Bronze-level articleGeorge W. Bush

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*He [[War on science|ignored science]] on every major issue, exerting political pressure to [[Release the data#Getting it right|hide facts]] about [[climate change]],<ref>Dickinson, Tim, [http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/six-years-of-deceit-20070628 "Six Years of Deceit"], ''Rolling Stone'' 6.28.07.</ref> or pushing [[abstinence]]-only [[sex education]].<ref>Stein, Rob, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/26/AR2010032602457.html "Health bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds"], WaPo 3.27.10.</ref> This even hampered what may objectively be his [[Stopped clock|only]] positive legacy to the world, a spike in [[AIDS]] funding to [[Africa]].<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/washington/05aids.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy], ''The New York Times''</ref>
 
*He [[War on science|ignored science]] on every major issue, exerting political pressure to [[Release the data#Getting it right|hide facts]] about [[climate change]],<ref>Dickinson, Tim, [http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/six-years-of-deceit-20070628 "Six Years of Deceit"], ''Rolling Stone'' 6.28.07.</ref> or pushing [[abstinence]]-only [[sex education]].<ref>Stein, Rob, [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/26/AR2010032602457.html "Health bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds"], WaPo 3.27.10.</ref> This even hampered what may objectively be his [[Stopped clock|only]] positive legacy to the world, a spike in [[AIDS]] funding to [[Africa]].<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/washington/05aids.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy], ''The New York Times''</ref>
 
*Two potentially useful contributions, "[[No Child Left Behind]]" and [[Illegal immigration#Attempts at immigration reform|immigration reform]], failed because of lack of funding and lack of support, respectively.  
 
*Two potentially useful contributions, "[[No Child Left Behind]]" and [[Illegal immigration#Attempts at immigration reform|immigration reform]], failed because of lack of funding and lack of support, respectively.  
* Besides the funding issue, NCLB required schools to improve all student test scores by 2014. Lets face it, there is no way to accomplish this except by setting [[Pseudostatistics|incredibly low standards]]. Even the GAO noted in a 2009 report that the use of multiple-choice tests has limited what goes on in schools.<ref>[http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-911 "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT: Enhancements in the Department of Education's Review Process Could Improve State Academic Assessments"], Government Accountability Office 9.24.09.</ref> Under so much pressure to "teach to the test", schools retooled their curriculum to maximize the amount of time spent on testing, which mostly profited the testing companies.<ref>David, Owen, [http://talkingpointsmemo.com/features/privatization/four/ "No Test Left Behind"], TPM.</ref> And who does this law blame for any problems? [[Scapegoat|Why, the teachers.]]<ref>Pear, Robert, [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/24/us/education-chief-calls-union-terrorist-then-recants.html "Education Chief Calls Union Terrorists, Then Recants"], NYT 2.25.05.</ref>
+
* Besides the funding issue, NCLB required schools to improve all student test scores by 2014. Let's face it, there is no way to accomplish this except by setting [[Pseudostatistics|incredibly low standards]]. Even the GAO noted in a 2009 report that the use of multiple-choice tests has limited what goes on in schools.<ref>[http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-911 "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT: Enhancements in the Department of Education's Review Process Could Improve State Academic Assessments"], Government Accountability Office 9.24.09.</ref> Under so much pressure to "teach to the test", schools retooled their curriculum to maximize the amount of time spent on testing, which mostly profited the testing companies.<ref>David, Owen, [http://talkingpointsmemo.com/features/privatization/four/ "No Test Left Behind"], TPM.</ref> And who does this law blame for any problems? [[Scapegoat|Why, the teachers.]]<ref>Pear, Robert, [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/24/us/education-chief-calls-union-terrorist-then-recants.html "Education Chief Calls Union Terrorists, Then Recants"], NYT 2.25.05.</ref>
 
* The Bush family's indifference to the plight of poor blacks in [[Hurricane Katrina|low-lying Louisiana]] is a shameful moment in American history.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/us/nationalspecial/barbara-bush-calls-evacuees-better-off.html "Barbara Bush Calls Evacuees Better Off"], NYT  9.7.05.</ref>  Europeans were appalled at the casualness with which the government went about saving those clinging to life on top of buildings.<ref>Cornwell, Rupert, [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hurricane-katrina-the-storm-that-shamed-america-2057164.html "'Hurricane Katrina: The storm that shamed America"], ''Independent'' 8.19.10.</ref> [[FEMA]] Director Michael Brown, who resigned in disgrace over his handling of the disaster, later admitted that the White House only wanted to federalize the response in Louisiana, where the governor was a Democrat, and not in Republican-led Mississippi in order to embarrass Louisiana officials. Brown added that the White House saw had a chance to “rub [Kathleen Blanco’s] nose in it.”<ref>[http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN23312933 "Louisiana governor seeks Katrina probe after comments"], Reuters (1/23/07 7:35pm EST). '''Blanco''': "They were trying to get at me, but they hurt our people. They were playing politics while our people were dying."</ref> Blanco lost her re-election bid and she was replaced with ex-demon hunter [[Bobby Jindal]].<ref>Roth, Zachary, [http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/jindal-admits-katrina-story-was-false "Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False"], TPM (2/27/09, 4:39 PM EST).</ref>
 
* The Bush family's indifference to the plight of poor blacks in [[Hurricane Katrina|low-lying Louisiana]] is a shameful moment in American history.<ref>[http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/us/nationalspecial/barbara-bush-calls-evacuees-better-off.html "Barbara Bush Calls Evacuees Better Off"], NYT  9.7.05.</ref>  Europeans were appalled at the casualness with which the government went about saving those clinging to life on top of buildings.<ref>Cornwell, Rupert, [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hurricane-katrina-the-storm-that-shamed-america-2057164.html "'Hurricane Katrina: The storm that shamed America"], ''Independent'' 8.19.10.</ref> [[FEMA]] Director Michael Brown, who resigned in disgrace over his handling of the disaster, later admitted that the White House only wanted to federalize the response in Louisiana, where the governor was a Democrat, and not in Republican-led Mississippi in order to embarrass Louisiana officials. Brown added that the White House saw had a chance to “rub [Kathleen Blanco’s] nose in it.”<ref>[http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN23312933 "Louisiana governor seeks Katrina probe after comments"], Reuters (1/23/07 7:35pm EST). '''Blanco''': "They were trying to get at me, but they hurt our people. They were playing politics while our people were dying."</ref> Blanco lost her re-election bid and she was replaced with ex-demon hunter [[Bobby Jindal]].<ref>Roth, Zachary, [http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/jindal-admits-katrina-story-was-false "Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False"], TPM (2/27/09, 4:39 PM EST).</ref>
 
*In fact, almost everything his administration touched turned to custard. The American Dream Downpayment Act 2003 was crafted as laudable attempt to create 5.5 million new homeowners by 2010. In [[reality]], it encouraged private lenders to reduce their lending standards (like, for instance, not being too fussed about documentation of income and assets), thus triggering the boom in so-called "subprime" mortgages in the first decade of the 21st century.<ref>[[Niall Ferguson|Ferguson, Niall]]. ''The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World'' (New York: Allan Lane, 2009), p.267.</ref> The result was tens of millions of dollars of debt for people who couldn't be expected to repay them. This debt was taken to rating agencies, "securitized" (they slapped "AAA" on them) and sold on to [[business]]es, [[Social Security|pensioners]] and even [[Iceland|entire countries]], also thanks to financial reforms pushed through by [[Reagan]] and Dubya's dad. This worked fine, so long as interest rates stayed low (so their debts didn't increase rapidly — something [[Alan Greenspan]] was happy to do), people kept their jobs (so [[Income inequality|what was left]] of their income stream remained) and real estate prices kept rising (so the long-term value of their property assets increased). As anyone living in America, or the developed world as a whole, will realise, [[Great Recession|none of these things happened]].
 
*In fact, almost everything his administration touched turned to custard. The American Dream Downpayment Act 2003 was crafted as laudable attempt to create 5.5 million new homeowners by 2010. In [[reality]], it encouraged private lenders to reduce their lending standards (like, for instance, not being too fussed about documentation of income and assets), thus triggering the boom in so-called "subprime" mortgages in the first decade of the 21st century.<ref>[[Niall Ferguson|Ferguson, Niall]]. ''The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World'' (New York: Allan Lane, 2009), p.267.</ref> The result was tens of millions of dollars of debt for people who couldn't be expected to repay them. This debt was taken to rating agencies, "securitized" (they slapped "AAA" on them) and sold on to [[business]]es, [[Social Security|pensioners]] and even [[Iceland|entire countries]], also thanks to financial reforms pushed through by [[Reagan]] and Dubya's dad. This worked fine, so long as interest rates stayed low (so their debts didn't increase rapidly — something [[Alan Greenspan]] was happy to do), people kept their jobs (so [[Income inequality|what was left]] of their income stream remained) and real estate prices kept rising (so the long-term value of their property assets increased). As anyone living in America, or the developed world as a whole, will realise, [[Great Recession|none of these things happened]].
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*[[Guantanamo Bay]]
 
*[[Guantanamo Bay]]
 
*[[Rick Perry]] — Lieutenant Governor (and successor) in [[Texas]], who is in many ways Bush on steroids.
 
*[[Rick Perry]] — Lieutenant Governor (and successor) in [[Texas]], who is in many ways Bush on steroids.
*[[Stephen Harper]] -— In the US, they have rednecks. In Canada, they have slednecks.
+
*[[Stephen Harper]] — In the US, they have rednecks. In Canada, they have slednecks.
 
*[[Tony Abbott]] — And in Australia, they have bogans.
 
*[[Tony Abbott]] — And in Australia, they have bogans.
 
*[[Albania#George W. Bush|Albania?]]
 
*[[Albania#George W. Bush|Albania?]]

Latest revision as of 14:01, 21 April 2017

January 20, 2009: we waited so long for this moment, we didn't know what to say.
Guide to:

U.S. Politics

Icon politics USA.svg
Hail to the Chief?
Persons of interest
I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
—George W. Bush[1]

George Walker Bush, a.k.a. "Dubya" or "Shrub," was the 43rd President of the United States from 2001-2009. He is the first President to win the endorsement of God,[2] and the only sitting President depicted in cinema wiping his ass.[3] He's also famous for having the largest number of people ever in history to protest against him. He "caused the War on Terror."[4]

A candidate of the party which detests growing the government or debt, Bush did better than any U.S. president in history to do both. An "opponent" of "nation-building",[5] he took military action in Iraq and Afghanistan and commenced nation-building. A champion of small business, the only ones getting tax breaks under his watch were the ultra-rich multinationals and foreign oil companies. The apotheosis of compassionate conservatism, his only apparent goal was to hasten Earth's destruction so baby boomers could leech a bit more wealth out of future generations. In 2005, he said to a divorced mother of three, "You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it?", while he took a record-breaking number of vacations, et cetera.[6][7]

Coincidentally a surge of Libertarianism happened right around the same time as when W. destroyed the Republican brand.[8] Looks like he needs a new god. (The many-faced god, perhaps.)

Contents

[edit] Boy King

I'm getting more of a 'Nam vibe. You know, unwinnable wars, inescapable downward spiral, chaos in the streets. That sort of thing.
—Psychic Stephen T. Colbert on November 7, 2000[9]

Bush's lackluster resume speaks not just to ineptitude, but hubris. He knew his resume, and he still thought he was capable of running the nation. An honest evaluation of his life leading up to the presidency is remarkably devoid of accomplishments for a future president. There is a very consistent narrative there of someone who was just given one free pass after another for far too long.

Ironically the first time the training wheels really came off in his life was his presidency. Bush had to lean far too much on people like Cheney and Rumsfeld—petty bureaucrats but master manipulators he was simply no match for.[10][11][12] This was yet another example of his family failing him by helping him too much: they were among the first to recommended Cheney as consigliere.[13] That's not exactly flattering to Bush, and it shows that the failure of his WH was long in the making.

Even his campaign was filthy, as John McCain can testify.[14] Ironically, he killed McCain's presidential hopes twice. (McCain represented a third term of Bush.)

[edit] Election controversy

See the main article on this topic: 2000 U.S. Presidential Election

Bush was initially elected in 2000, running against then-Vice President Al Gore. The vote was very close, with the election hanging on a very few votes in Florida; due to this, the election eventually had to be resolved in the Supreme Court in the debacle known as Bush v. Gore.

[edit] Annus horribilis

An early assessment of Bush's legacy.
When you were a candidate, I called you a corporation running for the Presidency masquerading as a human being. In time you turned a metaphor into a reality. As a corporation, you express no remorse, no shame, no compassion and a resistance to admit anything other than that you have done nothing wrong.
Ralph Nader[15]

The fundamental difference between Bush and just about any Republican president, except perhaps Coolidge, was that Bush liked being President, but he really didn't like doing the job of being president. By that we mean, he wasn't steering the ship. If you really look at the conversations that have been reported to have occurred during the financial crisis, he was more or less oblivious to what was happening while Hank Paulson was left in the driver's seat.[16] He actually showed some self-awareness by taking experienced people like Cheney and Rumsfeld and handing them unprecedented power, and yet that turned out to be perhaps the biggest mistake of his presidency. Like Rove himself in effect once said, they're doers, not thinkers.[17]

  • The economy struggled:[18] while the Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered the "numbers" lost in the post-dot-com crash, the dollar dropped by a similar amount against the euro — meaning that in euros, the U.S. economy was stagnant for six years.[19]
  • He ignored science on every major issue, exerting political pressure to hide facts about climate change,[20] or pushing abstinence-only sex education.[21] This even hampered what may objectively be his only positive legacy to the world, a spike in AIDS funding to Africa.[22]
  • Two potentially useful contributions, "No Child Left Behind" and immigration reform, failed because of lack of funding and lack of support, respectively.
  • Besides the funding issue, NCLB required schools to improve all student test scores by 2014. Let's face it, there is no way to accomplish this except by setting incredibly low standards. Even the GAO noted in a 2009 report that the use of multiple-choice tests has limited what goes on in schools.[23] Under so much pressure to "teach to the test", schools retooled their curriculum to maximize the amount of time spent on testing, which mostly profited the testing companies.[24] And who does this law blame for any problems? Why, the teachers.[25]
  • The Bush family's indifference to the plight of poor blacks in low-lying Louisiana is a shameful moment in American history.[26] Europeans were appalled at the casualness with which the government went about saving those clinging to life on top of buildings.[27] FEMA Director Michael Brown, who resigned in disgrace over his handling of the disaster, later admitted that the White House only wanted to federalize the response in Louisiana, where the governor was a Democrat, and not in Republican-led Mississippi in order to embarrass Louisiana officials. Brown added that the White House saw had a chance to “rub [Kathleen Blanco’s] nose in it.”[28] Blanco lost her re-election bid and she was replaced with ex-demon hunter Bobby Jindal.[29]
  • In fact, almost everything his administration touched turned to custard. The American Dream Downpayment Act 2003 was crafted as laudable attempt to create 5.5 million new homeowners by 2010. In reality, it encouraged private lenders to reduce their lending standards (like, for instance, not being too fussed about documentation of income and assets), thus triggering the boom in so-called "subprime" mortgages in the first decade of the 21st century.[30] The result was tens of millions of dollars of debt for people who couldn't be expected to repay them. This debt was taken to rating agencies, "securitized" (they slapped "AAA" on them) and sold on to businesses, pensioners and even entire countries, also thanks to financial reforms pushed through by Reagan and Dubya's dad. This worked fine, so long as interest rates stayed low (so their debts didn't increase rapidly — something Alan Greenspan was happy to do), people kept their jobs (so what was left of their income stream remained) and real estate prices kept rising (so the long-term value of their property assets increased). As anyone living in America, or the developed world as a whole, will realise, none of these things happened.
  • Bush is also the creator of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, an office of the White House that focuses on tearing down the wall of separation of church and state through the use of so-called faith-based initiatives,[31] which include teaching school children that prayer will magically solve all of their problems, and spreading blatant propaganda.[32]
  • He looked for all the world like an arrogant moron. Oddly enough, that hurts your image on the global stage.[33][34] So now, instead of Americans being those "interesting but kinda large people who go to all the museums and talk loudly", we're "those obnoxious fuckholes who think they're better than everybody." (How the hell did we steal that title from the French?) In the end, the U.S. lost its moral authority to—wait for it—Germany.[35]
  • Also, he made being stupid fashionable. Because hey, learning isn't that important, I mean look at our president, he can't pronounce "nuclear" but he does everything by instinct and faith.[36] (Quayle was universally ridiculed for such gaffes.) Reagan made being selfish and greedy fashionable so that, a generation later, we had the resurgence of Ayn Rand, the Enron scandal (courtesy of GWB's friend "Kenny Boy"), the failure of the financial system, and the rise of the Tea Party. A generation from now, it will be the rise of the Idiocracy. It started with the Bush administration's attack on education: Dumbing down everything, firing teachers, advocating intelligent design, rewriting textbooks, and the like. Levels of discourse have plummeted everywhere, from Reddit to Congress. Reagan made Bush possible. What will the Bush legacy spawn?
  • All in all, his end-of-term approval ratings were so low they fell down to numbers reminiscent of Richard Nixon after Watergate.

[edit] War on Terror

While misspending his youth, he managed to avoid military service by hiding in the National Guard, which he skipped out on early.

His administration disregarded intelligence estimates, and instead manufactured its own intelligence to support political goals.

[edit] Warnings

CIA case officer Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden unit, had warned the Clinton administration about a need to take action. This was in 1999. It was hardly classified intelligence:[37] GWB received a briefing memo compiled by all the US intelligence agencies which stated Bin Laden determined to strike in the US.[38][39]

As for us, we're still waiting for the boats, planes, public transportation, taxis, jitneys, mules, goats, and all the other conveyances that the GWB repeatedly warned us that Al-Qaeda and the Taliban would use to reach us if we didn't annihilate them...in Iraq?[40]

[edit] Iraq

See the main article on this topic: Iraq War
Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East… The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled… This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.
—George W. Bush to the former Prime Minister of France, Jacques Chirac, in 2003. [41]

Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill, admitted that 10 days after taking office, Bush was looking for ways to topple Saddam.[42] A family friend, Mickey Herskowitz, told Russ Baker that they were planning on invading as far back in 1999, before he was even elected.[43]

In his book, Kissenger Rumsfeld tries to make it look like he wasn't in on this, but five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.[44] Rumsfeld was a member of "The Crazies",[45] a term Bush Sr. coined for Rumsfeld, Cheney and other advisers who recommended he take over all of Iraq after the liberation of Kuwait. Rumsfeld was also a signatory (along with Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Libby) to the statement of principleslink=wp:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century#Statement_of_Principles of Project for the New American Century, a Billy Kristol "think tank" which advocated for the military overthrow of Saddam before Bush became President. This is the group who opined that transforming America's defenses would require a "new Pearl Harbor" to justify those increased expenditures to the public. That was in 2000. Note also that all three of these men were gone by the 2nd term, when Poppy came to the rescue and sent his man Gates to try and salvage the fiasco.[46]

Those of us old enough to remember the invasion know that the Bush administration was desperately clutching at any straw they could find to confirm the existence of WMDs. Every few days they'd raid some high school or veterinarian's office and proudly display the test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks they found as proof they'd busted a bio-warfare lab, only to withdraw the claim a few days later.[47] Granted they found some useless warheads that the US government gave Saddam in the 80's[48]

You even had the Secretary of State going in front of the UN with artist's impressions of what a mobile germ warfare factoryWikipedia's W.svg would look like (should they ever bump into one) backed up by dissidents with barely-concealed agendas of their own who hadn't lived in Iraq for over a decade.[49] Anybody would have seen right through Bush's clumsy justifications. Indeed, the French and Germans did; both got vilified by America for their efforts.[50] Al Gore did briefly raise objections in 2004,[51] but was quickly drowned in the popular public opinion which was still high on cordite.

Bush himself has said there were no WMDs and that Iraq was a mistake, why is Fox still trying to insist otherwise?[52] Because it's the only way they can maintain the narrative that the Democrats are big spenders. By pretending the huge deficit created by that war during a period of massive tax cuts was worth it.[53]

[edit] Torture

In blatant violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, Bush authorized torture—or as they like to call it, systematic sleep deprivation and controlled drowning, "enhanced interrogation."

Since the release of his book, Amnesty International has been calling for his arrest every time he's left or attempted to leave the country,[54] asserting it holds sufficient evidence that he had criminal knowledge of US torture. This caused him to cancel a trip to Geneva, Switzerland in February 2011; they repeated their demands on his trips to Canada in October 2011 and Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia in December 2011, but those countries were not so lucky.

Interestingly, the lack of evidence or prima facie existence of a case to be answered for has not been cited as a reason against prosecution, leaving open a window if the US ever changes its mind on "only looking forwards, not backwards." In Malaysia, Bush and Tony Blair have been convicted in absentia partially on the basis of this book; however the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (which found the conviction) is not recognised by any official body as a legitimate court.[55]

Perhaps in an ideal world someone would bring him and his buddies to The Hague before he pops his clogs, but since the US has not ratified the Rome Statute it is almost certain they will not consider any case against him. The ICC has considered cases against signatories that have not ratified the Statute in the past (eg. Sudan), however, they were all guilty of ethnic genocide. We'll probably get some truth commissionWikipedia's W.svg decades after the fact.

[edit] Sock and Awe

During a surprise visit to Iraq in 2008, an angry Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi, hurled his size 10 shoes at him during a news conference, calling him a "dog." Bush providentially ducked (twice), but it inspired similar attacks.Wikipedia's W.svg

The journalist was sentenced to three years in the slammer, later reduced to 1 year,[56] and the shoes were destroyed, never to be hurled again.[57] The shoes were destroyed by US and Iraqi security forces. That's right, it took a coalition to destroy the shoes. Probably one of our finest victories in the war.

[edit] The Bush Administration also:

  • Intentionally outed an undercover CIA operative.[58]
  • Saw into the eyes of Putin to find a great man.[59]
  • Shut down the anti-trust case against Microsoft.[60]
  • Spent a billion dollars on a "virtual fence" which does not work.[61]
  • Used private email servers to skirt FOIA.[62]
  • Tried to privatize Social Security.[63]
  • Made gays the replacement scapegoat after he left the southern strategy behind.[64]
  • Fired U.S. Attorneys who a) wouldn't prosecute bogus fraud charges against Democrats, or b) pursued fraud charges against Republicans. (See Regent University.)[65]
  • Brought an Iranian spy into his administration as an advisor (Ahmed Chalabi).[49]
  • Attempted to override the judicial branch with the Terri Schiavo case.[66]
  • Defied Congressional subpoenas,[67] destroyed documents that should not, by law, be destroyed,[68] and violated its own rules on document declassification.
  • Had a spate of bribery and sex scandals in the GOP-controlled Congress.[69][70][71][72]
  • You know what, screw it. Go on his Wikipedia page and you won't make it past the first few paragraphs.

[edit] Silver linings

  • The light bulb ban was OK.
  • Stood in front of a mosque and said Islam is not our enemy.[73] That was nice of him.
  • You can argue that, while Medicare part D and the doughnut hole were a big piece of shit (uber-expensive, no discounts on prescription drugs), it got people's minds on the track of healthcare reform....though Medicare Part D was paid for on credit.[74]
  • Put in place a Guest Worker Program for illegal immigrants...Of course, it was a futile attempt, as the people in his own camp blasted it as just another "pathway to amnesty."
  • Stopped listening to Cheney after 2004 and fired Rumsfeld in 2006, which enabled him to salvage... something... maybe... from Iraq.
  • He never really snapped at people, even though there was so much bad press directed at him, not to mention multiple impeachment attempts by the Democrats. That is the best anyone can say about Bush. He seemed to take an "above the fray" attitude towards all of the negativity. He even sat holding a children's book, waiting for his handlers to tell him what to do. Now that's poise![75]

[edit] "History will vindicate me."

I think the lens of history is not changing. A lot of us used to say President Bush will look good and he'll be vindicated in the public eye. But realistically speaking, I don't see a lot of the people who write history all of a sudden changing their mind about George W. Bush.
—Former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleisher[76]

Mr. Bush is currently engaged in two part-time jobs, one as a paid speaker, and the other as scapegoat for the malfeasance of various elected officials.

[edit] The damage

Bush finished as the 36th president overall in an early 2009 poll of 65 historians conducted by C-SPAN.[77] He beat out luminary presidents such as Warren G. Harding, Millard Fillmore, and James Buchanan. The overall ranking was averaged from scores given in ten areas. Some examples:

  • 40th in economic management. He beat out the father of the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover, but couldn't quite get past the guy who died after only a month in office (William Henry Harrison). This is unfair to Hoover since he came into office seven months before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, while Bush had nearly eight years before his disaster. Hoover simply bungled the management of the Depression, while Bush played an active role in triggering the Great Recession.
  • 41st in international relations. He's dead last here unless you count his beating W.H. Harrison (see above).
  • 37th in administrative skills. So much for that MBA.

[edit] Burning his bridges

George Bush has fucked up so bad, he made it hard for a white man to run for president! People are like, "give me a black man, a white woman, a giraffe, a zebra...ANYTHING but another white man! That last one fucked up my roof!"
—Chris Rock, Kill the Messenger

Bush campaigned as an outsider (how the son of a former President pulled that off remains a mystery) in 2000. He campaigned on fear of terrorists and gays in 2004 and won with moderates, evangelicals, and neocons. Which may illustrate why getting into government by running against government is America's oldest political tradition.

Before 9/11 and Bush's presidency, a lot of Muslim and Hispanic-Americans were starting to vote Republican. Muslims had long skewed conservative, largely on social conservative grounds, but fled to the Democratic side when the right started treating them all as terrorists.[78]

It wasn't just Democrats who bet too heavily on Latinos: conventional wisdom highly over-estimated how conservative the Cuban demo was.[79] The xenophobia really ramped up after GWB's immigration reform bill died in the Senate.[80][81] Bush tried 3 times to give immigrants amnesty. The Republican Party wouldn't hear of it. Under Bush II, 4-5 million illegal immigrants were allowed in , benefiting the Administration's corporate friends, but not the GOP base. And the establishment wonders why Trump supporters hate them when they insist on lying about this and other issues.

[edit] Who?

His people tried to palm responsibility for the recession off on Clinton (and Obama),[82][83] but that did not play.[84][85]

No, really: many of today's Republicans now deride a POTUS they unanimously supported (or even wanted to make "president for life")[86] as a RINO, having sold out all "true conservative principles."[87][88]

This is yet another fit of wingnut negationism post-recession, spanning from Herbert Hoover's supposed crypto-socialism to Saint Reagan's spectacular efforts at fiscal restraint. Each time their ideas fail, they see the problem as being one of branding, rather than the ideas themselves being flawed. (Many of these people, by the way, declared they were "Tea Partiers" and "Taxed Enough Already" when their man lost again.)[89] They are the German soldiers fleeing Berlin as the Allies approach, stopping only long enough to burn their uniforms.

[edit] Memoirs

In 2010, Bush published his memoirs, Decision Points, in which he defended using torture as an interrogation method (really pushing it there, are ya!) and described a bizarre moment when his mother showed him the fetus she'd miscarried. Also, of all the low points of his presidency, being called a racist by Kanye West was apparently the absolute worst, because it made him feel really sad inside.

However, in living up to his reputation that he'd never read a book with any depth,[90] let alone written one, it turned out whole passages of his "memoir" were lifted wholesale from other books, including those written by former aides.[91]

[edit] Irony, guilt or change-of-heart?

04/17/2014 - George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings of Dogs, Friends, Ghost of Iraqi Child That Follows Him Everywhere
The Onion

Living under the radar (compared to the constant scrutiny while in office), Bush and spouse have spent time in Africa opening and renovating medical clinics.[92]

He also spends time painting portraits of former White House dog Checkers Tony Barney and other assorted crap. Fittingly, it appears that they were also mostly copied off of the google.[93] The ones of himself in the shower are especially disturbing.

[edit] Junta

  • Dick Cheney — Currently rocking the J.R. Ewing look (as expected) and playing an advisory role in the Trump admin. Evil never sleeps!
  • Karl Rove — Criminal who has avoided summons to appear before Congress.
  • Paul Wolfowitz — The architect of the Iraq War and the man who brought much of the Bush staff together.
  • Donald Rumsfeld — Torturing POWs? There's an app for that![94] Forget the Iraqis; he was a bigger threat to U.S. soldiers. (He actually had to resign after a long while.)
  • Condi "Warrior Princess" Rice — Toothy Chevron executive. When Katrina hit New Orleans, she used it as an excuse to go shopping?[95] (Not a good look for the highest-ranking African-American.)
  • John Ashcroft — Ultra-religious Attorney General who covered a naked breast at the Justice Department.[96] prosecuted Martha Stewart, sings, and authored the PATRIOT Act.
  • Alberto Gonzales — You thought Ashcroft was bad? This guy ensured, by any means he knew how, that the United States would use torture. Fired attorneys at the Justice Department for not prosecuting Democrats enough or being loyal enough to Bush's agenda.
  • John "I Don't Do Carrots" Bolton — In his short time as U.N. Ambassador, the oh-so-diplomatic Bolton was known for his out-of-control temper and for acting rude to foreign leaders. He was resoundingly hated by everyone and had to be chased out of D.C. Trump was supposed to move us away from the blood-thirsty, neocon warmongers, and now he's floating Bolton's name for a position. Bolton, Cheney, Rice... Funny how old names keep popping back up lately.

[edit] See also

Icon fun.svg For those of you in the mood, RationalWiki has a fun article about George W. Bush.

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. The context is that Dubya finished an interview about shutting off a dam to save endangered fish. He didn't want to, surprise. After that, he oddly went back to the podium and said the quote, and ended on that note. Still makes no sense.
  2. Steven Waldman, "Heaven Sent: Does God endorse George Bush?", Slate.
  3. Reviews of Oliver Stone's W.
  4. Bush's Ten Flip-Flops, CBS News
  5. Here, have a sound bite
  6. Remarks made by Mary Mornin and George Bush on his "Let's Destroy Social Security Strengthening Social Security" Tour ("Get any sleep? LOL!")
  7. Lauren Victoria Burke, "Obama's Vacations? Of Any President, Bush Racked Up the Most", Politic365
  8. Michael Hirsh, "George W. Bush: He Gave Rise to the Tea Party", National journal.
  9. Indecision 2000
  10. Josh Roglin and Eli Lake, "CIA Torture Report: Bush Was Kept in the Dark for Years", Bloomberg 9.9.14.
  11. Bouie, Jamelle, "Fool Me Once", Slate 6.6.14. Bouie: "If we lived in a reasonable world, [Douglas] Feith would be barred from talking on the subject of Iraq. As it stands, he’s making the rounds of commentary."
  12. Baker Peter, "The Final Insult in the Bush-Cheney Marriage", New York Times 10.10.13.
  13. Farney, Dennis, "Bush Picks Cheney as Running Mate; A Move That May Present a Gamble", WSJ (Updated 7/26/00 1:30 a.m. ET).
  14. Fallows, James, "John McCain: 'You Should Be Ashamed'", Atlantic 12.2.10.
  15. Belle, Nicole, "Ralph Nader Sends Open Letter To President Bush: 'The Country You Destroyed'", Crooks and Liars (1/05/14 at 2:25am).
  16. Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Stephen Labaton, "White House Philosophy Stoked Mortgage Bonfire", NYT 12.20.08.
  17. Hagan, Joe, "Bush in the Wilderness - Jeb Bush's Complicated Legacy", New York Magazine 10.22.12.
  18. Richard Kogan and Matt Fiedler, "From Surplus to Deficit", Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 12.13.06.
  19. Vikas Bajaj and Ian Austen, "Dollar Falls to New Low Against the Euro", NYT 9.21.07.
  20. Dickinson, Tim, "Six Years of Deceit", Rolling Stone 6.28.07.
  21. Stein, Rob, "Health bill restores $250 million in abstinence-education funds", WaPo 3.27.10.
  22. In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy, The New York Times
  23. "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT: Enhancements in the Department of Education's Review Process Could Improve State Academic Assessments", Government Accountability Office 9.24.09.
  24. David, Owen, "No Test Left Behind", TPM.
  25. Pear, Robert, "Education Chief Calls Union Terrorists, Then Recants", NYT 2.25.05.
  26. "Barbara Bush Calls Evacuees Better Off", NYT 9.7.05.
  27. Cornwell, Rupert, "'Hurricane Katrina: The storm that shamed America", Independent 8.19.10.
  28. "Louisiana governor seeks Katrina probe after comments", Reuters (1/23/07 7:35pm EST). Blanco: "They were trying to get at me, but they hurt our people. They were playing politics while our people were dying."
  29. Roth, Zachary, "Jindal Admits Katrina Story Was False", TPM (2/27/09, 4:39 PM EST).
  30. Ferguson, Niall. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (New York: Allan Lane, 2009), p.267.
  31. Fletcher, Michael A., "Few Black Churches Get Funds" WaPo 9.19.06.
  32. Coan, Andrew B., "A license to preach", L.A. Times 2.22.07.
  33. "Global Public Opinion in the Bush Years (2001-2008)", Pew Research 12.18.08.
  34. "Attitudes toward the United States", Pew Research 7.18.13.
  35. Whitlock, Craig, "Warm Welcome Awaits Germany's New Leader", WaPo 1.13.06.
  36. George W. Bush: Hey C Students, You Can Be President
  37. Anderson, Jake, "Ex-CIA Chief: Bush and Cheney Knew 9/11 Was Imminent, Concealed Intelligence", Antimedia 11.18.15.
  38. Hassan, Mehdi, "Bin Laden should have been dead long ago": Mehdi Hasan on the CIA hunt", New Statesman 5.9.11.
  39. Eichenwald, Kurt, "The Deafness Before the Storm", New York Times 9.10.12.
  40. Milbank, Dana, "Bush Defends Assertions of Iraq-Al Qaeda Relationship" WaPo 6.18.04.
  41. Newell, Jim, "George W. Bush Asked Jacques Chirac To Invade Iraq With Him Because Of Biblical Alien Space Monsters", Wonkette (8/6/09 at 2:57pm).
  42. "Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq?", 60 Minutes1.09.04.
  43. "Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer", Common Dreams 10.28.04.
  44. Baker, Russ, "Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer", Common Dreams 10.28.04.
  45. Heilbrun, Jacob, "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been", WaPo 2.3.08; Page BW08.
  46. Shane, Scott, "Robert Gates, a Cautious Player From a Past Bush Team", NYT 11.9.06.
  47. Warrick, Joby, "Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War", WaPo 4.12.06.
  48. Mikkelson, David, "Have Your Yellowcake", Snopes.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Martin Chulov and Helen Pidd, "Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war", The Guardian (2/15/11 07:58 EST).
  50. Firestone, David, "THREATS AND RESPONSES: FEUDING ALLIES; 3 Countries' U.S. Criticism Brings Anger In Congress", NYT 2.13.03.
  51. Seelye, Katherine Q. "Gore Says Bush Betrayed the U.S. by Using 9/11 as a Reason for War in Iraq", NYT 2.9.04.
  52. Goldenberg, Suzanne, "Iraq war my biggest regret, Bush admits", The Guardian (12/1/08 19.01 EST).
  53. Cassino, Dan, "Ignorance, Partisanship Drive False Beliefs about Obama, Iraq."
  54. Mak Tim, "Amnesty International: Arrest Bush", Politico (Updated 10/13/11 08:27 AM EDT).
  55. Ridley, Yvonne, "Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia", Foreign Policy Journal 5.12.12.
  56. Lawyer: Iraqi shoe-thrower to be released early, NBC News via Associated Press (Updated 8/29/2009 at 10:50 AM ET).
  57. "Zaidi shoes destroyed after Bush attack ", PressTV (12/18/08 at 6:24 PM GMT).
  58. "Key Players in the CIA Leak Investigation", WaPo (6/3/07 at 11:53 a.m.).
  59. Loven, Jennifer, "Putin Comes to Maine Sunday to See Bush", WaPo via Associated Press (6/30/07 at 5:53 PM).
  60. Brinkley, Joel, "U.S. VS. MICROSOFT: THE LOBBYING; A Huge 4-Year Crusade Gets Credit for a Coup", WaPo 9.7.01.
  61. Preston, Julia, "Homeland Security Cancels ‘Virtual Fence’ After $1 Billion Is Spent", NYT 6.14.11.
  62. Burleigh, Nina, "The George W. Bush White House 'Lost' 22 Million Emails", Newsweek (9/12/16 at 7:31 AM).
  63. Weisman, Jonathan, "Skepticism of Bush's Social Security Plan Is Growing", WaPo 3.15.05; Page A01.
  64. Burger, Timothy M., "Inside George W. Bush’s Closet", Politico July/August 2014.
  65. Savage, Charlie, "Scandal puts spotlight on Christian law school", Boston News via Boston Globe, 4.8.07.
  66. Carl Huse and David D. Kirkpatrick, "Congress Passes and Bush Signs Legislation on Schiavo Case", NYT 3.21.05.
  67. Judge Rules Bush Advisers Can’t Ignore Subpoenas, The New York Times
  68. Justice Says CIA Destroyed 92 Tapes, Wall Street Journal
  69. Kurtz, Howard, "Jeff Gannon Admits Past 'Mistakes,' Berates Critics", WaPo 2.19.05; Page C01.
  70. Weisman, Jonathan, "Bush to Give Up $6,000 In Abramoff Contributions", WaPO 1.5.06.
  71. Nizza, Mike, "The Story Ends for the ‘D.C. Madam’", WaPo 5.1.08. at 5:25 PM.
  72. Savage, Charlie, "Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department", NYT 9.10.08.
  73. Bush Visits the Islamic Centre, 2001.
  74. Bartlett, Bruce, "Medicare Part D: Republican Budget-Busting", NYT (11/19/13 at 12:01 am).
  75. Glass, Andrew, "Bush reads ‘The Pet Goat’ to schoolchildren, Sept. 11, 2001", Politico (09/11/15 at 1:30 AM EDT).
  76. Was George W. Bush the worst president ever?, The Week
  77. List of presidential rankings, NBC News
  78. Jazayerli, Rany, "How the Republican Party alienated the once reliable Muslim voting bloc"', WaPo 11.16.02.
  79. Fund, John, "Romney's Hispanic Disaster", National Review Online (11/9/12, 10:30 AM).
  80. DeFrancesco Soto, Victoria, "Remember When The GOP Actually Courted Latinos?", TPM (9/4/15, 6:00 AM).
  81. "Karl Rove Says GOP Is ‘Doomed’ Without Embracing Hispanic Vote", CBS (10/16/12 10:58 PM).
  82. Gongloff, Mark, "Bush says he inherited recession", CNN 8.7.02.
  83. Baragona, Justin, "Of Course! Rush Limbaugh Blames George W. Bush’s Great Recession On President Obama ", PoliticusUSA 8.28.14.
  84. Saad, Lydia, "Bush Still Gets More Blame for Economy Than Obama", Gallup 4.21.10.
  85. Lamarque, Kevin, "Most say Bush to blame for weak U.S. economy, poll finds", Reuters 5.15.12.
  86. Boyd, Sam, "AT LEAST HE'S HONEST.", American Prospect 8.23.07.
  87. Here, here, and here.
  88. "Neo Culpa", David Rose, Vanity Fair. November 5, 2006 (VF's probably regretting this.)
  89. "Wait, Bush is okay now?", The Economist 4.17.10.
  90. Charles, Ron, "Bush’s 9/11 school visit pushed ‘Pet Goat’ into spotlight", 9.9.11.
  91. George Bush accused of borrowing from other books in his memoirs, The Guardian
  92. Allen, Mike, George and Laura Bush open clinic in Africa, Politico (Updated 07/04/12 01:09 PM EDT.
  93. Schultz, Colin, "How to Get a Solo Show as an Amateur Artist: First, Serve Two Terms As President…" Smithsonian Mag 4.9.14.
  94. I’ve done business, politics, and war. Now I’m trying my hand at mobile gaming! The devs have managed to string along Rumsfeld through 172 builds and the better part of 2 years...for a Solitaire game. For once, the workers are exploiting the lack of knowledge of the capitalist.
  95. Geiger, Kim, "Condoleezza Rice regrets vacationing, shoe-shopping during Katrina", L.A. Times 1.1.11.
  96. Ashcroft protects the boobies.
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