Remember the “W”

Posted: January 15, 2009 in 1

I I know it is not popular to say–even among Republicans, not at least among polite company–but I love George W. Bush.  There, I said it.  Do I love everything he has done.  No.  But I choose not to air any of those criticisms because he gets that from every other quarter.  This post is rather about why we should all be grateful to the 43rd president of the United States.

George Bush took office right after the disgraced 42nd president disgracefully left office.  Clinton left office soon after giving pardons to former terrorists and other ne’er-do-wells with the right political connections.  The most notorious being the FLN terrorists and the infamous Marc Rich, who profiteered by selling weapons to our enemies.  Rich went so far as to renounce his American citizenship.  That was just the last of his string of corrupt acts that were commonplace in the White House which began with Whitewater and Travelgate and ended with Pardongate.  “It was just about sex” his supporters always said.  Please.  That was the least of it.

But I digress.  This is not about how bad Clinton was, but the contrast provides suitable context.  Bush’s detractors like to talk about his presidency’s culture of corruption without ever getting specific.  What does it come to?  He may or may not have gotten bad intelligence about WMD’s in Iraq, specifically yellow cake uranium from Niger.  “Bush lied, people died,” they shout.  Seriously?  Scooter Libby is indicted for perjury because he didn’t remember the events in the same order as a journalist about a non-spy who was not outed by him.  This is corruption?  There is corruption there, but not from the Bush administration.

Bush restored order in the White House.  Things ran on time.  Press conferences started just when he said they would, not an hour later as often happened in the previous administration.

Then 9-11 happened.  Well, it didn’t just happen.  Evil men perpetrated this evil terrorist strike on innocent and unsuspecting Americans.  A strike that would never have happened if Clinton had taken out Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance, but balked.

Bush was changed by 9-11.  But the test also brought out the character of the man.  He would remain steadfast against the enemies of America.  He would do what it took to insure that 9-11, or something similar would not happen on his watch.  And it didn’t.  History will remember, if the ungrateful, forgetful citizens don’t. 

In prosecuting the war on terror Bush took down two nations that supported terrorism abroad and imposed it at home.  The Taliban is deposed in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein has been tried by an Iraqi jury and executed.  Millions of Iraqis went to the polls, at personal risk to their own lives to vote for the first democratically elected government in Iraq’s long history. 

We couldn’t lose the war in Iraq now if we wanted.  It was won in a couple weeks.  Despite the rhetoric we hear about the possibility of losing the war (well, we hear it less now then a year ago) the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was won long ago.  What our troops are doing in Iraq right now is building and protecting the young democracy against domestic and foreign terrorists.  Make no mistake.  Bush won the war in Iraq.

After 9-11 the stock market crashed as business came to a standstill.  It is nothing short of miraculous how the market bounced back, nearly doubling in five years.  This fueled by the Bush tax cuts and the serious commitment to restoring order in the world.  The market would still be rising if not for the ill-advised federal mandates, pushed by the previous administration and Democrats in Congress, on lenders to loan money to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back.

Bush has been solidly pro-life, signing the partial-birth abortion ban and supporting the ban on abortions at military hospitals. 

In all of this he has been vilified in the most outrageous terms by his opponents on the left.  He has not returned fire.  If he was unable to change the political culture in Washington, it wasn’t for lack of trying.  It may be true that the nation is more polarized than ever.  That blame lies solely at the feet of the viciously partisan Democrats, many of whom supported him publicly when the war was popular but jumped the fence and began throwing stones in his direction when the political winds changed.  I wish President Bush had done more to defend his own record.  When a charge goes unchallenged, it becomes truth.  At least in the public eye. 

I agree with what one admirer said of Bush.  He has the same stubborn tenacity to principle that Ronald Wilson Reagan and Winston Churchill possessed.  The major difference between George W. Bush and them is his inability or unwillingness to articulate his position and defend it against his detractors.  But, like Reagan, George W. believes history will judge him better then his contemporaries have.  I believe that is true.  But given who writes the history books, that is far from certain.

  1. Serge says:

    I don’t care if most people disagree with me, but Bush was a great president and I wish he was for the next 8 years. Bush haters are a bunch of followers who refuse to look at the good things he did for this country, more than any other president in the past several years. He protected us whether anybody liked it or not.

  2. John Hampton says:

    George W. Bush was one of the best presidents this country has ever had. I knew he would be when he was running for president, I knew it while he was the president, and I still know that to be true. All of the Bush-whacking vile critics of this honorable man, both Democrat and Republican should be be ashamed of themselves.

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