December 18, 2008

"I came with the idea of changing the tone in Washington, and frankly didn't do a very good job of it."

"You know, war brings out a lot of heated rhetoric and a lot of emotion. I fully understand that."



"Reflections by a guy who’s headed out of town... An old sage at 62 ... headed to retirement."

He looks utterly depleted and sad. Look how he slumps in the chair -- drained even of the vanity that it would take to make the slight effort it would take to hide his pot belly.

ADDED: Bush has many defenders in the comments, including people who are chiding me for criticizing him for slumping in a manner that is unflattering to his physique. And I thought I'd written a pretty sympathetic post.

AND: Here's the whole transcript. Excerpts:
I have found that in order to have good decision-making and a White House that functions well, that the President needs to articulate a set of principles from which he will not defer. In other words, a set of principles that are inviolate -- such as the universality of freedom....

Part of the presidency is the willingness to say, no matter how tough the issue may look, if it requires solution, go after it. And we did....

[QUESTION] What advice do you have for political conservatives in the years ahead?

[I]t's important to recruit good candidates who stand on principle. Most Americans believe what we believe -- that government ought to be limited and wise, that taxes ought to be low, that we ought to encourage entrepreneurship and small businesses, and that we ought to have a strong national defense....

166 comments:

Host with the Most said...

drained even of the vanity . . .

That personal vanity is nothing compared with the intellectual vanity - and vapidity - of those of the "Worst President Ever" crowd.

History will inevitably show the Bush haters to have been in the same "just don't get it" groups as Lincoln-haters and supporters of slavery.

1jpb said...

Somewhere I read that he thought he needed to push hard and not be cooperative because he needed to show no weakness after his weak election in 2000.

If this is true, it makes sense.

Maybe BHO will have more flexibility since he did get a 7 point win, well over 50% of the electorate, and the highest percentage turnout since 1960. That is, BHO doesn't need to try so hard.

He doesn't need to fake it, because he made it.

SteveR said...

Well 9/11 changed everything and I for one am thankful he kept his priorities in order, no matter the political cost. No he won't go swaggering out like Bill Clinton but I don't think he's going to spend the rest of his life trying to be relevant.

He's tired and we are tired of him.

ricpic said...

Unforgivable naivete. This is a grown man we're speaking of, not some starry eyed adolescent who believes that if you just look people in the eye and let them see how sweet souled you are and how much you mean well, well...they'll reciprocate. But of course it's not like that and anyone with even a modest amount of real world experience knows it's not like that. Unless...unless they come from such a protected privileged background that they've never had to face what people are, they've always been sheltered from the ferocity of homo lupis. And that apparently is what we elected to the presidency when we elected this junior member of the Bush Dynasty.

Richard said...

Bush's problem was that he rarely stood up for himself, and so after a while even his own supports stopped standing up for him.

Obama will reap the whirlwind of Bush Derangement Syndrome. It's coming. It's going to be absolute hell on earth for the guy.

Sissy Willis said...

Pot belly? Projecting, are we?

rhhardin said...

He changed the tone by example. That was his idea.

He's modestly claiming to have failed where it's the other assholes who traded in treason to gain power.

Something Bush hadn't thought possible.

The discouragement is finding them now in charge. Nothing good will come of it, but Bush will be helpful nevertheless on the way out.

He's following Augustine. Always think the best of the other guy. That's the original meaning of charity, before it became deductible.

Lexington Green said...

The worst thing you can say about a grown man is "he's a nice guy".

It is a smiley face you put on the forehead of somebody who is not competent, does not have the respect of other men, is childish, naive, over his head, beyond his capacity, yet who is not strong enough to be feared or respected despite his defects. A "nice guy" is a chump, not a villain.

Many people, myself included, gave him the benefit of the doubt, and even defended him and made excuses for him long after any reasonable doubt should have been exhausted, mostly due to the vileness and even the derangement of his enemies. That was a mistake. A bad president can have worse enemies. He let us all down badly.

This snippet of interview shows Mr. Bush was never more than a nice guy who was not up to the job.

I detest his successor and expect no good from him. But I am relieved this sub-par person is finally leaving the stage forever, before he can do any more harm to the conservative movement, the Republican party, the United States or the world. I hope I never see his face, read his name, or hear his voice again.

Legacy: One of the worst five presidents; bottom ten percent.

BumperStickerist said...

actually, Ricpic, we elected this "junior of the Bush Dynasty" to be President twice. So, well, you're full of shit.

A simple read of what Bush *actually said* with regard to any topic you care to name - not the meta-analysis coughed up by, among others, "The Left" - bears out that Bush 1) said what he meant and 2) meant what he said.

Go figure.

I'm not too surprised that Ann - a female given to displaying the effects of gravity - would comment on a 62 year old male's "pot belly" and the vanity required to hide it.

IIRC - and I usually do - Bush's exercise regime was commented on negatively by the Press back in the Days before Barack.

I half expect Barack will install a half-court basketball court in the Situation Room. Shoot some hoops while being apprised of various situations ... to the thunderous approval of the Press corps, no doubt.

.

Lem said...

If it was good enough for Watanabe to build a park . . .
it's good enough for Bush to have kept us safe.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044741/

Joan said...

Bush emphatically does not have a pot belly, but he is slumped rather awkwardly in the chair, which does add to the general air of detection about him.

He is tired, and well he should be. He has worked hard for the country and been vilified for it, and seen his friends and associates vilified as well.

I disagree with many of the things Bush has done, but I still hold him in very high regard. When have you ever heard him attack anyone personally? His biggest problem was his inability to articulate his policies. Well, no, his biggest problem is that he's a "compassionate" conservative, whatever the hell that is -- but he is a principaled man, and acted out of principal, rather than greed, envy, or desire for accolades.

I don't know how the architect of peace and democracy in at least one Middle East country can be called a failure and judged one of worst presidents, ever. It just doesn't follow.

Freder Frederson said...

A simple read of what Bush *actually said* with regard to any topic you care to name - not the meta-analysis coughed up by, among others, "The Left" - bears out that Bush 1) said what he meant and 2) meant what he said.

So he really meant it when he said "nobody anticipated the breach of the levees"? Well, then the man is a clueless moron!

chickenlittle said...

the slight effort it would take to hide his pot belly.

With all due respect Professor, that's pretty disrespectful. I hope you make the utmost efforts yourself when you hit 62.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Poor Bush.

=(

somefeller said...

Leave Althouse alone on the potbelly issue. When I saw the video of this earlier today on television, the first thing I noticed was the potbelly, and that surprised me because Bush is legendary for his physical fitness. And I'm certainly not insulting him for having a belly, given the fact that while I'm in pretty good shape, I have the standard Texas beer & brisket physique that Bush has managed to avoid, perhaps until now.

As far as Bush's legacy, etc., etc., I'd love to join in the mockery and scorn, but I'm tired of the subject. Time to move on.

Donn said...

Legacy: One of the worst five presidents; bottom ten percent.

Not even close. Middle of the pack at worst.

Lem said...

"nobody anticipated the breach of the levees"?

Another Rovian plot I'm sure.

Could they change the name of a hurricane retroactively from Katrina to Bush 43 ;)

SteveR said...

Come on Freder, you felt he was a moron before he got elected the first time. So why limit yourself to one statement from 2005.

Darcy said...

rhhardin, you're my hero of the day for that post.

Host with the Most said...

Legacy: One of the worst five presidents; bottom ten percent.

Sigh ... another mindless emotional response.

Lexington. Poor hsitorically illiterate Lexington

Listen up. Lesson 1 - Read the first comment above.

Reread several times.

Think about what it says. It is inevitable.

THINK.

Learn from the short-sightedness of past generations.

It's not too late.

LEARN.

Please don't make me come back for lesson 2.

Ann Althouse said...

I said "slight effort." He has a slight pot belly and his posture is exaggerating it. Jeez. Slumping like that while doing an interview makes a terrible impression.

Big Mike said...

Well, George W. Bush certainly made some mistakes -- Michael Brown for one -- but he has never deserved the calumny heaped on his head by the Democrat trash who never forgave him for not letting them steal the election in 2000.

Worst president? I suppose you'd have to overlook Buchanon, Grant, Harding, Johnson (both of them), and, especially, that guy Jackson whose "Trail of Tears" is annually celebrated by Democrats in their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. Certainly Democrats have started their share of wars -- try Polk and Mexico for the most truly immoral war in American history.

GWB will look a lot better after a few years have passed. If Barry O lets Al Qaeda succeed in attacking us then he'll look downright magnificent.

Aristides said...

History will inevitably show the Bush haters to have been in the same "just don't get it" groups as Lincoln-haters and supporters of slavery.

I sincerely hope you live the next sixty years, hoping each year that the general historical opinion of Bush rises, and each year discovering that it hasn't.

Lem said...

I sincerely hope you live the next sixty years, hoping each year that the general historical opinion of Bush rises, and each year discovering that it hasn't.

Are you sure you are not talking about Ronald Reagan?

chuck b. said...

"I came with the idea of changing the tone..."

See, Bush HOPED for CHANGE. May God grant him the serenity to accept the things he cannot change, the courage to change the things he can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I for one wish him a purpose-driven retirement.

Conservatives who attribute conservatism's recent failures to Bush need to keep looking, imo. He was elevated for 2000 by Republican leadership ostensibly because there wasn't anyone better. 8 years later, there's still noone better [than the other guy]. The question must be, how come?

(Well, maybe the totally fabulous Queen of the Igloos, but we're not sure yet and she may need a little re-branding.)

Expat(ish) said...

some idjit: "So he really meant it when he said "nobody anticipated the breach of the levees"?"

Uh, dude, I am from that part of the country and my whole (well, not the black sheep in TX) family still lives there. My very favorite cousin in the whole world (Engineering major from LSU) and her husband (Doc from Auburn) (yes, mixed marriage) live IN Nawlins.

Neither of them thought the levees would break. They had to stay there b/c of the hospital he works at, but they wouldn't have left anyway.

I should note that another branch of my family has historically been well and truly caught up in corrupt LA politics and public construction. Many of them live in both BR and NO and none of them thought it would flood.

-XC

JAL said...

Like what Host-Most said.

m00se said...

Dime store psychoanalysis here, but I think that Bush fully understood what was sowing. He realized that *someone* had to do *something* beyond the typical "shoot a cruise missle up a camel's ass" philosphy that had prevailed up to that point.

He took strong, forthright action, and stumbled badly. Later, he recovered somewaht, but not enough for our fickle press and electorate to forgive him for being something of a intellectual middleweight.

He could have called it quits some time ago, but didn't. I give him much credit for seeing it thru.

1jpb said...

Is he drinking again?

There was the photo of that mixed drink. And, the photo of the beer-looking beverage.

Both could easily be non-alcoholic. But, those could still result in a little beer-belly.

Since BHO is fielding smoking questions on camera, I would assume that Bush has been asked about these beverages on camera. Liberal media, and all.

P.S.
Big Mike,

If BHO let's us be attacked, he will have accomplished the the same thing as GWB. For some reason the right wingers who are eagerly waiting to attack BHO, can't fathom using this same twisted logic against GWB.

And, some of them like to say that GWB "kept us safe," but they forget that there about 3000 folks who weren't kept safe, and our country sure has seen a lot of resulting complications, not that it's fair to blame GWB (even though there were some slight warnings) because nobody has a crystal ball.

But it's important that we never forget these 3000 victims, even if you feel compelled to extol the so-called greatness of GWB.

m00se said...

...and I think we'll find in retrospect that he was much more human than Obama will turn out to be...

garage mahal said...

It will take 100s of yrs to fully appreciate Bush's current unpopularity. Obama? He's already failed! And too popular.

Cedarford said...

SteveR said...
Well 9/11 changed everything and I for one am thankful he kept his priorities in order, no matter the political cost.


It's an interesting cliche` - how a small enemy attack by a small force - as far as wars go - Changed Everything!

It's emotional and all, and the nation made a fetish of Victimhood of 2900 people who died when our own planes were turned against us - but historically, the casualties are a pittance compared to other wars. Or hundreds of natural disasters of various varieties in the last 100 years that hardly "Changed Everything".

And history may say America's triggering the global economic collapse was of far more long-term consequence.
Or the way America started down the path of being an uncompetive, corrupted nation living on credit that began with Clintons Free Trade Globalism in Reagan's free markets operating free of adequate oversight - and which accelerated under Bush as one con "bubble" after another happened. Which may be looked back on as what broke our faith in our capitalist system and ability of free trade and fre markets to serve any but the rich Elites pulling the strings on trade and the markets....

It's not just lives - or we would care more about the loss - in bulk - of 18,000 Americans who die from not having adequate health insurance or the 95,000 killed annually by "medical misadventure".
9/11 and the "heroes" death in fighting the Evildoers - is 2970 and 4300, total, over Bush's 8 years. But people dying from no health insurance - ironically not the poorest, the illegals, or those in jail getting free care but the working poor and small business employees with no insurance plan and private insurance now unaffordable...amount to 144,000. Those killed by medical misadventure? 760 Thousand in 8 years.

************
With Bush, it's like a nice guy who sought a job above his head and which he somehow got hired for - and stays at it with tenacity, but only gets worse as time goes on until he is beaten down, but so is everyone that depended on him.
You can feel sorta sorry for the guy and the people that made the mistake of employing him. But clearly, his departure will not be lamented.
****************
Host-most - History will inevitably show the Bush haters to have been in the same "just don't get it" groups as Lincoln-haters and supporters of slavery.

Yeah, sure. One faction of Right Wing nutballs still compares him to CHurchill. Another of Neocon nutballs that think he ranks with Lincoln as a Great Liberator and the only people that think he was a bad President are not just wrong, but morally, not on Bush's high moral plane to pay a too-high price in US treasure and blood to keep Israel safe, liberate noble peoples who don't really want us liberating them, and tick off all our former allies and make some of our former enemies - renewed enemies.

It is not "intellectual vanity" to say Bush is near or at the bottom of our Presidents - it is simply the informed opinion of some, the visceral dislike of others. AS is, he starts off at or below Carter's reputation, and he may move up or down from the "Carter" comparison as time goes by.

The economic collapse and America's slide may impact the reputations of Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton...as well as Bush II...because the roots of corruption, failed fiscal&trade theories, failed oversight, destruction of US jobs, the beginning of the "bubbles" - in some failure or the other trace long past Bush II to those guys.

Hard to say what the passage of time may do. Eisenhower and Truman trended upwards, Nixon too, has now started to be seen as very consequential to how America and the world changed in the 2nd half of the 20th Century (more so than LBJ or Reagan). JFK and Ford's reps diminished. Carters slipped even lower. Too early to say how Clinton and Bush I are faring in historical terms. But Reagan may be getting set for a substantial "downturn" because Bush II gave a more comprehensive test of his supply side, "trickledown" and dereg of firms and Wall Street theories and so disproved many of the things Reagan-lovers contended were infallible because Reagan believed it.

miller said...

Not that many people died at Pearl Harbor. And yet we went and declared war.

Not that many died at Fort Sumter. And yet we Federals went and declared war.

Not that many died at Lexington & Concord. And yet we went and declared war.

Not that many died on the Maine. And yet we went and declared war.

Not that many died on ship sinkings in 1914-1917. And yet we went and declared war.

Not that many died in Korea in 1950-1953. And yet we went and fought an undeclared war.

It's not the number of casualties that determines whether we declare war.

JAL said...

If after 4 years of world news like Bush's first, and perhaps even a second set of same, it will be interesting to see how BHO fares, looks and sounds, even with 15 years on GWB.

Of course the jihadists just might fold up their tents, roll up their medical and engineering sheepskins and steal off into the night, Rezko and Blago and the 21st century Chicago mob might meet Jesus on the Damascus Road, Johnson, Raines and Gorelick might give back their millions of F-M/F-M bonuses because somebody needs to bail out those poor underserved over committed defaulting home owners.

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd might shut up (and the latter resign), Iran will turn over the plans to their bomb, yttuen off the light, and enter into trade agreements with Israel. North Korea will start feeding the starving refugees in Darfur, China will give back their stolen Olympic medals and unblock the internet, and the Latin American illegal immigrants will go home and get in line for work visas while they apply freemarket initiatives, modern farming techniques and efficient industrial technology to their own agriculture and industrial startups which their local and national governments encourages and makes possible for them to do ... You get the drift.

And have the seas stop rising yet?

Nope. It seems to have cooled down in Las Vegas. And New Orleans. And Houston.

Simon said...

I agree with Richard's comment, and I think 1jpb is right to raise election 2000, although my take is somewhat different. The circumstances of that election produced a culture on the left that presumed Bush was illegitimate ("selected not elected" and so forth), thereby encouraging an extremely adversarial, hostile tone. The war amplified, but did not create, BDS.

Ann Althouse said...
"Slumping like that while doing an interview makes a terrible impression."

It makes the impression that he is utterly depleted and sad. Which could be thought a useful pose to frame his remarks.

JAL said...

That was "shut off the lights"

Trooper York said...

garage mahal said...
It will take 100s of yrs to fully appreciate Bush's current unpopularity. Obama? He's already failed! And too popular.

And yet in all that time, garage mahal will not have got a tag.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

As with Truman, Bush' ultimate evaluation will far exceed that of the moment. His administration has been remarkably free of scandals, in spite of many attempts to gin some up. More importantly, the Bush administration has:

a) attempted to address key aspects of unsustainable entitlement programs

b) moved America from passive and judicial defence to active and military offence against fundamental muslim terrorists

c) made more effective moves against African poverty and AIDS than all his predecessors, combined

d) opened productive and probably lasting relationships with India, bringing them into what has been called the Anglosphere

e) liberated roughly 1% of the world's population from unbelievable tyrrany

f) put in place many institutions and policies that his successors of both parties will need in the ongoing war against muslim fundamentalism

g) built functional and productive relationships with nearly all European countries.

Not a bad start, even if he did a lousy job of explaining it all.

Michael said...

"He looks utterly depleted and sad."

Yeah, abject failure and ineptitude will do that.

And to think 90% of the people who frequent this site would vote for this idiot again.

Now that's scary...

David said...

I respect Bush. He is honest and earnest and has tried to do the right thing. But he knows that he lost control of nearly everything but the anti-terror campaign.

As to how history will view Bush, it depends largely on what happens after his Presidency. There is no way that he will be seen as a highly effective President. Too much has gone wrong on his watch, even though many of the problems were not of his making. The best he can hope for is middle of the pack.

Michael said...

"His administration has been remarkably free of scandals..."

Except for ignoring the daily briefing announcing Bin Laden's intentions, a complete failure in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion, the 4,200 dead American soldiers, the 30,000 wounded soldiers, the massive amount of wasted and stolen money via the corporations and military in Iraq, the Blackwater murders, the torture, illegal wiretapping, the U.S. Attorney corruption, the demolition of the economy and the fact that we're still mired in Iraq and Afghanistan...you're right.

Michael said...

David: Bush is a fool who should have never been elected.

If you think history is going to give this idiot a free ride you're dumber than he is.

And that takes some doing.

Like I said: I can't believe how many here remain Bush sycophants, after all that we've seen and experienced.

Lem said...

God forbid, if there aren't any attacks/disasters that would warrant Obama in our living rooms every night, we are going to be so bored by him we are going to wish Bush was back in the WH in no time at all.

Roger J. said...

so here we sit--anonymous commenters on an inconsequential blog specultating on how history will play out. This says more about us than President Bush. And what it says about us is pretty sad.

I am more than content to let unfolding events confirm or repudiate what George W Bush had actually done. Thats really what history is all about.

My .02

Baron Zemo said...

"anonymous commenters on an inconsequential blog"

My dear boy you are insulting our hostess. Please take it back.

Roger J. said...

my good Baron--I am simply stating a truth

Baron Zemo said...

Her blog is not inconsequential.

It is merely pretentious swill for the masses.

Pearls before the swine as you were.

Roger J. said...

my good Baron: on that we can agree :)

Michael said...

Roger, you're right,; no one here can tell the future, but based on Bush's conduct and performance it's not hard to understand why he might not be revered as time passes.

You're point is based in your support of Bush and your hope that he'll be remembered in a more positive manner.

I wouldn't bet on it, though.

phx said...

I do think he's probably one of our worst presidents ever and I absolutely agree with him here. The "politics of personal destruction" are practiced on both sides of the aisle, and it's disgraceful.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveR said...

Cedarford: Just because I used a cliche doesn't mean you understood what I meant, because you didn't. Unlike you, I don't type out long winding comments. If you can't grasp how that phrase applied to Bush, and did not apply in the way you went to great length to dismiss, I guess you need to start ignoring my comments.

Baron Zemo said...

Michael on the other hand will be remembered as a mere pustule on the buttocks of the body politic.

Michael said...

Baron, Based on your inane comments I'm amazed you can remember anything.

Oh, and suck my dick.

Roger J. said...

Michael: you are such an egregious idiot you are hardly worth responding to, but in this case I will. You wrongly assume that I am a supporter of President Bush's policies--in fact, I support very few of them. I am at least intelligent enough to recognize I have no idea what future events may unfold. From someone whose most incisive commentary on this board is "suck my dick" your thoughts are not worth a fart in a whirlwind and you are simply a foul mouthed fool.

Michael said...

"He's tired and we are tired of him."

Are you kidding?

90% of those here would vote for him again.

DBrooks17 said...

For those seemingly convinced that GWB will be remembered as a buffoon and failure, many around here sure are compelled to fight that battle here and now. The hyperbole of their rhetoric betrays a personal vendetta, and their arguments say more about themselves than they do the Bush Presidency. Like Roger J, I am comfortable allowing the judgment of history, and realize that today's bleatings of detractors and supporters alike won't have any impact on that appraisal.

Titusisgoingouttonight said...

I am not a fan of his but I am curious what he will do after office.

Michael said...

Roger, For you to say you haven't and don't continue to support Bush is pure bullshit and you know it. I've read many of your comments and for you to suddenly say I don't understand where you're coming from is a crock and you know it.

At least have the guts to stand by your own beliefs...right or wrong.

Roger J. said...

Michael: you little pissant--do not lecture a man who has won two silver stars, three bronze stars and purple heart on courage. Now go fuck yourself.

Michael said...

"I am not a fan of his but I am curious what he will do after office."

Oh, probably provide insight and guidance to the intelligence community.

Or, hey maybe he'll become a cowboy.

jayne_cobb said...

Meh,

Every day Bush keeps looking more and more like Truman.

He favored direct engagement in combatting an ideology (just not with it's primary sources). He got us involved in a war which was one of choice not necessity. Said war became unpopular but he continued to prosecute it. The result was an uncertain outcome which wrapped itself up under his successor.

This choice cost his party the presidency and hurt them dearly in Congress. He was thought of as a stupid hick by his detractors and accused of crimes against humanity. He had trouble with former generals, and was accused of violating civil rights on a regular basis. Upon seeking reelection the polls had him trailing by large margins only to see him win.

Oh, and his successor pushed for a massive infrastructure project.

Michael said...

Roger, suck my dick.

Kansas City said...

I like Bush, especially in comparison to the possibility of John Kerry or Al Gore being president. He looks tired and he is slouching here, which is unusual but also meaningless.

As to history's judgment, people who attempt to make any definitive assessment today are either stupid or biased. You need to look back with the benefit of perpective and the events that follow a president, Truman being the obvious example.

It seems silly to argue that Bush will be near the bottom, when he is a presdient who won two wars, provided great assistance to Africa, and kept the country safe after 9/11. It also will annoy his many partisan enemies, but he has the chance to be considered an upper tier president if Iraq and Afghanistan turn out well, but that will take the march of history to determine.

Rose said...

It makes me angry, actually. On his behalf.

We have become a despicable nation, who will turn a blind eye to one person's outright corruption of our process, yet assign those very traits to another - who will turn a blind eye to Bill Clinton's philandering, lies and deception, and fail to appreciate a man who stays true to his vows, both to his wife and to his country, then cast him out for one who is far more steeped in corruption than anything we have yet seen.

We have seen 8 years of 'Kos' type propaganda against him, unrelenting, wicked and cruel in its detail, every minute nuance twisted, every essence mocked.

History will look well on him because of what you are about to experience.

But it will start with Barack's hair turning white in the first few years. If he has any conscience at all. While those who surround him will fleece us all and destroy any semblance of what made this country great.

We are entering a time when success is frowned upon, no, more than that, cursed and hated. Where handouts are expected, and personal integrity means nothing, if it exists at all.

It's depressing. And that's not even counting the possibility of another attack. The Draft.

Michael said...

KC: "As to history's judgment, people who attempt to make any definitive assessment today are either stupid or biased."

Really?

And you base this on what??

His performance?

The state of the economy?

Iraq?

Afghanistan?

You're just another Bush sycophant who refuses to accept the damage this man has done to our nation.

Michael said...

Well, I can't stand to even read any more of this inane drivel.

Let the suckfest continue.

garage mahal said...

And yet in all that time, garage mahal will not have got a tag.

A-House could have easily tagged that snappy one-liner if not for my moniker.

Roger J. said...

Michael: you are genuinely worthless piece of shit. Please go away.

Roger J. said...

And to the commenters on this board whom I have disparaged I apologize (except for michael)--has been a bad day as I have had to put down my beloved dog. Sorry to have taken out my bile on the people who dont deserve it. I will try to do better

Lawgiver said...

At least have the guts to stand by your own beliefs...right or wrong.

It takes no guts to stand by my own beliefs, but I can't state then any better than Roger J did. Michael IS a gigantic prick.

Kansas City said...

Sometimes these threads are entertaining. I made the rather mundane observation that "As to history's judgment, people who attempt to make any definitive assessment today are either stupid or biased," and like a set up, Michael jumps in with his vile partisanship to demonstrate my point.

madawaskan said...

Likely that he is wearing a bullet proof vest-hell it is Washington-they throw more than shoes.

al said...

Michael said...

Well, I can't stand to even read any more of this inane drivel.


Then please go away and never come back. No one will miss you.

Lem said...

has been a bad day as I have had to put down my beloved dog.

I'm sorry to hear that Roger.

Trooper York said...

Roger J. sorry to hear about your dog. It is always very tough when you lose a true friend like your dog. Only someone who had such a friend can know what it means.

Sorry for your loss.

Theo Boehm said...

Roger: I disagree. There is nothing genuine about Michael (our old 'Luckyoldson'). He is merely a piece of shit.
And, yes, no one, of ANY political persuasion, will miss him.

Kansas City said...

As a minor point, my guess is that Bill Clinton will slide from his current middle of the pack ranking towards the bottom. Presidents do not receive or deserve significant credit for good economic times. I think he ultimately will be remembered as the president who got and saved his job by lying and who was asleep at the switch on terrorism. The last charge may not be entirely fair, but it will stick. No significant long term accompishments that I can think of for Clinton to be remembered for, which is surprising because he was in many respects an extremely talented politician.

On the positive side, I think the first Bush will probably rise with time because at the moment of the huge issue of Hussein conquering Kuwait and threating the rest of the middle east, he rose to the occasion.

It also is the reason why I think Jack Kennedy should be in the upper tier. He was a poor to mediocre president in many respects (inflated by the assassination and the friendly Camelot treatment), but for all his faults, he rose to the occasion and performed very well when faced with the possibility of nuclear war (rejecting go to war advice from military men who might have intimidated another president). I think it entitles him to at least top ten status.

Theo Boehm said...

Roger: Sorry, too about your dog.

montana urban legend said...

"I don't want to be a self-servin' fella, but I have never used my position as president to personally denigrate somebody."

Instead he outsourced that to Rove.

C-O-G-N-I-T-I-V-E

D-I-S-S-O-N-A-N-C-E

Theo Boehm said...

Kansas City: Good point about Kennedy. I've always thought that Kennedy's style trumped the slim substance of his short time in office, but now that you mention it, his handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis was indeed that one shining moment in Camelot.

Theo Boehm said...

My 12-year-old won the spelling bee the other day, too.

Theo Boehm said...

I'm asking him to spell T-E-N-D-E-N-T-I-O-U-S.

Roger J. said...

Lem, Trooper, theo: thanks and god bless

montana urban legend said...

Am I supposed to be happy for you, Theo? If you found the point that Bush's hires bear a lot of responsibility for hurting the tone in Washington obvious too - despite his current state of self-pity, you could have just registered your agreement, instead of making a crass and snide comment.

Duscany said...

Host With The Most: "History will inevitably show the Bush haters to have been in the same "just don't get it" groups as Lincoln-haters and supporters of slavery."

I never saw what was wrong with hating Lincoln. He suspended habeas corpus. He fought a long bloody war to keep the south from leaving the union, something it seems to me, they had every right to do.

Yes Lincoln was wise and funny. But in the end having a wise funny president is less important than having one who respects the rule of law.

Theo Boehm said...

Oops! That's T-E-N-D-E-N-T-I-O-U-S B-O-R-E.

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

As opposed to:

O-P-I-N-I-O-N-A-T-E-D

AND

U-N-I-M-P-O-R-T-A-N-T?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Time will tell.

Unfortunately, I don't think we have much time upon which to reflect.

I think that time will be kinder to Bush than the reception he has received from contemporary critics.

Theo Boehm said...

How about S-A-Y S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L?

I know. Hard to do when you're 17.

Darcy said...

Oh, Roger J. So sorry.

montana urban legend said...

You mean like, "Theo Boehm must first be asked his approval of every view expressed here?"

Roger J. said...

thank you darcy-much appreciated

montana urban legend said...

Since everyone's doing it, I won't ignore the largely personal turn this thread's taken, and offer my condolences to Roger as well.

mcg said...

Roger J., my condolences. If it is any consolation, you clearly still have command of your faculties, as demonstrated by your crystal-clear assessment of Michael.

Kansas City said...

I at one time thought Lincoln was overrated and that he was responsible for the calamitious [sp?] way in which the Civil War was fought. I then read Goodwin's book (admittedly by an author who fell in love with her subject) and my thinking evolved to the point that I believe he ultimately was a great president for saving the union and freeing the slaves, plus his many great speeches and statements. Part of this was from watching the problems in the "minor" war in Iraq. The 1860's were an impossible time and Lincoln got us, sometimes stumbling, to the right conclusion.

Roger J. said...

Montana: sorry to have hijacked the thread with a personal issue, but thank you. Pets are wonderful things which you dont really know how much they mean to you when you have to make terrible decisions. I do wish that life was simpler.

Skyler said...

Bush's administration has been one of the most scandal free in the post war era. The only "scandals" were trumped up (like the Plame non-issue) or very inconsequential.

Criticisms of wire tapping and habeus corpus for Taliban prisoners were policy disagreements. Bush always complied with the law and changed course when the Supreme Court called any action unconstitutional. Compare that to Clinton's raiding Elian Gonzales' home despite a courts' willingness to hear the case out, his incineration of an entire church with women and children, etc. We won't even get into the cattel futures, perjury . . .

Bush has been a poor president because of his unswerving dedication to more and more centralized government power and socialism. His education policies and his creation of Homeland security were bad and unnecessary. They moved our country in the wrong direction when he had an opportunity to do the opposite.

Just like his father, he proved to have no backbone. His daddy allowed Saddam to surrender right before being defeated and allowed the Shia to be massacred because we walked away from a sociopathic dictator. G. W. Bush followed the advice of Cheney and Rumsfeld and decided that war can be won by special forces alone. Reliance on Afghan militias resulted in the escape of Osama bin Laden, whereas if we had put a few divisions in Afghanistan instead of two battalions, we would have had a remarkably different result. It wasn't wrong to go into Iraq, but we did it on the cheap again, with the result that we couldn't control what we took until finally Bush got a new general with some sense.

Bush was criticized severely, but that's because he never stood up to the criticisms. This is playground rules simple. If you let the bullies push you and taunt you, they'll just do it more. It seems Bush never figured that out.

But Bush's absolute most damning and unforgiveable act was this bailout of the banks, followed by the possibility of bailing out car companies for no reason at all. This will be the end of our nation as we know it.

And now we've got a communist terrorist sympathizing product of corrupt Chicago politics coming at us.

We'll look back on the scandal free Bush administration with some longing shortly.

Simon said...

Roger, sorry to hear about your dog. I'm a cat person, but cats and dogs - our most human pets - are alike in loss.

Kansas City said...
"I think [Clinton] ultimately will be remembered as the president who got and saved his job by lying and who was asleep at the switch on terrorism."

It's really too soon to make much more than a tentative assesment of the Clinton administration. A fortiori the Bush administration.

montana urban legend said...

Don't give it a second thought, Roger. If anything, I'd like to think of myself as interested in appreciating life's complexities. Sometimes I don't do a good enough job appreciating the degree to which a truly personal community has been cultivated here. As far as such decisions go with regard to the life and well-being of one's pets and companions, I'm sure that in instances such as this they can be nothing short of wrenching. I should be the one to apologize.

I had a couple of dogs I was quite fond of as a child. But my parents just got a puppy whose personality I am amazed by and can only wonder what it would be like to have the bond I can expect with this one. I can only imagine what you must be going through.

Again, my sympathies.

Lem said...

Reality check.

Montana's icon looks like an endangered Owl.

What does Theo have for his icon?

Something that looks like a shotgun :)

oops

AJ Lynch said...

Roger:

That is a real shame to hear. My condolences buddy. Hang in there.

Theo Boehm said...

And now we've got a communist terrorist sympathizing product of corrupt Chicago politics coming at us.

Skyler, surely you exaggerate. May I suggest removing, "communist terrorist sympathizing?"

asha said...

Bush approved the use of torture but thinks he never used his position of power "to denigrate anyone"?!%$&! What a psycho.

montana urban legend said...

Great Horned Owls are not endangered. And I always thought that avatar looked more like a flute, myself.

Theo Boehm said...

Lem: Not a shotgun, but a flute headoint. It's silver photographed against a black background.
Serious flute players and makers could infer a lot about my background from a close look at that lip plate and embouchure.

But, it's true. The .746 inch bore of a flute is AWFULLY close to a 12-gage.

Lem said...

Bush approved the use of torture but thinks he never used his position of power "to denigrate anyone

Ok, you tell us how you would have handled the 911 mastermind we have in gitmo right now?

Lem said...

Lem: Not a shotgun, but a flute headoint.

thanks as I sit correctly ;)

1jpb said...

Who knows how much we currently pay for disability benefits for folks from the first Gulf War (which wasn't technically the first, because the Iran/Iraq war was also called the gulf war?)

Any ideas on projections for such costs related to the current war?

Have folks read "The Three Trillion Dollar War?" It's full of all sorts of cost estimates such as this.

Even if this book is off, it may not be too early to speculate on the parts of the Bush legacy that can be estimated with historical data and a spreadsheet.

Roger,

Sorry about your tough day. No wonder you were wisely looking for the proverbial forest in your comments. Some of us are going through the motions tree by tree.

Theo Boehm said...

Lem: I wouldn't sit on it, if I were you. But, if you were Titus, I'd recommend lots of Vaseline. Warm it up first, too.

But back to Bush:

What 911 mastermind?? To hear the BBC and NPR, all we have in Guantánamo are poor victims of Chimpy & Cheney & Rove.

What I want to know is, how can we raise William Kuntsler from the dead to defend them when they get their day in Federal court?

Lem said...

Oh Mr terrorist, I mean, your magnificent Khalid Sheikh Mohammed wont you kindly, please, pretty please with sugar on top, wont you tell us what you have planned next?

Lem said...

Lem: I wouldn't sit on it, if I were you. But, if you were Titus, I'd recommend lots of Vaseline. Warm it up first, too.

Ha ha.

Theo Boehm said...

I mean, we've got Sir Archy. Why can't the Ghost of William Kunstler come on a blog by a constitutional law prof? He'd be much more relevant that Sir Archy.

MadisonMan said...

Time will not be kind to Bush. Or to anyone, for that matter, as it will kill all of us.

I think the estimation of Bush will rise with time, however. It could hardly go down. Clinton's will go down, as it was overinflated when he left office.

Roger, I'm also sorry about your dog. I've been there once. It's a wretched thing to do even as you tell yourself it's for the best. One day in the future you will look into the eyes of another dog and see your past dog looking back at you, wagging its tail, and your heart will sing. That's what happened to me and I hope it happens to you as well.

Theo Boehm said...

That's K-U-N-S-T-L-E-R.
I'm having my own private spelling bee.

Roger J. said...

again: to my friends on this "inconsequential blog" as I referred to it so inappropriately above, my sincere thanks. This is genuinely a community and you all been extraordinarily supportive. I could not ask for anything more.
Thank you all--one and all.

Theo Boehm said...

De nada, Roger. And everything MadisonMan said above goes for me, too.

Lem said...

Why can't the Ghost of William Kunstler come on..

Yes, let him argue a Muslim Rage defence.

Beth said...

History will inevitably show the Bush haters to have been in the same "just don't get it" groups as Lincoln-haters and supporters of slavery.

A good example of why, when I hear a reasoned critique of Bush derided as "BDS" I see only irony.

Beth said...

Roger, deepest sympathies. I'm glad you were there to take care of your dog when he needed you.

TRundgren said...

9/11 changed his presidency.

He looked out at a cataclysm in lower Manhattan and swore to never let himself be distracted from what he felt was the best way to attack the movement that harmed his country.

The hysterical conspiratorial hallucinations of the left inspired by the 2000 election did not move him off his mark.

God bless him and VP Cheney.

Patm said...

"Just like his father, he proved to have no backbone."

Yeah, except for the part where he did not back down in pursuit of Saddam Hussein in the face of world hate and condemnation and stuff...

Bush was the best man on the world stage for the past 8 years - you cannot name anyone who would have done better and for Chrissakes...until pretty recently, the economy was still growing robustly and unemployment was 4.8%...he has not been as bad as everyone wants to say (because it's easier than thinking.) GOre or Kerry would have been disasterous.

Obama? I'm not sure the man is up to the job. I cannot see anyone on the world stage who can do what Bush has done; bring old europe into consensus, welcome new europe and get all the tyrants allied against him.

OBama hasn't a tenth of his gravitas. But the press does love its hype.

reader_iam said...

As for me, in a jangle 'gainst the season's jingle even as I dance to that bell, I've been contemplating, when the margins and edges allow, a collection of quotations from Horace, that tart, fresh oldster.

Once upon a time I would have shared a dipper of that cool, unexpected nectar. Now, I am thinking--best not?

In any case ... happy holidays, all, should I not get the chance to say so a few days from now.

ron st.amant said...

The thing I find funniest of all, is those who reject the idea that Bush is one of the worst President's ever, laying claim that only distant history can judge YET at the same caliming Obama is a failure, will ruin the country and he hasn't been inaugurated yet.

I guess that's what they mean by 'fair and balanced'

Also, the idea that Bush's strength is that he means what he says and says what he mean...that's what Islamic militants think is their strength as well.

Just because you stick to your 'beliefs' doesn't make you right, it just makes you inflexible and stubborn.

Poor poor President Bush, the most powerful man in the world, usurped by Daily Kos and blogs *eye roll*

Theo Boehm said...

Beth: You know, I dislike Bush as much as the next person. Being enamored of my own analytical powers, I reject garden-variety BDS and have been searching for some more original reasons.

ricpic has a short and sharp critique at the beginning of this thread, that I initially thought a bit over the top. Giving it some thought, however, I've come around more to his position: Bush has indeed been a genuine naif in many surprising ways.

This is actually a pretty deep subject, worth much more reading and, hate to use that word, "meditation." i don't believe in facile psychobabble about public figures, but there is an extremely relevant character study about Bush waiting, as far as I can tell, to be written. It may take those many years for Mr. Bush to become decontaminated enough from his current radioactive state for that to happen.

And, reader, do drop us a quote from that tart-fresh oldster, Horace. That's exactly what we (or I) need to get the thinking unstuck from "Banal" re Mr. Bush.

Skyler said...

Theo objected: "Skyler, surely you exaggerate. May I suggest removing, "communist terrorist sympathizing""

Ayers is a self-professed communist. His violent actions to overthrow the government were designed to terrorize people. Hence "communist terrorist." B. Hussein defended him as "just an English professor" and started his political career in the home of a communist terrorist. Now, if he did that not knowing Ayers is a communist terrorist he could have recognized an error, but seeing as B. Hussein wrote in his memoirs that most of his political philosophy influences were communists, it's not surprising that he didn't.

Patm pointed out: "Bush was the best man on the world stage for the past 8 years - you cannot name anyone who would have done better and for Chrissakes."

Hmm. A whole lot of people could have done better. His acceptance of a ludicrous war plan was nothing short of naive incompetence. Cheney and Rumsfeld have a long track record of duplicating the failed "business" approach to war that was used in Viet Nam. The best way to win a war is to do it fast and do it large. The weakest point of a democracy is its attention span. Our enemies continue to exploit this weakness. Bush just barely pulled out of impending failure brought on by American intransigence. Americans will support just about any war if it appears we're going to win it eventually. Taking the cheap way to war almost doomed us.

If a war is worth fighting, it is worth winning. If it is worth winning, then it's worth fighting hard with everything we've got. In this case it means when the 4th ID is stymied in Turkey, the war can be postponed. And in the meantime, how about bringing another six divisions into the effort?

No back bone. He talked big, but skimped when it counted.

I won't miss him in office, but we'll never be able to forget his $700 billion payoff to future political donors. And his many other acts expanding the gluttonous reach of the federal government.

Except that Obama will be worse.

Blue Collar Todd said...

I think once we have President Obama people's attitude towards President George W. Bush are going to change. He has kept us safe since 9-11-2001 and I think Obama's Liberal world view is going to jepardize our safety.

reader_iam said...

Roger:

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that.
--W. Dayton Wedgefarth

Roger, I'm sorry you had such a rotten day. (!!!) Yet, at the same time and however weirdly, I'm glad you had a loyal companion for so many, many, many, many days that a day like today, this day, matters so much. As it should, and ought: Requiescat in Pace.

{()}

Jimmie said...

"His acceptance of a ludicrous war plan was nothing short of naive incompetence."

You have confused the war with building a democracy in Iraq after the war. Given your confusion, you probably missed that the coalition won the war handily with an astonishingly low number of casualties.

Building the democracy has gone much slower. Indeed, there have been mistakes, but who would not mistakes when they do something that no one else in the history of the world has ever done before? Yet Iraq has the first constitution ever popularly ratified in an Arab nation, ever. It has gone from tyranny to democracy (and even a fair semblance of a liberal democracy) in less time than it took us to go from British colonies to constitutional Republic. You may will quibble over the details of the democracy project, but you can not reasonably say that it has not, to this point, succeeded despite a concerted effort by our enemies and Bush's determined detractors, to bring it down.

Many of those detractors, I will note, very much favor the repugnant policy of realpolitik, which leaves millions in tyranny simply to satisfy our own selfish and frequently secondary interests.

I am sure that history will do what the small-minded among us have done for the past years and harshly criticize the President's failings. But it will also recognize that he is one of the few men in history to change the course of a nation greatly for the better. And he did it almost by himself.

Theo Boehm said...

Well, Skyler, I won't miss him either for many of the same reasons. As I say, it's all worth some thought and reflection.

So, where's reader with those Horace quotes to help us feel all classical and 18th century-like?

But my point about Ayers has to do with the notion of "communist," and the opprobrium attached to it. "Communism" has become, for most people alive today, an embarrassing 19th century cult, whose unfortunate historical manifestations in the recently past 20th are too distant to take seriously, and certainly not as a threat today.

Thus, calling someone a "Communist" has become like calling him a "Whig." Even if you're an ardent Tory, such a label has lost all force of meaning and threat. And even if you're a staunch Republican, calling someone a "Communist" has an air of desperation about it, out of touch with modern politics.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Your negative opinions are as nothing to me. They mean even less now than they did the first hundred thousand times I heard them and they say more about you than they do about anybody else or anything substantial.

sirpatrick said...

I agree the pot belly crack was unnecessary...I don't see you making any disparaging reamarks about Obambos ears...He looks like a taxi driving down the street with its doors open....

Freeman Hunt said...

Roger, I join in with the others and offer my sympathies. I've had to do that before, and it definitely makes for a very bad day. At the very least, tomorrow will be better.

Ann Althouse said...

"I agree the pot belly crack was unnecessary...I don't see you making any disparaging reamarks about Obambos ears.."

Ridiculous! I wrote only today that Obama used to be fat...

Skyler said...

Jimmy wrote:

"You have confused the war with building a democracy in Iraq after the war. Given your confusion, you probably missed that the coalition won the war handily with an astonishingly low number of casualties.

Building the democracy has gone much slower. Indeed, there have been mistakes, but who would not mistakes when they do something that no one else in the history of the world has ever done before?"

I have no confusion in this war. I was there in the Hit-Haditha corridor while 48 of my battalion were killed and more than a hundred and twenty injured because we tried to control a hundred miles of the Euphrates River with one understrength battalion at the same time that that area was a focus of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Don't presume to tell me I know not of what I speak.

The initial invasion was botched. We did not have enough men to control a country when the existing power collapsed. There's no getting around that conclusion. Sure, tactically it went pretty well, but strategically it was a disaster.

The war was a good idea, I'm convinced of that. We have Iran bordered on two sides. The problem is that the execution was off. I sat in Iraq getting shot at and raiding cities while my commanding general visited us often and told us that most of the generals in the Green Zone didn't know there was still a kinetic war going on. In 2005! I don't know the last time anyone won a war by protesting that they needed fewer troops than the pitiful number already on hand, but that's what Casey and his crew did. It wasn't until Patraeus came along that some of the bureaucratic kiss up policies of the generals was finally put to an end.

Patraeus for President! After he wins in Afghanistan, that is.

Blue Collar Todd said...

Thus, calling someone a "Communist" has become like calling him a "Whig." Even if you're an ardent Tory, such a label has lost all force of meaning and threat. And even if you're a staunch Republican, calling someone a "Communist" has an air of desperation about it, out of touch with modern politics.

It is a bit troubling that Liberals can assert Marxist propositions all over the place and yet to be called on it is out of touch. If a Marxist propostion about the world is affirmed by someone today, then yes, they are a Marxist and even Communist. It seems we would call someone who support exterminating Jews a Nazi, so the same should apply to someone engaging in class warfare and seeking to take over the economy. Remember Obama choose to hang out with Marxists, went to a Marxist church for 20 years, so yes is most likely a Marxist to some degree.

amba said...

drained even of the vanity that it would take to make the slight effort it would take to hide his pot belly.

Marvelous observation. I noticed exactly that, but didn't have words for it.

Meade said...

It IS a pot belly and he does look and sound depleted. So Althouse was just doing her customary critique d'cruel. No one is exempt so remember to raise your game. It's what she does, one of the many things she's very very good at. But come on, people, it isn't like she's casting judgement on his mortal soul. I'm glad he was president when he was. Gore would not have made the grade. Neither would've Kerry.

He'll suck it up. He's done it before, he'll do it again.

Thanks, President Bush. You're a good man.

LoafingOaf said...

Is this post trying to make me feel sorry for Bush?

The week of the release of the report that proved Bush's guilt in the torture done in our name?

Something Althouse chose not to blog about. Big yawn to her. Bush the torturer - what a boring topic to blog about. Let's feel sorry for Bush, instead. Oh, poor George W. Bush the torturer.

But I actually do think Bush is a victim, in a way. He had really scummy people surrounding him who obviously knew they could manipulate him.

LoafingOaf said...

Frankly, I suspect Bush drank before this interview. He actually slurs his speech a bit. And how does he have a pot belly when he's such a fan of exercise? From the drink! I'd probably drink too, if I was leaving as big a mess behind as he is.

HArd to feel sorry for him, though. He had a policy of torture. The report came out this week, though Althouse didn't find it blog-worthy.

Eric said...

It's true the Bush years have been relatively scandal free. Myself, I'm happy with the way Bush has conducted the WoT, but I'm not happy at all with the way he allowed spending to get out of control. NCLB and Medicare prescription drug benefits are, frankly, statist programs that should never have happened under a Republican. The effects of the drunken spending spree the Republican and later Democratic Congresses went on will be felt for generations. Far longer than Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then the bank bailouts. That had been building since the CRA under Carter, but Bush deserves his share of the blame for continuing the policy of artificially inflating the percentage of American homeowners. I still can't decide if he knew what was coming and decided to kick the can into 2009, or if he was really caught flatfooted.

Host with the Most said...

"George W Bush the torturer"

Frankly, if that's what it's taken to keep us safe - something the report is ultimately ambiguous about - then here's someone hoping Obama does it even better.

Get a clue about the real world.

American Liberal Elite said...

Worst.President.Ever.

Theo Boehm said...

Skyler: Good observations re the military aspects of the war and Petraeus. You obviously know what you're talking about.

Blue Collar Todd: I have no problem calling someone a Marxist, which certainly applies to Ayers, for example. There are Marxists of all stripes everywhere, some, for example, more idiotic than others, who comment here.

No, my point is that the word "Communism" has taken on the meaning left to us by its 20th century manifestation: The international movement initially largely controlled and financed by the Soviet Union and its agencies, such as the Comintern. That is the classic meaning people associate with various Red Scares, the fellow-travelers of the 1930's, the McCarthy era, etc., etc.

There is no longer a vast international semi-clandestine organization run from Moscow that largely subsumed the name "Communist." That is as dead as the Whigs of the 18th century. It seems faintly ridiculous these days to call someone a Communist, as if that would conjure up all those old associations with a truly dangerous international conspiracy.

I think a more accurate and telling term today is simply "Marxist." To me, at least, that may be more a term of derision than fear, because of the manifest and hideous failures of classic Marxist-Leninist philosophy in actual practice. Anyone who believes in Marxist-Leninism after the 20th century, and who thus is a Communist in my sense of the word, is an obvious fool, and so much less dangerous than he or she might have been 60 or 70 years ago.

Anyone who believes in Marxism without Lenin may or may not be dangerous or a fool, but I think we need to call that on a case-by-case basis, and not use a term that conjures up the ghost of Uncle Joe and his vanished minions in Moscow.

Windbag said...

William F Buckley used to slump during interviews. Looked awful when he did it.

siyeh pass said...

Body language says a lot. He looks beaten down.

Skyler said...

Theo said: "There is no longer a vast international semi-clandestine organization run from Moscow that largely subsumed the name "Communist.""

That's a wild leap of faith. Back in the thirties, forties and fifties people were saying the same thing, yet we now have uncontrovertible proof that they were there. Ayers and company were certainly in that group. There's no reason to think that all of this simply vanished.

It much easier to assume that they began working through the democrat party. Not all democrats are communists, of course, but especially for the past six years they have been in almost total control of that party.

Brooke said...

To All President Bush haters, pot belly, vane, dumb, inarticulate, sneaky, and all the other colorful words you can think of, the fact is, he kept your fat asses safe so you could speak and write things like this. This man tried. BHO will protect HIS ass for sure, I doubt he's really interested in protecting yours. You ALL owe President Bush a dept of gratitude.

Sugar said...

On September 12, 2001, if you would have promised the country that on this man's watch, no further terrorist attacks would hit our homeland, Congress would have immediately passed legislation to make Bush the fifth face on Mt. Rushmore. This country has the memory of Dori from Finding Nemo.

The guy deals with more real world, life and death, SERIOUS CRAP before lunch each day than 99% of his libtard critics deal with in their whole pathetic lives.

I guess that's one of the great things about this country. Disingenuous ingrates are allowed to mock and ridicule a man who wakes up every day fighting for them. But it's the man who is fighting that makes this country great. Not the chihuahuas nipping at his heels.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Roger J., I'm late to the conversation but my condolences on the loss of your pet.

ballyfager said...

The choices we were given were Bush vs. Gore and Bush vs. Kerry. Given those choices today I would STILL vote for Bush.

Kerry is an empty suit and Gore is a borderline lunatic who embarrasses himself every time he opens his mouth.

AllenS said...

Roger, sorry about the loss of your dog. At 62 years of age, I find myself going to a lot of funerals. Went to another one yesterday.

Henry said...

I have found that in order to have good decision-making and a White House that functions well, that the President needs to articulate a set of principles from which he will not defer.

That is a profoundly important point. I hope Obama is listening.

Sadly, Bush's principles were deep, but not broad.

Still, his decision --on principle -- to stay in Iraq and support Petraeus as the mob clamored for retreat was an act of great political courage.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The choices we were given were Bush vs. Gore and Bush vs. Kerry. Given those choices today I would STILL vote for Bush.

I think that sums up my feelings toward the Bush presidency. Considering how lackluster he was as a candidate, it boggles the mind that Gore/Kerry was the best the Democrat party could come up with.

It was almost as if they DIDN'T want to win.

Kylos said...

Theo, check out zombietime and you'll see quite a bit of activity from communist organizations who openly use the term communist.

Shanna said...

I disagree with many of the things Bush has done, but I still hold him in very high regard.

This is my opinion exactly. I think he made some bad decisions policy wise and personnel wise, but he seems like a fundamentally decent man to me. A man with honor, hokey as that sounds.

Arthur said...

Mr. Frederson--

When Mr. Bush says that no one anticipated the breach of the levees in New Orleans, he is precisely correct. What was anticipated is that the levees might be OVERTOPPED.The difference in the 2 scenarios, incl. esp. the fact that damage from overtopping would have been much more limited, is too obvious to detail here. Nonetheless, you and many people like the Wash Posts's Eugene Robinson have used Mr. Bush's indisputably correct statement as an example of his stupidity.This is one small example of how the passsage of time may yet confirm what he said, and directly contradict what you say.He was right; you are wrong.

Freder Frederson said...

When Mr. Bush says that no one anticipated the breach of the levees in New Orleans, he is precisely correct. What was anticipated is that the levees might be OVERTOPPED.The difference in the 2 scenarios, incl. esp. the fact that damage from overtopping would have been much more limited, is too obvious to detail here.

Actually, you are wrong. The way the Lake Pontchartrain levees are constructed, overtopping (and yes you are technically correct, what everybody was worried about was that the levees would be overtopped) would have led to scouring on the land side of the levees followed by breaching. This would have been much worse than the flooding that did occur because it would have been much more rapid. In fact to illustrate what overtopping the levees would mean, earlier that spring one of the local agencies hung banners from second story windows in the French Quarter to demonstrate how high the water would rise if the Lake Pontchartrain levees were overtopped (and subsequently breached) by a hurricane storm surge. The storm surge from Katrina was 30 feet at Biloxi. If that surge had pushed against the levees at New Orleans--which are only 17 feet in places--the results would have been rapid and catastrophic overtopping of the levees followed by multiple breaches from scouring. Only because the storm turned slightly east at the last minute was New Orleans spared the full brunt of the storm. The local news repeatedly relayed this exact scenario starting Saturday morning. I know, I must have heard it a hundred times because I had the radio or television on that whole weekend as I prepared to evacuate and left town.

Bush apparently sat (slept?) through a briefing before the storm where this was discussed but did not ask a single question.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Bush apparently sat (slept?) through a briefing before the storm where this was discussed but did not ask a single question.

Hell the governor of Louisiana was why not Bush?

Cedarford said...

Sugar said...
On September 12, 2001, if you would have promised the country that on this man's watch, no further terrorist attacks would hit our homeland, Congress would have immediately passed legislation to make Bush the fifth face on Mt. Rushmore.


I doubt it.

The "I don't care if everything else went bad, he Kept Us Safe" meme didn't exactly work with Mt Rushmore faces for Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, Nixon, or Reagan for their instrumental actions "Keeping Us All Safe" from a foe several thousand times more dangerous and lethal than Al Qaeda.

(We lost more Americans in the Cold War, annually, to conflict and actions facing the Bear and Chicoms and their proxies, in every Administration from Truman through Reagan's first term - than lost Americans on an annual basis from 9/11 or Bush's wars.)

Like it or not, there is far more to being the Chief Executive than a near-monomanical obsession with a small band of "Evildoers" capable of killing only a few hundred or thousand Americans, tops...
A CEO who ignores everything else to dwell on one aspect of the business they were hired to do is a short-lived CEO. Bush - if the Dems ran someone other than Kerry - or they could have had elections any month from early 2005 onwards, would have been fired.

He screwed up nearly everything else past "Evildoer" defense and failed to lead well even on that after 2002.

A face on Mt Rushmore for Bush would be like one for Jimmy Carter's die hard supporters liking him for just one thing.
"He may have screwed up everything else, but He Is Great because he brought morality back to DC after Watergate.)

Even in panic, post-9/11, people were urging Bush to calm down a little and put his "Evildoers" in perspective against the myriad of other threats and challenges to the American people, like....

The dangers of corruption in Congress and in companies and on Wall Street threatening America's future. Of greater dangers and challenges overseas than a small pack of 3,000 stateless jihadis.
A health care crisis that kills more Americans every year than "terrorist Evildoers" have done to the West in 40 years.

Of becoming fiscally reckless and failing to veto a single spending bill reaching his desk for 7 years.

Of out-doing LBJ and growing the Fed Gov't with no check on present taxes to pay for his proflagicy - just dumping deferred Bush taxes on future generations. For ignoring that he had proved that Reaganomics - tax cuts for the wealthy magically grow revenue, "Trickledown" makes workers prosperous, Free Trade creates great new American jobs replacing lost ones - that Reaganomics had failed to work by 2004.
For stuffing the Fed Gov't with incompetent hacks, anti-science theocrats. For failing to reconcile legal issues and trying to use his political capital to steamroller.
For helping destroy the Republican Party outside "The Base" States - narrowing, rather than broadening it's potential voter demographics.

Memorializing Bush II may be hard to "spot" appropriately for decades - until the impact of what positive things as well as the damage to and decline of America in his time is sorted out. He won't be on Mt Rushmore, obviously, but he won't be seen as only fit to have a sewage treatment plant in San Francisco named after, either..

reader_iam said...

Well, I went over to Loafing Oaf's "test blog." It seems he's not blogging about torture, either. Guess it's a boring topic--a big yawn!--to him.

Pfooey.

Original Mike said...

"I came with the idea of changing the tone in Washington, and frankly didn't do a very good job of it."

Wasn't his fault.

Kirk Parker said...

Skyler,

"In this case it means when the 4th ID is stymied in Turkey, the war can be postponed."

Oh my good grief, who would have suspected that you would be among the silly post-facto armchair generals?

Skyler said...

Parker was surprised: "Oh my good grief, who would have suspected that you would be among the silly post-facto armchair generals?"

Actually, it wasn't ex post facto, it was contemporaneous. It was blatantly obvious at the time. We ejected Iraq from Kuwait with 450,000 troops. We had about half that number to control a huge country. Absurd.

But we all hoped for the best when our commander in chief said it was the plan. You know Marines, salute, and say "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full" and carry out the order.