Hatin’ on Bush is Cool
Well, I think it is official now. Everybody hates Bush. I know I have been deeply disappointed in Bush and downright irritated in recent months but I never thought Christian Conservative Pat Robertson would ever choose Obama over W. I sit here, head spinning, trying to make sense of the world. Could this be a sign of the apocalypse? The world has gone topsy-turvy. I would not believe it had I not read it for myself. I’ll even prove it, CNN headline “Pat Robertson criticizes Bush, praises Obama“. Hold on, I need to breathe.
So what happened? I suppose liberals would tell me its proof that W’s an idiot. Perhaps, but I propose two reasons for Bush’s current abysmal reputation. First, I think it’s exactly what Robertson told CNN, Bush has handled the economy horribly. From a conservative point of view, he has acted in a very liberal way, nationalizing the two largest lending institutions in the nation and basically throwing money at a wide variety of industries in trouble. Many of us feel this money is being distributed without accountability. If these banks loaned money recklessly before, why should we trust they will act differently now? Many conservatives feel if a business cannot compete it deserves to die and Bush has made his position on this clear and it is not in-line with most conservative thinkers.
Second, Democrats have been hating on Bush since the nearly tied election in 2000. Nothing Bush could have done would have won their approval. I have stated before in this blog, I truly believe Democrats have been determined to pay Republicans back for eight long years of Clinton investigations. From Travelgate to Whitewater to Paula Jones, Republicans had been obsessed with the notion that President Clinton was corrupt and the evidence just needed to be found. Rather than quietly gather evidence and then pick a fight, Republicans made big press trying to discredit and undermind the President. After 2000 Democrats with fresh wounds and a Republican President saw a prime target for revenge. So we have endured eight long years of accusations, spinning, and downright sabotage.
Bush has been in a classic “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” scenario since election day 2000. Of all the Presidents to hold office Bush was perhaps the most ideal foil for Democrat opponents. He is a man who sounds impaired even when he knows what he is talking about. His cowboy swagger and stilted cadence just don’t seem presidential to me and to those who love to hate him, these traits seem to be marks of stupidity.
President George W. Bush leaves office as perhaps the least loved and most hated president ever. But how will history finally rate him? Sure most Bush-haters think he’ll bottom out the list but those of us who know history, (and that number seems to be shrinking all the time), can recall Buchanan and Carter and expect Bush will fare somewhat better. Mathis and Boychuk of Scripps News wrote an interesting piece on this topic. Boychuk correctly notes that history will recall Bush protected us from terrorism and did not retreat from bold actions to protect America. Mathis tends to be a classic hater and while he admits history will be kinder to Bush, he cannot see much beyond his partisan rhetoric.
While just about everyone has something to hate about W it will be interesting to see how history reframes him in twenty years or so – after the hatin’ has ended. In the meantime, we have this to look forward to: