The George W Bush Rehabilitation Project Continues Apace (updated)

With the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library, the right wing and mainstream media have swung into action with the full scale George W. Bush Rehabilitation Project.

The goal of the project is relatively  modest – convince the real world that Dubya wasn’t such a terrible president, that he made bold and enduring decisions that will shape the world for the better for generations to come.

It’s crap.  Bush’s presidency was eight years of disasters compounded by his blind ideological governance.  Charles Krauthammer this morning at the D-News which begins with a massive lie:

The most common “one sentence” for George W. Bush (whose legacy is being reassessed as his presidential library opens) is: “He kept us safe.”

Except of course for that one time.  In September of 2001.  You remember that one right?

Bush’s presidency was eight years of disaster, corruption, scandal and failure.  I agree with Paul Waldman’s assessment:

Nobody could argue he didnothing good; for instance, he put resources toward addressing the AIDS crisis in Africa, knowing that there was little domestic benefit to be had. And from what one can tell, in person Bush was usually a nice guy. But we shouldn’t let the mists of time make us forget all the awful things he did, too. Presidents have to be judged by their actions and the effects those actions have on the country and the world. Bush’s eight years in office were a string of disasters, and not little ones either. His disasters were grand and far-reaching, from the hundreds of thousands who died in Iraq to the squandering of trillions of dollars to the abandonment of New Orleans during Katrina. A few years later those things may no longer make us boil with rage. But we shouldn’t forget them.

The argument was never he was a bad man (although that is debatable) – a rich entitled jerk, yes, intellectually incurious, self confident in his own judgement to the point idiocy, but he was also a bad president.  An honest assessment of his administration has to include the fact that in its ruins were the seeds of the tea party and its attendant lunacies.  The Obama administration has failed to clean up all of Bush’s messes, but don’t forget they were Bush’s messes.

Saw this great post at Mano Singham’s place – the video of Chris Hayes is worth the time.  Singham’s title may win for most understated condemnation in a while: Thatcher and Bush were just as bad as you remembered them

I like Chris Hayes’ point that some of the “praise” for Bush amounts to “Yeah!  He made decisions!” as if making decisions itself is a victory and the consequences are entirely secondary.  Bush’s administration was every bit as bad as you thought.

  1. #1 by Cliff on April 28, 2013 - 10:16 am

    “George Bush” and “library” in the same sentence just sounds weird.

  2. #2 by cav on April 28, 2013 - 10:38 am

    The money used in the creation of this two-book ‘lie-bury’ could have gone a long way in healing some Iraq and Afghanistan vets. But, we’re tasked with forgetting, so neither the damage done to people and places, nor criminal record of this ‘once-was’ will have much meaning in the end.

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on April 28, 2013 - 11:13 am

    Chris Hayes also mocked the “library’s” Decision Points Theater, where visitors take a 4-minute multiple choice test to see if they could have done better as “The Decider.” But if you choose NOT to order the illegal invasion of Iraq for no good reason, George W. Bush comes on the screen to tell you that YOU messed up.

  4. #4 by cav on April 28, 2013 - 12:30 pm

    Have I written lately, “F*ck Bush”?

    • #6 by Glenden Brown on April 28, 2013 - 4:28 pm

      How to Debunk Bush Revisionism:

      Bush kept us safe: The biggest myth of the Bush presidency, by far, is that the president kept the country safe. As Charles Krauthammer wrote this week in the Washington Post in a typical example: “It’s important to note that he did not just keep us safe. He created the entire anti-terror infrastructure that continues to keep us safe … Which is why there was not one successful terror bombing on U.S. soil from 9/11 until last week.”

      Just no. First of all, why does 9/11 not count? It’s not like the U.S. government was completely unaware of the threat from al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden until 9/11. After all, bin Laden had already helped orchestrate the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that killed hundreds in 1998, and Bill Clinton launched cruise missiles into Sudan and Afghanistan to try to kill bin Laden three years before 9/11. And then there’s that CIA briefing that warned Bush: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” — 36 days before Sept. 11. Bush’s response to the briefer giving him the news? To say, “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.” Then he went fishing. Literally.

  5. #8 by cav on April 28, 2013 - 6:00 pm

    Well, within days of 9-11 there was also the anthrax killings, the D.C. snipers and, over the course of his two terms, sooo much more.

    Also too, what’s the over / under in the pigeon sh*t commodity trading. I’m looking at the new ‘lie-bury’ as the end of the rainbow in that regard.

  6. #9 by Glenden Brown on April 28, 2013 - 8:04 pm

    Yet another rehab article – from kathleen parker:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kathleen-parker-bushs-legacy-is-more-than-iraq/2013/04/26/3d7edf6c-aeab-11e2-8bf6-e70cb6ae066e_story.html

    Rather than try to deal with his actual choices and leadership, she argues he’s a great guy:

    But in private, Bush was a very different man. In small groups, he was articulate and confident. When the cameras were off, he was relaxed and natural. Not everyone is made for TV, and this is no criticism. It can be a deficit for public figures, but people who are at one with lights and cameras are sometimes better actors than statesmen.

  7. #10 by cav on April 28, 2013 - 9:21 pm

    Someone you could drink a beer with.

    • #11 by Glenden Brown on April 29, 2013 - 12:23 am

      Yes that’s the standard by which we should vote for Presidents.

      On a more serious note, the media has never acknowledged or dealt with their dysfunctional relationship with George W Bush and the Republican party. If you look back the 2000 election, you saw the media fall all over themselves to avoid actually looking at the issues and instead trying to turn the election into some sort of high school popularity contest, treating the parties at interchangeable. I dare anyone to tell me with a straight face that Al Gore would have been any where near as disastrously bad as Bush.

    • #12 by Richard Warnick on April 29, 2013 - 8:10 am

      Except Bush was supposedly on the wagon. I submit he was confident talking to “small groups” because everyone in the room worked for him (except VP Cheney). Yes-men inspire confidence.

    • #14 by cav on April 29, 2013 - 7:59 pm

      Looked through the whole list, etc.

      I suck! There’s no other possible explanation.

  8. #15 by brewski on April 29, 2013 - 9:26 am

    I am in moderation.

  9. #16 by Larry Bergan on April 29, 2013 - 6:32 pm

    I wonder why Sandra Day O’Connor is coming out now, saying the court should have butted out of Gore v Bush.

    Charles Krauthammer is a silly, silly man.

  10. #17 by Larry Bergan on April 29, 2013 - 7:33 pm

    Robert Parry provides the the best refutation of the media reinvention of George W. Bush.

    You have to read this!

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