Sunday, February 22, 2009

George W. Bush - A Near-Great President

The American people continue to amaze me with their penchant for the wholly irrational. The election of Barack Hussein Muhammad bin Obama is only the latest evidence.

But that the American sheeple are so devoid of active intellect as to get all of their life skills from Oprah and all of their political philosophy from Katie Couric has been evident for years. Eminently so, in that they have allowed themselves to be manipulated by a corrupt media into the rejection of one of the most thoroughly decent individuals to ever hold the Presidency - one George W. Bush.

I have heard it from every angle - from law school professors and professional politicians and the man on the street; we all agree that Dubya is horrible. We all agree that he is at fault for everything from Katrina to Iraq to the lagging (!) economy. Yet in all the complaining, I can't get a single person to tell me exactly what it is that George W. Bush has done that makes him so horrible. Any probing into the questions as to why Dubya is so bad simply ends in some emotional screed about something that he has "screwed up."

The hatred of Bush is not rational - but is a visceral, irrational, emotionally-born hatred of him fostered by people who despise reason, the West, and Capitalism. The hatred of Bush is, in short, moral (or, as it were, IMmoral), rather than based in any rational view of reality.

As to the war? Dubya, of course with the help of his advisors, has strategized and supervised the overthrow of the Taliban, the overthrow of Sadaam Hussein, the bringing of nascent democratic governments in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the protection of the U.S. from further terrorist attacks. And 9/11? Bill Clinton's fault - entirely. He had the opportunity to respond with muscle after the first terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center and chose not to do so. He had the opportunity to have Osama bin Laden killed and chose not to do so.

The chaotic economy? Thoroughly - and only - the responsibility of the Democrats. Interest group politics demanded that minorities who did not have the credit, income, or other means be mandated to participate in home ownership without any thought of whether they could manage payments for 30 years. Any solution other than that was said by Democrats to be "redlining" - real estate-speak for "racism." The current mortgage crisis was engineered completely by Bill Clinton as a sop to the Congressional Black Caucus - the nation's "first black president" had to, of course, woo his urban constituency, and he did so in the language that urban constituencies understand - money. These welfare payments in the form of mortgage loans were necessary for "social justice" and "combating racism," but were also the primary causal factor in the current meltdown. Oddly enough, and nobody seemed to think of this at the time, mortgages, unlike traditional welfare, have to be paid back.

Long ago, both George W. Bush and John McCain sounded the warning and pointed to the need for reform, their warnings, of course, falling on the deaf ears of Democrats except to the extent that it was useful to label such warnings as yet more racism from the GOP. And of course, when these idiot-inspired loans failed, the U.S. taxpayer once again became the lender of last resort.

Ronald Reagan was a truly great president, in that he was both a Great Man - a man of great achievements, and a Good Man - the things that he did reflected an honorable character and a correct set of beliefs. Jimmy Carter was a Good Man who missed being a Great Leader in that he consistently proposed the wrong answers because he had the wrong set of beliefs. George H. W. Bush was a Good Man who missed being a Great President because he attempted to compromise with Democrats, who did not share his integrity and correct beliefs.

George W. Bush will certainly go down in history as one of the better presidents - far better than Clinton, and certainly better than Obama has any hope of being. Bush's domestic policy has been less than muscular because he, like his father, has shown far too much respect to the socialists who run the Democratic party. But his foreign policy has been brilliant - and no emotional screeds to the contrary can change that one whit. Because of Bush's watchmanlike foreign policy, the U.S. is safe once again. We will not be so under Obama. Because of Bush's wisdom and courage, the Middle East is changed for the better, and Muslim terrorism is on the run. We can not count on the respect that he has earned being maintained by an Obama administration.

But in the end, History has a way of sorting these matters out. Both Truman and Reagan were underappreciated by the chattering class when they left office, but "truth will out." And truth will out for George W. Bush as well.

Though despised today, very soon Americans will look back with fondness to the rational and courageous leadership of a thoroughly good man. And while he may not be treated as one of the Greats by History, he will certainly be recognized as Better Than The Rest.

George W. Bush possesses numerous character traits that America needed at a particularly volatile time - courage, integrity, and competence. Unfortunately, the American sheeple have demonstrated their propensity for style over substance in choosing an elective president who lacks all three of these virtues - and apparently all others as well.

The following article appeared in the Wall Street Journal:

The Treatment of George W. Bush Has Been a Disgrace: What Must Our Enemies Be Thinking?

by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro

November 5, 2008

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

According to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."

Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.

The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."

To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office.

Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.
Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have.

The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004.

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