For a number of reasons, we don’t talk much about the George W. Bush administration here on the Hayride.
The most obvious reason, of course, is that we weren’t publishing the Hayride when Bush was president. One tends to focus on the here and now.
But that’s not completely it. Another big part of the reason is we’re of several minds about the Bush 43 administration. We think he was mostly right in his foreign policy decision-making, but the parts where he was wrong were fabulously wrong and did real damage – for example, it was smart to go into Afghanistan, but that war was won by early 2002 and it was long past time to come home from there when Barack Obama started running on Afghanistan as the “good war” – and the damage Obama has done to our troops in Afghanistan thanks to Bush leaving him with a mission there is incalculable.
And on domestic policy, that big-government conservatism Bush trumpeted has all but broken the Republican Party. Those of us who thought major expansions like No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D were terrible ideas will never trust “moderate” Republicans to govern in a fiscally responsible fashion ever again; that’s one reason why John McCain and Mitt Romney had so much trouble turning out the conservative vote.
All those things said, and with it stipulated that Bush wasn’t a great president (there, lefties, ya happy?), we really miss the guy’s presence in the Oval Office.
Whether he was a great president or not, or whether his decisions were correct or not, Bush was a good man with class who lent dignity to the office he held. And today, after a week of blamecasting, diversion and outright abuse of 240 years of governing tradition coming out of the current regime, you’ll excuse us for longing a little for Bush’s style.
Some examples? First, here’s his former press secretary Dana Perino. The folks at Real Clear Politics have this thing where they take someone worth interviewing to work, and in return said someone agrees to do an interview with them. And Perino was the subject of the most recent one, in which she told an interesting story about how her boss handled a very adverse situation…
Naturally, of course, many of our readers will also have seen the Jay Leno interview with Bush from earlier this week…
Does anybody think the current president will agree not to criticize his successors once he’s gone?