November 6, 2008

Comment Response: On the Treatment (and Record) of George W. Bush

This post responds to what I believe are the salient portions of this comment at this post (“Passage of the Day: On the Treatment of George W. Bush”). There are plenty of additional BizzyBlog and other links I could add, and may (emphasis may) later.

Don’t miss the ending.

NOTE: I wish it were otherwise, because I think this is a pretty important post (you’ll see why), but I won’t be around to clear or respond to comments until about 9:30 p.m.

* * * * * * * *

THE COMMENT, from Eric:

Bush has presided over the complete and total implosion of the GOP.

….. The fact is Bush had a unique opportunity to use our “common enemy” togetherness to forge a united country behind one goal. He squandered it horribly by going to war in Iraq instead of singularly pursuing terrorists and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.

Bush weakened the country in profound ways both at home and abroad. The clean up is going to be brutal. Luckily the American people elected a strong leader with an inate ability to build coalitions among disparate groups. His election alone has restored much faith in our country all across the globe.

WE weren’t disloyal to Bush when he needed us. Hardly. HE was disloyal to us when we were all behind him. Very few Americans – this one included – were prepared to get behind him on 9/12/01. He decided to leverage such sentiment into a Project for a New American Century rather than channel it to build a broad coalition fighting a common enemy.

But that ship has sailed. …..

The honorable thing for any American to do now is salute your new President Barack HUSSEIN Obama and get behind him in this precarious time for our country. Or – as might be expected from the likes of you – be obstructionist straight out of the gate. If you are upset about the treatment of Bush, you can’t possibly repeat that with Obama. He, after all, was elected by a greater margin than Bush in either election.

One thing is clear. America has spoken and spoken loudly. You’re either with us or you’re against us.

MY RESPONSE (not meant to requote every word) –

Bush has presided over the complete and total implosion of the GOP.

The post was about whether the country is better off, not the party. You seem incapable of distinguishing between the two, which we’ll see later.

He squandered it (“togetherness”) horribly by going to war in Iraq instead of singularly pursuing terrorists and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden.

In Iraq, US forces have defeated terrorists backed by Iran (modified at 10 PM) or fought by actual Iranians. Iran is the same country that has backed most other terror. So a victory in a discrete theater of the WOT has inarguably been achieved (unless you want to rewrite history and say that victory in WWII’s Japanese theater wasn’t achieved until MacArthur & Co. left Japan in 1954. That isn’t what settled history says.).

Very few Americans – this one included – were prepared to get behind him on 9/12/01.

Typo, or Freudian slip?

Let’s assume you meant that very few were NOT behind him on 9/12. Obviously I can’t speak for you, but the rest of the statement is wrong. The dirty secret of history is that the antiwar movement, and elements of the Democratic Party, were quickly coalescing to go after Bush over Afghanistan. The media was obsessing over how the “brutal Afghan winter” would put us into a “quagmire.” But fortunately, US troops ousted the Taliban so fast that they didn’t have time to get a head of steam, and 9/11 was still fresh in most Americans’ minds. The assertion that “we (the left) were ALL for Afghanistan” is historical revisionism.

Bush weakened the country in profound ways both at home and abroad. The clean up is going to be brutal.

Abroad? I guess that explains why there are more conservative or less liberal governments in Canada, Germany, France, and elsewhere. Despite elite hatred of Bush, the world has come closer to him. Or did you miss the hero’s welcomes he received throughout Africa, mostly related to the AIDS initiative the elites ridicule because it includes abstinence-related funding, which happens to be mostly why it has worked? You probably did; the New York Times and most media didn’t and still don’t care.

At home? The economy was fine until late last year, and probably doing as well as could be expected while Sarbanes Oxley remains in its current form. Then the magic of Pelosi, Obama, Reid, and the Democratic Congress kicked in.

The subprime mortgage problem, decades in the making and cooked up by the likes of Dodd, Raines, and many predecessors, finally came to a head. It happened because of the Carter-Era Community Reinvestment Act (CRA); CRA-driven lawsuits by the likes of Obama in his Chicago days; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s willingness to underwrite mortgage loans to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who barely had a credit pulse; and a consistent refusal, while consistently playing the race card, to allow adequate oversight. Bush and the GOP were wrong to let it fester, but they aren’t the perps. If there’s to be a protracted recession, it has almost everything to do with the subprime mess, Pelosi-Obama-Reid’s already-present overspending, advance reactions to Obama’s promised tax increases on the productive accompanied by giveaways incorrectly called “tax credits,” and almost nothing to do with Bush.

It will indeed be brutal cleaning up the mess created by the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy and their diversity-driven recession.

The honorable thing for any American to do now is salute your new President Barack HUSSEIN Obama and get behind him in this precarious time for our country. Or – as might be expected from the likes of you – be obstructionist straight out of the gate. If you are upset about the treatment of Bush, you can’t possibly repeat that with Obama.

So, Comrade Eric, what is the form of the “salute” you expect “any (and every) American” to give to our new president?

The mistreatment of Bush has to do with the assemblage of lies about him that have mistakenly become conventional wisdom and are way too lengthy to chronicle here. History will have a tall task undoing them, but I trust that objective scholars will eventually get it right, warts (which are significant in more than a few areas) and all.

When I think Barack HUSSEIN Obama (your capitalization) is right, I’ll say so. When I think he’s wrong, I’ll say so. If I want to employ literary and other techniques to make my points, I will. Nothing has changed. If you have a problem with that, I have a problem with you. I don’t “salute” someone unconditionally because he’s the new president.

Ordinarily, I would be able to salute an opponent’s election victory. I would like to, but I can’t in good conscience. As far as I and anyone willing to understand what has happened are concerned, Obama will take office under a cloud of suspicion over millions of dollars in unaccounted-for, apparently untraceable, frequently foreign-appearing contributions, something he did nothing to stop even after it became known. It’s not unreasonable, and certainly not dishonorable, to demand an accounting, to ask what the (illegal, if they exist) foreign contributions have bought, and to ask “what did Obama know and when did he know it?” What would be dishonorable is pretending, now that the election is over, that it doesn’t matter whether others might have bought and paid for our next administration. If he, or his party, or others never penetrate the cloud, that cloud will always remain.

One little blogger with no power beyond persuasion can’t be “obstructionist.” “Obstructionists” are people with power like Pelosi, Obama, and Reid, who set a goal of defeat in Iraq, and fortunately failed, and have worked to undo what was working in the economy, and, unfortunately, largely succeeded.

Ordinarily, the best one blogger can hope for is to get some truth and perspective out there that is being overlooked, downplayed, or reported erroneously.

You’re either with us or you’re against us.

Well, Eric, you just outed yourself. Wow.

When Bush made that statement in his speech on 9/20/01, he was referring to foreign countries (“And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.”).

You, on the other hand, are referring to individual American citizens, 48% of whom did not vote for Obama (60% or so if you include the apathetic). Almost no one in power on the right has EVER directed that “with us or against us” statement at their domestic opposition, even though they could defensibly have done so in the direction of outfits like Code Pink and similar others on a daily basis.

In your world, being against George Bush’s policies was perfectly acceptable dissent. I agree. Now, it looks like opposing Barack Obama on anything, no matter how harmful, extreme, unconstitutional, extra-constitutional, or anti-constitutional, is being “against us.” I could not disagree more.

Stalin, Mao, and Billy “After the revolution, we’ll have to kill 25 million” Ayers would be proud of your sentiments. I won’t forget them. Who’s the (left) wingnut now?