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Rethinking George Bush?
Townhall.com ^ | September 16, 2010 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 09/16/2010 5:06:44 AM PDT by Kaslin

Former President George W. Bush left office with the lowest approval ratings since Richard Nixon. In reaction, for nearly two years President Barack Obama won easy applause by prefacing almost every speech on his economic policies with a "Bush did it" put-down.

But suddenly Bush seems OK. Last week, the president did the unthinkable: He praised Bush for his past efforts to reach out to Muslims. Vice President Joe Biden went further and blurted out, "Mr. Bush deserves a lot of credit." Biden topped that off with, "Mr. President, thank you."

Even liberal pundits have now called on Bush to help Obama diffuse rising tensions over the so-called Ground Zero mosque and Arizona's illegal immigration law.

What's going on?

For one thing, recent polls show an astounding rebound in the former president's favorability -- to the extent that in the bellwether state of Ohio, voters would rather still have Bush as president than Obama by a 50-42 margin. Nationwide, Obama's approval ratings continue to sink to near 40 percent -- a nadir that took years for Bush to reach. It has become better politics to praise rather than to bury Bush.

Iraq seems on the road to success, with a growing economy and a stabilizing government. Don't take my word on that; ask Vice President Biden. He recently claimed that the way Iraq is going, it could become one of the Obama administration's "greatest achievements." Obama himself seconded that when the former war critic called the American effort in Iraq "a remarkable chapter" in the history of the two countries.

Then there are the growing comparisons with Bush's supposed past transgressions. Compared to Obama, they're starting to look like traffic tickets now. Take the economy and the war on terror. Americans were angry at the Bush-era deficits. But they look small after Obama trumped them in less than two years.

For six years of the Bush administration, Americans enjoyed a strong economy. So far, there hasn't been a similar month under Obama. Bush had a one-time Wall Street meltdown, but Obama's permanent big-government medicine for it seems far worse than the original disease.

If Hurricane Katrina showed government ineptness, so did the recent BP oil spill. Maybe such problems in the Gulf were neither Bush nor Obama's fault alone, but are better attributed to the inept federal bureaucracy itself -- or to freak weather and human laxity.

On the war on terror, Obama has dropped all the old campaign venom. Bush's Guantanamo Bay detention facility, renditions, tribunals, intercepts, wiretaps, predator drone attacks, and policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are no longer dubbed a shredding of the Constitution. All are now seen as national security tools that must be kept, if not expanded, under Obama.

In comparison to Obama and his gaffes, Bush no longer seems the singular clod whom his opponents endlessly ridiculed. The supposedly mellifluent Obama relies on the teleprompter as if it were his umbilical cord. His occasional word mangling (he pronounced "corpsman" as "corpse-man") and weird outbursts (he recently complained that opponents "talk about me like a dog") remind us that the pressures of the presidency can make a leader sometimes seem silly.

Bush now seems cool because he has played it cool. The more Obama and Biden have trashed him, the more silent and thus magnanimous he appears. Bush's post-presidency is not like that of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton -- both have criticized their successors and hit the campaign trail -- but similar to that of his father, who worked with, rather than harped about, Bill Clinton. That graciousness not only has helped George W. Bush in the polls, but it finally seems to be mellowing out Obama as well.

Criticism of Bush got out of hand the last few years of his term. Writing novels or making documentaries about killing the president, or libeling him as a Nazi, is not the sort of politics that we want continued during the Obama years. So it makes sense before the general election to halt the endless blame-gaming, before what goes around comes around.

The frenzy of Bush hatred and Obama worship that crested in the summer of 2008 is over. We now better remember the Bush at Ground Zero with a megaphone and his arm around a fireman than the Texan who pronounced "nuclear" as "nucular." Meanwhile, hope-and-change now seems to offer little hope and less change.

America woke up from its 2008 trance and is concluding that Bush was never as bad, and Obama never as good, as advertised.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: bush; georgebush; georgewbush; katrina; rino; vdh
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1 posted on 09/16/2010 5:06:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
This is fine, as far as it goes. I voted for Bush twice, I don't regret it, and I don't engage in Bush bashing.

But the Republican Party needs to be remade and, frankly, the next iteration should have no room for people like Bush.

2 posted on 09/16/2010 5:13:53 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Things will change after the revolution, but not before.)
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To: Kaslin
Bush is old school in that the President goes home and acts as like a President. Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson. Nixon, Reagan and Bush all acted this way. They supported the office holder because they know the difficulties of the office. There is a story that Eisenhower was at the Kennedy White House for an event. He quietly walked with JFK and schooled him on his fiasco on his handling of th Bay of Pigs invasion. Result, a different Kennedy during the Cuban missile crises.
3 posted on 09/16/2010 5:15:24 AM PDT by 11th Commandment (http://www.thirty-thousand.org/)
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To: Kaslin

Excellent!


4 posted on 09/16/2010 5:15:33 AM PDT by cantfindagoodscreenname (I really hate not knowing what was said in the deleted posts....)
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To: Kaslin

I think the rise in Bushs’ poll numbers may be connected to the “blame Bush” mantra of the left. Americans are tired of it and the more Democrats do it, the worse they look and the higher Bushs’ poll numbers rise.


5 posted on 09/16/2010 5:15:48 AM PDT by beckysueb
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To: Kaslin

Excellent, Kaslin!! Thank you!


6 posted on 09/16/2010 5:19:21 AM PDT by dmd25
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To: ClearCase_guy

I agree, no room for compassionate conservatives or semi-Progressives.

I’m from Texas and have been a critic of the Bushs for some time.


7 posted on 09/16/2010 5:19:33 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: Kaslin; calcowgirl; ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas; stephenjohnbanker; DoughtyOne; genetic homophobe; ..
RE :”In comparison to Obama and his gaffes, Bush no longer seems the singular clod whom his opponents endlessly ridiculed. The supposedly mellifluent Obama relies on the teleprompter as if it were his umbilical cord. His occasional word mangling (he pronounced “corpsman” as “corpse-man”) and weird outbursts (he recently complained that opponents “talk about me like a dog”) remind us that the pressures of the presidency can make a leader sometimes seem silly. Bush now seems cool because he has played it cool.

Great, just what we need to de-motivate anti-democrat voters, more Bush cool-aid. Bush is not drawing fire anymore because he has disappeared, much to democrats regret. Recently they have been praising him (even on MSNBC) and asking him to come out and defend Obama on the ground zero Mosque issue, and I appreciate that he has not went for their bait. I always said, Democrats cannot survive without Bush.

I will always remember one of his last acts:

Transcript: President Bush on Auto-Industry Bailout December 19, 2008 | FOXNews.com
and Summary of President Bush's Bailout Plan for Auto Companies : Dec 22 2008

8 posted on 09/16/2010 5:25:13 AM PDT by sickoflibs ("It's not the taxes, the redistribution is the federal spending=tax delayed")
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To: Kaslin
During the six years Bush had a republican Congress, unemployment was near historic lows and the economy was strong. During the nearly two years Obama has had a democrat Congress, unemployment is high and the economy is sick.

There is some symmetry there, and people are starting to recognize it.

9 posted on 09/16/2010 5:26:40 AM PDT by Cracker Jack (If it weren't for the democrats, republicans would be the worst thing in Washington.)
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To: dmd25

You are very welcome


10 posted on 09/16/2010 5:27:40 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Cracker Jack

It’s because they are waking up and are seeing the light


11 posted on 09/16/2010 5:29:12 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: ClearCase_guy

I guess you prefer people like the lazy arrogant pos who currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave


12 posted on 09/16/2010 5:34:47 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Deb
We now better remember the Bush at Ground Zero with a megaphone and his arm around a fireman ...

VDH reflects on W ping.

13 posted on 09/16/2010 5:36:37 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (I'm with Jim DeMint ... on the fringe baby!)
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To: Kaslin
That's uncalled for.

I don't like massive spending. I don't like compassionate politicians who feel called upon to solve every problem -- with my money.

I like George Bush a heck of a lot more than I like Obama.

Saying that George Bush is not my ideal of what a perfect Republican ought to look like is hardly an endorsement of the Kenyan usurper. Give me a break.

14 posted on 09/16/2010 5:37:52 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Things will change after the revolution, but not before.)
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To: Kaslin
Writing novels or making documentaries about killing the president, or libeling him as a Nazi, is not the sort of politics that we want continued during the Obama years.

Says who? ;-)

15 posted on 09/16/2010 5:40:09 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: ClearCase_guy

<< This is fine, as far as it goes. I voted for Bush twice, I don’t regret it, and I don’t engage in Bush bashing. But the Republican Party needs to be remade and, frankly, the next iteration should have no room for people like Bush. >>

And that’s not bashing Bush?


16 posted on 09/16/2010 5:44:32 AM PDT by ObamaMustGo2012 (Obama Must Go In 2012)
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To: Cracker Jack

Bush gets the blame for obama’s ecomonic mess, but I think it started when Reid, Pelousy and the dims took over congress and the budget. I need to research US economic performance charts and graphs to see if that’s the case.


17 posted on 09/16/2010 5:45:47 AM PDT by GBA (No. Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try.)
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To: Kaslin

The hype being peddled by the MSM now is so radical and over the top that it has lost its credibility. Bush’s incompetence was as much a manufactured myth as was Obama’s brilliance. In the selling of Obama, a mysterious, hateful radical with an obscure history and total lack of qualifications, the image builders/destroyers have shown their true colors, and the public is paying less and less attention to them.


18 posted on 09/16/2010 5:47:14 AM PDT by Spok (Free Range Republican)
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To: ClearCase_guy
no room for people like Bush.

I think there should always be room for decency, kindness, perseverance, loyalty, patriotism, integrity ...

19 posted on 09/16/2010 5:47:33 AM PDT by patriciaruth (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1993905/posts)
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To: Kaslin

Trying to ‘feel better’ by rekindling Bush memories against Obama realities is a DOWNER not an UPPER.

I voted for Bush twice, but he led the country into a train-wreck allowing the socialists to come in and ransack the country.


20 posted on 09/16/2010 5:48:17 AM PDT by LibFreeUSA (Show me what Obama brought that was new and there you will find things only radical and destructive.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
This is fine, as far as it goes. I voted for Bush twice, I don't regret it, and I don't engage in Bush bashing. But the Republican Party needs to be remade and, frankly, the next iteration should have no room for people like Bush.

Well stated. I would start with jettisoning Karl Rove and his mind numbing "realpolitick" B.S. If Bush had been more mindful with regards to restraining spending, we doubtfull would be stuck with this spendthrift man-child in office now.

21 posted on 09/16/2010 5:49:10 AM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: ObamaMustGo2012
I don't want the Republican Party to engage in massive government spending.
I don't want the Republican Party to portray itself as a bunch of compassionate people, ready to solve every problem for everyone.

If you perceive this as Bush bashing, I can't help you.

22 posted on 09/16/2010 5:49:13 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Things will change after the revolution, but not before.)
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To: Spok

Bush’s incompetence? Oh perhaps you think that 0bama is competent? *rme*


23 posted on 09/16/2010 5:49:50 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

‘For six years of the Bush administration, Americans enjoyed a strong economy.’

I guess people still don’t comprehend a bubble and living on credit.


24 posted on 09/16/2010 5:49:56 AM PDT by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: sickoflibs
IMHO, the record of President George W. Bush has so many more positives than negatives (chronicled on many FR threads), and history will prove this. On the issues with life and death consequences, he got everything exactly right. You can dwell on the negative if you want, so does Michael Moore. The Dems 'Alinskied' and demonized a very good man. The biggest shame is that self-defined conservatives bought it too.

The nation was spared a President Gore or President Kerry ... given Chief Justice John Roberts ... Justice Samuel Alito ... and a good, decent and honest man who loved his country, its Constitution and its people.


25 posted on 09/16/2010 5:50:59 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (I'm with Jim DeMint ... on the fringe baby!)
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To: Kaslin

GW Bush is that annoying seat belt you wear....you may not liked it but you felt safe.

Obama cut the seat belt, removed the front bumper, drained the brake fluid and put the peddle to meddle on a 2 mile hill.


26 posted on 09/16/2010 5:53:07 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: wolfcreek

There is no such thing as a semi-Progressive.

Bush is a Progressive - PERIOD.

McCain is a Progressive

Lindsay Graham is a Progressive...and the list goes on.

They have inflitrated our government, completely hijacked the DEM party and now finally our country.

The Progressives do not support or like America as the Founders had intended and they have little regard for the US Constitution our legal binding contract.

People are just rationalizing Bush now because Ozero seems so bad...they really aren’t all the different just traveling at different speeds of destruction.

There are many people in the GOP and supporting the GOP that suffer from GOP Establishment Worship Derangement Syndrome.

Being from TX I wouldn’t think you would sugar coat it with semi... :)


27 posted on 09/16/2010 5:54:27 AM PDT by surfer (To err is human, to really foul things up takes a Democrat, don't expect the GOP to have the answer!)
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To: ClearCase_guy; sickoflibs

I will always remember Bush for trying to ram amnesty with chain migration down our throats, in much the same manner that Obamacare WAS rammed down our throats.


28 posted on 09/16/2010 5:54:30 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker
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To: surfer

Old saying we have in Texas,

Anything that’s *semi* is F@$ked.

(I was being nice)


29 posted on 09/16/2010 5:56:56 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: Kaslin
Last week, the president did the unthinkable: He praised Bush for his past efforts to reach out to Muslims.

I can still remember my anger on 9/12/01 when President Bush visited the DC mosque to assure the local iman that relations between the United States and muslims was still strong and how he sat there listening to the iman go on about some story about mohammad hiding among the Christians when the Jews were trying to hunt him down. Muslims had just murdered 3,000+ innocent civilians and this guy had to get his two cents in about the "evil" Jews. Bush just sat there and listened politely when he should have been handing the guy a demolition permit for tearing down the DC mosque as the bulldozers waited outside.

30 posted on 09/16/2010 5:57:20 AM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: Kaslin
...or remembered for being able to throw out the first pitch.


31 posted on 09/16/2010 5:58:51 AM PDT by CASchack
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To: Kaslin

32 posted on 09/16/2010 6:01:19 AM PDT by Oratam
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To: CASchack

Excellent point?


33 posted on 09/16/2010 6:02:08 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

OHH Goody a “We Love RINO Bush” thread. BUSH was/is a rino, establishment, Inside-the-Beltway, Northeast TURD! For more info on Karl Rove see: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2589386/posts


34 posted on 09/16/2010 6:03:45 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: Kaslin

I meant to say Excellent point without the question mark


35 posted on 09/16/2010 6:05:12 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: GBA

You are correct. The mess started when Pelosi and Reid took over and we can blame the arrogant pos also for it, because he was part of it when he was in the Senate


36 posted on 09/16/2010 6:09:45 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Servant of the Cross

They need to make a statue out of that picture.


37 posted on 09/16/2010 6:10:20 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: Kaslin

While I didn’t care for GWB’s big spending, he was able to lead. Obama is incapable of leading....only rabble rousing.

W tried to reach out to everyone, including the moonbats with the “He’s not MY President” bumper stickers. Obama openly ridicules and scapegoats entire segments of the population.


38 posted on 09/16/2010 6:11:50 AM PDT by CASchack
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To: GBA
Bush gets the blame for obama’s ecomonic mess, but I think it started when Reid, Pelousy and the dims took over congress and the budget.

Exactly right! So when Obama uses speeches to whine about the “fiscal disaster” he inherited from Bush, he should actually be complaining about the Democratic Congress run by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid that appropriated and adopted the budget during the later years of the Bush term.

Don't let the Libs and their sycophants in the LSM twist this fact. If conservatives want to blame GOP involvement, McCain, Graham, Snowe, Collins, Voinovich, etc. etc. are the ones who get most of the blame not W. It was the congressional leaders of his own party who gave away the store. And they did that too in the early years of the Bush administration.

39 posted on 09/16/2010 6:14:40 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (I'm with Jim DeMint ... on the fringe baby!)
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To: GBA
but I think it started when Reid, Pelousy and the dims took over congress and the budget. I need to research US economic performance charts and graphs to see if that’s the case

Yes, that is the case.

From the moment Pelosi got into office, the Dems and the MSM engaged in a non-stop bashing of the economy and Bush.

They did a pivot from non-stop bashing of Iraq to the economy in order to crash the economy and, thus, pave the way to capturing the White House.

Both liberals and conservatives ended up convinced after this non-stop hate fest that Bush was to blame for everything under the sun. Appreciation for the incredibly hard work Bush had done to protect America (and the work on the economy he had done to restore confidence) vanished.

Something disgusting took place and we are all suffering now due to that witch taking the Speaker's gavel.

40 posted on 09/16/2010 6:17:29 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: LibFreeUSA
but he led the country into a train-wreck allowing the socialists to come in and ransack the country.

Huh? The economy thriving and unemployment practically nonexistent under President Bush and a Republican majority in the House and the Senate was a train wreck? *rme*

41 posted on 09/16/2010 6:18:01 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: surfer

IMHO, equating President George W. Bush with McCain and Graham is completely ignorant.


42 posted on 09/16/2010 6:18:46 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (I'm with Jim DeMint ... on the fringe baby!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Bush was a globalist who wanted to see America lead the world. Not in a dictatorial way, but in a democratic way.

Obama is a globalist who wants to see America be put in her place, which is apparently below all other nations.

This explains a lot of the difference between the two men.


43 posted on 09/16/2010 6:19:31 AM PDT by Blogger
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To: Servant of the Cross
IMHO, the record of President George W. Bush has so many more positives than negatives (chronicled on many FR threads), and history will prove this. On the issues with life and death consequences, he got everything exactly right

Correct.

44 posted on 09/16/2010 6:22:22 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Servant of the Cross

I agree with that statement. Bush did have conservative principles that he would stick to. Can’t say the same for the other two where it is always negotiable.


45 posted on 09/16/2010 6:23:33 AM PDT by Blogger
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To: Le Chien Rouge

Peddle to meddle?

Peddle is a verb meaning to travel about selling wares.

Meddle is a verb meaning to interfere where you are uninvited and unwanted.

Peddle to meddle makes no sense, the closest meaning would be to travel about seeking to interfere where you are uninvited.


46 posted on 09/16/2010 6:28:15 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: GBA

I need to research US economic performance charts and graphs to see if that’s the case.

Jet Jaguar has done the research for you-go here:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2451468/posts


47 posted on 09/16/2010 6:28:34 AM PDT by csmusaret (The Obama/Pelosi/Reid Cartel has saddled each of my grandchildren with a $44,000 debt.)
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To: Dixie Yooper

Once a black dimmicrat voter told me that George W. Bush was a liar. “Yes”, I replied, “he certainly is, he just said on TV that Islam is a religion of peace and that is as big a lie as anyone has ever told.” She looked dumbstruck, I think it may be the only time I ever agreed with her about politics.


48 posted on 09/16/2010 6:32:40 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: 11th Commandment
Bush is old school in that the President goes home and acts as like a President. Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson. Nixon, Reagan and Bush all acted this way. They supported the office holder because they know the difficulties of the office. There is a story that Eisenhower was at the Kennedy White House for an event. He quietly walked with JFK and schooled him on his fiasco on his handling of th Bay of Pigs invasion. Result, a different Kennedy during the Cuban missile crises.
Kennedy needed a vote of confidence from (Supreme Commander, Allied Forces in Europe) Eisenhower to help him out of the sickening loss of face entailed in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. So he Called Eisenhower to meet with him - at Camp David, IIRC - and they took a private walk together during which Eisenhower ripped him a new one. Then Eisenhower publicly gave Kennedy the support he had to have.

49 posted on 09/16/2010 6:34:14 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: CASchack

President Bush was a leader and he spend a lot in the 8 years he was in office less, then the arrogant pos, who currently occupies the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. As a matter of fact 0bama spend in the first six weeks what President Bush spend in his entire year and any president before him


50 posted on 09/16/2010 6:35:40 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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