My tribute to George W. Bush

The George W. Bush presidential library opened yesterday. One book not to be found there: My Pet Goat.

Pictured: the expectant crowd awaits the unveiling of his statue.

Pictured: the expectant crowd awaits the unveiling of his statue.

So people have been heaping praise on the suddenly ‘misunderstood’ president who was really great after all.

Here’s an example of the journalistic fluffing that went on:

In all his recent interviews Mr. Bush has been modest, humorous, proud but unassuming, and essentially philosophical: History will decide. No finger-pointing or scoring points. If he feels rancor or resentment he didn’t show it. He didn’t attempt to manipulate. His sheer normality seemed like a relief, an echo of an older age.

And all this felt like an antidote to Obama—to the imperious I, to the inability to execute, to the endless interviews and the imperturbable drone, to the sense that he is trying to teach us, like an Ivy League instructor taken aback by the backwardness of his students. And there’s the unconscious superiority. One thing Mr. Bush didn’t think he was was superior. He thought he was luckily born, quick but not deep, and he famously trusted his gut but also his heart. He always seemed moved and grateful to be in the White House. Someone who met with Mr. Obama during his first year in office, an old hand who’d worked with many presidents, came away worried and confounded. Mr. Obama, he said, was the only one who didn’t seem awed by his surroundings, or by the presidency itself.

Mr. Bush could be prickly and irritable and near the end showed arrogance, but he wasn’t vain or conceited, and he still isn’t.

With that in mind, here’s my tribute.

Thank you. If it weren’t for the sheer magnitude of the f*** ups over which you presided or were actively involved in or were the results of long standing Republican policies, I would still, in all likelihood be a conservative Republican today.

If I hadn’t seen how destructive and pointless most of our wars really are, I would likely be championing sending more young men to die for no damn good reason in Syria.

If it hadn’t been for your steadfast devotion to Republican economic policies, I wouldn’t have seen how the entire government is predicated on doing what is best for corporations and the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

If it hadn’t been for deregulation, I would probably still believe that we could trust companies to do the right thing and police themselves and the only thing standing in the way of prosperity was red tape. I now know both of those to be lies.

So thank you. Now kindly go back to your house and stay out of the limelight for the rest of your days.

Or better yet, go volunteer at a VA hospital and change bedpans all day and you might start to atone for your 8 year tenure.




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