Skip to comments.The Most Maligned President ? ....(George W Bush - a class act from beginning to end)
Posted on 01/21/2009 5:02:20 AM PST by IrishMike
George W. Bush took on some of the toughest challenges in our nation's modern history the worst attack on our shores, the worst natural disaster, the worst global economic situation in 75 years and he did it without ever whining or bashing others.
President Bush left office quite differently than he came in.
He came into office, through no fault of his own, facing a divided nation after the most contentious election in history. He came into office following a classless Clinton team which had torn up the old executive office and surrendered power with a reluctance that bordered on political malpractice.
The president he succeeded granted scandalous pardons to a number of folks, did all he could to hog the stage that should have rightly been the new President's (remember the event at the airport) and dragged out his departure to a remarkable degree.
But this year, because Bush is a class guy, it is much different. The new President has been treated with great respect in what all, even Bush's critics, agreed was one of the smoothest transitions in history.
And there is nothing atypical in this. Bush has been a class act from beginning to end during one of the most difficult periods in American history. He has rarely leveled personal attacks, has always conducted himself with dignity, and has shown a deep respect to the office he held and to the country he served.
That he disagreed with his critics on the war in Iraq and other measures he considered essential to protect this nation is a matter that historians will sort out, but this much can be said: he was far kinder to his critics than they were to him, which is particularly amazing when you consider he helped keep this nation safe for seven years when almost all agreed we would be attacked repeatedly.
But this is typical of the media and the Bush critics. If Bush was the one being inaugurated yesterday, you can rest assured that the media would be obsessing over every dollar spent, the fact that there might not have been enough portapotties for the large crowd, or that he gave a mediocre speech (and there was little special or memorable about Obama's remarks).
Blaming Bush, from the 2000 election until now, has been almost relentlessly the mantra of the anti-Bush crowd. We can argue about Katrina from now til the end of our days, for example, but it was mostly a local and state failure. Neighboring states handled hurricanes and even Katrina with far more efficiency and effectiness than Democrat-run Louisiana, and yet somehow it was all Bush's fault. Interesting.
The economy is a global crisis which Bush has actually tried to defuse by building a consensus around approaches that most Democrats and many Republicans have supported and yet it is all Bush's fault, even though Democrat mortgage lending policies had a great deal to do with stimulating the crisis.
No question Iraq and Afghanistan have posed serious challenges, but the military and the Defense Department run wars. Wars are by nature chaotic, violent and difficult the exception (the first Gulf War) is not the rule, but the exception. But, of course, it is all Bush's fault that terrorists want to blow up innocent people, apparently. Hindsight is 20/20 and in some respects the war was not well managed, but few presidents have been confronted with such a hostile opposition during time of war.
Had Bush's ideas been followed, immigration would have been handled smartly and humanely. Had Bush been heeded, we might have found a way to deal with social security. Had Bush (and McCain) been listened to, we might have avoided an economic disaster stimulated in large measure by Democrat housing policies put in place years ago.
But instead we have the right wing hammering Bush for trying to take proactive action on the economy through a bailout strategy (which, I agree, has not been handled all that well), and the Left hammering him because, well, that's what they do. And the European Left couldn't resist either, the same European Left that hammered Reagan who protected them and eventually helped liberate half the globe.
I won't argue that Bush was a great president, because being great requires luck, skill, character and timing. Bush has been about as unlucky as they come, but interestingly he never indulged in self-pity (Johnson, Carter, Nixon), never unleashed against his adversaries (Nixon, Clinton), and never made excuses about not knowing about this or that particular issue (as even Reagan did in Iran-Contra).
He took on some of the toughest challenges in our nation's modern history the worst attack on our shores, the worst natural disaster, the worst global economic situation in 75 years and he did it without ever whining or bashing others.
That he was a bit stiff and defensive with the media is unfortunate and one reason he has gotten such bad grades. Time will tell if his approach was right in Iraq or whether his decisions related to terrorism were thoughtful or overboard, but I will argue, nevertheless, that Bush faced a relentless drumbeat of criticism the likes of which this nation has rarely seen.
That he ended his two terms with grace and generosity speaks to his character and, we can hope, will give President Obama a better start than Bush was allowed by his political opponents.
So very true. I abhorred his turn towards the left with regards to govt, but I do respect the guy.
Well said! Bookmarked.
This is about as fair a summation of GWB’s Presidency as I have read. I disagree with the author on one point, tho’. I think History is going to judge GWB as one of the greatest American Presidents ever. Obama has a tough act to follow, only he doesn’t know it yet.
Although I disagreed with some of President Bush’s actions, this article is right on the money regarding what a decent man he is. If we humans had the power to see the true measure of a man’s soul, my instinct tells me that George Bush would come out much, MUCH higher than Barack Obama . Unless Obama really experiences true conversion and acts on that, he will end his career far below.
(It will also be interesting to see how smoothly the transition from Obama’s presidency to the conservative who follows him will go.)
In other words, had Bush been any kind of a leader. Sorry, but 'nice guy' and 'classy' are about as applicable here as they would be to a surgeon whose patients all die.
Those of us that join the March for Life tomorrow in Washington,will GREATLY miss President Bush.He was the pro-life president.I am afraid that we will now become the pro-death country.Pray for our nation,
He was treated sooo badly by the Press which infected many people.....it is unforgivable. They elect this empty boob hussien -—and discard Laura and W like trash. I hope to God George gets his justice when some people with brains actually look at his accomplishments (referring to terrorism). I despise the MSM.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about Bush. In 2000, I thought he was the best choice and the right choice for the job. I 2009, I’m not so sure - but only because we witnessed few real examples of his conservative credentials.
That said, the statement about a divided nation rings more true than ever before, and this is a charge I lay at the left’s feet. It is the Democrats who have driven a wedge in this country that has created a political divide. It is Democrats who have driven the wedge in the country that has both created, maintained and exacerbated the racial divide. And, it was Democrats in the Clinton WH and Democrats at the Obamessiah inauguration who displayed some of the most classless, juvenile and immature behavior towards the incoming/outgoing president, Bush.
Clinton’s trashing of the WH and stealing $200,000 worth of property from the WH (remember the china, silverware and computer keyboard “W”’s they stole) - property that rightfully belongs to the American people.
The Obamanites’ “booing” of Bush and the whole “hey, hey, na na na” business is a prime example of just how immature, juvenile and classless they are. And, IMO, the biggest problem with Democrats and politics is that, with them, it isn’t about policy, it isn’t about patriotism, is isn’t even about America - it’s about who won. They have corrupted their political party into one giant Superbowl rivalry. And that kind of attitude will NEVER serve America well.
You cannot lead those who wish to destroy you and your administration. They have an agenda that has nothing to do with common sense or good government.
I really really hate having to agree with you on this point.
No -- the complainers are in the position of a trauma victim who rolls into the emergency room already coded and is saved by an all-out effort from the surgeon -- and then complains that the doc didn't sew up the incision as neatly as he should have.
President Bush stopped the terrorists cold - no more 9/11s. That's what turned his hair gray. I disagree with a lot of what he's done, but that makes up for all the rest.
My daughter’s boyfiend (a Marine) remarked on how President Bush looked like the weight of the world was finally taken off his shoulders. It was finally taken off. Zero may have a tough job ahead of him, but his shoulders will not have to bear the additional burden of being pilloried by the press, the entertainment industry, and the looney left.
I am sure that today George Bush slept more soundly having been relieved of the awful burden of his office.
Ya know what? I’m sick of Bush being called a class act. He destroyed conservativism by always siding with the left on any domestic issue. Bush is a leftist and a bully, pure and simple. Disagree with him on the right, and he or his henchman will publicly label you a racist or a vigilante.
Obama may turn out to be the most hated President..especially if these anti white comments continue to prevail throughout his Presidency.
I expect 4 years of whites having to tip toe around his misdeeds while being called racist if he is criticized.
I am so sick and tired of hearing “President Barrak Obama” on TV, I sent this message to our local Fox station (St. Louis):
Please, get off the messiah and do the real news. Like how many killed last night in drive by shootings; who is driving wrong way on one way street; news that really matters. Also, when you going to start calling him “Obama” and cut out the “President Barrak Obama” crap, it’s been “Bush” for 8 years, now it’s time for him to be “Obama”....
I live 100 mi. east of St. Louis, get the St. Louis stations and Fox is the ONLY one I can tolerate anyway so please be more professional and search for news other than what Obama crapped in this a.m. (and how much it will sell for on eBay)
President Bush is a leader of uncommon moral vision and clarity of national purpose.
And in his farewell address to the nation, delivered January 15, 2009, President Bush made his valedictory exhortation on liberty and Americas responsibility: In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led. America must maintain our moral clarity. Good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise.
I disagree. Reagan was a "leader of uncommon moral vision and clarity of national purpose", Bush was ok. He has 3 major things to his credit, IMO - 1) the tax cuts, 2) the GWOT and 3) the appointments of Roberts and Alito.
Those things aside, his presidency will be characterized by the fact that it took him the majority of his first etrm to learn how to spell "VETO", understand its meaning and use it!! In his second, term, he lurched much farther to the left, in SPITE of the fact that the left detested him and everything he stood for. He did his utmost to appease them and all he got for his efforts was more disdain and derision from them.
His "moral vision and national purpose" didn't seem to extend themselves to rotecting our southern border and protecting America from the invasion from the south. They also didn't protect us from out of control spending by the Congress, the massive earmarks and, ultimately, the meltdown our economy is currently experiencing.
So, I find him likeable as a person, but as a president, he gets about a "C-" in my book. He missed too many opportunities to be a true and genuine conservative leader.
A agree. I wish he hadn’t ‘bailed’ at the end...it did him no good and set the country up for chaos. But, overall, he was a class act, like it says. It took a lot of grace to refuse to go on the defensive, especially after some of the lame stuff that was said and printed about him.