Presidency going rapidly downhill after that "Mission Accomplished," when it wasn't even close, moment.

The actual wars, themselves, actually happened according to Rummy's gameplan, and one - and one might even have been able to say that W was a successful "War President."
It was the hubristic and incompetent way the occupations were handled, that was making him a national and international laughing stock, as well as a War Criminal.

Once Rummy was gone, and he later shed himself of Dick's influence, we see what he might have been like, had Powell been his original VP, and Rice SoS from day 1. Or, someone else competent as VP, and those two keeping the roles they actually received.

After a while, I think even W was smart enough to see that he had been misled, and suckered, by those who were supposed to be, not only his mentors, but were those closest to him - besides Condi.

I'm not completely convinced, but I think a case could be made, based on his more rational actions and reactions after Cheney was in the background, and Rice in the forefront, that he might have been, if certainly not a great President, or even good one, at least one who was fairly competent, and wasn't one of the worst, most incompetent, most disasterous, Presidents in America's history.

Having written that, I kind of start to feel kind of sorry for the guy.

But, after all, HE was in charge - at least, nominally.
Heavy weighs the head that wears the crown* - even if it's a fairly empty one.

None of this, of course, excuses Katrina, or the financial meltdown.
But who knows how he might have handled Katrina, if Afghanistan and Iraq were, if never invaded, at least competently occupied with enough troops and resources to help the poplutions?
Would he have done a better job? Could he have, given the FEMA leadership?
Would it have helped if the nation's National Guard was stateside, instead of overseas?

I don't know.
So I'll leave counter-factual history to those who are better at it.

Because he was the President at critical times, and made them disasterous, the country is far worse off than when the SCOTUS put him in office.

And far more divided. And he had a LOT to do with that.

When the whole country, and most of the world, stood with him after 9/11, he took the wrong path.

Instead of rallying Americans, and allies, and making a case for a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, he and his team set their sights on Iraq.

And then he, his party, and their supporters, started blaming, pointing fingers at, and name-calling, any and every one who didn't agree with them.

And as a consequence, America will be paying for W's Presidency for a long, long time.
And, that's if, if, with the unnecessary wars and occupations, evil torture and renditioning, the injust stain that is Gitmo, and the world financial meltdown, we can ever pay back that debt in full.

*Not the actual quote from the play.

KT said...

For the exact same reason that they idolize Ronald Reagan.

Ten Bears said...

Indeed Vic, as I've held (here even) that while the Bush Presdency may indeed prove The Worst Ever, the Cheney Administration accomplished everything it set out to.

No fear.