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Bush Says Goodbye:
Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Bush's farewell address is how few people care about President Bush's farewell address. But I thought I would open a thread on it anyway. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the Administration now coming to an end.
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
I thought Chris Matthews nailed it. But then again I'm a dirty librul.
1.16.2009 3:04am
Rose (www):
Say what you want. I liked him. I'm disgusted by the attacks upon him. I wonder where all the hate will go, all that bile won't just evaporate. My good and decent friends who came down with Bush derangement syndrome aren't just going to magically be 'over it' tomorrow.

They chose to focus their hate on their own person, and not where it belonged, on Islamic extremists who kill their own women and children, strap bombs on their teenagers and declare that there are no gays in their country, people who riot over cartoons who think nothing of firebombing entire neighborhoods in paris, who behead people on camera and broadcast it all over the internet.

My friends, who are against 'organized' religion are strangely silent when it comes to the islamic bad guys. But they sure can hate Bush. It'll be a relief not to hear every conversation started with the phrase 'our appointed President.'

But I wish, I hope he knows that we appreciate the difficulty of the job, and the courage he has shown, in just putting his head down and keeping on, doing what is right. Perfect? No. No one ever is. But there's blame to go around. When the republicans had the majority they should have made those Goddam tax cuts permanent. Nevertheless, people will be wishing they had him back, I'll bet money on it.
1.16.2009 3:26am
Jim Tyre (mail):
I preferred Eisenhower's farewell address PDF; YouTube.
1.16.2009 3:27am
Weakness (mail):
George Washington's was better.

People who criticize Bush must love Islamic fundamentalists. Lol. NOBODY likes Islamic fundamentalists except for themselves. They are probably the least likeable people on the planet.
1.16.2009 3:34am
egn (mail):
Competence is not an ideology.

I disagree with Barack Obama on many things. I am glad to see adults leading this country again.
1.16.2009 3:36am
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Adult and politician are incompatible terms. I'm quickly beginning to believe that competent and politician are, too.
1.16.2009 3:47am
Asher (mail):
Pedestrian, uninspiring, oddly casual and self-amused in his delivery, and I'm not sure why he still feels the need to defend himself when he could've taken this opportunity to give us an edifying lecture on something or another, as Eisenhower did and as Carter at least attempted to do.
1.16.2009 3:50am
CLS (mail) (www):
Good riddance to bad rubbish.

In the 50+ years of my life this was clearly the most incompetent man to sit in the White House. I can not decide how many of the evils he inflicted on this nation were the result of his dumbth (that is dumb taken to a new level) or just pure evil. I'm glad he's gone, I only wish it were sooner. He corrupted or destroyed everything he touched. His fake support for "free enterprise" has once again given statist the ability to claim that freedom (not Bush's big government polices) are responsible for the economic crash. He ripped the Bill of Rights into pieces, he discredited his own religion (not necessarily a bad thing) and he made Americans so anxious for change that they accepted Obama as a better alternative. The Bush legacy is almost entirely negative.
1.16.2009 5:50am
DiversityHire:
I still like the guy.

But I'm eager to see how we're going to destroy this next one.
1.16.2009 5:56am
Arkady:
I'd like to say, paraphrasing, nothing in his administration became Bush like the leaving it. But, alas ...
1.16.2009 6:27am
Public_Defender (mail):
Funny. He used to be the most powerful man on earth. But yesterday, he was upstaged by a flock of geese.
1.16.2009 6:31am
Federal Dog:
Whatever valid criticisms might be leveled against George Bush, I dread the wreckage that the cultists who have taken over are about to cause. At least Bush has always had dissenters willing to take him on in the most forceful terms. Obama was followers fawning in servile worship.

I cannot recall another president who was an object of worship and servile acquiescence. Even Clinton was merely a celebrity, which was distasteful enough. Governance replaced by unquestioning servility and praise is, I believe, unprecedented in this country. I can think of no other country in history where it did anything but devastate.
1.16.2009 8:01am
Yossarian (mail):
I don't think we'll see replays on Letterman.
1.16.2009 8:27am
RPT (mail):
"Federal dog:

At least Bush has always had dissenters willing to take him on in the most forceful terms."

Name one who survived the cult of "loyal Bushies".
1.16.2009 8:30am
A Law Dawg:
I cannot recall another president who was an object of worship and servile acquiescence.


I see you've not spent much time in the South.
1.16.2009 8:47am
Happyshooter:
The man made lots of good decisions and several bad ones. He was also hounded daily into a ruined reputation by the media.

I think his time in office, 15 or 20 years from now, will be remembered as an enlargement of Bork's legacy. No matter how powerful or well meaning you are, the media can destroy you.

That is unless Iraq turns into another Gaza, then we will still be cursing him.
1.16.2009 8:49am
EricPWJohnson (mail):
Bush was a great President, brought us back from the Clinton Recession and from the Housing Bubble

If you look at the taxation data from the Feds, Bush took the least amount out of working people's salaries.

As far as spending goes - in one day Barack managed to outspend all of the so called Republicans gone wild overruns.

I know its not right to qoute facts and stats but be it as it may the the numbers churn into absurdity on these Democratic led Bailouts, makes the tiny correcting programs Bush instituted pale in comparison.

look, it's a mild recession, just like the 5 or so we've had in the last 25 years.

After an unprecendented growth spurt.

Naturally, one party, who continually manages to damage the country, is in total power again.

Is overspending by the trillions in just weeks
1.16.2009 8:55am
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb:

As far as spending goes - in one day Barack managed to outspend all of the so called Republicans gone wild overruns.

An interesting observation, given that Barack still isn't President yet, and Bush strongly pushed the bank bailout (aka "Hugo Chavez meets Wall Street").
1.16.2009 9:02am
Al (mail):
I can not decide how many of the evils he inflicted on this nation were the result of his dumbth (that is dumb taken to a new level) or just pure evil.

And, of course, believing that Saddam Hussein's regime or the North Korean government are evil is simplistic and wrong. Got to love that complex, nuanced, shades of gray thinking of the left.
1.16.2009 9:07am
Patrick216:
Bush, in my mind, had two major failings as President. First, he allowed personal loyalty to cloud his professional judgment. Alberto Gonzales had no business being Attorney General or White House Counsel. Donald Rumsfeld is a good man, but was not a wartime Secretary of Defense. Scott McClellan should not have been Press Secretary. Colin Powell should not have been Secretary of State. Michael Brown as FEMA director wasn't very impressive, either. And I think what history will show is that Bush knew, or should have known, that the aforesaid advisors were not up to the job, but did not replace them sooner out of his loyalty. Big mistake.

Second, Bush's complete inability to communicate with the American people and his extraordinarily poor press strategy was a huge failing. Bush gave the fewest press conferences of any President in modern history. He had Scott McClellan as press secretary during a pivotal part of the Iraq war, and McClellan was AWFUL. I realize that the MSM is overwhelmingly liberal, but you have to find a way to work around them. Bush just...didn't. And that allowed public opinion of Iraq to drop to zero following Bush's re-election in 2004, which drug his presidency down.
1.16.2009 9:11am
Redlands (mail):
You mean "people" people or the media not caring?
1.16.2009 9:14am
Lazlo Hollyfeld:
Having seen, heard, and read about George Bush for eight years, one word just pops into my mind: Limitations. George Bush is simply a limited man. He is limited by ideology, limited by his intellectual curiosity, limited in his ability to communicate beyond an intimate setting, limited by his personal experiences.

He is not a cruel or evil man. He is certainly not stupid, analytical limitations not being one of his limitations. He just did not have the necessary mental and experiential tools needed to be a successful president in these times.
1.16.2009 9:18am
DiversityHire:
Funny. He used to be the most powerful man on earth. But yesterday, he was upstaged by a flock of geese.

You made me think: that plane trip is the perfect metaphor for this Presidency, to quote from the book of Gore: "I think that God's got a sick sense of humor."
1.16.2009 9:20am
wfjag:

I wonder where all the hate will go, all that bile won't just evaporate.

They will continue hate and blame Pres. Bush (either or both) for all of their failings and anything else that dissatisfies them. They used to have Nixon, who was blamed for everything from getting the US into Vietnam to the JFK assassination to the failures of the Carter Presidency. It got a bit difficult to continue to blame Nixon for all bad things after he died -- but there were attempts, Now we'll have Bush (and Rove) to blame for all bad things, including Obama's failures, for at least a generation. Heck, Bush/Rove is probably responsible for Hillary as SEC State. That's what great about hate and conspiracy mongering -- you just have to "feel", you don't need facts.
1.16.2009 9:21am
hawkins:

Say what you want. I liked him. I'm disgusted by the attacks upon him. I wonder where all the hate will go, all that bile won't just evaporate. My good and decent friends who came down with Bush derangement syndrome aren't just going to magically be 'over it' tomorrow.


Its not as if this phenomenon is new to Bush. A lot of people despised Clinton as well, and our nation was in great shape throughout his presidency. Of course it is more pronounced with Bush, given all the troubles we've faced (irrespective of blame).
1.16.2009 9:22am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
federal:

I cannot recall another president who was an object of worship


Then I guess you didn't notice the billboard erected for "Our Leader." And you also didn't notice the book written about "The Messiah: The Chosen One." And you also didn't notice the kids who were taught to worship a cardboard figure.

And you also didn't notice the way Bush encouraged those behaviors, by making statements like this:

I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.


I think you need to work on your "recall."
1.16.2009 9:30am
MartyA:
Bush was held personally responsible for the problems related to Hurricane Katrina. Does he get credit for yesterday's miracle in NYC?
1.16.2009 9:38am
martinned (mail) (www):
Let me just refer you all to Obsidian Wings for their take:


The Magical Mystery Tour
by publius

I'm not entirely sure how to describe Bush's farewell address. It was less a coherent description of the last eight years, and more like a hallucinogenic ride through some imaginary world in Bush's head.

Although there was a lot of competition, this was probably my personal favorite:

So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We are standing with dissidents and young democracies[.]

I was having trouble articulating what exactly bothered me so much about this entire parting address. It didn't make me angry per se, but it deserved more than a snarky post in light of the deaths and moral dishonor this man has imposed upon the world in our name.

Fortunately, Chris Matthews did it for me: [Link]
1.16.2009 9:41am
finman:
Only did two good things while in office: appoint Roberts and Alito. And he tried to screw that up with the whole Harriet Miers fiasco.
1.16.2009 9:44am
Pete Freans (mail):
While I appreciate this post, does it really matter at this point? The media is still in the throws of an ideological orgasm with Obama and he hasn't even taken office yet. I have great respect for President Bush and enough mental stability politically to praise his accomplishments and critique his mistakes.

We will not witness this evenhandedness with the new administration because the media will not permit it. This honeymoon between Obama and the media sees no end in my view, especially with the convenient excuse that during this economic crisis, we need to disregard ideology, criticism, or any negative thoughts.

As with any new administration regardless of party, I am hopeful for America's future.
1.16.2009 9:45am
Houston Lawyer:
I have to laugh about the idea of adults being in charge after the Bush administration. That was my thought when Bush moved in and all the people in the Clinton White House who couldn't get security clearance because of their continuing use of illegal drugs were disencamped. Has everyone here forgetten the group that removed all the W's from the typewriters on their way out?

The last eight years have shown what an administration looks like with adults in charge. Bush has shown none of the petty vindictiveness and name calling that came out of the last administration.

From what I've seen of Obama when he is asked an uncomfortable question, his response will be similar to that of Bill Clinton. I predict much finger wagging and a put upon attitude as soon as the messiah worship wears off. It's easy to look cool when everyone is kissing your ass.
1.16.2009 9:49am
first history:
Colin Powell should not have been Secretary of State.

You're right--he should have been President.

4 days 2 hours 8 minutes until change.
1.16.2009 9:51am
Thoughtful (mail):
Bush is a creature of the times, arrogant and astoundingly intellectually incurious. However much of the claims of incompetence is unfair.

We live at a time where the people seek a President who is both mother and father, personally concerned and capable of correcting harm caused by natural disasters and economic downturns, able to be both economic savior and world-striding warrior, capable of controlling inflation, unemployment, everyone's savings and granting free health care and eliminating all retirement woes, able to make sure all children are educationally above average, and eager to lower your taxes.

To call people unable to achieve that in a 4 year time frame incompetent is uncharitable.
1.16.2009 9:52am
Terrivus:
Only did two good things while in office: appoint Roberts and Alito. And he tried to screw that up with the whole Harriet Miers fiasco.

Agreed. The only thing he came close to getting right, he actually screwed up royally -- Miers, whom he himself had picked -- before going back to what he should have done in the first place -- Alito, whom his advisors had been recommending.
1.16.2009 9:53am
Bad English:
The silver lining here is that maybe the BDS trolls will finally give their obsession a very long-overdue rest.

Hope and change?
1.16.2009 9:54am
Terrivus:
4 days 2 hours 8 minutes until change.

4 days 2 hours 5 minutes until you're out of excuses.
1.16.2009 9:55am
ChrisIowa (mail):

I cannot recall another president who was an object of worship and servile acquiescence.

Kennedy
1.16.2009 9:56am
first history:
The silver lining here is that maybe the BDS trolls will finally give their obsession a very long-overdue rest.

Now th right can gear up the ODS (we have seen flashes of it here but nothing llike on Free Republic).


4 days two hours until change.
1.16.2009 9:59am
gran habano:
"An interesting observation, given that Barack still isn't President yet, and Bush strongly pushed the bank bailout (aka "Hugo Chavez meets Wall Street")."
.
.
.
True enough, not much difference 'tween 'em re the bailouts, is there?

I'm struck by how quickly we've moved into the Obama presidency. And yes, I think the liberal media boogeyman is responsible. It's all Obama all the time, and has been for most weeks since November.

In 2000, I recall Bush's cabinet picks were often stuck and being argued over into (beyond?) 2nd quarter 2001, while it seems Obama's were being skid-greased before Thanksgiving.

Just seems to be incongruous to me, although Bush vs. Gore likely did lead us to a retribution phase, while Obama has been postured as a savior for a year or so.

I agree with the Bush failings Patrick posted, particularly the communications gap. Bush hasn't a clue here.

Disagree on Patrick'sls view re Rumsfeld/ Iraq though. Biden and McCain and company squealed "he didn't have a plan", and Powell droned on about the broken pottery shop responsibility.

But he had a plan, they just didn't like that Rumsfeld wanted to cut the force to 25,000 or so within 6 months, and cut deals with shaky groups over there, and no Viceroy, and no Green Zone, and no exporting of a Beltway mentality... and ... and... and...

What do you think we've been doing the last year? Patraeus' methods in this case include a slight increase in troops and changed tactics, yes, but also strategic deals and payoffs to Runsfeld's (and yes the Saudi's) aforementioned shaky characters.

Argue Gitmo/interrogations all you'd like, but I still view his actions as of a piece with historical US military actions here (field guys tried and hung who they wanted in WWII, no ACLU or civil courts)

I think Rumsfeld had the right strategy in Iraq, Bush simply went the compassionate conservative route, and we see the results... in Iraq... in the housing bubble... the bailouts.

He's tied with Carter in my lifetime, as of now. And he could yet drop.
1.16.2009 10:03am
gran habano:
"An interesting observation, given that Barack still isn't President yet, and Bush strongly pushed the bank bailout (aka "Hugo Chavez meets Wall Street")."
.
.
.
True enough, not much difference 'tween 'em re the bailouts, is there?

I'm struck by how quickly we've moved into the Obama presidency. And yes, I think the liberal media boogeyman is responsible. It's all Obama all the time, and has been for most weeks since November.

In 2000, I recall Bush's cabinet picks were often stuck and being argued over into (beyond?) 2nd quarter 2001, while it seems Obama's were being skid-greased before Thanksgiving.

Just seems to be incongruous to me, although Bush vs. Gore likely did lead us to a retribution phase, while Obama has been postured as a savior for a year or so.

I agree with the Bush failings Patrick posted, particularly the communications gap. Bush hasn't a clue here.

Disagree on Patrick'sls view re Rumsfeld/ Iraq though. Biden and McCain and company squealed "he didn't have a plan", and Powell droned on about the broken pottery shop responsibility.

But he had a plan, they just didn't like that Rumsfeld wanted to cut the force to 25,000 or so within 6 months, and cut deals with shaky groups over there, and no Viceroy, and no Green Zone, and no exporting of a Beltway mentality... and ... and... and...

What do you think we've been doing the last year? Patraeus' methods in this case include a slight increase in troops and changed tactics, yes, but also strategic deals and payoffs to Runsfeld's (and yes the Saudi's) aforementioned shaky characters.

Argue Gitmo/interrogations all you'd like, but I still view his actions as of a piece with historical US military actions here (field guys tried and hung who they wanted in WWII, no ACLU or civil courts)

I think Rumsfeld had the right strategy in Iraq, Bush simply went the compassionate conservative route, and we see the results... in Iraq... in the housing bubble... the bailouts.

He's tied with Carter in my lifetime, as of now. And he could yet drop.
1.16.2009 10:03am
Jer:
Why do presidents feel compelled to refer to specific ordinary Americans during their speeches (cf. references to Thomas Jefferson)?

Looking at the text of the Bush farewell address he refers to Dr. Tony Rehcasner, Julio Medina, Staff Sgt. Aubrey McDade and Bill Krissoff.

This rhetorical technique often shows up in state of the union addresses, and was used by both candidates during the campaign.

I am not speaking about the "[First Name] the [Profession]" phenomena, but rather the act of naming specific American citizens whose names would not otherwise be in the national dialogue.

Does anyone know where this practice started?
1.16.2009 10:05am
first history:
Terrivus:

I'd give Obama at least two years to clean up the Augean Stables of a mess that Bush has left--a world economy in shambles (mostly caused by the US subprime debacle), exporting democracy (at the barrel of a gun) where there is no tradition of it (how Wilsonian), a morally (if not actually) corrupt Justice Department, to name a few.
1.16.2009 10:06am
KenB (mail):
There are many things not to like about Bush, and I don't like some of them, though I do support the principle of defending this country against Jihad, an issue I believe we will have with us for at least a generation and perhaps several.

I liked the address. He stood by his principles. He recognized legitimacy of opposition. He was gracious to his successor. And all in the face of overwhelming scorn and derision. To those who say they're glad to see adults back in control, do they expect Obama to be that "adult"? I don't.
1.16.2009 10:09am
EricPWJohnson (mail):
Ahhh, how the hairs are split

Barack Obama - beyond a doubt is the leader of his party. A party which is spending more than the 350 billion that was originally asked for.

Then the man comes out with a stimulus plan that HE himself wrote for another 850 billion

And the Bush birds still try to blame Bush for the 1.2 trillion that Bush never asked for....

Lets get real....
1.16.2009 10:12am
Bpbatista (mail):
As time passes, people will appreciate Bush more and more. Charles Krauthammer writes today about how Obama already appreciates him:

"Vindication is being expressed not in words but in deeds — the tacit endorsement conveyed by the Obama continuity-we-can-believe-in transition. It's not just the retention of such key figures as Defense Secretary Bob Gates or Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner, who, as president of the New York Fed, has been instrumental in guiding the Bush financial rescue over the past year. It's the continuity of policy."

Bush certainly made mistakes — as every President does — but the level of personal villification and hatred he suffered was unwarranted. As history makes his accomplishments clear, those who spent the last 8 years suffering from BDS will know their shame.
1.16.2009 10:21am
General Christopher Gadsden:
I vote Republican because I believe in a limited federal government. President Bush gave me No Child Left Behind.

I vote Republican because I am fiscally conservative. A Republican-dominated Congress gave me a "bridge to nowhere," and President Bush did not appropriately use his status as leader of the party to thwart such pork.

I vote Republican because I believe able-bodied people should meet their own needs. President Bush gave me the largest expansion in entitlements since LBJ.

I vote Republican because I am skeptical about the ability of human institutions to successfully impose grand schemes. President Bush gave me a war in Iraq.

I vote Republican because I believe the collection of ideas known as 'conservatism' or, if you wish, 'classical liberalism,' represents a better way for dealing with the problems of humanity. I expect the leaders of the Republican party to be able to competently articulate that vision. I have been disappointed.

Overall, I believe President Bush is a good man, and in no way deserves how he has been treated by the media and by the American people. Unfortunately, there are actions which cannot be justified, even by someone who has for eight years tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.

As a reaction to the inadequacies (real or perceived) of the Bush administration, the American people have elected one of the most dangerous ideologues ever to occupy the Oval Office. Squandered opportunities have left a great vacuum, and that vacuum will soon be filled by the likes of Obama, Pelosi, and Waxman.
1.16.2009 10:25am
Federal Dog:
I do not recall people looking to Kennedy to heal the planet and cause the seas to stop rising.

Oh boy. Some guy somewhere self-published a adoring book about Bush. The nation has therefore been in the grips of a cult!
1.16.2009 10:25am
sonicfrog (mail) (www):
So long, and thanks for all the fish???



look, it's a mild recession, just like the 5 or so we've had in the last 25 years.


Uh, no. This is much more severe. It's not Great Depressionish by any means (at least not yet) but this, in terms of severity, is definitely reminding me of the seventies.
1.16.2009 10:28am
David Drake:
Thanks to Gore's response to the Florida vote, the Dems never regarded him as a legitimate President. Therefore, they set out to attack him and destroy his presidency from day one.

He has done a number of very good things and some bad ones, although I suspect that I would disagree with some of the posters here about which is which.


It will be years (if not the hundred years that Bush himself thinks it will take) until we are able to assess the Bush Presidency. Just look at the Reagan Presidency: Most of my lefty friends have gotten over their former dislike for Reagan, but there was a commenter here the other day still trashing him.

His reputation will depend on how Iraq and Afghanistan work out in the long run. Simple as that. Unless, of course, the Democrats choose to do a "Hoover" on him if the economy does not respond to their ministrations.
1.16.2009 10:28am
gran habano:
Somewhat have to agree with the Bush as Wilsonian charge.

I went back yesterday and reviewed Tuchman's "The Zimmerman Telegram" re Wilson's pre-WWI conduct, actions and personality traits then.

Wilson was driven by a pure internal compass, destructively so. If you didn't agree, you were not to be heard. Horrible foreign policy debacles resulting, with longterm implications that brought us to today's Mesopatamia situation, the Balkans, Mexico still struggling with Civil War and dollar diplomacy hangover, etc.

Plus the Japan and German wars immediately following. Reverend Wilson's work sure didn't bear much fruit, did it?

I do hope Obama does learn from this, but he's an unknown, and doesn't seem to have a bent towards limited government, and may be predisposed to the messianic notions that Wilson and perhaps Bush have demonstrated.
1.16.2009 10:29am
Designbot:
Bush was a great President, brought us back from the Clinton Recession and from the Housing Bubble

Seriously? You can pick anything, and you want to argue that Bush is a great president because of the current state of the economy compared to 8 years ago?!?

Okaaaaayyyyyyy…
1.16.2009 10:32am
MJH21 (mail):
I think that The Bush presidency was such an anathema to people who were never going to be persuaded that the 2000 election wasn't stolen, that he was doomed to be unpopular from the start. I don't think it can be overstated the antagonism that his every position and policy faced: Literally, it was wrong simply because it was Bush. As we will see, Obama will likely carry on a good deal of the national security and foreign policies of Bush without the histrionics about him being a totalitarian leveled at him incessantly.

It really did wear out the country. People who have only a casual interest in the presidency were subjected to such a steady diet of Bush is stupid, evil, corrupt etc. that it became conventional wisdom to the unengaged, and not even worth the red-faced stammering and sputtering one would receive if they tried to have an objective conversation about Bush, to the some-what informed. I lived through the 90's and saw this somewhat with my friends on the right with their views on Clinton, but it was not comparable with the utter contempt that the left has had for Bush since about 2003.

I do wonder how his presidency will be looked at 30-40 years from now, because it was a consequential presidency, unlike Clinton's or Carter's. But I see absolutely no hope for anything even resembling objectivity to be applied to Bush from academia or historians for at least 15 years. So many people are so deeply invested in despising him that it will be extraordinarily unlikely for anyone to be willing to take the heat for even appearing to give him any credit - even where due.
1.16.2009 10:33am
RHJ:
I thought the speech was interesting and more than anything I'm interested in reading his memoirs and learning more about his character. Say what you will about what/who was to blame, Bush was at the helm for 9/11 and that will seriously alter almost anyone's psyche - much like drivers who survive a car crash that wasn't their fault but killed people in their car. I'm not so sure that other people wouldn't have reacted in very similar ways had they been in charge.

The speech last night wasn't grand or astonishing but it was appropriate coming from a man with terrible ratings and a penchant for simplistic speech. In my opinion it was honest and open; I enjoyed watching it.
1.16.2009 10:34am
Elliot123 (mail):
"He ripped the Bill of Rights into pieces,..."

Can you tell us exactly how he did that? (Note yesterday's FISA court ruling, and Obama's vote for the 2007 Protect America Act.)
1.16.2009 10:49am
Awesome-O:
It really did wear out the country. People who have only a casual interest in the presidency were subjected to such a steady diet of Bush is stupid, evil, corrupt etc. that it became conventional wisdom to the unengaged, and not even worth the red-faced stammering and sputtering one would receive if they tried to have an objective conversation about Bush, to the some-what informed.

I think this, particularly the bold portion, pretty much sums it up for me. The coarsening of political discourse over the past eight (and especially three or four) has been remarkable. The atmosphere has been poisonous. Because of my job, location, and social contacts, I encounter a lot of liberals, and the pervasiveness of Bush contempt is astonishing. Seriously, these folks seen to have a need to work a Bush-bash into every conversation. I can't have any sort of debate with them, because Bush (and by extension, conservatives) aren't just wrong, they're evil. They can't even conceive that a good-faith defense of anything that Bush does is possible.

I don't doubt that Obama is going to bring the country together. I think we're all going to get along with each other better now, at least compared to the past eight years. But that's not because of anything that Obama does; it's because Bush is gone from the political scene. We can have debates without it being tainted by astonishing personal hatred. To that extent, I'm relieved that Obama is president. I don't have to fear an anti-Bush rant wherever I go anymore.

As an aside, I do wonder how much the internet, especially weblogs, fed the phenomenon of Bush hatred. Certainly blogs provide the opportunity for cocooning with the like-minded. The DailyKos echo chamber probably helped whip up a lot of BDS, but there's no way to tell exactly how much. Perhaps the same thing will happen with Obama.
1.16.2009 10:50am
Awesome-O:
Houston Lawyer wrote:

"It's easy to look cool when everyone is kissing your ass."

That's going on my wall!
1.16.2009 10:54am
Allan L. (mail):
@Houston Lawyer
Typewriters?
What planet are you living on?
1.16.2009 10:54am
Hoosier:
He ripped the Bill of Rights into pieces,...

There are other copies.
1.16.2009 10:56am
Hoosier:
I can not decide how many of the evils he inflicted on this nation were the result of his dumbth (that is dumb taken to a new level) or just pure evil.

Excellent parody!
1.16.2009 10:59am
therut (mail):
Christ Matthews thinks he can sprew back the MSM talking points and people think he has a grea insight. Sigh. Go back and look at the GREAT chris matthews before and during the War until the Democrats and MSM slowly turned the knife in the Presidents back. He thought the guy was great even said so. Talked about how the military was crazy about the guy. That was until he started hating Chaney and he then lost his mind. Now he worships Obama and says his duty is to help the MAN be successful. Good Grief. There is a journalist for ya!!!!!!!!! I like Bush. He is a very nice man. He never complained almost none at the hate directed his way. He did not get angry and go on the MSM and lecture and point his finger at those who are idiots. The left destroyed him. Simple. I still support the War. I think it will be looked back on as the turning point of democracy in the Middle East. I think he will be proved right.
1.16.2009 11:02am
therut (mail):
At least those on Free Republic can talk without cussing and using the F word like a 8 year old boy who just learned the word.
1.16.2009 11:03am
pireader (mail):
Two thoughts

First, I'll never understand why the Republcians in Congress (and elsewhere) continued to support Mr. Bush--both rhetorically and practically--so long after it became clear how badly matters were going on his watch.

Second, Mr. Obama has fielded what seems to be a pretty strong team. But eight years ago, Mr. Bush fielded an impressive team too, and look how that turned out.
1.16.2009 11:04am
FoolsMate:
Hello New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.
1.16.2009 11:07am
Terrivus:
I'd give Obama at least two years to clean up the Augean Stables of a mess that Bush has left

The fact that (a) you hyperlinked "Augean Stables," as if that were such an obscure allusion that we all needed to be enlightened; and (b) you think the American sheep public will give any president a free pass for two years demonstrates to me that you are a student and not really cognizant of the real world.

The more one plays the blame game while in charge, the more one loses credibility.
1.16.2009 11:13am
Prof. S. (mail):
History will temper the administration's reputation, just as it has done with virtually all historic figures. Also keep in mind that history often lifts up figures who were looked down upon and brings back those who were considered great. For example, FDR's elections were highly contested, but he is considered great today (although, people are now pointing out how his policies lengthened the Great Depression). Grover Cleveland, who I understand was incredibly popular at the time, is simply a footnote in Presidential trivia.

50+ years from now, people will relax about things. They'll remeber 1990-2010 as years of technological and economic growth spurred by the internet. They'll not really care so much about who was president. Bush v. Gore will also be one of those Presidential trivia moments.
1.16.2009 11:15am
Joey Plummer (mail):
I heard a phrase recently that is very apt here:
"over his skis". I have never skied but I get the point of the remark.
So many in this administration seemed to be over their skis.
Katrina, yellow cake, the banking meltdown...

But I think, only for my own uses, the administration really went off the rails in the Terry Schiavo matter. This included, as chance would have it, the President's brother as well. It was here that the country got a peek at the lack of intellectual curiousity; the lack of respect for the rule of law; the explicit certainty that God was on their side...etc, that turned a significant number of conservative libertarians off...IMO, that is.

Being a genial, well-meaning chap who loves his wife is not enough to qualify someone for the Presidency.
1.16.2009 11:16am
DiversityHire:
President George W. Bush said what he was going to do and then set about doing it. It's the most you can ask for or expect from a leader whose power is not rooted in charisma.

I think we're all going to get along with each other better now... because Bush is gone from the political scene.

See, he even kept his promise to be a uniter, not a divider!

Mr. Obama has fielded what seems to be a pretty strong team
Aside from Joe "Honorary Williams Syndrome Victim" Biden, and Hillary "Buy One Get One Free" Clinton, I'd be inclined to agree. Even if every claim of incompetence, avarice, stupidity, venality, and cluelessness made against Bush, Cheney, and Powell/Rice were true—they'd still average-out better than Obama, Biden, Clinton.
1.16.2009 11:19am
DangerMouse:
I can't have any sort of debate with them, because Bush (and by extension, conservatives) aren't just wrong, they're evil. They can't even conceive that a good-faith defense of anything that Bush does is possible.

It is a mistake to believe that these attitudes have anything to do with Bush per se. Of course, specific arguments or mistakes relating to Bush can be used. But liberals always think conservatives are evil. They always will. There is no such thing as a good faith policy disagreement with a liberal. They will always treat conservatives as evil. That's why they borked Bork, called Gingrich the Grinch, and attacked Reagan.

Bush really has nothing to do with it. It's the fact that he's in power and more conservative than them.

I don't doubt that Obama is going to bring the country together. I think we're all going to get along with each other better now, at least compared to the past eight years. But that's not because of anything that Obama does; it's because Bush is gone from the political scene.

It is true that Obama will end liberal carping, but only because the libs are in power again. It won't stop them from calling conservatives evil. They always have, and they always will, until their game is played on their terms. And the only reason why the country will "get along better" is because liberals are in power and can ignore conservative complaints. If conservatives begin to set the tone or the terms of debate again, then they'll quickly say how divisive and evil they are, and they'll use any trick in the book (including the race card).

Really, don't be naive. While Bush can be fairly attacked by anyone, BDS has nothing to do with well-informed policy disputes. And in a generation since Bork, Republicans continue to be stupid enough to take the "high road" and not respond to such attacks, allowing the media to destroy them. If I were Gingrich, I'd call Obama the Infanticide President every time I was on TV.
1.16.2009 11:21am
Carl the EconGuy (mail):
Thank you, General Gadsden, for rising from the dead and sharing your anguish so eloquently. Truly a Southern Gentleman, not content with turning in his grave, as Ronald Reagan must, but standing up and speaking truth.

What Bush has done is to keep the flame against terrorism, the issue that defines his Presidency beyond anything else. I believe he hoped that this would be the rallying point for the nation, and would hold us together, as it did in the aftermath of 9/11. It hasn't worked that way.

Instead, he's leaving behind him a nation deeply divided. He's universally loathed on the left, and by all of General Gadsden's followers on the right.

You can say this for President Bush: he was a firm believer in the principles of liberty, but he has not been able to convince the American public that this is our major problem today. So we are now a polity full of discord and dissatisfaction. Bush failed in holding us together as a nation -- which I believe was what he really aimed at in the war on terrorism.

So now the voters have handed over our future to an absolutely downright crazed Congress, with 9% approval ratings, and an inexperienced President who will be tested by Reid, Pelosi, and the Old Bulls of Congress, along with all foreign challengers from Hamas to Putin to all the terrorists out there. Bush will look better in four years, but we will still be an unhappy nation.
1.16.2009 11:25am
Awesome-O:
But I think, only for my own uses, the administration really went off the rails in the Terry Schiavo matter.

The Schiavo thing was divisive, and Bush took a hit on it, but let's not pretend that this, or anyone's other minor hobby-horse had any meaningful influence on the 2006 and 2008 elections. Obama and the Democrats won because of the economy and Iraq war.
1.16.2009 11:26am
Hannibal Lector:
By the time Obama (the USA's Tony Blair) finishes his first term in office I expect that most sane Americans will be looking back on the Bush years with fond regret. Bush was far from perfect but he was less corrupt and fielded a far more competent (and grown up) team than Clinton and the country will probably be worse off four years from now than it is today.
1.16.2009 11:26am
GainesvilleGuest (mail):
Bush did what he thought was right. But, what he thought was right was most often wrong, especially domestically. Our government is larger and our population more dependent on it.

As a libertarian who voted for Bush twice, for lack of a better option both times, I've often wondered if the country would have been better off had Al Gore won, and we therefore had split government. The Republicans in Congress gave Bush any new government program or expansion he wanted. They ignored their core principles. This began with the prescription drug benefit and no child left behind. They didn't want to fight a Republican president. They would have had no such hesitance if it had been Al Gore trying to expand the federal government.

Bush did what he thought was right, but the country is profoundly worse off for his time in office.
1.16.2009 11:30am
Get used to it (mail):
I cannot recall another president who was an object of worship and servile acquiescence. Even Clinton was merely a celebrity, which was distasteful enough. Governance replaced by unquestioning servility and praise is, I believe, unprecedented in this country. I can think of no other country in history where it did anything but devastate.


You are a racist bigot.
1.16.2009 11:40am
Awesome-O:
As a libertarian who voted for Bush twice, for lack of a better option both times, I've often wondered if the country would have been better off had Al Gore won, and we therefore had split government.

Republican President + Republican Congress = deficit
Republican President + Democratic Congress = deficit
Democratic President + Democratic Congress = deficit
Democratic President + Republican Congress = surplus

I can live with split government. Let's get working on that!
1.16.2009 11:43am
Sammy Finkelman (mail):
I watched the speech on the automobile bailout and I thought Bush was getting better at speeches, but he was almost back again to way he was. The speech was actually a collection of several unrelated ideas, not put together in the right way. It had several good sentences, but it wasn't woeked togetehr. It also was mainly missing what should be the main one or two things in a farewell address - some general observations about hs experiemnce in the presidency - maybe thanks - theer was a luittle of that - and advice for the future which he knows people may or may not listen to, but he hopes they will, if he is right.

Some of it was terrible. What was terrible was the spin. He spoke about the success in Afghanistan and Iraq. But for Afghanistan it would have been more truthful to say that Afghhanistan used to under the Taliban, it became a just government - and now things threaten to get worse again and if we mismanage things could go all the way back to the way it was before. Iraq *is* now virtually a success. But what about all those other countres where liberty did not advance? Burma, China, Zombabwe, north korea. He spoke nothing of that. And in regard to terrorism never included terrorism against Israel as part of terrorism.

And he never really explained who the people were who he introduced. He could have really given them publicity.
1.16.2009 11:44am
Xanthippas (mail) (www):

Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Bush's farewell address is how few people care about President Bush's farewell address.


I don't think it's that people don't care, so much as what is there left for anybody who likes or dislikes him to say? Beyond that, there are so many pressing issues that Bush seems completely irrelevant in relation to now.
1.16.2009 12:01pm
trad and anon (mail):
Is it Tuesday yet?
1.16.2009 12:14pm
MarkField (mail):

Grover Cleveland, who I understand was incredibly popular at the time, is simply a footnote in Presidential trivia.


Not popular enough to win re-election in 1888 (though, in fairness, he did win a plurality of the popular vote while losing the EC by a large margin).
1.16.2009 12:16pm
FWB (mail):
The greatest tragedy is that apparently even those on here do not know the 10 or so limited powers of the President. People even here seem to believe in the unitary executive theory. A review of the history of the presidency proves that most of what Bush did, prior presidents had already done so he merely followed the path that had been laid down for him.

Having met Bush and having observed him closely during the several hours of interaction, I saw a man who cares for the US and for the people.

I cannot say the same for our current. One who will not quiet the people by proving that he holds the qualifications for the Presidency speaks volumes about the man.
1.16.2009 12:17pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
I think the war turned out to have been a likely mistake, but I rather like Bush as a man. He's someone who put thought into his convictions, asked serious questions, and didn't compromise once he reached them. (I'm thinking of terrorism stuff a little, but bioethics in particular.) He's not conservative/libertarian like me, but I think he was like Truman or Lincoln in that, while I have very serious reservations about some of his policy choices, I can still have a lot of respect for him as a president.
1.16.2009 12:17pm
Kent G. Budge (www):

It's not Great Depressionish by any means (at least not yet)


Right. As has been pointed out (repeatedly and obnoxiously) Obama will have his chance to redo Roosevelt starting in just a few days.
1.16.2009 12:17pm
CrazyTrain (mail):
In fairness, he was a better President than James Buchanan.

And of course no discussion of Bush II is complete without noting that it was all Clinton's fault.
1.16.2009 12:20pm
sonicfrog (mail) (www):

First, I'll never understand why the Republcians in Congress (and elsewhere) continued to support Mr. Bush--both rhetorically and practically--so long after it became clear how badly matters were going on his watch.


Easy. Bush is a war hero due to 9/11, and you CAN'T go up against a war hero.

Question - how many veto's did Bush issue during the first five years of his Presidency? As long as the congress knew they had carte blanche, why, they were just fine with pretty much anything Bush did. If you look back on policy, you'll find the Republican Congress dictated much of it. There were some Bush initiatives that wouldn't have gone over too well in a normal congress, such as Medicare-D, NCLB, but bribery with earmarks (thank you Tom Delay) guaranteed its passage. Republicans as a brand will be stained by this period for a long time I'm afraid.

PS. I left the party in 06 and am registered Libertarian... the only one on the list at my polling place.
1.16.2009 12:21pm
glangston (mail):
Too bad Congress in general did not get to say good=bye. Their approval ratings ran neck and neck with Bush but they're still there. Makes me wonder if Bush could have had a third term.

I predict the Pledge of Allegiance will experience a resurgence in popularity.
1.16.2009 12:23pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Everyone knew that that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was extremely unpopular, yet Bush refused to fire him before the 2006 elections. It might have helped the Republicans. Amazingly he fired Rumsfeld right after the elections, even though he said he wouldn't right before the election-- he was obviously lying. It almost seems like he was trying to his sabotage his party. If he really had confidence in Rumsfeld then wire fire him? If he didn't, why wait? I think he was trying to get rid of Republicans so he could more easily pass the nation-busting McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill.

Bush does seem to like to defer to Mexican interests. When the Mexican President Felipe Calderón challenged US sovereignty by announcing “I have said that Mexico does not stop at its border, that wherever there is a Mexican, there is Mexico,... ” Bush remained silent. In one of his recent speeches Bush expressed extreme regret that the amnesty bill failed. This was clearly one of the major priorities of his presidency.

Good riddance.
1.16.2009 12:28pm
RomeoW (mail):
Given all the back pedaling Obama has done on his promises during the campaign, can we at least hope that during the next campaign no one will spend endless hours arguing over campaign promises? Really, was arguing over Obama's promise for an immediate Iraq pullout (as just one example) worth the time in hindsight?

I doubt folks will remember, the next candidate will come along, promise lots of stuff, lots of time will be wasted on blogs/TV/newspapers arguing over it, and whatever it is won't happen anyway.
1.16.2009 12:32pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Prof. S. (mail):
Grover Cleveland, who I understand was incredibly popular at the time, is simply a footnote in Presidential trivia.


Cleveland wasn't popular. He was a minority president in 1884, lost the electoral college in 1888 while barely winning the popular vote (and still getting a minority), and didn't come close to getting a majority in 1892 (with a third party in the mix). The main reason he won in 1892 was because he wasn't Benjamin Harrison, who, with the aid of his fellow Republicans, thoroughly screwed up the economy (which promptly collapsed under Cleveland). Cleveland in 1896 was like Hoover in 1932. Really the 1888 and 1892 were people deciding which candidate they hated least.
1.16.2009 12:40pm
wfjag:
Federal Dog wrote:

I do not recall people looking to Kennedy to heal the planet and cause the seas to stop rising.

Before Nov. 1963, JFK's "accomplishments" were the Berlin Wall, Bay of Pigs, assassination of Pres. Diem, failure to get any civil rights legislation enacted, and Missles of October. After Nov. 1963, he was a saint, especially when looking at a LBJ Presidency.

In Aug. 1864 it was questionable whether Abe Lincoln who be re-nominated by the Republican Party. In Sept. 1864 there was no reason to believe that Abe could defeat George McCellan. Then Atlanta fell (and McCellan proved to be no more competent campaigning for President than he had been campaigning in Virginia against Bobbie Lee. In March 1865, folks were asking whether re-electing Lincoln was a mistake -- at least till Richmond fell. By late April 1865, Lincoln was a saint, especially when looking at an Andrew Johnson Presidency.

Perceptions change depending on whether you study history by reading contemporary accounts or by reading the (re)writings of apologists.
1.16.2009 12:45pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
As far as Bush goes, I think he's pretty much a failure all around and leaves the country worse than when he came in, often because of policies he was responsible for. He is more gracious to his successor than a lot of presidents, invaded the right country the first time (and the wrong one the second). He did a pretty good job for a while trying to saddle his successor with consequences of his decisions, but it collapsed a few months too early. On the non-negative side, he wasn't a racist, and did choose most of the family pets before he became president.

95 hours 12 minutes and counting.
1.16.2009 12:49pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
At one point during his speech, W. sounded more like the incoming President pledging to fix the damage done by his predecessor than the outgoing President who had left the country in sorry shape:

In citizens like these, we see the best of our country – resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great Nation will never tire … never falter … and never fail.

In fact, W. alluded to a way he could make up for the failings of his administration -- serve himself in Iraq. At 62, W. is only two years older than one of the men he honored for going to serve in Iraq, Bill Krissoff:

We see America's character in Bill Krissoff, a surgeon from California. His son Nathan, a Marine, gave his life in Iraq. When I met Dr. Krissoff and his family, he delivered some surprising news: He told me he wanted to join the Navy Medical Corps in honor of his son. This good man was 60 years old – 18 years above the age limit. But his petition for a waiver was granted, and for the past year he has trained in battlefield medicine. Lieutenant Commander Krissoff could not be here tonight, because he will soon deploy to Iraq, where he will help save America's wounded warriors and uphold the legacy of his fallen son.

Some other comments:

The Republicans in Congress gave Bush any new government program or expansion he wanted.

Yet Senate Banking Committee leader Richard Shelby could not get the Hagel-Dole reform of Fannie/Freddie oversight out of his committee, even the next year when McCain jumped on the bandwagon. Not till the Dems got control of Congress did a Fannie/Freddie reform bill pass -- authored by Nancy Pelosi.

Being a genial, well-meaning chap who loves his wife is not enough to qualify someone for the Presidency.

Indeed.

Hank and Peggy Hill -- another Texan couple with a well-meaning husband and a more sensible wife -- are leaving the public eye at the same time as George and Laura Bush -- coincidence?

people are now pointing out how [FDR's] policies lengthened the Great Depression

Right-wing ideologues are trying to make this case, not "people." If FDR's policies lengthened the Great Depression, some other national leader's policies must have shortened their Great Depression. Which industrial country's policies resulted in a shorter depression, and how?

Like W.'s taking credit for his policies preventing a repeat of 9-11, the New Dealers can equally persuasively take credit for their policies preventing a subsequent collapse of the economy, until the explosion of credit default swaps on W.'s watch.
1.16.2009 12:54pm
first history:
. . . you think the American sheep public will give any president a free pass for two years demonstrates to me that you are a student and not really cognizant of the real world.

I never said he would get a free pass, I just think it will take Obama that long to clean up the mess. Also the term you were looking for is "sheeple."
1.16.2009 1:00pm
Brett Bellmore:

Democratic President + Republican Congress = surplus


Democratic President + Republican Congress + Stock market bubble = surplus.

Revenues were increasing for a little while faster than Congress could keep up with, which isn't remotely the same thing as fiscal responsiblity.
1.16.2009 1:05pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"As far as Bush goes, I think he's pretty much a failure all around and leaves the country worse than when he came in, often because of policies he was responsible for."

What policies?
1.16.2009 1:08pm
Awesome-O:
Democratic President + Republican Congress + Stock market bubble = surplus.

Revenues were increasing for a little while faster than Congress could keep up with, which isn't remotely the same thing as fiscal responsiblity.


No real argument from me.

The government is pretty much the only entity that can benefit from a bubble without the risk of getting burned. It doesn't have to time the market. It doesn't have to get in on the ground floor. It just has to sit back and collect tax revenue. Then it must recognize that what we're seeing is a bubble, and not real growth. and therefore has to save the surpluses that it's making.

Everyone knew we were in a tech stock bubble, but if you timed the market right, the fact that it was a bubble didn't prevent you from making gains and holding on to them. Everyone knew we were in a housing bubble, but if you bought and sold at the right time, you made out like a bandit. The government didn't have to worry about that. They could just enjoy the tax revenue generated by the bubble, knowing that eventually the pig-out would end. But, whoops, they treated the bubbles as real and spent like mad.
1.16.2009 1:36pm
LHD (mail):
Houston Lawyer said: Bush has shown none of the petty vindictiveness and name calling that came out of the last administration. Friendly advice: ease up on the ganja.

The remainder of this comment is dedicated to all those commenters who have made sweeping remarks about the disdain and loathing liberals have for President Bush.

If the Bush-Cheney view of the presidency is correct, and all (executive) power is concentrated in the President, and flows from the President, the corollary must be that all responsibility for executive branch action (or for outcomes resulting from executive branch policies, etc.) ultimately rests on the President. I make this rather simple point because the same people who defend that particular view of the presidency tend to blame administration officials for things that went wrong, stopping the buck well short of the President himself.

Case in point: President Bush is responsible for what Rumsfeld did as SecDef, including his many failings. That Rumsfeld was a disaster as SecDef is, I think, unquestionable. Secretary Gates has rolled back much of Rumsfeld's wreckage. President Bush should be given credit for doing what was necessary to fix things at DoD by appointing Secretary Gates. President Bush should be blamed for waiting so long before making that change. Take Iraq. I grant you, Iraq does appear to be turning (or turned) around. We'll see where it goes from here, but there has been significant progress made recently. But Iraq did not have to be as bad as it got. How many lives were lost, American &Iraqi alike, how much treasure expended, how much diplomatic and moral credibility lost, in the period where Rumsfeld clearly needed to go but President Bush refused to fire him? In my judgment, it was simply unreasonable to retain Rumsfeld for as long as President Bush did. It was unreasonable at the time, and it was unreasonable upon reflection. That's my judgment. I have judgments about many things that happened during President Bush's terms.

This same type of assessment can be done across the board. We can't expect perfection, but we can expect--indeed, we can, and ought to, insist--that reasonable judgments be made in a timely fashion.

Personally, I think he was a terrible President. I don't know the man, though, so I make no claim about who he is as a person, his character or his personal belief system, or anything else like that. I don't hate George W. Bush. I hate some of his policies, some of the outcomes of his policies, and what I perceive to be the damage that his administration has done to this country. I hate that the United States of America tortured detainees, and that we did makes me angry. It disgusts me. I believe President Bush is responsible for it. But I do not hate President Bush. I will be enormously relieved when his administration comes to a close. But I do not hate the man. I have vitriol for what his presidency wrought upon us. I have no vitriol for the man.

The man is not his policies. The man is not his policy outcomes. I can hate the actions and outcomes of his presidency without hating the man himself. It's called political disagreement.

As for the rest, we won this time around. In fact, we stomped you. Try to beat us next time if you don't like it. In the meantime, do us all a favor and stop whining. If you want to disagree with President-Elect Obama's policies, or political philosophy, do so. Do so vigorously. I welcome that. The whining, not so much.
1.16.2009 1:46pm
guest:
I can sum up my view of the Bush presidency's success in one sentence: Over 7 years since 9/11 and no major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

If Obama reaches the end of 4 or 8 years and the same thing can be said, then I will judge his presidency a success as well. Everything else is pretty much secondary.
1.16.2009 1:54pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@guest: Why? Simply ranking the (avoidable) causes of death by their frequency is enough to see that terrorism hardly is the biggest worry for most Americans. (Or even Israelis.) And even if it were, stopping another 9/11 is as much a matter of luck as anything else. Isn't there anything more important you expect from your president?
1.16.2009 1:57pm
DangerMouse:
But I do not hate President Bush. I will be enormously relieved when his administration comes to a close. But I do not hate the man. I have vitriol for what his presidency wrought upon us. I have no vitriol for the man.

Oh, give me a break. You can except yourself from the hatrid of your liberal compatriots, but there's no doubt that they personally hate Bush. They live off of their hate. How many times do I have to hear of "Chimpy McBushitler" before my B.S. meter goes off the charts?

There is No. Freaking. Way. that anyone will believe that the left has been respectful of President Bush. And if this happens to Obama, that's just tough.
1.16.2009 2:02pm
David Warner:
Bush was the inverse of Carter. Carter was all micro-management, Bush all macro. Such imbalance led to mediocre presidencies in both cases.

Another parallel between the two is their evangelical Christianity, and I think they both well illustrate Machiavelli's theory that the values of Christ are incompatible with the values of State. Anyone who takes their Imitation of Christ as seriously as Bush/Carter did will inevitably become a scapegoat, as did Christ himself.

I pray that God might work his mysterious redemption through their faith as well, but its certainly not obvious how that might happen.
1.16.2009 2:03pm
methodact:
I'm watching Bush to see if he abuses his pardon power in his last hours in office. Watching Eric Holder testify in his confirmation hearings that he took full responsibility for running point on the Rich pardon, caused me to wonder, "responsibility"?

Japan's Samurai, (Wikipedia defines the word as "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility"), once had a proud tradition of taking responsibility when they had erred grievously, and that wasn't by seeking job promotion.
1.16.2009 2:05pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Guest: So if Obama starts a nuclear war, drafts 20,000,000 people into national service, raises taxes 50% or runs a $3,000,000,000,000/year deficit, it's okay as long we don't have a major terrorist attack?
1.16.2009 2:07pm
Bad English:
"In the meantime, do us all a favor and stop whining."

Best of luck with that. Bush's equally sound victory over Kerry did nothing to dissuade people who have a very deeply-rooted psychological need to whine about him.
1.16.2009 2:09pm
LN (mail):

Bush's equally sound victory over Kerry did nothing to dissuade people who have a very deeply-rooted psychological need to whine about him.


Bush won by 1 state (Ohio) in 2004, so "equally sound" seems like an overstatement.
As for Bush's critics -- yeah, the decision to invade Iraq, Katrina, the economic collapse, torture, blah blah blah, sure, these are all bad things. But on September 11th, three thousand Americans were murdered by terrorists in New York City, so it's not like his whole Presidency was a disaster, right?
1.16.2009 2:17pm
sbron:
Bush's refusal to enforce immigration laws and his push for a bilingual/bicultural Hispanic nation is perhaps his biggest failing. Our current economic crisis is not solely due to, but is certainly greatly exacerbated by the welfare and educational costs of a large, angry and unassimilated Latino immigrant population. If Bush had at least embraced assimilation and strongly opposed bilingual education and affirmative action, his support for large-scale immigration would not have been as objectionable. But the combination of bilingualism, racial preferences, and mass immigration without assimilation has totally destroyed the American ideal.
1.16.2009 2:37pm
PLR:
Feel free to leave your thoughts on the Administration now coming to an end.

As I survey the wreckage that is 2009 America, it is no comfort than in the tossup election between two men of privilege in November 1999, I avoided voting for the sociopath. What a disastrous record he compiled, by any metric.
1.16.2009 2:40pm
LHD (mail):
DangerMouse: I by no means think that all liberals are as responsible as I am in their political discourse. I merely object to people characterizing all liberals as being bat-shit crazy because of their rhetoric. Bat-shit craziness is neither a strictly liberal nor a strictly conservative affliction. I think it's about evenly distributed across the population. You appear to agree with me: There is No. Freaking. Way. that anyone will believe that the left has been respectful of President Bush. And if this happens to Obama, that's just tough. In other words, certain conservatives will now go bat-shit crazy. I don't think it means that all Republicans are, or that being conservative means that you're bat-shit crazy and inaccessible by rational discourse.

Bad English said: Bush's equally sound victory over Kerry did nothing to dissuade people who have a very deeply-rooted psychological need to whine about him. In 2008, Obama won 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173, meaning Obama won 68% of the electoral college. See here.

In 2004, Bush won 286 electoral votes to Kerry's 252, meaning Bush won 53% of the electoral college. See here.

Not quite "equally sound."
1.16.2009 2:40pm
NickM (mail) (www):

Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Bush's farewell address is how few people care about President Bush's farewell address.


Why is that interesting? I don't recall large numbers of people caring about any other President's farewell address at the time it happened.

Nick
1.16.2009 2:41pm
PLR:
...in the tossup election between two men of privilege in November 2000, ...
1.16.2009 2:41pm
Teh Anonymous:
Jer, this is very belated, but I just read this yesterday:

(I'm sure you can guess what prompted me to refresh my memory of this subject at that particular time.) The article is long, but here is the pertinent portion:
Lenny Skutnik reaches under the dresser in his bedroom and pulls out the Rockport shoebox in which he keeps the videotapes of his daring act and its aftermath. He puts on the tape of the State of the Union address Ronald Reagan delivered shortly after the crash, and we are transported to another time. Reagan, exhorting a dispirited country, says American heroes are not just figures of the past. He gets specific. 'Just two weeks ago, in the midst of a terrible tragedy on the Potomac, we saw again the spirit of American heroism at its finest,' he says. 'We saw the heroism of one of our young government employees, Lenny Skutnik, who, when he saw a woman lose her grip on the helicopter line, dived into the water and dragged her to safety.' At that point Skutnik, looking abashed in the visitors' gallery, stands. ('A hand from behind pushed me up,' he says.) He gets a standing ovation from the crowd, and Reagan salutes him. Since then it has become unthinkable for a president to deliver a State of the Union address without honouring a hero in the gallery
Wikipedia has a list of similar individuals:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_"Lenny_Skutniks"

If I had to guess that's where it started. But I could very well be wrong.
1.16.2009 2:57pm
EricPWJohnson (mail):
Real question is - will the Bushes take the furniture?
1.16.2009 3:00pm
Bad English:
By equally sound, I meant indisputable. But do continue to whine about Bush, which only underscores my original point that telling people to stop whining about who won the election is futile. You are still pointlessly whining after years of incessant pointless whining. Get over it already.
1.16.2009 3:00pm
LHD (mail):
Bad English: I was making a substantive point that it's possible for people to disagree without one party hating the other as human beings. Legitimate political disagreement, with respectful of the people involved, isn't whining.

And there's a vast space between the indisputable winner of an election by slim margins and the indisputable winner of an election by large margins. It's called a mandate.
1.16.2009 3:04pm
josil (mail):
I won't be around to witness the verdict of history, but I'm absolutely sure that Bush will emerge better than his critics...and that the media will find their rightful place somewhere beneath the reputation of used car salesmen.
1.16.2009 3:16pm
Bad English:
Actually, you demanded that people stop whining about Obama two months after the election. If people haven't stopped whining about Bush after whining for several years on end, I really wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

And yes, the BUSHILTERCHIMPCHENEYHALLIBURTONINC LIED PEOPLE DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!11! mantra is whining, not political dissent.
1.16.2009 3:17pm
RPT (mail):
"MartyA:

Bush was held personally responsible for the problems related to Hurricane Katrina. Does he get credit for yesterday's miracle in NYC?"

No. He gets no credit because yesterday was not a miracle. It was the result of the cooperative and capable efforts of highly trained and experienced unionized professionals at each and every level. That is, it was exactly the opposite of everything that GWB (and Ronald Reagan, for that matter) represented. Inexperienced and incompetent cronies would (as they have for the last eight years) crashed the plane with most if not all lives lost.

Finally, I am amused at those who seem to assert that GWB became president on 9.12.01, and was not president on 9.11.01 and was therefore not responsible for anything that occurred from 1.20.01 to that date. His "9/11 performance" includes the fact of and failure to prevent or mitigate the events of "9/11".
1.16.2009 3:20pm
DiversityHire:

In fact, we stomped you.


That's the basis for a politics of identity that will make Obama as much a failure as Bush. Democrats versus Republicans, Steelers vs. Browns, Giants vs. Dodgers. Yuck.
1.16.2009 3:20pm
LHD (mail):
Bad English: You obviously did not read what I wrote.

DiversityHire: No, it's the basis of a politics of... political parties...
1.16.2009 3:26pm
DangerMouse:
LHD: "I merely object to people characterizing all liberals as being bat-shit crazy because of their rhetoric. Bat-shit craziness is neither a strictly liberal nor a strictly conservative affliction."

I fail to understand the relevance. Fine, it's not "all liberals." Does that matter? Originally, you said "we won this time around. In fact, we stomped you. Try to beat us next time if you don't like it." I think it's fair to conclude that the incessent BDS of liberals probably helped set the tone for Obama's victory. So why shouldn't conservatives try that as well? What's wrong with a little ODS? It may be disagreeable, but you can't argue with success.

Being crazy isn't strictly liberal or conservative, but I think it's quite fair to say that it's mainstream for liberalism while it's not for conservatives. Nobody can compare to a liberal's street theatre, with all the nutjob signs and rantings they spew.

In any event, you plead for conservatives to stop whining while daring us to try to win again. I think the lesson is, whining works with the majority of people. I remain unconvinced that referring to Obama as the Infanticide President would be a tactical mistake.
1.16.2009 3:26pm
RPT (mail):
"Guest:

I can sum up my view of the Bush presidency's success in one sentence: Over 7 years since 9/11 and no major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

If Obama reaches the end of 4 or 8 years and the same thing can be said, then I will judge his presidency a success as well. Everything else is pretty much secondary."

Why judge GWB on only the last 7 1/2 years? What about the first 9 months?
1.16.2009 3:27pm
Bad English:
Bad English: You obviously did not read what I wrote.


I not only read it, I copied and pasted it verbatim. Again, good luck with your demand to the whiners of the world. I sincerely doubt that they'll obey you.
1.16.2009 3:29pm
DiversityHire:
No, it's the basis of a politics of... political parties...

The notion that either American political party is coherent enough in its constituency, ideology, or ethics to earn identification with what are basically its hood-winked customers is laughable. Is it a good idea for any individual to identify strongly with a brand like that? Or, for that matter, any large, loose group over which he/she has no control?

It's like saying "Whoo hoo! Best Buy really stomped Circuit City! We're so awesome!"
1.16.2009 3:43pm
DiversityHire:
Why judge GWB on only the last 7 1/2 years? What about the first 9 months?

I agree. I think we should use the same calendar for gauging President Obama's economic performance in his first 9 months in office :)
1.16.2009 3:46pm
gran habano:
Well afterall, BDS is a "clinical" disorder, and it came about for good reason. If you're gauging the volume and intensity of batsh!t crazy in this country.... that gauge is pinned far over to the Left.
1.16.2009 3:57pm
DiversityHire:
…the result of the cooperative and capable efforts of highly trained and experienced unionized professionals at each and every level…

Like Johannes Mehserle, or the Metrolink engineers in LA. Clearly unionization is key to understanding all four of these incidents, shouldn't these experienced, highly-trained professionals receive their due credit?

I am amused at those…

Who believe that everything (bad) that happened from 1/20/2001-1/20/2009 is George Bush's fault, or the previous 8 years are all Bill Clinton's fault. Or that something will magically happen on tuesday to wash that all away. It didn't happen on before, won't happen this time. Like it or not, whatever "messes" we're in is of our own making.
1.16.2009 3:59pm
methodact:
Histrionics is neither the province of Right-wing nor Left-wing, it is merely bad acting. To examine the evidence in the framing of political rhetoric, I identify George Lakoff as leading authority in the field and subscribe to the authenticity of his findings and analysis.
1.16.2009 4:08pm
LHD (mail):
DiversityHire: I'm a NY Giants fan, have been my whole life. When they lost to the Eagles in the playoffs, I called my mother, who is herself a life-long, hardcore Giants fan (she raised me to be one). We said things like, "Our offense was terrible," and, "At least the defense held up. We'll be back next year, hopefully without the Plaxico drama."

In that spirit, I say to those commentators whining about Obama, "We beat you."

Yes we can, and yes we did.
1.16.2009 4:11pm
guest:
@martinned: Naturally the Bush administration's success at preventing another terrorist attack are merely attributable to luck. No doubt if Obama has the same success it will be attributed in your book to his skill and foresight.

@Syd: none of that is going to happen, but you can keep posing absurd hypotheticals if you like. Yes, to me, preventing another major terrorist attack is the most important thing Obama can do the next 4 years.

@RPT: Since you are so much persuaded that Bush had ample time to stop 9/11 during his first nine months, I'm sure you'll no doubt agree that Clinton had simply an eternity. The truth is, neither one of them is to blame for something that at the time was inconceivable. It is only in restrospect that we imagine they could have. The important thing is that we continue to stop it from happening again. Bush has succeeded. Will Obama? Will Nancy Pelosi let him?
1.16.2009 4:13pm
DiversityHire:
OK, LHD, but that's exactly how billionaires get city, county, and state governments to fund their ego-stroking franchises. Convince the customers to take a stake in the brand, get loyalty; if you can, get some of their personal identity tied up in "their team". Then ask them for money.
1.16.2009 4:22pm
Spinster:

bilingualism...has totally destroyed the American ideal.


I think bilingualism (or tri- or mult-) is a good thing. It makes kids smarter, and gives them a chance to communicate with more people in the world, and read more things. For example, I'm sure EV can communicate, at least roughly, with people from Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, Belarussia, etc. That's cool!

Anecdotally, all the people I know who grew up speaking multiple languages all turned out really smart.

BTW what is the "American ideal" ??
1.16.2009 4:44pm
A Law Dawg:
BTW what is the "American ideal" ??


John Glenn.
1.16.2009 4:56pm
Rattan (mail):
George Bush proved to the satisfaction of most, having taken charge after the Clinton terms, that it is not that Government cannot work--it is good old GW who cannot or will not work.
1.16.2009 5:11pm
Federal Dog:
I have to wonder why it never occurs to Obama supporters that minimal cognition requires completing the obsessively repeated mantra: "Yes we can." We can what? Deval Patrick ran on the same pointedly empty mantra, and even those who chanted it the loudest now understand that they should have required at least a complete thought before entrusting the man with office.

This is the part of cults that I fear: True believers don't need thought, complete or otherwise. They therefore do not require a coherent statement of principle. They desperately rely on faith instead. - even when that faith has already pointedly failed the faithful. And they just keep stampeding over anyone who thinks to ask the obvious questions.
1.16.2009 5:31pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Anecdotally, all the people I know who grew up speaking multiple languages all turned out really smart."

Did they start off really dumb?
1.16.2009 5:44pm
LM (mail):
The most interesting item on this thread is that someone who had several hours of interaction with GWB thinks Obama's birth certificate is a relevant issue.
1.16.2009 5:47pm
CJColucci:
Has everyone here forgetten the group that removed all the W's from the typewriters on their way out?

You can't forget something that didn't happen.
1.16.2009 5:51pm
methodact:
Ok, by any definition of a true class act, I can't think of any better example right now than that of Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III.

I can't think of any better example, because I am currently mesmerized, by reading many of the now over 10,000 articles on Google News about what this class act did in real time. I submit that real time is the true measure of one's grit.

Now we might compare our pols to that.
1.16.2009 6:13pm
Dave N (mail):
Completely off topic LM, but how do you link to a specific prior comment? I might find it helpful to do so in the future.
1.16.2009 6:13pm
PlugInMonster:
I think the right should go on continual attack-dog mode against Obama. Don't give him any chance, the left sure didn't give any to Bush. Revenge time, baby.
1.16.2009 6:22pm
LM (mail):
Dave,

1. Right click on the (link) in the upper right hand corner of the comment.

2. Left click "Copy Link Location" (That's Firefox - I don't remember the command in IE, but it may be something like "Copy Link").

3. Select (i.e., left click and drag the mouse over) the part of your comment you want to link from.

4. Left click the "Link" button above the comment box.

5. Paste the copied link location into the prompt box.

6. Hit "Ok."

7. Remember that Preview is your friend.
1.16.2009 6:28pm
Hoosier:
I think bilingualism (or tri- or mult-) is a good thing. It makes kids smarter,

I agree with the first, and strongly doubt the second. As Elliot suggested, the results may have been biased by the starting point.

The great governor of Illinois--His name escapes me just now--decided to give books to all the kids in the state. Because, you see, kids with more books do better in school, and so on.

This gets some play in "Freakonomics." But it's pretty basic. I suspect that you would find an even higher correlation if you looked at average SAT scores and the costs of the vehicles in the garage. Should Illinois buy everyone a Lambrghini Reventónn?
1.16.2009 6:32pm
Hoosier:
LM--Any idea how I can do that on my wife's Mac? [No right-click! Argh.]
1.16.2009 6:34pm
LM (mail):
Dave, to be clear, #1 should read "Right click on the (link) in the upper right hand corner of the comment you want to link to."
1.16.2009 6:35pm
LM (mail):
Hoosier, Mac? Isn't that some kind of Ipod? [I have no idea. Without right-click I don't think my bloodline would be long for this world.]
1.16.2009 6:47pm
Dave N (mail):
LM,

Thanks. In Internet Explorer it is "Copy Shortcut." But it works. I will remember it in the future when I am referencing previous posts.
1.16.2009 6:48pm
DiversityHire:
control-click == right click, Hoosier.

Also, that Lambo idea sucks. But a Ferrari California in every garage sounds like change I can believe in.
1.16.2009 6:49pm
DiversityHire:
on newer Macs: control-click == two-finger trackpad tap == right click, too.
1.16.2009 6:51pm
LM (mail):

Should Illinois buy everyone a Lambrghini Reventónn?

I'll bet they could get a better deal if they bought everyone a seat in the U.S. Senate, and the SAT correlation's probably even higher.
1.16.2009 6:54pm
TCO:
I am ten times as manly and as conservative (repetition) as the little cheerleader Stover not at Yale faggot (nothing against queers). Someone needs to squash him like a bug. And all the pole smoking wannabe followers. I hate them. I do. I do.
1.16.2009 9:18pm
BobDoyle (mail):
I avoided voting for the sociopath

And so conservatives are the evil, over-the-top, mean-spirited ideologues disconnected from reality ... right.
1.16.2009 9:31pm
TokyoTom (mail):
Orin, it would be a kindness - at least for those of us overseas and otherwise clueless - if you`d add a link or two in your posts like this.

Off to search the intartubes ....
1.16.2009 9:44pm
LM (mail):
methodact:

To examine the evidence in the framing of political rhetoric, I identify George Lakoff as leading authority in the field and subscribe to the authenticity of his findings and analysis.

He's a leading academic authority, but as a practitioner he couldn't carry Frank Luntz's rhetorical jock strap. I wish it weren't so, but it is.
1.16.2009 9:49pm
methodact:
Oh, i follow Frank Luntz's contributions to the field to. Although, I seem to remember on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, he apologized for it.
1.16.2009 11:51pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
guest:

neither one of them is to blame for something [9/11] that at the time was inconceivable. It is only in restrospect that we imagine they could have.


You seem to be repeating a common theme, that no one anticipated the use of hijacked airplanes as missiles. Trouble is, this theme is false.
1.17.2009 12:39am
David Warner:
LM,

"He's a leading academic authority"

Another sad commentary on the academy. Lakoff would get laughed out of the typical 3am Dorm bullshit session.
1.17.2009 1:49am
methodact:
Sheesh. I suppose that had one cited Professor Noam Chomsky as authority, there would be parsing of jots and tittles too.

The particular framing that caught my attention around the time of the Enron scandal, (who flew Bushes around in the company plane), was by James Gilmore, who said that they (Republicans in office) would operate by stealth and that people wouldn't see what hit them until it was too late.

The later variation of this, significantly more refined, was reported by Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed Bush aide:

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Now if anyone has an inside scoop, I would sure like to know the complete etymology of that.
1.17.2009 4:41am
Hoosier:
DiversityHire:
control-click == right click, Hoosier.
—————

I owe you one!

So here's my gift to you: My official portrait.
1.17.2009 10:14am
David Warner:
methodact,

"Now if anyone has an inside scoop, I would sure like to know the complete etymology of that."

Seeing as how I've seen that one particular quote paraded around the internet for several years like a prized trophy, with precious little else from where that came from, I'd say you're grasping at straws to confirm some strange prejudices.

The distinction referred to is the ancient and unremarkable one of thought/act, Aristotle/Alexander, Greece/Rome, Pope/King, et. al. The only remarkable thing is that so many seem to find it remarkable. Now Obama will act and you'll study him and the results of his actions. What's the big deal? I'd rather we were less of an Empire, but few in the academy dispute that we are, correct?

BTW, within mathematics there is some debate as to whether math is invented or discovered, and how each conception affects how it is taught/learned. Similar issues. Also Wojtyla's philosophy can be read to update Descartes as "We act, therefore we are."
1.17.2009 10:25am
Dave N (mail):
Hoosier wrote:
I owe you one!

So here's my gift to you: My official portrait.
Now THAT is scary.
1.17.2009 11:17am
Hoosier:
Dave N

I think you can tell from the picture that I am severely disabled.

And then there's the "hand thing."
1.17.2009 11:33am
Hoosier:
John Armstrong
I thought Chris Matthews nailed it.

Well, then you're wrong. Now can you post a link so I can find out what he said?
1.17.2009 11:34am
methodact:
David Warner:

Nah. It goes to the very heart of my conspiracy theories. A lowly aide to Bush did not author that frame. So who did? And that is just a frame. What is the real substantive policicy the frame was constructed for? What did it evolve into after that, when it dropped off the radar screens?

When former Enron vice chairman J. Clifford Baxter agreed to inform on Enron, he was found dead in a questionable suicide. With the white hot media spotlight on Enron as the nation's scape goat at that moment, and Bush so close to Kenny Boy, Bush could not have won the election without masterful framing. Jeffery Skilling framed Baxter's "suicide" by attributing the remark to him, "They're calling us child molesters!"

Right on cue, the media went off on a different hunt, chasing that red herring, dutifully regarding it as a bigger scapegoat in, Here Thar Be Monsters! The Catholic Church witch hunt ensued and Arthur Andersen's destruction of the evidence for Enron was allowed to slide.
1.17.2009 12:06pm
DiversityHire:
Hoosier: high-five!

Oh, wait. Sorry.

I'm glad that your differentlyabledness doesn't prevent you from commenting. Given your condition, I'd suggest turning on "Speakable Items" on your wife's mac. That or getting a couple pairs of scissors and starting a landscaping/hairstyling company.
1.17.2009 12:18pm
methodact:
*reelected.

And there you have it, voilà, the Enronization of America.
1.17.2009 1:05pm
David Warner:
methodact,

Yeah, but what about the Trilateral Commission?

Even for a Lakoff enthusiast, your paranoia is impressive.
1.17.2009 3:02pm
Hoosier:
DiversityHire

You no like my hair?
1.17.2009 8:40pm
DiversityHire:
No, I like. Very edwArd scissorhands.
1.17.2009 10:38pm
unhuh (mail):
This thread has wandered far away from the original topic.

Notwithstanding, I just can't wait for next Tuesday to come, when I can start keeping score of the Obama regime.
1.18.2009 3:59am
George Mocsary:
What I realized today is how 9/11 has fallen completely out of popular discussion at this end of the Bush presidency; it's all Iraq and the economy. We were, after all, attacked, and it's questionable whether we've as yet adequately defended ourselves. I'm curious to see whether the media will start mentioning 9/11 again after Tuesday.
1.19.2009 7:06pm
Fugle:
9/11 will be mentioned only to place the blame on Bush – clearly nothing could be the fault of our “New Coke” president.
1.21.2009 4:08pm

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