President Bush: Great President, or Greatest President?

In watching interviews with White House Spokesperson Dana Perino, Vice President Cheney, and even Bush himself, you get the sense that not only were the last eight years not a complete and utter failure, but that all those “mistakes” Bush made weren’t really his – he somehow inherited a crumbling economy, according to Bush and his revisionist scribes. In fact, once “history” has its say, Bush’s tenure will be viewed as an unqualified success. All we have to do now is sit back, relax, and wait for the history to kick in.

Pictured: History

(Of course, we have the “now” to deal with: two wars, a crumbling economy, unemployment rising, a huge deficit, worldwide terrorism on the rise, and oh yeah – where’s New Orleans again?)

Before I get into my long-winded rant and go point-by-point to debunk the latest in Bush’s revisionist history, I’d like to point out something that’s been said before by Bush’s defenders: a lot of folks say that they voted for the man because, “Aw, shucks – I feel like I could have a beer with him. He’s just like me!” Well, that’s great. Does that mean you’re qualified to be President? After all, you’re just like this guy who threw our economy in the tank and failed to defend the nation from a terrorist attack on September 11 and let an entire city drown, right? If you think you can do as good of a job, or even a better job, because of your choice of drinking buddies, that’s… uh, great? Never mind the fact that I don’t base my voting choices on who I’d prefer to drink with, those who still cling to this voting “reasoning” should consider that unless they’re tossing back a few with Kofi Annan, you might want to base who you vote for on other criteria.

All right. Moving on. This week marked Bush’s final week to finalize his legacy, such as it is. And what did he do with his time? Weigh in on the Israel/Gaza conflict? Pursue bin Laden just like he said he would and pull an 11th hour capture? Enact a stimulus package that could turn around the tanking economy? C’mon. This is Bush we’re talking about. Of course he didn’t! He went on interview after interview, trying to convince Americans that he’s not a complete failure, that they shouldn’t believe their lying eyes.

His latest approval rating (second only to Nixon’s) suggests that there are still some hardcore Bushies that believe torture is awesome, Iraq is a liberated country now, and when counting terrorist attacks on our soil, we start counting on September 12 of 2001, not the day before.

Case in point: Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Oh, you delightful bastard, it’s so easy to pick the low-hanging fruit of your article and debunk each and every of your points that somehow “proves” Bush was every inch the hero conservatives make him out to be. Let’s start with one of my pet subjects – torture. I’ve documented over and over on this site and others how torture obliterates whatever “moral standing'”we have left, and provides faulty and useless intelligence. And yet, we have this gem from Barnes:

“Along with use of secret prisons and wireless eavesdropping, this saved American lives. How many thousands of lives? We’ll never know.”

In other words, when the President breaks the law and does whatever the hell he wants with no oversight or accountability, he totally keeps us safe. Of course, there’s nothing to point to that actually proves what he’s saying; it’s true because… because fuck you! He’s the President. That’s why.

Somehow, I have my suspicions that Barnes wouldn’t be making the same case for former President Clinton, or future President Obama, if they decided to fuck the law and suspend habeas corpus and wiretap whomever they felt was a “threat.”

Barnes goes on to list Judges Roberts and Alito as stunning achievements during Bush’s time as President. Well, of course! They’re conservatives! And keeping with the traditional conservative stance on “winning,” as long as any fucker has an “R” after their name, then they should win. So conservatives have “won” in the sense that their team has more players on the bench of the Supreme Court. Congrats! What did we win? Hmmm…. laws weakening protection of employees who have been discriminated against based on sex, for starters. Which is awesome, because from what I’ve seen, Republicans want to go back to the “good old days” when the women were pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen and the men worked to bring in money for the household. So, we’re one step closer to the golden days by slighting women their right to equal pay. Give me an “R!”

Now, moving from Bush’s water-carrying hacks to the man himself: What does he think of his own job and the fact that most Americans disapprove of what he’s done? From the horse’s mouth:

Good thing he’s got American’s interests at heart and really cares about the common man, like those who voted for him because of some fantasy barbecue they’ve conjured up where Bush is there and is the life of the party. Except he’s not that guy – he’s the douche who shows up without bringing anything, drinks all the imported beer, helps himself to seconds when everyone hasn’t even gotten a hot dog for themselves, and mouths off to the host of the party after grabbing the host’s wife’s ass. That’s who you elected, America. Not the guy who makes the party worthwhile. The guy who makes everyone ask afterward, “Who the fuck invited him?!”

BUSH?! Did you just grab my wife’s ass?!

On the economy: “Look, I inherited a recession,” Bush replied. “This problem started before my presidency.”

On Katrina: “Don’t tell me the federal response was slow when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed.”

On Iraq’s “Liberation”: “Hard things don’t happen overnight.”

On the rest of the world despising America because of Bush’s failed policies:
“I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged,” Bush answered, proposing that the questioner “Go to Africa. . . . Go to India. . . . Go to China and ask.”

It was these and other gems Bush left for the press to ponder during the waning days of his presidency. Only, the press didn’t bother to show up. It seems that George Bush, his immediate family, his staff, and the less than one in three Americans that still have his bumper stickers on their cars are the only people who actually think he did a good job. The rest of us, well – we’d rather act like most do after a night of drunken, unprotected sex with a stranger: forget about it and go to the doctor to get checked out.

As for the tone of the rhetoric in Washington? Again, Bush plays the, “Don’t blame me! I only work here” card:

“I am disappointed by the tone in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “It’s just the rhetoric got out of control at times.”

When a reporter asked what caused the rhetoric to get out of control, Bush replied, “I don’t know why, you need to ask those who used the words they used.”

Okay, then. Let’s ask you, Mr. President, why you would tell the terrorists to “bring it on,” call out Osama bin Laden like a cowboy from the wild west, say he’s wanted “dead or alive,” and then do abso-fucking-lutely nothing about it. Is that rhetoric that’s “out of control,” or is it only out of control when someone calls you on your bullshit?

Finally, when the Kool-aid drinkers who are still able to say with a straight face that Bush has “made our country safer,” they’re overlooking one rather large, glaring contradiction: September 11, 2001. Of course, when you look past that little oversight, which was an utter and abject failure, and also take exception to the rise of worldwide terrorist attacks since then, and discount the rise of the Taliban and the popularity of Al Qaeda as a direct result of Bush’s policies, then… yeah. Yeah, he totally kept us safe. Minus all that other stuff.

And to those who use the “judgment of history” as a crutch, saying that “someday” he’ll be vindicated as a hero, facts be damned, I have this to say: about that guy who successfully piloted an airplane into the Hudson river after a mishap with birds caused a near-catastrophic disaster in my city, how long did it take history to judge his heroic actions? About 8 seconds after his water landing? Yeah. Doesn’t take long to notice when awesomely heroic things happen. So, there’s that. I’m not waiting around for “history” to judge what I already know is a pants-shittingly-retarded failure.

Anyway, to close this out, I’ll leave you with a song I wrote that was posted before, but hell… if Bush can repeat his talking points ad nauseum then I can post a song that I like twice. Enjoy, and good fucking riddance


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