Today’s Scandal – 03/16/10: Revisionists Polish George W Bush’s Presidency

It all began last week hen Karl Rove published a memoir defending his record as George W Bush advisor…Today I saw that the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports there is a ‘Miss me yet?’ movement in support of the former president.  Are you kidding me??? This post will set the record straight:

Setting the Record Straight

Had Thomas Jefferson not bought Louisiana from France, effectively doubling the size of the country, would America have become a great power? Of course not. If James Madison had not fathered the Bill of Rights, would America have become a great place to live? Of course not. If George W Bush had never been president, would America be better? ABSOLUTELY!

Some times it’s a good thought exercise to sit and ask questions, and learn the lessons of History. You can learn a lot comparing the actions of various historical leaders. The first 2 questions were easy.

Let’s try some more that are tougher yet… Now that Iraq has recovered under our watch, should we lionize the troops and General Petraeus for turning it around? Should the political leadership get praise for appointing him, or rebuke for not appointing him in 2003? Should it go to our former fearless leader George W Bush, who at least deserves credit for staying the course, who wanted to be the Harry Truman of his time?

(1) Could he lead?

In 1991, George S Bush assembled a vast and mighty coalition including France, Italy, Germany, … almost ½ the countries of the world to take back Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. In 2003, George W Bush could not get ½ of the countries of the world, let alone half of our NATO allies to give blessing to our invasion of Iraq, let alone their assistance. No George W. Bush could not lead.

(2) Did he have a clue?

When the Iranians took hundreds of Americans hostage, Jimmy Carter didn’t seem to have a clue how to get them out. We were the laughing stock of the world. Ronald Reagan was elected – and the Iranians backed down and released them before Reagan took office. During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Bush didn’t seem to have a clue how to respond, and many Americans died – after the storm had passed. No George W. Bush did not have a clue.

(3) Was he fiscally responsible?

Regarding Reagan, Bush campaigned as a fiscal conservative. Bush has since raised the Federal Deficit to record levels. And he blamed the opposition for undisciplined spending – even when its clear that staying in Iraq for $10 billion/ month + those tax cuts are adding $400Billion annually to our Federal deficit. Oh, and by the way, despite these tax cuts, the economy never did well in his 8 years, and businesses continued to move overseas, because reform of corporate rates and regulations were ignored in favor of lowering rich peoples’ rates. So, let’s recall President Truman and ask, “where does the buck stop now”? No George W. Bush was not fiscally responsible.

(4) Did he protect our values and liberties?

In 1789, Congress gave us a strong government in the constitution and strong liberties in the Bill of Rights that have been the foundation of American law and culture ever since. Since 2001, Bush signed the Patriot Act that curtailed many of those, and has detained people for years on end, and spied on every American’s internet use, and tracked people’s positions through their cell phones’ location. Contrast that with the War of 1812:  Even after the British occupied and burned Washington DC, President Madison did not reduce civil liberties – even though there was a grave danger from the many British sympathizers left over from the Revolutionary war.  In fact, George W. Bush was the biggest threat to our freedom in the history of our country.

(5) Was he pure in heart?

Bush presents himself as a good person, a man of Christian ideals, who means well, and is looking out for the best interest of all… So let me ask you: Would Jesus Christ condone torture? Without even a declaration of war we detain indefinitely hundreds of people at Guantanamo and elsewhere, without trial, as if they are prisoners of war. Furthermore, we have tortured some, in violation of POW’s rights under the Geneva Convention, if they are POWs, otherwise in violation of our own Bill of Rights if they are not POWs. No George W. Bush is not a good Christian.

Was he fit to lead?

After the Tea Pot Dome oil scandal shook apart the cabinet of Warren Harding, he admitted “I am not fit for this office and never should have been here”. Fast forward to 2008. President Bush’s cabinet has been rocked by multiple scandals. Recall the resignations of its first 2 US Attorney’s General: Ashcroft, when he would not authorize carte blanche torture of detainees, and Alberto Gonzalez to avoid being impeached by the Congress… The vice president’s to aid Scooter Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice – and only a presidential pardon spared him from 2 decades in jail. Secrectary of Defense Rumsfeld was forced out for the then-failure of the war in Iraq. Secretary of State Colin Powell resigned 2 years after knowingly lying to the UN about Iraq’s alleged pursuit of Uranium in Niger. Administration officials at all levels repeatedly lied and did not inform the Congress of the basic workings of the government… What can Bush say of his presidency?

What should we have done?

Lets start by comparing George W. Bush to other recent presidents:

In 1997, after dismantling most of the controversial entitlement system and vastly reforming the remainder, Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about his sex life. He was made to answer to the Congress for his conduct during an impeachment proceeding… and rightly so. When Nixon violated the laws and Constitution by spying and abuse of power (especially in the Watergate scandal), he ultimately complied with the impeachment proceedings, and resigned rather than be removed.

If 1 severe scandal was enough to blow up Warren Harding’s administration, and Clinton was impeached for lying about some skirt chasing, and Nixon was removed for doing many of the same things Bush did, how should we have handled Mr. Bush?

Bush should have be impeached and removed. This would have helped his successor to roll back the worst of his policies. It would remind his successors that there are consequences to illegal and unethical policies made in office. We should have fired Bush and to restore our liberties, our Constitution and the rule of law.

What should we do now?

Now that Mr. Bush is no longer in office, he should be left alone to enjoy a peaceful retirement. Those who are now in office should in future should take actions to prevent such a destructive administration from serving again, and limit the scope of damage that it could do.

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