Monday, January 19, 2009

W: Requiem and Remembrance

I rose this morning with bleary eyes and got back into the routine of getting the boy on the bus (and then remembered it was MLK day (no school (no reason to get up (shit)))). So I turned on Fox News (as the radio shows aren't on yet) and it's wall-to-wall inauguration coverage. So in that spirit, I'm going to set aside the politics for the next couple of days and enjoy the American experience. Then, Wednesday, the chewing of Barry's ass begins.

*hokey evil laugh*

But today is the final day of the presidency of George W Bush. I've already done my hard assessment of his eight years. This is not that. I've spent the last week reading through the blogroll and have followed the Bush Thank-a-Thon. And I'd like to thank the bloggers that joined in for that. Because the venom of the Bush haters has been so pervasive for so long, and because my entry into this arena has only been in the last year and a half, I've had more negative to focus on than positive. So I needed to remember why I voted for him in the first place. And having done so, I don't think I chose poorly.

So here's my final words (until the comment section) on the Bush years.

First, I have to thank him for keeping the country safe. While I was one who was only minimally impacted by the events of 9/11, it was an event that changed us. Like everyone, I can recite in detail where I was and how I found out. And I can remember the images of our president standing amid the rubble, bringing hope and comfort with his presence and his words. And he promised us that he would deal with this. And for all the twists and turns (and mistakes that are inevitable in war), he has kept that promise.

Second, he held to principle in the face of unpopularity. Both in the war and in addressing every other crisis and domestic issue, he has done what he thought was right. I sincerely believe that. Whether it was right or not is another debate. What matters is that, as a leader, he led.

Third, class. While he had his moments (as do we all), he strove to be a class act, staying above the rancorous crap that is now magnified here in the blogosphere. And that is seen most clearly in the transition that will be completed tomorrow with the inauguration of a new president. Greater me (John Adams again comes to mind) have attended to the transition with less dignity.

So I'll end this with thanks for all that Presidnet George W Bush has done for us. Like those that have come before him, he really deserves the rest that he has earned protecting us and serving us these last eight years.

God bless George W Bush.


Shaw Kenawe said...

First, I have to thank him for keeping the country safe.

And you didn’t thank Clinton?

Clinton kept the country safe on his watch—unless you count the bombing of the WTC on Feb. 26, 1993—one month and six days into his presidency.

But then you wouldn’t blame him, because you guys don’t blame Bush (you blame Clinton for 9/11—does that mean that the first WTC attack in 1993 was Poppy’s fault?), when the second attack happened 9 months into his presidency. Clinton promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, and he did. Bush promised to get bin Laden, dead or alive, and he didn’t.

Just trying to keep you honest here. Or at least lucid.

Second, he held to principle in the face of unpopularity. Both in the war and in addressing every other crisis and domestic issue, he has done what he thought was right.

When other people’s lives are involved (Americans our allies AND Iraqis) sticking to a losing strategy is not doing what “he thought was right,” it’s called obstinacy, and that is NOT a principle, it’s a flaw.

I sincerely believe that. Whether it was right or not is another debate. What matters is that, as a leader, he led.

Good Gawd! Lots of people have “led” –General George Armstrong Custer, for example—he led. So you apparently believe so long as a person is resolute (whether right or wrong) that means leadership? Does having good judgment and listening to many points of view count at all?

Sometimes—actually, many times--that can help a real leader avoid disaster.

Toad734 said...

Keeping us safe? From what? Terrorists? Hurricanes?Preditory lenders? War? Economic hardship? A Rosie Odonnel variety show? The Jonas Brothers?

He promised to deal with it but he invaded the wrong country, Bin Laden is still free and there have never been as many deaths from terrorism as there has under the Bush Administration; there has never even been as many deaths of Americans from terrorism than under the Bush administration.

He did not go into Iraq because he thought it was right and if he did, it was only because Cheney convinced him that it was right even though he knew it was wrong.

Although the republican cultre of deregulation and complete trust of multinational corporations is to blame, Bush isn't specifically responsible for the economy but he sure hasn't been any help in providing real solutions to fix it.

Sure, he has been good in the transition, Ill give you that.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: After 1993, Clinton changed little, which led to another attack a little over 8 years later by the SAME GROUP. While I will not lay the whole mantle of responsibility over 9/11 at Clinton's doorstep, there was a systemic denial at the federal level of a real attack on American soil that continued (even into the Bush administration until 9/11. Since then, there have been no attacks here, and lots of dead terrorist. That's the difference.

As for doing what was right and leading, I would never say he was right on everything. But being a leader means listening to people, picking a direction, and going that way. Sometimes you fuck up.

Custer was a good leader. He fought a good number of battles and did well. Then he fucked up, lost his ass and all his men. Bush took us into Iraq. Once in there, he fucked up, staying with the same strategery. Cost lives, also pissed off more people. He finally changed direction, and now Obama will be inheriting an Iraq that he doesn't have to mess up with his early, stupid, campaign promises.

Toad: Keeping us safe? From what? Terrorists?

Yeah, you got it in one. Then went off on your usual tangent, playing the Cheney puppet card in the process. I can't wait for your explanation for Obama's bumbling when W isn't around to blame.

Although the republican cultre of deregulation and [blah blah blah blah blah]...

Actually, the economic mess and the Bush/Obama response to it is that whole negative issue I alluded to. Which strangely was not deregulation. The linchpin of the economic collapse was the housing bubble, which popped fast after fannie and freddie crashed, which was because fucking DEMOCRATS FOUGHT ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS TWO YEARS AGO. UNDER BUSH.

This insipid claim that "duh, deregulation caused this" is fucking stupid. At most it is a small piece of the puzzle which is a tangle of a gazillion regulations, rules, bullshit, and government entanglement in things they should never have touched in the first place.

There's a reason I tie Bush and Obama together on the Dastardly Bastardly Bailout. Because no matter what side of the aisle you're talking, both parties are guilty of growing the government. And although the debt has skyrocketed under Bush, we're looking at bigger deficits under Obama ($1,000,000,000,000 is fucking insane!).

I'm just curious, if you think Bush had no ideas, then where's Barry's fucking ideas? For my money, they just look like bigger versions of Bush's. Or FDR's. And that ain't good.

I'm really glad I won't have to listen to this kind of blathering for at least two years. After all, your asshats are in charge of everything.

Toad734 said...

Ok, neither of us agreed with the financial bailout and most experts are now saying it did little to nothing to help anyone except maybe a few rich people. Obama, up until 10 minutes ago, had no real power to do anything. We'll see what he does now but I know it's hard to realize this after the last 8 years but not all presidents are bumbling idiots and Obama certainly could never be called an idiot. That doesn't automatically make him a good President but I would rather take a chance on someone like him that someone like Bush or Palin.

Over 3000 American have been killed in the United State under Bush's watch and many more over seas. If there was one thing he hasn't done, it's keep us safe from terrorist. In fact, worldwide terrorism has never been so high since Bush has taken office. Does that mean as of 10 minutes ago it will cease? No, but maybe with this administration we will actually kill more terrorists than we create. That's how you defeat terrorism, not pissing people off pushing them into terrorism.

And by the way, I don't remember his name, but one Economist was aked what one single event was the trigger for our economic situation and he answered by saying "Enron", Ken Lay, personal friend to the Bushes lobbied congress and the President to make all sorts of changes in regulation which allowed for shady tactics which the mortgage and banking industry picked up on. Again, the guy who authored the "Enron Bill", Phil Gramm.

And yes you are right, I will probably do a lot less bitching over the next few years. Not to say Obama can whip congress into shape, hopefully in the next two years we can get rid of all of them and start over again from scratch, maybe kill a few lobbyists while we are at it.

Patrick M said...

Toad: I'd argue your points (or pointlessness), but what's the fucking point. You're going to ascribe eery fucking thing that ever went wrong with this country to Bush, no matter waht any facts will ever fucking show. And since he's no longer president, it's a moot point.

Now it's my turn to mindlessly attack a president. We'll see how it feels when I get done.

Oh wait, I'm better than that.

Dee said...

Thanks for joining in, it means a lot to me, especially knowing how tough you've been on him. I agree with everything you've said here.

In the class department, I think he's gone above and beyond, considering how he's been treated. I think his family and supporters are probably more outraged than he is, but it says a lot about him.

I will be linking to this and next Monday the radio show will be wall to wall George W. Bush. There will be more than enough time to whine about Obama later ;-)).

Toad734 said...

Again, not blaming everything on the President but you are rewritting history by saying he kept us safe from terrorists. Reading my pet goat for 15 minutes didn't keep anyone safe from terrorists. I wasn't actually blaming Bush for 9/11 but he certainly didn't keep us safe from 9/11 or help thwart any of the attackers that day nor has he got the mastermind and the guys with the economic power to do it again.

Of course the Hurricane wasn't created by Bush but he didnt' do anything to make it better after it hit.

Patrick M said...

Reading my pet goat for 15 minutes ...

I'll be kind enough not to substitute the word that this sentence inspired me to think of.

I'm also tired of this conversation.

So, as you just want to keep rehashing shit, this post is closed.

My apologies to anyone else who wanted to comment. You can always drop me an email and I can reopen the post or post your comment.

Patrick M said...

Dmarks left this comment after I closed the comments:

Toad said: "He did not go into Iraq because he thought it was right and if he did, it was only because Cheney convinced him that it was right even though he knew it was wrong."

Bush retaliated against Iraq because it was the correct thing to do then, and also in hindsight it was the correct thing to do. In a post-9/11 world, it was insane to let a major terrorist kingpin go about his business unhindered (a "business" which included funding and hosting several terrorist groups). Even Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton knew this: they voted to take effective action against Saddam Hussein. Obama was the "wrong" one: at the time, he spoke out in favor of protecting Saddam Hussein. I am not sure that Obama knew he was wrong when he spoke on Iraq. I suspect it was more likely his ignorance of foreign policy.

Because Bush did what was right, and because Biden and H. Clinton made a principled and informed vote to stop this terrorist, Obama inherits a Middle East minus one major terrorist overlord, and he inherits an Iraq that is a democracy and a partner in the global community as opposed to an Iraq that is a major terrorist problem and humanitarian catastrophe.