Open Thread: Bar Bush Doesn’t Want Another Bush in the White House, Either


(h/t Paul Constant)
.
… Mostly, I presume, because the old battleaxe doesn’t want to give “the smart Bush” the chance to show up Mommy’s Favorite Little Man as the brain-damaged runt he was, and is.

If you want an excellent antidote to the current shiny-object “reexamination” of the Dubya Legacy — perhaps there are young people or coma victims on your social networks who don’t remember the years 2000-2008 with any clarity? — Jon Chait at NYMag has a meaty compendium:

Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, and No, He Wasn’t Smart
More than three years still remained in George W. Bush’s presidency when it had already collapsed by the end of 2005. The Bush revisionism industry has thus enjoyed an unusually long period of time in which to plan out its action and predict their man’s comeback as a misunderstood, unduly maligned and — dare they say it? — successful president. The opening of the Bush museum today has opened up a flood of pent-up Bush revisionism…

When Bush first appeared on the political scene, and especially during the apparently successful first couple of years of his presidency, his defenders swatted away questions about his mental acuity by pointing to his success. If he’s so dumb, how has he achieved so much? Well, he didn’t. He oversaw a disastrous administration for precisely the reason his critics always grasped: Bush was an intellectual simpleton, a man who made up his mind in absence of the facts, who swatted away inconvenient realities as annoyances…

If you want to look kindly on Bush’s presidency, you can fairly say that, while he deserves significant blame for ignoring warnings of an Al Qaeda strike and the housing bubble, the disasters of his tenure were not entirely his fault. But what did he do? His economic policies exacerbated income inequality without producing prosperity. His massive increase of the structural budget deficit, which ballooned to over a trillion dollars before President Obama took office, left the United States less fiscally equipped to respond to the economic crisis he also left his predecessor. He initiated a costly war on the basis of both mistaken and deliberately cooked intelligence, and failed to plan for the postwar period. His policies not only ignored the crises of climate change and a costly and cruel health insurance system, but made both much harder to solve.

The failures of Bush’s governing method — the staffing of hacks and cronies, the disdain for evidence — was perfectly reflected in the outcomes. The Bush presidency was a full disaster at home and abroad, and whatever small accomplishments that can be salvaged barely rate any mention in comparison with the failures. The general reckoning of Bush is not too harsh. It is too kind.

Particulary recommended is the ten-minute video clip of an interview on Irish tv, which encapsulates every verbal tic, facial twitch, and tattered cliche that enraged us all for so many years.

87 replies
  1. 1
    Hill Dweller says:

    Apparently Andy Card was on Fox saying Dubya was the most fiscally disciplined President in recent history.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    the most fiscally disciplined President in recent history.

    Recent history meaning 2001-2008. Since Bush was the only president during that time, he ipso facto was the most fiscally disciplined president. /GOPLogic

  3. 3
    👽 Martin says:

    @Hill Dweller: Obviously. Dude wasn’t even willing to pay someone to pull the weeds.

  4. 4
    srv says:

    The word for the aughts is: Enduring

  5. 5
    jrg says:

    Particulary recommended

    I couldn’t make it past his first sentence. Every time I hear that man speak I want to kick him in the testicles.

  6. 6
    Hill Dweller says:

    The exact quote was President Bush “probably has the best track record of any modern president in terms of fiscal discipline”.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    I prefer to focus no the positive, at least on the opening day of Dub’s library.

    I ran across quite a few pics of GW’s paintings today. I guess that was a pleasant thing that would take people’s minds off, you know, his two terms in office. I didn’t know Bush had two styles: pet and still life kitsch and knock-off Hockney. I like the knock-off Hockney genre, and think it will be a fascinating historical side light. Kind of like Washington’s hemp farm, and whatever president came up with a new proof of Pythagorus’ Theorem.

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Particulary recommended is the ten-minute video clip of an interview on Irish tv, which encapsulates every verbal tic, facial twitch, and tattered cliche that enraged us all for so many years

    You really hate us, don’t you?

  9. 9
    efgoldman says:

    … Mostly, I presume, because the old battleaxe doesn’t want to give “the smart Bush” the chance to show up Mommy’s Favorite Little Man

    Which “smart bush” is that? The one who used a poor, helpless Terri Schiavo to show the country exactly why we should be scared shitless of Republicans in office? That “smart bush?” I have holly bushes in front of the house with more common sense than the “smart bush.”

  10. 10
    gnomedad says:

    Dennis Miller (beware: Daily Caller link):
    Guns don’t kill people, Obamaphones kill people!

    One of these days, somebody is going to trigger one of those homemade bombs with an Obama phone. Can we at least cut the welfare off now?

    I mean, you can be on the watch list and still buy a gun, but let’s get our priorities straight.

  11. 11
    PeakVT says:

    Who cares how “smart” he is or was? He was bad for the country. That’s the bottom line.

  12. 12
    David Koch says:

    Barbara can read the polls, too.

    PPP: New Hampshire- Paul 28, Rubio 25, Christie 14, Bush 7, Ryan 7, Santorum 4, Martinez 3.

    Christie down 7 pts since November, while Baby Doc has shot up 24 pts. Looks like his stunts have worked.

    He’s poised to win Iowa and New Hampshire. It’ll come down to South Carolina, where Paul will hammer Rubio from the right for Amnesty. Rubio is really in a bad spot, as he can’t even claim to be more electable as Rubio runs farther behind the Dems than AquaBuddha.

  13. 13
    Jeremy says:

    Barbara was also went after the Clinton’s with her comment about the presidency not belonging to four or whatever families. I totally agree with the statements she made.

  14. 14
    jl says:

    Also, I read this at TPM

    ‘ Former President George W. Bush has a message for the Republican Party: “You will exist in the future.” ‘

    Given his track record, I think that prediction is encouraging.

    Man, that alone, makes the Dub library debut and good thing that is OK with me.

    And then BarBar’s wish of no more Bush’s running stuff. I liked that too.

    Won’t hear me say anything bad about the Dub library bash.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @Hill Dweller: I don’t think Andy knows the meaning of the term.

  16. 16
    PsiFighter37 says:

    My boss gave me an absolutely shitty, impossible year-end target to hit. Also made more difficult because it is already 4 months into said year.

    FML

    PF37 +2 and a lot more on the way

    P.S. Fuck the Bushes. I don’t want to spend more time thinking about those assholes more than I have to, because we’ll be hearing about that douchebag George P. Bush soon enough.

  17. 17
    scav says:

    Fun little stomp on the numbers It’ll take more than a presidential library to make George W Bush popular

    Most presidents have retrospective approval ratings above 60%. All but Nixon and Bush have +10 or better retrospective net approval ratings. Thus, not only did Bush tie for the second worst final approval rating while in office, but he is also has the second worst retrospective job approval rating.

    Third, the Gallup data should make clear that George W Bush hasn’t seen much recovery over the past three years in his retrospective approval rating. The 47% in the latest Washington Post poll is the same as the 47% that Gallup found in 2010. The 50% disapproval now is nearly identical to the 51% three years ago. Yes, people view him more rosily now than they did during his presidency, but that effect has been baked in for a while now. He’s not getting more loved as time goes by.

  18. 18
    efgoldman says:

    @jl:

    I didn’t know Bush had two styles: pet and still life kitsch and knock-off Hockney.

    Surely I can’t be the first to say: you know who else did paintings, don’t you?

  19. 19
    Scamp Dog says:

    I made it to the 3:50 mark before I got too ticked off. WTF is wrong with this country that we put such an obvious dim bulb in charge not just once, but twice?

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    we put such an obvious dim bulb in charge not just once, but twice?

    FTFY

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Dubya was the most fiscally disciplined President in recent history.

    Except for all the other ones, of course.

  22. 22
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Scamp Dog: I blame SCOTUS for the 1st term and gay marriage bans + Bob Shrum for the 2nd term.

    I wonder what Sandra Day O’Connor thinks about retiring Bush’s 2nd term now.

  23. 23
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Roger Moore: If by ‘fiscally responsible’, he means ‘blowing holes through budget surpluses in a way that would’ve made Ronnie Reagan blush’, then sure, he was fiscally responsible. I’m also a 6’6″ super model who gets the ladies just by giving them an impenetrable stare through my aviators.

    Fucking moron.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    She retired to allow Bush to name her successor. While not a wingnut, she is a Republican through and through.

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    probably has the best track record of any modern president in terms of fiscal discipline

    Only in the sense that he ran faster and further from it than any other president.

  26. 26
    efgoldman says:

    @Baud:

    Never mind. I misread your antecedent.

  27. 27
    Hal says:

    Posted in previous thread, but this seems more relevant here.

    Gawker’s 50 reasons you despised GWB’s presidency:

    http://jezebel.com/50-reasons-.....-481313794

    Someone should forward to Jennifer Rubin:

    8. He ignored warnings about Osama bin Laden. He ignored the Aug. 6, 2001 White House intelligence briefing titled, “Bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S.” Meanwhile, his chief anti-terrorism advisor, Richard Clarke, and first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, testified in Congress that he was intent on invading Iraq within days of becoming president.

    And for FOX News and some of my mother’s friends:

    47. But took the most vacation time. Reporters analyzing Bush’s record foundthat he took off 1,020 days in two four-year terms—more than one out of every three days. No other modern president comes close. Bush also set the record for the longest vacation among modern presidents—five weeks, the Washington Post noted.

  28. 28
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    WTF is wrong with this country that we put such an obvious dim bulb in charge not just once, but twice?

    A toxic cocktail of apathy, ignorance and fear.

  29. 29
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Baud: Yeah, and goddamn how that sucks. I pointed out last night that we haven’t had a liberal Chief Justice since Earl Warren – that’s how long it has been. If Kerry had managed to pull it out, forget about what else he may have accomplished – we would have a solid liberal majority of 6 on the court right now.

    Instead, we have to hope and pray that sanity prevails for either Roberts and Kennedy, and that’s becoming a stretch – clearly Roberts ruled on ACA simply for legacy purposes, while Kennedy seems to be becoming more of a winger as he gets older.

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    “probably has the best track record of any modern president in terms of fiscal discipline”.

    It is obvious that Dub had more fiscal discipline (of a certain species) than Reagan. After all, Reagan did raise taxes after his tax cuts produced no supply side revenue increases. How sadly weak and cowardly that was. Dub stood strong.

    Edit: oops, I thought I was linking this to Roger Moore’s comment above. I wanted to give an example.

  31. 31
    muddy says:

    @efgoldman: That was watercolor. That’s too hard for the Shrub. You can’t erase or paint over, the way they are trying to erase and paint over his presidency.

    The other day when John posted the pic of “redneck fancy”, someone called for a painting of it, in the style of GWB. I felt inspired right away, and for some reason was thinking, “yellow”, but then I had to look longer at GWB’s stuff to get the style down. I got in a bad mood right away, and said to the dog that it was no wonder I was thinking “yellow”. I didn’t feel like painting then.

  32. 32
    Hal says:

    @David Koch:

    Christie down 7 pts since November, while Baby Doc has shot up 24 pts. Looks like his stunts have worked.

    Christie is the only one who has a shot against Hillary Clinton. If she doesn’t run, then I might finally be one of those “I’m moving to Canada” type people.

    Damn, it is way too early for me to be sweating over the 2016 race, but oh well.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Supreme Court justices are where the Democrats really do well. Although not all of them are Brennan, who was the last bad one, in terms of ideology? The Republicans have actually done a little worse, with Kennedy and especially Souter being disappointments for them. But I think they’ve fixed that problem.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Byron White was pretty conservative.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Was he Kennedy? Then yes, he is probably the worst.

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    @efgoldman:

    Which “smart bush” is that?

    The one growing in the front yard. It may be a literal vegetable, but it’s still smarter than Shrub.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: OTOH he stayed on the bench until Clinton took office so that a Dem could appoint his replacement (Ginsburg).

  38. 38

    @PsiFighter37:
    No, by ‘fiscally responsible’ they mean ‘following Reaganite dogma that hurting poor people is the right thing to do’. No, don’t try to argue about results or whether that’s a remotely reasonable use of the term ‘fiscally responsible’. That’s what it means to them. If you are trying to fuck the poor, and especially if you’re trying to feed the rich at the same time, that is totally adult and responsible and morally right etc. etc.

  39. 39
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @David Koch: If this country elects Rand Fucking Paul as president, something is deeply, deeply wrong with this country. And I may start seeing how easy it is to move to Canada.

    I know people aren’t fans of Hillary, but at this point, we need a juggernaut and a landslide to take out all the morons in Congress, so we can at least restore sanity and start passing sane policy again. I will take Hillary if that’s what it takes.

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Hal: I read that Obama would have to take off three years, in order to tie W’s record.

  41. 41
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Baud: There aren’t going to be any more ‘disappointments’ on the bench from now on. People thought Roberts may have seen the light after the ACA ruling, but it’s clear that was his way of buying currency to fuck us real hard this term, mainly on affirmative action and VRA.

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Byron White was pretty conservative.

    Compared to the liberals of the time, certainly. Compared to Scalia, Thomas, or Alito? Old Overton has sure moved that window, hasn’t he.

  43. 43
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I said it in 2008, I will say it now, Reggie Bush of Heisman Trophy give back fame, screwing over the USC football program(though he wasn’t the only one who did that) and ex of Kim Kardashian, will be president before another member of the Bush Crime Family occupies the White House.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    If this country elects Rand Fucking Paul as president, something is deeply, deeply wrong with this country.

    Not going to happen. The hairpiece alone will doom him.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Agreed. The GOP has tightened up that ship.

  46. 46
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Jeb doesn’t have a shot, but his son (who is running for Land Commissioner or some other bullshit position in Texas) might. wait a generation before fucking up the country again.

    @Omnes Omnibus: I would not bet money that Rand Paul won’t be president. I don’t trust the voters of this country, especially if it’s a non-Hillary Democrat running in 2016.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman:

    Compared to the liberals of the time, certainly. Compared to Scalia, Thomas, or Alito? Old Overton has sure moved that window, hasn’t he.

    True. I also think that White was judicially conservative, but fairly liberal in political views.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I don’t trust the voters of this country progressive blogs when it comes to Rand Paul

  49. 49
    Patrick says:

    @Scamp Dog:

    WTF is wrong with this country that we put such an obvious dim bulb in charge not just once, but twice?

    These are the same voters that were for the disastrous, expensive and unnecessary Iraq war back in 2003. These are the same voters who starting in 2009 all of a sudden were concerned about the deficit, yet think wars are free.

    There is a reason as to why State of the Union speeches are dumbed down so the average Joe can at least think he follow the gist of the speech.

  50. 50
    efgoldman says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    If this country elects Rand Fucking Paul as president…

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Not going to happen.

    The GOBP thinks it is still 1968, when the “new Nixon” recreated himself with the help of a better PR machine. New boss was just like the old boss, of course.
    They should have learned, but haven’t, that every single fucking thing they say on the rubber chicken circuit, or talking to some wacko in Iowa or NH, or to some shitkicker country weekly, is recorded and lives forever. They’ll still win local and state elections, but the national stage will elude them.

  51. 51
    Teddy's Person says:

    @Hal:

    48. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld. Not since Richard Nixon’s White House and the era of the Watergate burglary and expansion of the Vietnam War have there been as many power-hungry and arrogant operators holding the levers of power. Cheney ran the White House; Rove the political operation for corporations and the religious right; and Rumsfeld oversaw the wars.

    There’s your Axis of Evil

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    Bush did more than “ignore warnings” of the housing bubble.
    He actively promoted the housing bubble. He bragged about it at campaign events.
    It was proof the ownership society was working.
    Without the housing bubble, he would have been considered a bigger failure, because it propped up his phony built-on-debt economy.

  53. 53
    liberal says:

    In terms of downright “weird,” I think the shoulder rub he gave to Merkel is still the oddest personal moment.

  54. 54
    liberal says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    I would not bet money that Rand Paul won’t be president.

    I haven’t seen too much of that guy, but my impression is that he’s not all that charismatic, and is dumb as a bucket of shit. So much so as to be a liability even for J6P.

  55. 55
    Jeremy says:

    @Baud: Exactly. The only ones who take Paul seriously are the purity progressives, and libertarians. Paul with his record and lack of charisma has no chance of being president. If Hillary doesn’t run the other candidates will wipe the floor with him. His opposition to Civil Rights and support for discrimination and racism alone will hurt him.

  56. 56
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I also think that White was judicially conservative, but fairly liberal in political views.

    I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV, but I think a reading of White’s opinions and oral-argument questioning would show a basis in his view of the law and precedent, and not the fantasyland meanderings which Scalia has treated us to in the last few years.

  57. 57
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Oh, and while I take a break from venting about the Bush era, does anyone want to come to our burgeoning meetup in LA in 2 weeks? May 10th…be there or be square. Golden Road Brewery, around 7 PM.

  58. 58
    liberal says:

    @PeakVT:
    Exactly.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman:

    I think a reading of White’s opinions and oral-argument questioning would show a basis in his view of the law,

    Pretty much true.

  60. 60
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @efgoldman: Scalia’s gotten really fucking ornery the past few years, moreso than usual. It’s like he doesn’t even give a shit anymore (which is probably true).

    Is it bad of me to hope he retires/croaks when a Democrat’s in office?

  61. 61
    efgoldman says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Is it bad of me to hope he retires/croaks when a Democrat’s in office?

    We’ll both go to hell together, holding hands.

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    No way he’s retiring with a Democrat in office.

    @efgoldman:

    Since Justices are appointed for life, I think we should get special dispensation for what would otherwise be evil desires.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Teddy’s Person:

    Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld. Not since Richard Nixon’s White House and the era of the Watergate burglary and expansion of the Vietnam War have there been as many power-hungry and arrogant operators holding the levers of power.

    Two out of the three were in the Nixon White House, so this shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone.

  64. 64
    The Dangerman says:

    The GOP Power Brokers will kneecap Rand Paul somehow; no way he gets near the nomination. Unless the GOP-PB’s want to lose in a landslide to wipe themselves of the TP’ers.

  65. 65
    Mike in NC says:

    A visit to Shrub’s Shrine definitely won’t make my bucket list.

  66. 66
    trollhattan says:

    @David Koch:

    Can we once and for all rid ourselves of the NH-Iowa fraud? They have no meaningful positive impact on presidential races. Quite the opposite.

    Also, too, 43 can kiss my ass.

  67. 67
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Mike in NC: I’ll pay a visit if some shrubs require either watering or need some fertilizer, if you catch my drift.

  68. 68
    bemused says:

    Shrub got teary mentioning our soldiers and Katrina victims. That pissed me off. I don’t know if he has a shred of shame in him but I sincerely hope those sniffles slipped out of him because he has an awareness of how hated he is for his failures there.

  69. 69
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @PsiFighter37: You can do what the evangelicals did when Shrub was president,calling for prayers to God for the removal (not death mind you, they said)of those offending justices.

  70. 70
    trollhattan says:

    @PsiFighter37:
    May I interest you in a partnership for my ale concession next to Thatcher’s crypt/grave/whatever? I’m projecting sales in the 10-Imperial gallons per hour range.

  71. 71
    Maude says:

    @trollhattan:
    #66
    Oh, my, you don’t want that. You don’t know where those lips have been.

  72. 72
    Gravenstone says:

    @David Koch: For fuckssakes man, we’re 3 fucking YEARS out from the next election. Those polls aren’t even worth the virtual paper they’re written on. Step away from the keyboard and slam your head against the wall for half an hour. It will be more beneficial (and more entertaining for the rest of us).

  73. 73
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Barkevious Mingo???? I hope I am pleasantly surprised, at the end of the season/

  74. 74
    Randy P says:

    I spent 8 years turning off the radio every time that voice came on. I’m not going to go listen to it on purpose.

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Oh, and while I take a break from venting about the Bush era, does anyone want to come to our burgeoning meetup in LA in 2 weeks?

    I’ll be there, of course.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Is it bad of me to hope he retires/croaks when a Democrat’s in office?

    No. I just hope that it’s soon.

  77. 77
    trollhattan says:

    @Maude:

    You’re right as rain, but I love my country sooooo much [sniff] that I’m willing to endure it.

    Signed,

    A patriotic Patriot(tm)

    Nao where’s mah free gun?

  78. 78
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The cynicism of Bush’s nomination in the first place always made me angrier than anything else that followed.

    We were on the business end of a marketing experiment — “Just how little can we give the American people in a President and still have them buy the product?” By comparison, by the time they were were done Jack Kemp looked like Henry Clay, and Dan Quayle looked like Jack Kemp.

    It’s like those shrinking jars of spaghetti sauce in the stores. What size are they now? 22.5 oz?

  79. 79
    scav says:

    OT dumbshit push poll on immigration. Did my level best to provide the screen all immigrants so that we hoover up all available terrorist criminal father-rapers outlier.

    Howled at the automation that had them asking me how often I attended my Atheist church.

  80. 80
    Maude says:

    Kudos to AL for calling her Bar Bush. That’s what HW used to call her.

  81. 81
    catclub says:

    @PeakVT: ” He was bad for the country.”

    This. He was incredibly unlucky, kind of a Jonah.
    Before 9/11 there was the Nuclear submarine that was showboating with guests and sank a Japanese trawler as it surfaced. Then the captured P-3 by the Chinese.

    I will repeat, though, he stopped Cheney from bombing Iran. For that I give him full marks.

  82. 82
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @trollhattan: Howard Jarvis’ final resting place is close to Golden Road Brewery. Just sayin’.

  83. 83

    @BillinGlendaleCA: A perfect opportunity to go piss on his grave.

  84. 84
    Redshirt says:

    Good memoirs. Not great.

  85. 85
    Feebog says:

    PsiFighter37:

    Could you repost the details of the LA meetup?

  86. 86
    dance around in your bones says:

    Gah! Gah! Gah! I’d hoped I’d never have to hear from Dubya again…..this liberry thing is driving me ’round the bend.

    Just Go Away, por favor.

  87. 87

    @Baud:

    The Republicans did way worse; Bush put Alito and Roberts on the Bench, and we got Poppy to thank for Clarence Thomas’ presence.

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