So the eight year Presidency of George W Bush ends. Bush's tenure was unlike any other in many ways. I am quite sure that there had never been a President so openly hated by the mainstream media and others. The others include most of Hollywood and a multitude of pseudo-intellectuals who would daily post blogs and comments on the web spewing utter hatred at the 43'rd President and his Vice President.
With all this hatred on the web and all the news people from CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN openly criticizing seemingly every single policy Bush invoked, it had become the norm for many Americans to just assume that Bush was a terrible President. It's practically become the background noise of America.
Why all this venom? I'm not completely sure but I have some thoughts about that. The mainstream media adored Bill Clinton. Clinton had agendas that agreed with Hollywood and the media - namely ideas awash in pure liberalism that empowered Hollywood. These same people were sure that Al Gore would continue what Clinton had started. The problem was, Gore didn't win. Instead, we got this Republican and his semi-conservative ideals. Hollywood and the media went on the warpath immediately to ensure a Democratic victory in 2004. When that didn't work, they re-doubled their efforts in his second term.
These attacks included:
Vilifying the tax cuts: Bush inherited a recession and immediately put forth the John F. Kennedy/Ronald Reagan idea of lowering taxes to stimulate the economy. Media pundits and Hollywood figures bashed this idea by constantly chanting "tax cuts for the rich - Bush only cares about the rich!" Much to the gall of his critics, Bush's tax cuts worked brilliantly and the economy flourished for years. Yet Bush never got any credit whatsoever for the incredibly strong economy America and the world experienced from 2003 to 2007. Remember all the credit Clinton got during the dot com boom? Yeah, like that had anything to do with Clinton.
Faulting Bush for 9/11: Ever since America supported Israel, much of the middle east has hated America. Generations of poor Arabs were taught that the reason they were poor was due to Israel and the United States. The hatred grew and spread and no President ever really did anything about it. Remember the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 and how Jimmy Carter sat on his ass and did practically nothing? Reagan didn't do much either even though embassies were bombed during his Presidency. George HW Bush at least took on Iraq for invading Kuwait but left Saddam in power. Clinton did very little despite his claims after 9/11. So when the **** hit the fan on 9/11/2001, that is when the anti-American hatred in the Middle East finally hurt Americans on our own soil, the only culprit the media could find was one George W. Bush. Bush reacted with the Patriot Act to help prevent this from happening again. All he got in response was how it violated our rights.
Iraq: The intensity of criticism and hatred of George W Bush over his decision to invade Iraq is a national disgrace. The mainstream media conveniently forgot that virtually every politician in Washington, including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, and Al Gore, upon hearing the evidence from the CIA Director George Tenet, was convinced that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling chemical, and possibly biological and even nuclear weapons. This was in 1998 and nobody did anything about it! Remember the ridiculous UN inspections? Remember how they were not allowed access to certain "restricted areas" (there were not supposed to be any "restricted areas" in Iraq according the the treaty Saddam Hussein signed)? Remember how Saddam Hussein dictated to the UN inspectors as to where and when they could do those inspections? At the time, this was outrageously scary yet no one seems to remember this. All I hear and read now is how the UN found no weapons of mass destruction and how Bush lied us into the war. The invasion led to the capture of Saddam Hussein - the killer of thousands (some reports suggest millions) of his own people. The media downplayed this and almost acted disappointed that the invasion had this positive result.
The Surge: The Iraq invasion didn't go smoothly. There is no question that Bush and his administration underestimated the level of insurgency the troops would encounter. In my opinion, the method and hubris of the invasion was an area where Bush was rightly criticized, especially when the premature "Mission Accomplished" sign was put up. Bush, in realizing this mistake, took the advice of his generals and campaigned for a "surge" - a dramatic increase in troops to finish the job. Not surprising, he was criticized and ridiculed. Of course, it worked. Where's the credit?
Waterboarding: Bush has been criticized heavily for allowing waterboarding. Is it torture? I can't say but I wonder if prisoners who suffered unbelievable pain, lost body parts, caught diseases, and starved half to death in other countries would regard this relatively mild procedure that does no permanent damage as torture.
Osama bin Laden: The funder of the 9/11 attacks has been hiding in caves and living meagerly in fear of being caught and/or killed for over seven years. We've had troops in Afghanistan hunting him and the rest of the Taliban. The media mostly ignores this and asks why Bush never went after bin Laden.
Corporate Bailouts: I'm with the critics on this one. Bush panicked and gave unbelievable sums of our money to the irresponsible clowns who mishandled it. In other words, Bush acted like a liberal would have.
What if Bush hadn't done these things?
What if the recession of 2000/2001 lingered due to no breaks for businesses? Don't forget the tax refunds we all got. Do you think Bush would have been congratulated for this?
What if Bush had closed the airports and called the national guard in early September 2001 due to warnings that Al Qaeda was planning an attack? What if he did this and 9/11 didn't happen? He probably would have been impeached for violating our rights. What if there was no Patriot Act and Al Qaeda struck on U.S. soil again?
What if we ignored Iraq? Saddam Hussein would have at least continued to shoot at our planes and kill more people. What else might have he done? After all, he did hire nuclear scientists and had communications with North Korea.
You've probably heard this before but what if we had not waterboarded the operative into revealing the Al Qaeda plot of bombing transAtlantic planes? What if had happened and the mainstream media found out we had a prisoner that knew all about it?
Don't you think the highlight of Bush's Presidency would have been the capture of Osama bin Laden? Do you really think he ignored him?
Farewell George Bush, you were a far from perfect President but you dealt with many difficult situations. You never whined or backed down. I hope that as time passes, you will be remembered for much of the good you did during a very difficult Presidency.