Jim devoted considerable time today in both his posts, and on his show to a “miss me yet” theme about President Bush. Last week I received an e-mail from a good friend about “W”. Luckily I saved it, so I can share it with you.
We know a few things about George W. Bush.
For instance, we know that George Bush is kind of a classy guy. When he took over the White House, he received a building that had been vandalized by exiting Clinton staffers. There were reports of holes in walls, “W’s” missing from computer keyboards, and graffiti greeting the new President. We know that he said nothing about it. We know that he made peace with Bill Clinton and eventually resurrected Clinton from relative exile to serve as an American ambassador of good will.
We know that he had inherited a recession that he dutifully repaired without going through pains to blame his predecessor. We know that when he was forced to fight a war using National Guardsmen, Reserves, and a limited, overtaxed military (unlike previous presidents) he never publicly lamented that his predecessor had left him with a decimated military.
We know that when he attended Correta Scott King’s funeral in Atlanta, and prominent democrats took the podium to make political cheap-shots at him when they should have been eulogizing the late civil rights leader, he simply took it on the chin, knowing that stooping to their level would have been equally classless. We know that George W. Bush, much to the chagrin of his party, was not real big on defending his image.
We know that he was insistent on the importance of the war in Iraq, when his critics clamored that the real war was Afghanistan and that Iraq was insignificant. But why? Why did he downplay Afghanistan and place so much emphasis on a country that was not involved in the attacks of 911?
We know that Saudi Arabia had been our strategic Arab ally in the Middle East. We know that the 911 attackers and Osama Bin Laden were Saudis. We know that the funding for the 911 attacks came from Saudis. We know that Bush repeatedly stated “911 changed everything”. We know that the Saudis could no longer be trusted. We know that the dangers of Islamic extremism are rooted in the region’s tyranny, oppression, poverty and poor education.
As Monday morning quarterbacks, we know that Iraq is ripe for democracy and has great potential to form a stable ally. We also know that Afghanistan may just be un-winnable. We know this now, as Monday morning quarterbacks. Did George W. Bush know this back in 2002?
Democrats and even many Republicans have maintained that George W. Bush is not one of the brighter bulbs on the porch. I’d have to disagree.
Whatever else you may think about him, “W” wasn’t in the business of pointing fingers, blaming others, or making tiresome jokes about the ”stupidity” of anyone who disagreed with him, most notably, anyone on the other side of the aisle. As my friend says, he did have class…something that seems to be sorely lacking in today’s politicians.
I don’t know about you, but, perhaps more than anything, I do miss the class.