24 December 2008

That's My Commander in Chief!

President Bush has been making the rounds on the alphabet networks to drum up support for his legacy of having presided over these tumultuous past 8 years. The following quote to Charles Gibson reminded us all of what kind of executive branch we've been blessed with. From Politico:

For a man on a bon voyage tour, Bush has tried to sound unconcerned about how history will judge him.

I’ll be frank with you. I don’t spend a lot of time really worrying about short-term history,” he told Gibson. “I guess I don’t worry about long-term history, either, since I’m not going to be around to read it.
For a guy with record low approval ratings both here and abroad, you'd think he'd totally be banking on future historians treating him kindly. Rather, this is allegorical for a presidency unable to comprehend long-term consequences of its decisions and threw practical policy out the window for the purpose of gratifying a small group of Americans. Some events that will forever mar the "Bush legacy":

Faux Patriotism Post-9/11: A surge of nationalistic pride engulfed America following the horrendous events of 9/11 (remember "United We Stand"). A nation's survival is entirely dependent on the will of its citizenry, and sacrifices are necessary in a time of war to ensure that the country is successful in its endeavors. But instead of the iconic Rosie the Riveter, we got Paris the Ditsy Shopaholic, as Bush encouraged the nation to be patriotic by...shopping? The burden of conflict was shifted entirely to a small group of law enforcement officials, intelligence experts, and, of course, the military. Use of policies like IRR callups and the Stop-Loss program ensured a "back-door draft" so that responsibility fell on the shoulders of a small percentage of the voting bloc. The president handed out free government goodies like prescription drugs in an attempt to keep the public from voicing their dissent, while they floundered with no strategic vision for the modern conflicts.

The Gitmo Fiasco: If you would've told me 7 years ago that people would be up in arms about perceived mistreatment of a terrorist murderer like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, I'd would've said to get your head examined. But, the lack of disclosure to the public surrounding the detention facility has caused serious diplomatic problems worldwide as America's enemies routinely point to it as a sign that we are barbarians. Abstract American ideas of freedom, equality, and human rights are crucial in convincing moderates in troubled regions that radical Islam is the path to self-destruction, and Gitmo has been a terrible black eye on our strategic messaging from the beginning.

Iraq (the Mission Accomplished years): I give credit to Bush for implementing the Surge of combat forces in 2007, when it was politically toxic to do so. But, the bumbled post-invasion plans for reconstruction, the lack of adequate gear for our troops initially, and a dangerous hubris that assumed western-style democracy would take foot overnight were catastrophic in war planning. It also didn't help that the war precipitated based on bunk intelligence. Is the world a better place sans Saddam? I would say so. But, the resulting ethnic cleansing, regional instability, and appalling levels of poverty in Iraq could have been mitigated if the war was approached with more practicality and less cowboy swagger.

Hurricane Katrina: Despite the left's best efforts, the Katrina disaster can not be entirely blamed on Bush & Friends. But it was the federal government's inability to help out the victims which made America look more like some sort of third-world backwater rather than a world leader. It's a shame that it had to be such a monumental tragedy before people began to question the competence of our government, but it was a defining moment for the country.

Bailout Bonanza: You would assume that the Republican party would have been the ones to nix such a grotesque abuse of the public treasury. But the "ownership society" pushed by politicians of all stripes, which encouraged Americans to live well beyond their means and pursue a life of eternal debt, has crippled our once proud economy. Bush was the one who demanded the parasites in congress to get in on the great cash giveaway of 2008, which is great for banking elites with friends in Washington, and terrible for regular Americans who have to pay taxes and spend money that is being rapidly devalued as more funny money is dumped into the market. Now, all sorts of plutocrats are meandering their way to the public troff to look for a quick fix of federal cash. Ultimately, borrowing money from the Chinese to prop up unprofitable and ineffectively managed businesses will lead America on the path to irrelevance.

CJ from A Soldier's Perspective has a tribute to George Bush, which I believe is genuine, if you don't agree that Bush was lousy. But, don't forget that Bush's foibles also resulted in America voting for a no-experience demagogue to lead us for what will be a very tough next four years. I'm not looking forward to it. Merry Christmas.


Mike said...

I think that when my more GOP leaning friends rag on me for being so pessimistic, I'll just point them in your direction and say, "At least I'm not as bad as that guy!"

Really though, I can't say there's much of it I disagree with.

LT Nixon said...

The entire paradigm of voting for the least worst candidate has somewhat jaded me. Even though I agree with the GOP more than Dems, why polish a turd, y'know?

Shea said...

This is the best post I have seen in a long time. It's not Bush bashing,It's not the GOP blame game, it's Truth.
We should get rid of the "back door draft" although it's too late for me.
Merry Christmas, sir.

cathcatz said...


thanks lt and merry christmas!

Darren M said...

Merry Christmas Eve, LT.

I told you he was an idiot...

olgreydog7 said...

Hindsight is 20-20 my friend. I wonder some of the same things at times though. I often wonder, what was the government supposed to do after Katrina? Clean up debris seems logical, butg alot of that is still there. I can't say much for the early years in Iraq, I was underwater and have since been baraged with opinions about what happened that I doubt are based in much actuality. There is always a sence of excess patriotism after something like 9-11. Hell, when when moved into Kuwait for Desert Sheild it was there. And we hadn't even been attacked. I think he gets too much critisism for the go shopping thing. The purpose of the attack was to cripple the financial system and to scare out into not living our evil little lives. The best way to show they lost is to go on like before it happened no? I have no problems with stop loss and IRR call ups. That's why they are there, if you don't like it, read your friggen contract and shut the hell up. No you haven't done your time, if you did, you'd be completly out and they couldn't touch you. Personally, I like the fact that he made some hard decisions. He looks like a bumbling idiot on tv, but I hear it's not quite like that behind closed doors. And don't give me that public's right to know bullshit. Somethings are best left in the dark.

LT Nixon said...

We knew we could count on you OGD to stick up for Bush, being a Texan and all. I applaud your beliefs, since they are quite the underdog right now.

olgreydog7 said...

Am I flawed in my analysis though? I wonder what the media and popular thought would have been after WW2 if it were to happen now. Remember, the press were quite different then.

But, he's from Conneticut. So that makes him a Conneticician or whatever the hell you call someone from Conneticut. But, I think Texas and California are the only states that when people either move away from or move to claim it to be their state. You'll never hear a Texan living outside of Texas claiming anything else. And just because Bush lived here, doesn't make him Texan.

Anonymous said...

So if I were to be born in Cali, move to Texas as a toddler and live the rest of my life there, could I not become a Texan?

On topic, I still think 90% of criticism towards Bush is either unfair, misdirected or both.