Why We Miss Bush – UPDATED

Ed Morrissey notes that many who spent 8+ years detesting Bush as the worst moron-nazi-terrorist ever born of woman are now looking for him to break his post-presidential silence in the cause of aiding President Obama and the unpopular dont-call-it-a-Ground-Zero-mosque construction planned in New York City.

It’s certainly a delicious irony to savor. Of course all of those pundits clamoring for Bush’s assistance are careful to point out that he is still an idiotchimp on every other issue but this one, but I have heard similar “I miss Bush” musings from others–those who always hated Bush, those who grew to hate him, those who piled on because the pile was a safe place to be.

One of my husband’s friends–hated Bush, loved Obama and defended him vociferously for the first year, less passionately the second–told him over lunch this week that he’s done with Obama and “I never thought I’d say this but I miss Bush. We knew that he said what he meant, even if we didn’t want to hear it. We knew who he was, even if we didn’t like him. And we never had to wonder whether he liked us. He always did.”

And that is it, in a nutshell. Bush is missable, because we miss having a president whose affection for his country and its people–even the ones who hated him–was never in doubt.

We miss Bush because he never lectured us or harangued us, and when people disagreed with him, they were not immediately called names in an attempt to simply shut up debate.

Were President Bush faced with this precise Cordoba Group situation during his presidency, I have no idea what his response to it would have been. It is conceivable that he would have made a point of encouraging his citizenry to look at the proposed construction as a great reflection of America’s steadfast commitment to liberty. Had he done so, he likely would have faced opposition from his base, and from the center, and quite possibly from the very folks on the left who are now pining for him – because recall that during his presidency, nothing coming form the mouth of Bush was permitted to be deemed credible, reasonable or intelligent.

I am absolutely certain however that in the face of angry, hurt opposition President Bush would not have permitted or encouraged his party to charge 60% of the nation with bigotry and xenophobia, because Bush never hated his opponents, and he never believed the worst of his countrymen; he believed the best.

Believing the worst of his countrymen sometimes seems to be President Obama’s default mode.

We miss Bush because he believed that Americans are inherently decent and heroic people who would–even in strained situations–bring thoroughly decent and heroic responses to bear.

It is a much better message for a president to send to his people than, “Don’t be evil. Like you usually are.”

Rick at Brutally Honest has more

UPDATE: And then there’s this

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Terrye

    baleen:

    I did not say that Bush’s numbers were never that low, I said they were not that low for extended periods of time…and unlike Obama he never saw his numbers dip so far so fast.

    I can remember hearing Clinton talk about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction while Bush was still the Governor of Texas. Go call him a liar.

    As for New Orleans, the Bush administration at least tried which is more than can be said for the corrupt and incompetent Democrats that ran the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisianna back then. Look at the mess they made.

    Abu Ghraib? Reall? Saddam Hussein killed more Muslims than the crusaders and the best you got is Abu Ghraib? Saddam used to give people who raped and killed his own citizens a pat on the back..the US military gave the men and women who did wrong at Abu Ghraib courts martial.

    You are just a petty partisan little Bush basher. You do not even care about the truth.

  • Mickey Jackson

    “Believing the worst of his countrymen sometimes seems to be President Obama’s default mode.”

    I’d appreciate some evidence for this assertion. Otherwise, it comes pretty damn close to slander.

    I lean to the left on most issues (though not the “non-negotiables” like abortion and marriage), but I had always considered The Anchoress to be one of the more reasonable voices on the right…until recently. This post, and particularly the statement I just referenced, is more worthy of Rush Limbaugh.

  • Mickey Jackson

    By the way:
    -Torture
    -Preemptive war
    -Gitmo
    -Wiretapping
    -Extraordinary rendition
    -Halliburton
    -Abramoff scandal
    -Enron
    -Corporate welfare

    For all of these reasons listed above, my answer to, “Miss me yet?” is, “Hell no!” Obama’s failure to reverse most of Bush’s policies has been disappointing, to say the least, but they were still Bush’s policies. I won’t be voting for Obama in 2012, but neither will I vote for anyone who tries to tell me that the Bush years were just dandy.

  • E

    So what does Bush specifically take credit/blame for? It seems that he gets magical he protected us vague credit, but every single thing that went wrong in his 8 years was magically someone else’s fault. But Obama is supposed to take blame for every single thing that happens from the minute he walked in the door of the white house? Somehow everything bad is either Clinton’s fault (9/11) or Obama’s fault (bailouts that happened in October 2008, before the election)

    Even the war is somehow now Obama’s fault even though Bush pushed for the invasion to the point of knowingly lying and firing anyone who opposed him. Shouldn’t Bush be PROUD of his never ending war and the deficits it caused while killing hundreds of thousands of people who had nothing to do with 9/11?

  • Angry Pelican

    The only pertinent thing I can say is that I think you are right about Bush and, certainly, how I felt about him. My main disappointment is that he left those who trusted him without much enthusiasm or confidence when the next election came. I don’t really understand what happened. Was he unable to communicate his ideals? In any event, he might have opened the door for what we have now, which I do not think was his intention at all. Many Americans never understood that this man seemed to want the best for our country.

  • Angry Pelican

    May I add that I live in New Orleans and that I lived here when Katrina hit and, really, for most of my life and I never blamed anyone for, what I saw, as the force of nature. Sure, things could have been handled differently and it was a terrible experience but I do not feel that he really changed the effects of the storm for better or worse. In fact, after the level of devastation became clear, I believe that he made a sincere effort to save the city. Out of towners would yell at me when I would tell them that Bush didn’t cause the storm, it was a force of nature for which we truly were not prepared. If it brings you solace. blame someone. I did not.

  • baleen

    “I can remember hearing Clinton talk about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction while Bush was still the Governor of Texas. Go call him a liar.”

    But Clinton didn’t invade Iraq.

    I don’t think Bush made any effort to verify the claim Saddam had WMD even though that info came from incredibly dubious sources (drunkards and mental patients, etc.).

  • Dagwood

    Funny, isn’t it, Mickey, how so many of those reasons you give are still in place, despite the promises of our current president to end them. Or did you miss the blurb that Gitmo is still operating, that rendition is still being practiced, that practically every security measure which Democrats railed at as so intrusive is still in place, and that now the “welfare” doled out for corporations dwarfs the amounts given during the prior administration.

    Oh, and Enron? Seems I remember those guilty being tried and sentenced – something I guess we won’t see in the case of the New Black Panthers voting intimidation.

    Baleen: No, but Clinton did manage to bomb an aspirin factory, didn’t he? And in light of the 9/11 attacks and intel reports, how do you honestly think a Clinton or Gore would have responded? I mean, since both are on record in the late 90′s claiming that Hussein constituted an ongoing threat to us and must be removed from power?

  • baleen

    “And in light of the 9/11 attacks and intel reports, how do you honestly think a Clinton or Gore would have responded?”

    I don’t claim to be psychic like many of my Republican friends claim to be.,

    All we know is what happened…Bush made no effort to confirm rumors from drunks, crazies and forged documents before squandering American lives and money in Iraq.

  • Jan

    baleen – who are these drunks and mental patients you keep yammering on about?

    And unless you are, in fact, psychic, how the hell do you know what Mr. Bush did?

    Cheers!

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  • Patti

    While I did not agree with everything he did, I did respect him – his yes was yes and no was no. He said what he meant and stood behind what he said. His word was his bond. That is what I miss.

  • baleen

    “baleen – who are these drunks and mental patients you keep yammering on about?”

    Curveball is one.

    “Rafid Ahmed Alwan – otherwise known as Curveball – slipped back into Baghdad after 10 years of exile in Germany.

    Before the invasion, Curveball had become the CIA’s most valuable source on Iraq’s fictitious chemical and biological weapons programme, a man who underscored the White House’s push for war through a litany of lies that later claimed the careers of the former secretary of state Colin Powell, and CIA chief George Tenet.

    Both were forced to admit they had gone to war partly on the word of a collaborator whom no American agency had even debriefed until one year after Baghdad fell.”

  • Toads

    The leftards today desperately want the Bush tax cuts to expire and return to Clinton levels of taxation, which somehow led to a booming economy.

    They are far less interested in returning to Clinton-era levels of spending.

    I am totally fine with returning to Clinton tax rates if we return to Clinton spending. Leftards don’t want the second half, of course.

  • Toads

    I am always amazed that liberals project their own actions onto conservatives.

    Amazed? Why are you STILL amazed by something they do day in and day out to the exclusion of all else.

    Conservatives are too stupid to realize that appealing to a leftist’s logic and decency is a path to nowhere.

    Everything about the left is projection. Trying to elevate the discourse with them is the reason conservatives have lost so badly, and the left has won so handily.

  • Toads

    But Clinton didn’t invade Iraq.

    Actually, he was about to in 1998, Operation Desert Fox. He settled for airstrikes that killed thousands.

    Clinton was about to act on US policy to oust Saddam on account of his WMDs.

    Part of being a leftard is a belief that World History began in 2003, apart from the ‘stolen’ 2000 election.

    [Toad, we try not to use silly words like "leftards" here, if we can help it. -admin]

  • Toads

    Toad, we try not to use silly words like “leftards” here, if we can help it. -admin

    This feeds into what I just said. I used to think there was value to maintaining a certain level of decorum.

    But tell me know many leftist blogs will forbid the use of terms like ‘wingnut’ or ‘Nazi’ or whatever.

    That is the point I was making. Being nice to leftists gets you nowhere. This is why the right always cedes more and more ground, and is completely helpless to stop the advance of leftism.

    [Yes, but as I taught my children, I don't really care what the neighbors do in their house; in this house, we don't do that. :-) -admin]

  • Toads

    But Clinton didn’t invade Iraq.

    He didn’t have the moral courage to do the right thing.

    Bush did, and after some missteps, turned Iraq into a better place.

    No sane person can dispute that Iraq of 2010 is better than Iraq of 2002. Also, no sane person can say that the number of high-profile terrorist attacks in the West is as high as it was in 2006 and earlier.

    The Iraq war was the right thing, in the long run.

  • baleen

    “The Iraq war was the right thing, in the long run.”

    Really?

    In the long run, we’ve probably turned Iraq into Iran’s first puppet state in the Middle East.

  • Toads

    In the long run, we’ve probably turned Iraq into Iran’s first puppet state in the Middle East.

    Whatever planet you live on, it is not Earth. In fact, your planet maybe even has global warming.

    The funny thing is, your sentence presumes Iran is bad, but if a pro-US President attacked Iran, you would slam him, much as you slammed Bush over the lie that Iraq had no ties to Islamic terror.

    We all know that if Bush did not invade Iraq, baleen would be slamming him for ignoring Saddam’s multitude of ties to Islamic terror networks.

    God, I am so glad I am not a leftist…… What a painful life that must be.

  • Toads

    Dagwood,

    I mean, since both are on record in the late 90′s claiming that Hussein constituted an ongoing threat to us and must be removed from power?

    Shhhhhh!!! Leftists don’t like these facts!! Clinton bombed Saddam for days in 1998 on account of Saddam’s WMD programs. Saddam’s ties to the 1993 WTC bombing are known, as is his history of using chemical weapons.

    Shhh!!!! Don’t torture leftists with facts!!

  • Terrye

    Clinton did not invade Iraq, but he pushed for and he got the Iraqi Liberation Act passed, which made regime change in Iraq our national policy. And he did so on the grounds that Saddam was a dangerous man with wmd and wmd programs. I can still remember him saying “Mark my words, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and he will use them”…Mark my words indeed and now here you are acting as if he and his ilk had nothing to do with the whole thing…by the way Clinton also supported the invasion of Iraq along with most of the Democrats in Senate. Of course that was back when saber rattling worked for them politically. And now they will do the same thing with Afghanistan..whine for years about we were not fighting the real war and then demand an immediate withdrawal from the socalled real war when it is not politically advantageous to support it.

    [There was that very famous magazine cover. Someone once wrote me that the reason Bush was "stupid" was because "everyone knew" that the Saddam/WMD intel was faked so Clinton could "wag the dog" due to the Lewinsky fallout-get that story off the pages, etc but Bush was "too stupid" to know it....I thought it was the most cynical thing I ever read. And I read blogs, so I read a lot of cynical stuff! :-) -admin]

  • Terrye

    BTW, my last comment was directed at baleen. I forgot to include that in the post.

  • Terrye

    Toads:

    Oh please. Saddam’s regime was not exactly stable…if and when he collapsed that country would have turned into Afghanistan with oil. Do you honestly think the Iranians would have stayed out of there? Meanwhile Saddam was allowing people like Zarqawi to sit up housekeeping in that country while he gave money to terrorists all over the middle east. Sometimes there are no good and easy answers. What strikes me as interesting is how people always want to fight some other war, or some other fight..if we are in Iraq, then we should be in Afghanistan more, if we are in Afghanistan, then Iran is the real enemy. etc.

    One thing about Iraq, most of the people who live there actually support a more secular government and a large part of the population does not even attend regular religious services. They are not Iranians.

  • Terrye

    Toads, that last comment was meant to be directed at baleen’s last comment. I think I need more coffee. I do agree with you.

  • Bob

    Obama has repeatedly, and recently, blamed Bush for this country’s problems. This behavior can have two alternative consequences:

    (i) Bush responds, and the country gets swept up in an acrimonious debate between the current and former Presidents. But hey, that’ll get Obama’s base fired up.
    (ii) Bush continues with his preternatural forbearance, and Obama gets to engage in risk-free buck-passing cheap shots.

    Real classy, this President of ours.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    There is no way to reasonably argue the Iraq War was anything but a debacle. The U.S. went to the world community, and with great fanfare, made a case for war based on non-existence WMD. The occupation was bungled. It was if the Bush Administration had no idea about the political history of Iraq, the fractured society, the legacy of colonial occupation. Thousands were killed, millions made refugees. Prisoners were abused, beaten and killed, drugged and deprived of basic necessities, against international law. The “with us or against us” attitude pervaded all levels of the U.S. government, causing strains to the very alliances required to fight an international war on terrorism.

    The political solution belongs to the Iraqi people, as it always has.

  • Bob

    “The political solution belongs to the Iraqi people, as it always has.”

    It has? Have you heard of this fellow called Saddam Hussein?

  • Doc

    Zach, really, the Iraqi people have always owned their political solution? Saddam getting 99.9% of the vote was a legit, eh? He and his sons were murderous tyrants and the region is far better off with them dead. Oh, and the “world community” was on the take, enriching themselves through bribes and that whole Oil for Food scam, leading Saddam to believe he was invulnerable.

    Tell the Kurds that his WMD were non-existent.

  • RickZ

    Zachriel
    August 24th, 2010 | 8:17 am | #123

    Thousands were killed, millions made refugees. Prisoners were abused, beaten and killed, drugged and deprived of basic necessities, against international law.

    We aren’t talking about Saddam Hussein. Oh wait, . . .

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Doc: Tell the Kurds that his WMD were non-existent.

    Yes, during the 1980′s, Saddam acquired chemical weapons and delivery systems with the help of the United States. However, he did not have chemical weapons, much less a nuclear capability at the time of the U.S. invasion.

    RickZ: We aren’t talking about Saddam Hussein.

    Saddam was a murderous tyrant. He claimed the usual justification for his crimes, national security. But international law does not recognize any justification for torture or the willful killing of civilians.

  • Terrye

    Zach:

    I can remember when the UN created the food for oil trust fund and sit back while Saddam turned it into the largest scam on the planet. The man killed hundreds of thousands of his own people, he disappeared tens of thousands more and that does not include the wars.

    The truth is that if you were given the choice between the Iraqi people having a decent stable government or a collapse in Iraq that you could blame on Bush…you would pick the second one, because going after Bush is really all you care about. What happens to the Iraqis or the region or what the world would have been like if this mass murdering dictator had been able to get away with thumbing his nose at the world means nothing to you. Not a thing.

  • Doc

    More Lefty mythology, Zach. The US did not supply Saddam with chemical weapons. They did help with intel against Iran, as they viewed Iran as the greatest regional threat in the 80′s. Don’t forget, Iran is the country who held our citizens hostage and has made the export of terrorism the basis of their foreign policy since the revolution. So, there was some logic to ensuring that Iran did not dominate the region at that time.

    Saddam had plenty of notice that we were coming and weapons are easy to destroy or transport to Syria.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Terrye: The man killed hundreds of thousands of his own people …

    Yes, he did.

    Terrye: The truth is that if you were given the choice between the Iraqi people having a decent stable government or a collapse in Iraq that you could blame on Bush…you would pick the second one, because going after Bush is really all you care about.

    The Iraqi people, the region, and the world would be much better off with a stable, democratic Iraq. And one day, the Iraqi people will forge such a country.

    Terrye: What happens to the Iraqis or the region or what the world would have been like if this mass murdering dictator had been able to get away with thumbing his nose at the world means nothing to you.

    The Nuremberg trials after WWII established the basic tenets of international law, with aggressive war by the fascists being “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Fascist leaders were hung for crimes against peace. Preserving the sovereignty of international borders was the reason why virtually the entire world, including Arab and Muslim nations, rose up against Saddam when he invaded Kuwait.

    Only under exceptional circumstances can a nation legally invade another nation. Just saying Saddam was an unjust and cruel tyrant is not a valid justification for war. The world is full of tyrants and cruelty and injustice. Instead, the U.S. falsely claimed that Saddam was a threat because of WMD.

    Your obvious pain over allowing a murderous dictator to remain in power is plain, but there are many murderous dictators. War is such a terrible evil, and as we have seen, has so many unintended consequences, that war is precluded except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.

    It’s obvious Americans wanted to strike out after 9-11, just as Americans wanted to strike out after Pearl Harbor. Most of the world shared the bitterness of that moment. But it is incumbent on leaders to show restraint and to harness that righteous anger. Instead, the U.S. alienated allies, attacked the wrong country; and most of all, allowed bin Laden to escape justice. Bin Laden should have been tried and punished according to the law for crimes against peace and humanity. Just like the fascists were tried and punished according to the law.

    Terrye: Not a thing.

    It was like watching a train wreck. And no, we didn’t enjoy it.

  • RickZ

    Zach, baby,

    Iraq had WMDs before they didn’t? Were you working for Jean Francois sKerrie in 2004? LOL! Geez, what a loon.

    Regarding willful torture of civilians, you mean like Saddam feeding his enemies feet first into giant shredders? That kind of torture? Or are you talking about panties on the head torture? The definition of torture gets so confusing with you progressives. Just like knocking Bush for golfing (which he gave up while in office) while Obama gets a break (the poor dear) and plays more rounds in 19 months than Bush did in 8 years? Or Bush taking working vacations to his farm in Texas as opposed to Obama having to have a vacation (Martha’s Vineyard) because he just went on vacation (the Gulf Coast)?

    Trying to keep up with progressive talking points is like trying to follow the zigzagging Party Line under Stalin.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    RickZ: The definition of torture gets so confusing with you progressives.

    It’s not so complicated.

    CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment: torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

    RickZ: Or are you talking about panties on the head torture?

    We’re talking about people beaten to death, killed by exposure, put in stress-positions, subjected to sexual abuse, and water-boarded. We’re talking about prisoners kept in black prisons without accountability or rendered to other nations that are known to use torture. These are war crimes under the Convention Against Torture, as signed and ratified by the United States.

  • IgotBupkis

    test

  • IgotBupkis

    > Mike Mc.

    Just an adjunct to your comments –

    consider that, for movies, vampires are now the heroes (twilight) while angels are the villains (legacy).

    Says a lot right there.

    Nominally this started with Joss Whedon’s “Angel”, (or perhaps with Anne Rice’s “Iw/aV”) but there was a serious distinction between Angel as hero/vampire and all these others.

    Angel was someone who recognized the wrong he did as a soulless vampire, and sought to make amends, however inadequate they might be, for those wrongs. And he always did so with the greatest desire to do right and oppose wrong.

    The modern vampire crap makes no efforts to ack that the vampire itself is wrong as a concept, it ignores the fact that for vampires, the lust for blood takes the place of all other things, there is no interest in sex or sexuality or other living pleasures of any kind. These vampires are distorted pictures of what vampires are “supposed to be” — it attempts to humanize evil, to make it more acceptable by making it appear “just like us”. Nothing but chimps in a business suit. Except the evil, bloodsucking kind.

  • S Cary

    President George W. Bush loves America, loves the people and did the best he could. He was a fine President. Even if I had a beef about several of his policy choices I always respected the man. And I miss more than ever.

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  • LoudPatriot

    If any reich wingers could read history they would know that bush is a nazi and that the republicon party tactics (not to mention beck, limbaugh, et al) we are seeing are exactly the kind of crap the nazi’s used to come to, and maintain, power. Anyone voting republicon is supporting the Amerikan Reich. Heil Bush.


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