September 12, 2008

George's Diner.

It's a lonely little place, but I've heard the coffee is good. Some people step inside and turn right back around, because the conversation is all about George W. Bush. He's the President, but most places nobody has much of anything good to say about the man. But here, we actually find some folks who rather like the man and appreciate what he's done. Some of it anyway.


goesh said...

Shouldn't one of the new Sarah Palin action figure dolls be propped up on that far right stool??

Meade said...

If he could run for a third term, I would vote for him because he would be the most qualified and experienced of the current candidates. He did not blink seven years ago. History will judge him to be one of our greatest presidents.

I'd have a cup of coffee with the man any day. And then I'd invite him to grab his bike and ride some of my trails with me.

knox said...

Brilliant post, Althouse.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I completely agree with Meade.

We will miss him when he's gone. I recall on his first inauguration day, when his predecessor was having a difficult time leaving the limelight, being patient and kind. It took me a couple months of watching the news, waiting for the next installment of the Soap Opera Chronicles and not seeing it to be relieved that honor and dignity had been restored to the Oval Office.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Oh, and: I would be so happy if he pulled a Tony Blair and crossed the Tiber.

George M. Spencer said...

Hey ya, goesh-go, meader, ktown, Ms. Adams--you nighthawks want some scrambled syntax with American cheese?

Meade said...

I completely agree with Ruth Anne completely agreeing with me. Hey, I like this place! And this is real coffee, not that lattay schmattay!

Over easy on that syntax, George bro. And hold the cheese. Tabasco. Thanx.

Ron said...

It was a shame I had to leave her at the bottom of the river with the big,linked steel bracelets and the cement pumps. But it was that or she'd have pumped me fulla lead. I tried to make myself feel better by telling myself it wasn't about the money but that she broke my heart, but that was a lie; it was about the money. "Cruel neutrality", that Althouse dame reminded me. I took another drag off my Lucky while Cookie poured me another cuppa. "Cruel neutrality," I laughed aloud through the smoke. I'll get through this election just fine, thanks.

Issob Morocco said...

Nice touch, Ann. I cannot recall a president since LBJ and FDR before him, who had so much occur on the world stage during his watch. He has chosen the high road in ignoring the shrill and sycophant critics instead of engaging them. Unfortunately, this is his biggest weakness, in my opinion. He needed to have more throw downs with the Dems and even his own party in the first 6 years. They saw his moral high ground as an open invitation do run up the country's credit card.

His last two years will be viewed historically as ones which he continued to pursue his agenda on the War Front, unfettered. His Lincoln moment in twenty years from now will inspire others to take on tough decisions, and ride them out, regardless of personal destruction.

Dimmycrats will need to reassess their values once he is gone, because it will be hard to look serious still blaming Bush for everything from a bus being late to the humid and wet September morning I am experiencing today.

Right or wrong, he did what he thought was right for the country and his motives cannot and will not be impugned by history.

Meade said...

Damn, Ron! That is some hard-boiled brew you're drinking!

Cookie! Pour me a cup of what Ron's having. Whaddaya mean you're all out?

Oh. He's been here all night huh?

Ruth Anne Adams said...


I'll take my syntax with excise.

Unknown said...

I appreciate and am grateful for Bush repealing the Clinton tax hikes on the working and middle classes. He allowed us to keep more of our own money in our pockets to save, invest, spend, or waste, as we choose. Too bad the legislature spent like drunken sailors.

I appreciate his doctrine. Get them before they get us. WHo cares what France thinks?

One other thing I appreciate. His leadership style. A true leader takes most of the blame, deserved or not, and little of the credit, deserved or not.

American Liberal Elite said...

good riddance - don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out

goesh said...

I really wish fedoras would become the rage - they just seem to set a purpose to a man. Fedoras could usher in some hush-hush type conversations amongst men in public places and prep us for another round of cold war type thinking what with the Chinese economic dragon so deeply inserted in our rectums. Can't you just hear the cold, mean, hushed voices of men, fedoras pulled down low on the brow, their simmering rage directed at the team of eunuchs just elected???

bearbee said...

Viewed it many times at the Chicago Institute of Art

He began it December 1941.
NPR discusses

"The joy of being alone"

Anonymous said...

I am sitting in my office
reading blogs instead of working
And I've opened up my bookmarks
so that I can get to Althouse

And she's opened up a diner
where the topic's always Dubya
But you know within an hour
it'll all be Sarah Palin

Do do do do,
do do do do,
do do do do do do do do.

Bob said...

I have to guess that President Bush has studied the Stoics, because he has certainly stood quietly amongst all the criticism and not engaged in a war of words with his enemies.

I'm going to miss his quiet dignity and strength after he's gone.

He visited Walter Reade Hospital this week. Apparently he's a regular visitor.

George M. Spencer said...

Hey, Condi sweetheart, 86 the American Liberal Elite, and, Dick, walk a cow through the garden for meade.

Throw it in the mud for Ms. Adams.

Give Obammmy here the Frenchman's delight and turn out the lights and cry. Cackleberries for Slojoe.

As for the voter, customer will take a chance.

Check the ice!!!!

John Stodder said...

Hating George W. Bush has become a habit for millions of Americans. But as we near the end of his tenure, I suspect at least some will reconsider.

His failures, though, were pretty dramatic. He had a knack for working with some pig-headed people who were just wrong. You remember characters as vivid and bothersome as Donald Rumsfeld and Mike Brown.

bearbee said...

Your image is from the movie Nighthawks.

MadisonMan said...

Dimmycrats will need to reassess their values once he is gone, because it will be hard to look serious still blaming Bush for everything from a bus being late to the humid and wet September morning I am experiencing today.

How long was it before Clinton wasn't blamed for everything after Bush took office?

And how come there are no black people served at that diner? :)

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Bush's top-4 positives, as I see them:

1) Recognised militant islamic terrorism could not be stopped by post hoc criminal investigation and prosecution.

2) Has put in place most of the major tools his successors of either party will need to maintain the effort for decades.

3) Effectively moved India out of the Russian orbit into much closer association with the Anglosphere.

4) Removed the Saddamist threat from the Middle East and through perseverance has enable a reasonably functional democracy to take root in a part of the world where such is badly lacking.

Bush's top-4 negatives, as I see them:

1) Did not 'clean house' at the CIA and State, allowing their people to wage an independent foreign policy in direct opposition to his own.

2) Did not control spending, and in the name of compassion permitted massive expansion of government (e.g. prescription drugs, farm subsidies, education)

3) He was repeatedly reluctant to talk 'Texas' (in which lingo he is quite comfortable, articulate, and forceful) even though he was generally incapable of expressing a coherent thought in the 'Washington' dialect.

4) He was consequently the least articulate President at least since Harding (and perhaps ever), rarely laying out the usually-solid case for either his own actions or over-arching conservative conservative principles on anything other than 'social conservative' issues.

Henry said...

And how come there are no black people served at that diner? :)

That guy with his back to us is Derek Jeter.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

Bush 41 and 43 share one trait that is both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness. Loyalty. Any of us would be comforted to call either of them a friend, because each will stick with you through good times and bad. Both men stuck with a few maybe a bit too long (Rumsfeld was the man to transform a military from Cold War to regional skirmishes, and to topple a dictatory, but was a fiasco with an insurgency - Bush just couldn't let him go).

The most admirable thing I can say about Bush is he didn't lie. He always stuck with his principles whether it was on the war, immigration, education. For that his enemies on the left and right excoriated him. For that, even though I disagreed with him on one of those policy areas, I honor him.

Unknown said...

Bush hatred is based on one thing and one thing only. Gore lost. The hatred started from day on and has not abated.

The Democrats determined that they would do everything in their power to keep him from governing. Upon taking over the legislature, Pelosi and Reid made it an official policy. History will bear this out.

Granted, he made mistakes. Look at all the mistakes Clinton made, especially in National Security and taxation of the middle and working class.

One thing about Bush, unlike Clinton, he never lashes out at his enemies. Bush also does not send his wife out espousing lunatic insanities like VRWCs. He just smiles and goes to work everyday and does his job. That is class.

Meade said...

"I'll take my syntax with excise."

Hawtter'n a kiss-blowin' mom-babin' Palin veep.

bearbee said...

Nighthawks Postcards:

"Eggs and Sausage"

Soundstage part 3

Jake said...

It's been said many times before, but I think it bares repeating. Bush is the modern Truman. A bit of an accident in arriving. Faced with fundamental change and forced to establish doctrine to lead forward in new environment. As a result of hard choices, easily pilloried by political opponents, and as a result, not popular.

History has been rather kind to Truman, as it probably will be for Bush. With the exception of Reagan, and I can't think of a president in my (50 year) life who will be seen as having been more consequential than Bush.

Sherry Sea from Austin said...

Great concept. But in the wake of the Palin interview, I'm waiting for Ann to analyze, as she did with Rev. Wright and with Obama's Saddleback interview, Palin's every "and" and "the".

bearbee said...

George's Din(n)er

slarrow said...

Raise a cuppa to George W. Bush, a man who spent all his fighting on foreign enemies and didn't have much left for his domestic ones.

Oh, and madisonman--black people would be served at that diner. They just don't come in very much. Probably has something to do with the names they get called if they're seen in a joint like this. Shame, really.

Meade said...

The Value of Service

Unknown said...

His approval rating is improving. At least, it's a lot higher than congress's anemic 9%.

Ron said...

I'll bet the Rosenbergs in the audience think because the artwork is "Nighthawks", and the subject is GWB that you've got some skinny on the perfessor here, am I right? Well, square up you purple Poindexters, Doc A don't play as obvious as your daddy's pick up line, get me? She's back there brewin' up another back of Nun's Oath so this establishment doesn't have to serve warm chai on a Friday night! Don't make me throw my shoes at you cats-on-the-fence, with yer crazy wailin'! Just go finda date, dig?

Brian Doyle said...

Dimwit. Liar. War criminal.

Anonymous said...

Bush did 5 great things:

1) He beat Gore.
2) He prosecuted the war.
3) He beat Kerry.
4) John Roberts
5) Samuel Alito

Unknown said...

I have an idea. Why don't we create a new term called "Doyle" to refer to perjoratives directed at GWB such as "Dimwit. Liar. War criminal."

That way, people can just say "George is such a Doyle." and that will cover the bases.

Meade said...

Get well soon, Doyle.

MC said...

Bush hatred is looking increasingly outdated with the new successful turn Iraq has taken.

If modest democracies survive in Iraq and Afghanistan in the long term, well that would just be huge. If we saw that happen, few recent presidents could match that level of accomplishment.

When I look back on the state of those countries before Bush, it astounds me that they're on the cusp of being imperfect but democratic countries.

It's sad that so few people can recognise the potential of what Bush has done, and feel hope.

Meade said...

Not a bad idea, mcg. Or how about "doyle" as term of mental illness as in, "The night sweats, constant agitation, and mouth foam are all symptoms of the patient's doylism. Administer sedatives and keep under close observation so he doesn't swallow his tongue."

Brian Doyle said...

Yes, regardless of whether or not the war was justified, the fact that after 5.5 years, 4000 US dead and hundreds of billions (mis)spent, Iraq is just about stable enough so that we can leave makes the whole expedition a rousing success.

I mean what else prevented another 9/11 if not the presence of 140,000 US troops in Iraq?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Bartender! I think we have to cut this guy off, he's stark raving doyle.

MC said...

It's also sad how cynical, bitter and derisive so much of the left is about the prospect of hope for Iraq and Afghanistan.

former law student said...

He did not start a nuclear war over the Middle East.

Brian Doyle said...

It's Bush who's neglected Afghanistan. 2008 has been the deadliest year there for Americans to date, thanks to Bush's endless pet war in the country that wasn't Al Qaeda's base.

And John McCain has been so concerned about Afghanistan he said they didn't need any more troops there and that we could "muddle through."

Unknown said...

Boy, if you thought PDS (Palin Doyle Syndrome) is bad, just wait and see how doyled the left gets if this trend continues.

garage mahal said...

Sadly Doyle is one of those 200 million out of 300 million people in this country that came down with that weird mental illness of not approving of Bush. It's the only possible way to make any sense of the disapproval too. At least with Clinton we knew he was running drugs, killing people, and planning the New World Order.

Unknown said...

And this one.
Obama has higher unfavorables than McCain in Washington? Sure, he has a higher percentage of folks that rate him "very favorable", and it has voted consistently Dem. But It has gone from +12 to +2 in one month.

knox said...

Slow down everybody; too much coffee and cigarettes and you'll have to go doyle.

MC said...


There's an important distinction between disapproving of Bush and believing that he is a "Dimwit", "Liar" and "War criminal" that I think you're glossing over there.

Unknown said...

Sadly Doyle is one of those 200 million out of 300 million people in this country that came down with that weird mental illness of not approving of Bush

Apparently doylism affects one's ability to make sense. Right now, the RCP average has Bush at 63.8% disapproval. The current US Population is 301 million or so, so 63.8% percent of that is just below 200 million---that is, if you include all 300 million in your survey.

But of course, including kids in such an estimate is positively doylish.

Anyway, simple disapproval of Bush is but one symptom of true doylism, and by no means a conclusive one. Other signs of mental illness must be evident before that diagnosis can be made.

Brian Doyle said...

If I'm so crazy and Bush's record is so defensible, why don't you defend it instead of resorting to childish ad hominem?

You can start be specifying whether you dispute that systematic torture of prisoners is a war crime or that George Bush authorized systematic torture.

Unknown said...

Because, Doyle, childish ad hominem is just so much more fun. And this is George's Diner.

George M. Spencer said...

Yo, Doyley--

86 for you!

Out da door.

Scram befores I moiderize ya!


ron st.amant said...

The end of the Bush presidency cannot come fast enough. How he was ever elected once, let alone twice is still a mystery.

Anonymous said...

Those whom the gods would destroy they first make doyle.

veni vidi vici said...

Just as Clinton will probably end up remembered in the same circle of venn as Coolidge, I agree that Bush and Truman are likely to be considered kindred in history's reckoning.

There's a killer biography of Truman out there worth reading/listening to (can't remember the author but it's probably less than 10-15 years old) that surprised me with the similarities between the men and their circumstances in the presidency. You know, Truman's Korean "war of choice" also didn't go very well -- we didn't exactly win that one. The postwar rebuilding projects in Europe and Asia are nodded to by today's middle east mission. The fact both guys are/were capable politicians, yet rather hamhanded public-speakers, and at heart very private folks that prefer being out there in rural America is another common thread between them.

Bush isn't Truman, though. He's Bush, and after some time passes, that will be substantial enough to no longer require comparisons to others.

Unknown said...

George W Bush will, within the next 100 years, take his place in the top 10 of Presidents of the United States, eclipsing both his father and Bill Clinton.

The only sad parts are that he won't be around to see it acknowledged, and the Bush haters of today won't either.

I'm currently writing a specific blog to let the future children of the Bush haters know how short-sighted, self-righteous, and basically useless to America and her principals that their parents really were in this day.

For history, of course.

bearbee said...

There's a killer biography of Truman out there worth reading...

Is that the McCullough biography or another one?

Anonymous said...

"The end of the Bush presidency cannot come fast enough. How he was ever elected once, let alone twice is still a mystery."

He received more votes than Albert Gore, Jr. and John French Kerry in successive presidential elections.

Mystery solved.

MadisonMan said...

Oxbay, I note that your list includes nothing about the economy.

Unknown said...

Michael_H: to be clear he received more electoral votes than Gore. He lost the popular vote. In 2004 of course he won both.

Revenant said...

I think Bush is a good man who has been a not very good President. Better than the alternatives, yes, but history doesn't grade on a curve.

I do give him credit for taking the huge gamble of launching the invasion of Iraq. He could have taken the easy way out and stuck to empty words and periodic bombings -- and been a lot more popular for having done so. Hopefully history will give him credit for that much, but given that the history books are mostly written by left-wingers I'm not holding my breath. :)

Paddy O said...

Bush is a strong, decisive leader who, I think, will be treated well by history, which looks more at the records and not as much at the rhetoric.

In this respect, I think he is, in a way, the exact opposite of JFK. Bush was Bush, the same guy behind the scenes as in the public eye. Only he was really so much better behind the scenes that he couldn't, or wouldn't, understand the need to bring everyone along.

This led people to fill in the blanks, and that led to an increasingly shrill political climate. He let the media, and his opponents, define the public conversation even as he absolutely did not let them define the national policy. They hated him for that because in their freedom to control the talk they became more outraged how little power talk has.

And really we will likely never know what Bush did that was the best. He was, we can say, a bulwark of a president, taking over when the storms brewing in the Clinton administration became hurricane strength.

This is true in global events as well as the economy.

America has survived the storm and the world is a different place than it was 8 years ago. That we continue to have hope, continue to make progress, continue to see our values shine forth is likely the best testimony of all.

We will likely never know the best parts of Bush's presidency because it is less about what he did and more about what he kept from happening.

Which opens the door for a lot of grumbling. Because we can't praise non-events, but can complain about what we do feel and see.

Anonymous said...

mcg: I said "votes", without any modifier. That covers it. George Bush beat the best and brightest the Dems could offer, twice.

Brian Doyle said...

mcg: I said "votes", without any modifier. That covers it.

LOL. Yes that's right! When people told George W. Bush that stuff he said was factually wrong, did he cave under the pressure? Hell no!

You gotta dig your heels in and tell the Bush haters like mcg where to put their precious "facts."

Mark said...

Veni vidi vici said:
"There's a killer biography of Truman out there worth reading..."

Bearbee said:
"Is that the McCullough biography or another one?"

I haven't read much, including the McCullogh bio of Truman, but I did read "Plain Speaking; an Oral Biography of Harry Truman" by Merle Miller, and saw many parallels b/w Bush & Truman I'd only suspected before. Realy, Truman was a great president, and so is George W. Bush. I recommend the Miller book if you can even find it. I'll have another cup of coffee, and how about a piece of that apple pie?

Unknown said...

Mmm. Pie.

Revenant said...

George Bush beat the best and brightest the Dems could offer, twice.

Man, I hope those two weren't the best and the brighest the Democrats COULD offer. Did offer, yeah, but I like to think there are at least a couple of Democratic politicians who aren't dolts.

Chip Ahoy said...

A long time ago I saw George Bush, this latest one, the ¿ What Me Worry? one, on Rowan Martin's fishing show. The two were having the most delightfully easy-going hobby-fisherman's type of conversation out on a boat.

I go, "wut?"

This caused me to stop and listen for awhile, and that stopping and listening made me want to go fishing with George Bush too. Weird, I know. I don't even fish, for the most part, but I still wanted to. Still do. Except now it would be very different, what, with all the Secret Service and everything.

The immediate history will be written largely by angry liberals, and quickly, who will be dead set on establishing the tone for all that follows. It's too much to ask for Bush to have the confidence of Churchill in history being kind by his intention to write it. We'll have to wait for another generation of historians for any degree of fairness regarding the Bush presidency.

This is a nice place. What is that Maxwell™ or what? Good pie. Apple, of course.

madawaskan said...

George Bush-

Seriously they are going to miss him.
Who are they going to blame for everything?

{Nah, I'm not trolling, I'm doyling..}

Anyways sometimes I flirt with the idea of voting for Obama-it's like a bad urge that I'm having a hard time to resist.

I'd like the Democrats to have no one to blame for awhile.

They'd have the House.

They'd have the Senate.


They'd have the Executive.

They'd have to do that thang that Democrats hate to do-
assume responsibility.

Ya, ya I know they'd find someone or something else to blame...

howzerdo said...

Having pets means a lot to me. I love Barney and Miss Beazley. So cute. I've really enjoyed the photos and holiday mini-movies about the Bush dogs and cat that are posted at the White House site.

blake said...

Hey, hey, rein it guys.

We don't want this thread going off the doyles.

Unknown said...

I'm really hoping we can use our new term in other threads. It really works well.

veni vidi vici said...

"Bearbee said:
"Is that the McCullough biography or another one?""

Yep; that's the one. I did the book on tape version of it some years ago and it was terrific. Highly recommended for history buffs.

Bush's best treatment by history will likely come after his death, if and when his estate releases something like the recently published "Reagan Diaries", which I've recently been playing in the car. There is so much that so many got so wrong about that guy, it can only make one laugh and shake one's head in disbelief at the half-cocked nonsense they've been saying all these recent years about Bush.

The truth will out, eventually. And yeah, maybe it'll prove all of *them* correct and me wrong, but until they manage to prove anything other than their own bad manners, I will continue to doubt it.

veni vidi vici said...

By the way, Rumsfeld must be considered a unique case in connection with the War on Terrah.

Did you know, for instance, that almost immediately upon his leaving the Ford administration in 1977, Rumsfeld began a long sideline/career of researching and public speaking about the threat of mid-eastern terrorism, and has long been considered a true expert in the field? We're talking prior to the Beirut Marine barracks, much less 9/11.

That expertise and authority must have weighed on Bush's decision to keep Rumsfeld around as long as he did. I'd have liked to see him moved to a different position after his streamlining-of-forces work was established and past the turn-back point, though. Perhaps the war would have been shorter for such a shuffling, who knows?

Kirk Parker said...


"I like to think there are at least a couple of Democratic politicians who aren't dolts"

I'd like to think the same thing, but Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Scoop Jackson are no longer with us. Do you suppose Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman qualify?