Friday, January 16, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. President.

Yesterday, the same day that President George W. Bush delivered his farewell address, it was reported in the media that his popularity in this state had finally dropped below 50%. That's too bad. For the record, I would like to say that I have only come to appreciate him more.

I love him. I consider him to be a fine man. And, I am grateful for his service to our nation.

I have been moved by the dignity with which he has conducted himself as his popularity has plummeted, his name reviled, and his character assassinated. I have learned a great deal from his example. And, I have been proud of the class he has demonstrated during the transition to the Obama administration -- providing access and support to the incoming president that has been nothing less than extraordinary. Maybe someday the world will come to truly understand who this man is, and what he had done for all of us, but I don't plan on holding my breath.

Goodbye, Mr. President. May God bless you!

Love,
A.W.

8 Comments:

At Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:08:00 AM, Blogger rmwarnick said...

President Bush is the worst president ever. Google "worst president ever" if you don't believe it. He is an embarrassment to the nation.

Under Bush, more Americans died from terrorist attacks than in all previous history. Bush started TWO unwinnable wars, lost a major U.S. city through natural disaster and failed to rebuild it, and presided over the biggest loss of jobs since Herbert Hoover.

That was all too much already, but then he gave us the Wall Street fiasco. Thanks to Bush, the U.S. economy is in the worst shape since the Great Depression.

Bush is the first president to openly confess to committing egregious violations of federal law in his widespread warrantless domestic surveillance programs and detainee torture policy. Why wasn't he impeached and removed from office?

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:26:00 AM, Blogger Reach Upward said...

Richard's response is overly partisan. Still, it is difficult for anyone to have a clear and objective view of this presidency at the moment. Give us a quarter century and some will be able to offer objectivity on the matter.

While it appears that Bush is deeply and personally concerned about being honorable and doing the right thing, he ran an administration that was highly incompetent in many areas. Bush's leadership style that demanded and relied heavily on loyalty to him probably lent to this. While Nixon was more vociferous about loyalty, his administration wasn't nearly as incompetent.

Bush came into office with very different intentions and expectations than what he ended up facing. After 9/11, he felt that the one thing he had to do at all costs was to avoid another similar attack. Per his judgment, that was more important than anything. He pulled that off, but at a very high cost.

Right now, few people are thankful. Many suggest that we avoided another 9/11 in spite of, rather than because of Bush. It will take a long-term historical perspective to gain some objectivity on this.

From a conservative viewpoint, he was a key player (along with many in Congress) in trashing conservative principles. And just when they thought the storm was over, Bush pushed through the largest peacetime expansion of government in the history of the world. So, many conservatives say good bye without much love lost.

Unlike his predecessor, Bush is by most reports a gentleman. But that does not mean that he has been a good president.

 
At Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:30:00 AM, Blogger bekkieann said...

What good was it to "keep us safe" on all those other days, when he failed to do so on the one day the terrorists had something big planned?

That claim to keeping us safe is impossible to prove, just like proving a negative. How can you prove he prevented something that never happened?

But he was clearly on watch when the big one hit. If he takes credit for the safety of all those other days, then he has to accept responsibility for allowing 9-11 to happen.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 10:57:00 AM, Blogger Micah Bruner said...

Being a leader is not about popularity. It is about doing what is best for the nation as a whole. Because, in America, we elect our leaders, popularity does play a key role in one's leadership style.

Here, instead of determining the best course of action and ramming it down the throats of their constituents, American leaders are forced (that is, if they want to stay in office) to demonstrating how and why the determined 'best course of action' is indeed the best.

I think this is where President Bush failed.

Granted, there were other failures in his administration (what administration is free from failures and mistakes?), and he abandoned some key conservative principles, but I firmly believe that he always acted in a way that he determined to be the best course of action.

Because he did not, or could not demonstrate to the American public why the actions taken were the best available, he is unpopular. But this does not mean, necessarily, that he acted improperly.

Only time will tell, as A.W. stated in his post, whether President Bush will be determined to have truly acted in the best course available, or not. I believe, along with A.W., that time will show just how Pres. Bush truly acted with promiting the nation's best interests as his goal. But again, only time will tell.

An elected official who sacrifices leadership for popularity is only doing himself a favor and hangs his constituents out to dry. Arguably, some of the "failures" noted on this message board of the Bush administration are the direct result of past such "leadership" styles.

While President Bush could have done more to mitigate the damages of past administrations' failures, it is an unfair charge to lay at his feet all of the blame for anyone of them.

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 3:31:00 PM, Blogger rmwarnick said...

Are you trying to be funny? All of the Bush administration fiascoes were not his fault, and his only mistake was failing to explain how nothing was his fault?

That's your argument?

 
At Monday, January 19, 2009 8:38:00 PM, Blogger Micah Bruner said...

Richard,

I guess you set the stage as far as the sense of humor is concerned. Everything that happened during the past eight years was solely Bush's fault?! (Including a hurricane?!) Bush is the "worst president" because enough people have simply said so?! (Google is an even worse resource than Wikipedia!!).

Seriously though, I admitted that Bush's administration failed in certain respects.

In other respects, however, I think he acted with the nation's best interests in mind but his actions are seen as failures by certain individuals (you are obviously one of them) because he failed to demonstrate exactly how it was in the best interests of the nation.

My point is that there will undoubtedly be certain things that prove to have been mistakes as time unfolds. However, it is almost a certainty that some of the actions taken by this administration will end up being seen as successes, even though they were unappreciated at the time they were taken. Truly, only time will tell.

 
At Tuesday, January 20, 2009 8:56:00 AM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear Richard, Scott, Bekkie, and Micah,

Thank you for your comments! I really enjoy reading them. Without such feedback, blogging would be just a self-indulgent rant instead of a conversation. And, I find the latter to be much more interesting and constructive. I think the give and take helps all of us to see things more clearly -- whether or not we end up agreeing in the end. So, again, thank you very much.

My observations follow:

The claim that President Bush started two unwinnable wars fails to recognize the fact that President Clinton had already launched lethal missile attacks against both Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan long before Bush ever took office. Clinton attacked Hussein because he was not complying with the terms of the peace treaty that ended hostilities in the first Gulf War. And, Clinton attacked bin Laden because he had blown up the US Embassy in Kenya as well as having made other acts of war upon the United States.

So, it can hardly be said that President Bush started these wars. The war with Iraq began in August 1990 when Hussein invaded Kuwait. And, the subsequent presence of US forces in Saudi Arabia -- to protect Saudi Arabia -- is what supposedly provided the excuse for bin Laden's terrorist activities against our country. Thus, these wars actually began long before either George W. Bush or William Jefferson Clinton ever took office. They each inherited the reality of these wars, and they each resorted to violent acts of retaliation in order to defend our nation.

Bush resorted to full scale land invasions, because, in part, 9-11 had proven that Clinton's use of missiles had not solved either problem and that something more decisive needed to be done. In the case of Afghanistan, the ruling Taliban was giving safe haven to an Al-Qaida army that had committed numerous acts of war against the United States, and was planning yet further attacks. In the case of Iraq, the ruling Bath party was not complying with the terms of the peace treaty, purposely trying to give the impression that they were hiding weapons of mass destruction by interfering with the activities of international weapons inspectors. And, again, 9-11 persuaded the President that this was not something to be trifled with. Occasionally shooting missiles into Iraq was not solving the problem.

Richard, you seem to think that it is obvious that President Bush acted unwisely. Though I hate war, and the suffering imposed upon the innocent, I am not so sure that he did. It may be that he has saved both of our lives, or, at least, postponed our eventual destruction.

As for the current financial crisis, the way the story is told in Conservative Circles, it all began with Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Barney Frank pressuring the financial industry to loosen their credit restrictions so that more low income borrowers could get into homes. That was a noble intention, but it supposedly resulted in a glut of junk loans. And, the weight of this bad paper is what has supposedly made so many banks insolvent. Bekkie, is that Bush's fault, or is it the fault of congressional Democrats? I suppose the way one answers is entirely dependent upon one's political affiliation.

As for Hurricane Katrina, all my life it has been known that New Orleans would get flooded by a big storm -- kind of like the way we all know that a large earthquake will eventually do major damage in California. Is Bush to blame for the decades of inaction by local Democratic leaders to prepare for this eventuality? Is he to blame for the gross incompetence of the Democratic local leaders at the time of the disaster? Is he to blame for the decisions made by the certain citizens of that city to remain in their homes? (I had family living in that city who got out, just as others could have if they had so chosen, or if city leaders had done their job better.)

No, of course not, the only thing that could possibly be laid at his feet is that he appointed a nice guy to head FEMA who may have been in over his head. And, this may have delayed the federal response. But, under no circumstance would this have prevented the destruction of that city or the long term hardship with which the residents will have to struggle.

As for Scott and Micah's observations that President Bush did not consistently apply conservative principles during his administration, that is true. But, again, I don't know if that was always a bad thing. (I do find the bail-out to be breathtaking, but I don't know that I would have done anything differently if my advisors told me that we were on the verge of another Great Depression.) I suppose that you are both right that time will tell the tale.

Love,
A.W.

 
At Wednesday, May 19, 2010 11:00:00 AM, Blogger Bill Hawthorne said...

Alienated Wannabe,

I just have a quick question for you but couldn't find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger. Please email my assistant back at barbaraobrien@maacenter.org when you get a chance. Thanks.

BIll

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home