Usually these emails don’t get a lot of attention from me, but this week’s “Chairman’s Update” from Republican Party of Virginia Jeff Frederick was so well written it wouldn’t be right to let it rot in the graveyard of my inbox. I’ve yet to encounter a better evaluation of the presidency of George Bush, the good and the bad, what we should well be proud of, and his occasional and incomprehensible departures from the conservative principles he claimed to espouse.
Farewell, President Bush
This week’s inauguration was historic and will long be remembered. Though not immediately pressing on our attention, of equal importance to the man just sworn in is the man leaving office, President Bush, and what we will take away from his 8 years as commander-in-chief and the course he set for our nation.
Imagine seeing the world through his eyes for just a moment; for over 7 years he wakes each morning to intelligence briefings providing details on the latest attempts by our enemies to re-enact the nightmare of 9/11. Though surrounded by an incredibly capable national security team and Vice President Dick Cheney, he alone must make the decisions that will protect the lives of innocent Americans.
He then steps out into the world to face the media who belittle his every move and the Democrats in Congress who attack him without fail — often viciously so. This despite the fact that until it was politically expedient to do so, Washington Democrats were largely in agreement that Iraq posed a serious threat to the world. With his only objective to keep the American people safe and our nation strong, he earns the privilege of being tagged with just about any smear the elected “leaders” on the other side could fit on an index card; “liar,” “traitor,” “criminal,” “evil” or “stupid.”
Disturbingly, many of these verbal jabs bear an eerie, nearly verbatim resemblance to the taunts crudely videotaped in caves by the very enemies with whom we are at war. This is before his detractors discovered they could serve much the same purpose by chucking their shoes in his direction.
But despite the heavy weight on his shoulders and the increasingly hostile salvos against his leadership and personal character, the American people never saw anything but optimism in his words or on his face. Bush was like an unflappable fiddle player standing behind chicken wire, playing to a hostile crowd at a honkey-tonk. No matter what the patrons threw or how loud they cursed, the music continued to flow.
Whether Democrats attempted to undermine him on wiretaps, Guantanamo Bay, the “surge,” free elections in Iraq — nearly anything pertaining to his policies to fight terror or restore our nation after 9/11 — Bush stayed the proverbial course.The results speak for themselves; he kept America safe, freed tens of millions of people and — though still a serious force to be reckoned with — largely forced our enemies to disperse into the closest rat holes.
And it is not just his performance in keeping America safe and free from subsequent attacks after 9/11 where Bush excelled. He succeeded in passing Reagan-style tax cuts on income and dividends, nominated two excellent Supreme Court justices in John Roberts and Sam Alito, and kept his promise on traditional values issues such as life and marriage, to name just a few.
On the flip-side is the anguish he frequently gave Republicans, especially on issues such as McCain-Feingold, new entitlement programs, amnesty for illegals, and now his final blessing in support of the massive taxpayer funded economic bailout. Just recently Bush made conservatives reach again for the bromo-seltzer by admitting “I’ve abandoned free-market principles in order to save the free-market.”
Perhaps one day we’ll learn exactly what that means, but with a Democrat Congress calling the shots and more government and higher taxes a sure thing, this may just be an admission that when facing the inevitable, once again duty requires him to paint on a smile for what he believes is best for the country.
But let’s not forget where we were when Bush came in. He inherited a recession, and thanks to his predecessor, the prestige of the presidency had degraded to the point where cautious people wouldn’t navigate the oval office without wearing rubber gloves. Once the attacks occurred in 2001, the agenda for the next 7 years was essentially set; fight a war, rebuild an economy, and restore honor to the White House.
And Bush has proven to be nothing if not honorable. No one had to worry where he was at 10:00 PM every night, because he was in bed; his own bed. Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and celebs like Barbra Streisand would slander him and he would respond in public by giving them a peck on the cheek. The Clintons were brutal in their public statements against him but you would never know it based upon Bush’s demonstration of class and warmth when unveiling Clinton’s White House portrait.
As Obama himself acknowledged, the transition from the “compassionate conservative” to “change we can believe in” was amazingly smooth. Bush was gracious in every way imaginable to make it so, including letting Obama appointees set up their offices prior to his taking power. There were no missing “O”s from keyboards or trashing of offices akin to when Bush took the helm 8 years ago. Heck, nobody would probably be surprised if Bush didn’t even buy a couple of those Obama commemorative plates just to show his support and good will.
Many commentators are saying that like Harry Truman, historians will find more to admire in Bush than his contemporaries. While some are certainly within their right to call the Bush presidency a “mixed bag” both for accomplishments achieved and opportunities lost, in the end, he deserves to be judged within his primary role as a war-time president. George W. Bush proved over 8 years that he loved his country, stood by his convictions and knew what he was doing when it came to keeping America safe. Thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership.
If Frederick manages to keep the quality in these weekly updates as high as this, he’s going to dramatically improve the communications reach of RPV. While I get a dozen or more emails like this from various organizations, most of them aren’t worth reading to the end. Nothing helps get a message out better than having that message well worth reading.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.