January 16, 2009

More on Bush and his last days in office (Thank God!)

Yesterday, during lunch with my friend Anglican, I brought up the President's farewell address. Anglican just groaned and said that the only reason he even cared about the address, was if it interrupted 30 Rock. I wonder how many turned in to hear him, and wonder just how many people give a damn what he has to say at this point?

I can't remember a President this bad. Don't get me wrong, I remember the last days of the Clinton admin and it was grim then too. We were tired of his antics, and his pardons were really troublesome.

But I just can't wait to see Bush and Cheney out of office. The argument about where he fits in the "worst President" category will consume people for years, but the important part for Bush should be that he is in that discussion. Many noted the word choice from his speech last night, defending his insistence on seeing the world in good v. evil terms, and suggesting that while some might disagree with his hard decisions, they had to give him credit for being willing to make hard decisions. As if the fact that he consistently made the wrong decisions escapes him.

And that was my take-away from last night's address. He simply doesn't get it. His "grinning like an idiot" account of his perceived accomplishes was just sad.

Speaking of his accomplishments, The Economist takes aim at the Frat Boy presidency and the summation is grim.
"The fruit of all this can be seen in the three most notable characteristics of the Bush presidency: partisanship, politicisation and incompetence. Mr Bush was the most partisan president in living memory. He was content to be president of half the country—a leader who fused his roles of head of state and leader of his party. He devoted his presidency to feeding the Republican coalition that elected him."

and this:
The Iraq war was a case study of what happens when politicisation is mixed with incompetence. A long-standing convention holds that politics stops at the ocean’s edge. But Mr Bush and his inner circle labelled the Democrats “Defeaticrats” whenever they were reluctant to support extending the war from Afghanistan to Iraq. They manipulated intelligence to demonstrate that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and had close relations with al-Qaeda. This not only divided a country that had been brought together by September 11th; it also undermined popular support for what Mr Bush regarded as the central theme of his presidency, the war on terror.
They give him credit for trying to be reasonable on immigration, and his efforts in Africa, but the overall score card is not good for this President. The fact that Bush clings to the idea that future people will somehow see him as a misunderstood genius is just more of the sad. More of the sad from a man completely unwilling to look at himself with any honesty.



ANewAnglican@gmail.com said...

Yeah, how about that? And I even voted for the guy in 2000.

Huge, huge mistake. But at least I can admit my mistakes.

P M Prescott said...

The unexamined life is not worth living. A President that is unwilling to examine and learn from his mistakes makes the country not worth living in.

MikeM. said...

Webster’s defines courage as having the moral strength to resist opposition, danger or hardship. Doesn’t that mean in order to display courage a person must first possesses both morals and the understanding of what danger and hardships are involved?
How could someone who used his family’s influence to avoid going to Vietnam possibly understand those hardships? More importantly, why would a person with moral strength feel it necessary to lie to the American public about the reasons for invading another country in the first place?
I can come up with only one answer. That person has absolutely no idea what the word means.

Bootleg Blogger said...

As you're well aware, Streak, I whole heartedly agree. There's multiple layers of satisfaction at this point. The first is certainly that Bush/Cheney et al. will be gone. That by itself is reason to celebrate right now. Add to that Obama's election and it's really good news.

I'm sure you're aware of this, Streak, but at Holder's confirmation hearing he said for all to hear, “We prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam ... Waterboarding is torture.” Did you hear that last part, Streako- the potential next top cop in the country said those three words we've been waiting to hear from our executive branch. It's nice to hear some comments from elected officials and appointees that actually give some hope again (rather than send me running to the bathroom).

Later -BB

Streak said...


BTW, BB, not only is it noteworthy that the new AG is declaring that torture is illegal, but the NYT is suggesting that admission may force some kind of prosecution.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak: NPR this morning indicated the same (re: prosecution), but also pointed out that Obama has not been open to pursuing it. We'll see what happens.

steves said...

I doubt we will see prosecutions for waterboarding, since the OLC gave it the green light. I am not saying it is impossible, but it would be unprecendented.

Yeah, I voted for the guy, too. It was a mistake, but even more depressing was that so many thought he was the best choice and the alternatives (at the time) were pretty mediocre. I was elated to see the slimeball Clinton leave office, so I can certainly understanding similar elation over Bush leaving.