A Father's Pain

Unlike most of the readership of this blog, and Democrats everywhere, I think George Herbert Walker Bush was a good President. Unlike many of you, I supported Desert Storm and thought Bush 41 did a masterful job of managing the situation, including, especially including, the decision not to continue the war to Baghdad, a much maligned decision at the time, most notably criticized by today's Neocons. So, I must say, I do feel his pain:

There are times in the life of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States and father of the 43rd, that people, perfect strangers, come up to him and say the harshest things — words intended to comfort but words that wind up only causing pain. “I love you, sir, but your son’s way off base here,” they might say, according to Ron Kaufman, a longtime adviser to Mr. Bush, who has witnessed any number of such encounters — perhaps at a political fund-raiser, or a restaurant dinner, a chance meeting on the streets of Houston or Kennebunkport, Me. They are, he says, just one way the presidency of the son has taken a toll on the father. “It wears on his heart,” Mr. Kaufman said, “and his soul.”

No kidding. To have being the father of the worst President in history as your principal legacy has to be hard to take after a having lived a distinguished public life.

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    When he was President (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:05:53 PM EST
    I was in grade school. I think if I'd been politically active, his appointment of Clarence Thomas would have forced me to look elsewhere for a Presidential candidate.

    I agree with you about Desert Storm. Incidentally, so did Al Gore.

    Interestingly (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:12:35 PM EST
    Bush appointed the worst and the best on the Court right now - David Souter, the best, and Clarence Thomas, the worst.

    Bush had very little to do with either appointment.

    Souter was Sununu's idea.

    Thomas was John Danforth's choice for an African-American to replace Thurgood Marshall.

    Both of them were completely fooled by these two men. Very ironic.


    That is interesting (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:18:35 PM EST
    I wonder who feels more burned?

    If you believe Gerald Ford, H. W. never really changed his position on abortion--he just lied.


    Sununu (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:24:49 PM EST
    I would have thought so (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:31:35 PM EST
    if his son is any guide.

    he never explained it. (none / 0) (#9)
    by RedHead on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:41:13 PM EST
    He was "officially" pro-choice in 1984.  when he switch, the "liberal media" never pressed him on it.  Hell, with few exceptions, the "liberal media" gave him a full pass, if not pardon, on his role in Iran-contra.  Oh, yeah.  Poppy, the good president, pardoned, Weinberger, elliot abrams, clarridge, and the rest of the lot.

    I mean, this guy had the nickname "rubbers"

    The MSM also left Reagon off the hook. yeah, Reagan sign an abortion bill in 1967, and if I remember this right, cal was one of five states that had choice when Roe was decided.  then to seize the george wallace vote in the 76 primary, he flip flopped.

    but just look now, has the media pressed Romney on his flip flopping? no.


    Pardons on the last day (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:44:43 PM EST
    do not overshadow everything else.

    that would be like judging Clinton on Marc Rich.


    I didn't like Clinton. (4.00 / 1) (#18)
    by RedHead on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:02:46 AM EST
    pardons is only one element.  

    without giving it further thought, it's difficult to judge which was worse: Rich (quid pro quo) or Iran/Contra (obstructing justic, by snuffing out Walsh's trail to Mr. "Outta 'da Loop") IMO.


    addendum (none / 0) (#19)
    by RedHead on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:05:41 AM EST
    I realize the Rich pardon also involved an obstruction justice, per se, but on a practical level, Rich was unlikely to return to the US or any treaty country, making the obstruction moot.

    While the don't overshadow everything (none / 0) (#27)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:10:37 AM EST
    Bush said he was "out of the loop" on Iranamok. Weinberger and others pardoned might have a different tale to tell. To me, that stinks a lot more than the Marc Rich pardon.

    I don't see Marc Rich having much to say on Whitewater or Monicagate.

    To me there are differences in the two cases.


    You were in grade school? (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 04:04:08 AM EST
    I'm impressed by your political activism and your age.  I was the single mother of a two year old during his war.  I also feel like he made all the right choices with Desert Storm, and I was frightened having my nation at war.  I was outraged with his appointment of Clarence Thomas though, he sunk any warm fuzzies I was going to have right there.  It was the heighth of my adolescent feminism and I lived in Wyoming, which was sort of tough and I applied a lot of time and funds to the town bookstore.  Al Simpson and Joe Biden's display questioning Anita Hill will never be scrubbed from my brain........ever!  I have always felt that the first Bush president paid dearly for the economic policies of his previous boss and though I was not happy about the Clarence Thomas situation for me he was a much better president on the job than Ronald Reagan could have ever hoped to be.

    I was in 1st grade (I think) (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:15:11 AM EST
    when the Soviet Union finally ended. In my conscious lifetime, the Republican party has been obsessed with gays, abortion, and god. That's a toxic combination, and so they could never be an option for me. You could say I'm a child of 2000, for, while I wasn't old enough to vote yet, I felt very strongly that the Presidency had been stolen from Al Gore and given to the least intelligent adult I had ever encountered running for an office I'd heard of.

    You forgot tax cuts for the upper incomes. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:20:41 AM EST
    Other than that, as good as summary as it gets.


    {smacks forehead to point of brain injury} (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Miss Devore on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:32:28 AM EST
    maudlin for 41?

    incroyable. nothing in the bush heritage has ever evinced an interest in democracy; they have always been about resource capture and secrecy.

    Not suire (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:11:28 AM EST
    where we are disagreeing.

    41st President History is still out on it (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by disgusted on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 03:25:35 AM EST
    well everyone is feeling a little older and having a humanity attack as they look at the ageing Bush Senior. The symapthy brigade and supporters of the right are playing on the heart strings, me I'm still researching.
    Lets be real everyone is siteing "Desert Storm" ooohhh wow aaahh!, me I'm looking at the WHOLE picture,
    the late 1950's and early 60s' with the CIA
    his loyalty to the party through the Nixon eara, the debacle with the Ford administration, his Presidency his announcement of the New World Order.
    His Idiot sons useage of his fathers cabinet members the same ones and staff involved in IRAN-CONTRA, the same ones on the same road for the Destruction of the COnstitution and the United States. Yes george senior is getting old but I do believe a LOT of objectivity must begiven to what this man has done and the Harm it has caused because party and Idealogy are more important than this COuntry.
    So excuse me if I do not get weappied eye over a old guy and endorse what maybe his only triump if it can be proven he didn't engineer it.
    Remember his WHole staff went to the Moron in the white house today and is continueing the plan of destruction they started with Nixon through Ford and Bush where stop by Clinton and now are useing the IDIOT in the white house. So please again excuse me for not getting weapy eyed.

    He spawned W., why shouldn't (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by dkmich on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 05:05:35 AM EST
    he feel bad.  No, no sympathy for daddy bush from me either.  The only thing he ever did worth anything was to conduct his war with "skill".  H. was all about Iran-Contra, October Surprise, and being more engrossed in anything that wasn't domestic.  Maybe we should count that last one as a blessing.

    That Clears Things Up (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Lavocat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 05:17:11 AM EST
    BTD: Thanks for the candor.  Now all of your past, present, and future posts make sense, especially with regard to those concerning impeachment.

    You may want to consider a change in political affiliation as self-denial is a terrible thing.

    I expected this kind of reaction (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:10:44 AM EST
    Mindlessness is not merely a Republican vice.

    I can't feel too bad for Poppy (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by aj12754 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:46:57 AM EST
    his son is still walking around with the ability to make egregiously awful decisions and spout the worst kind of disingenuous crap.  Unlike say Casey Sheehan.

    Poppy (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Kalkaino on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:43:05 AM EST
    Poppy?  The only people who don't despise Poppy are those who confuse the PR with the man.

    George H.W. Bush was quite possibly a war criminal (allegedly strafed Japanese sailors in life rafts), probably a murderous coward (reportedly bailed out of his damaged plane leaving his two crew trapped in the pilot-less spinout), definitely a philandering hypocrite (with mistress in Texas the day reagan was shot) certainly a traitor (see October Surprise, and Iran-Contra -- which invoved supplying missiles to the same people who blew up the 247 Marines in Lebanon) and above all a liar and a pardoner of those liars who conspired to hide his lies.
    I'm afraid Junior is the altogether predictable metastasis of Poppy's malignancy, and Junior's Presidency is just an extansion of the practices he learned from Dad, essentially: "Do as you wish and lie like hell."

    Oh, Dad's a bigot too; let's not forget this essential quote from Poppy:

    George H.W. Bush: "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."  

    normally, i'm head bobbing, fist pumping (4.50 / 2) (#33)
    by chicago dyke on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:00:59 AM EST
    "what BTD said!" but not in this case. poppy was a slicker form of the same evil that's tearing this country apart today. sure, he had more "class" than jr, but c'mon- how bad are things when one is nostalgical for a bush? yikes.

    the drug war really hit its stride under poppy, that is, it became officially ok for white america to forget all about the fact that a whole generation of brown and black people were being utterly taken out of society. iran contra, anyone? and as for the gulf war, no- i will not be convinced it was a good thing, nor was i then. war is rarely the right answer, and i'm sorry but i'm sick and tired of being told the purpose of our military is to prop up crooked theocratic oligarchies around the globe, because they happen to be business buddies with our political leadership.

    there's really so little to like about poppy's term i'm a little shocked by this post.

    Honestly (4.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:05:56 AM EST
    If you are saying the Bush 41 Administration was comparable to the Bush 43 Administration or even the Reagan Administration, then you are not looking at the facts.

    Bush41 overturned a SCOTUS decision weakening the civil rights laws.

    Bush 41 RAISED taxes to place the budget in better balance.

    Bush 41 fought a necessary war against Iraqi aggression in to Kuwait and prudently stopped before going to Baghdad.

    Bush 41 gave us David Souter and yes, Clarence Thomas. Bush 43 gave us Robertts and Alito.

    OF course Bush 41 was also a Republican and his policies were not in tune with our own. But on abortion rights, what act, other than naming Thomas, did Bush take that you object to?

    Bush 41 was a good President primarily because of his handling of the biggest issue he faced -Desert Storm.

    What is the evidence you have of Bush's awfulness as a President?


    Did he not continue to enforce (none / 0) (#47)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:12:21 AM EST
    the global gag rule?

    continued to enforce (none / 0) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:20:42 AM EST
    But did not inititate it.

    Can you imagine what would have happened to him if he had stopped enforcing it?

    Folks, he was a Republican.

    Who raised taxes.

    Restored civil rights laws.

    Fought a necessary war prudently.

    And generally was sane.

    Can you say the same for any Republican today?


    Maybe I'm coloring the past (none / 0) (#54)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:33:17 AM EST
    with my present yellow dogism. I suppose I should be happy that there aren't any same Republicans left.

    I wish (none / 0) (#65)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:35:27 AM EST
    that the GOP was what it used to be.

    It would be much better for the country.


    Poor Poppy (none / 0) (#5)
    by RedHead on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:27:40 PM EST
    Must be tough knowing "your name is bush" will replace "your name is mudd"

    weap, weap, weap, weap.  

    yeah, ole GHWB really did a good job during the LA riots.

    remember when the WSJ got his schedule via a FOIA request, and for the time period the reviewed, they found he only spent 2 hours per week on domestic policy.

    but what I find curious is, if Gulf I was such a good idea, why did Mr. Dodd vote against it?  Funny, votes against the good Gulf War, vote for the bad Gulf War.  

    A far far distance from the judgement of Al Gore and Howard Dean, who each nailed it both times.

    Kerry too (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:43:34 PM EST
    Very strange.

    I never liked Kerry (none / 0) (#17)
    by RedHead on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:55:35 PM EST
    post convention, Grand Canyon:  "knowing what I know now, I would vote the same way again"  UGH!!

    If saddam had not been captured by the PUK (joke) four week before Iowa.  then Edwards may have won IA and Clark NH.  I love Dean, but Kerry and other were running some nasty push polls (imo).   But kerry benefited by capture, it allowed him to leverage his veteran status and ironically, his vote for the blank check.


    i can relate btd (none / 0) (#6)
    by skippybkroo on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:29:55 PM EST
    tho not a bush 41 supporter, i am a firm believer in voting for the person, not the party.

    i've voted for republicans (most recently, for tom curb against dianne feinstein).  and i was willing to support bob dole against clinton until dole came out with the "hollywood is the root of all evil" campaign.

    i am sorry that today's repubbblicans make it impossible to even consider their policies, or even saying something nice about them these days.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:43:03 PM EST
    This not Bush's father's GOP.

    We are toward the end (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:48:28 PM EST
    of a medium speed realignment.

     Republicans will soon sleep in the bed Thurmond, Atwater, Nixon, and Reagan made for them in dixie. That is, unless Congressional Democrats continue to blow it.


    what about Dole's pandering tax cut (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by RedHead on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:46:05 PM EST
    remember the 15% cut he promissed.  when asked how he was going to pay for it, he broke out the voo doo kool-aid.

    Also when he insisted that nicotine is not addictive.  so clinton campaign sent out "butt-man" to shawdow his campaign events.  "butt-man" was a 6' 5" operative dress as a cigarette.


    I am a firm believer that a persons choice (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:16:50 AM EST
    party says a lot about the person. Particurally post 1980.

    As for Bob "Democratic Wars" Dole.. bear in mind, he bears much of the responsibility for abortion politics as we know it to day. You will find that he was the first to make it central part of his re-election campaign. And I don't think it was anything more than poltics with him, as with GHWB, who was pro choice, before he was against it. They called GHWB "Rubbers" because of his support for planned parenthood in the 60's and  70's.


    I voted for Clinton (none / 0) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:12:37 AM EST
    because his views were closer to my own.

    That does not mean I can not acknowledge that Bush 41 was a good President.


    Off Topic (none / 0) (#8)
    by Claw on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:32:17 PM EST
    You need to clarify what you mean by "worst" if you're going to call Clarence Thomas the worst Supreme Court Justice.  If you mean "worst" in the sense that he asks fewer questions, has the least developed judicial philosophy, and seems to care least of all the Justices about his job, then, yes, he is the worst.  If you mean worst in the sense of most dangerous, you're way off.  Scalia, because of his intelligence and, frankly, excellent writing, is vastly more damaging to the U.S.  One could make a very good case that Roberts and Alito are worse in that sense as well.  

    Scalia is not especially intelligent (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:42:32 PM EST

    sure isn't a concensus builder (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by RedHead on Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 11:48:16 PM EST
    notwithstanding Thomas, of course.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#53)
    by aj12754 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:31:06 AM EST
    His assumptions act as blinders on his intellect.

    There is or was a theory out there (none / 0) (#29)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:21:35 AM EST
    that Scalia is intellectually lazy and overly impressed with his own abilities. A decade or so the Scalia-Souter feud was compared to the Frankfurter- Black feud, with Scalia and Frankfurther as the academics who were actually intellectually lazy and overly impressed with their own abilities and Black and Souter in the role of the small state justices of "mediocre" backgrounds who delighted in bursting their bubbles.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#20)
    by Claw on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:32:17 AM EST
    I recommend reading his opinions.  The labyrinthine logic he uses to arrive at some of his conclusions is stunning if tragic...one can't help but be saddened that such a mind wasn't put to better use.  However, whether you disagree with him or not (which I think may be the source of your stance on his intelligence) he is widely recognized as a good writer and a very smart--if evil/misguided--guy

    Which are his best opinions? (none / 0) (#22)
    by RedHead on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:46:24 AM EST
    Sullivan v Ny times?  no, he didn't write that one.

    Palsgraf v. LI Rail ?  nope, wrong vowel.


    labyrinthine logic (none / 0) (#30)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:26:46 AM EST
    is frequently a cover for intellectual dishonesty. I always thought Frankfurter, Rehnquist and Scalia were the worst opinion writers, whose objective was hiding what they were up to in their opinions. Give me someone clear and concise. I also think todays' opinions are much too long.


    What exactly did GHWB stand for? (none / 0) (#31)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 06:29:29 AM EST
    Other than his own advancement, patrician rule and capital gains tax cuts?

    Responsible Republican government (4.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:10:04 AM EST
    I love ya man, but (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:17:06 AM EST
    Theres nothing responsible about the GOP strategy of bankrupting  government through tax cuts as a means of overturning the New Deal. GHWB signed on to that strategy until forced to agree to raising taxes.


    Until . . . (none / 0) (#60)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:20:15 AM EST
    You make my point.

    You may be right I suppose... (none / 0) (#62)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:25:02 AM EST
    Do you think he would have done so, if had the Tom Delay Congress of 2002-2006?


    No (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:36:32 AM EST
    He would not have been able to.

    But you must remember my theory of pols as vessels of the views of their constituency.

    Decon gets it right - all pols pander.


    I think politicans who aspire to leadership (none / 0) (#79)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:01:09 PM EST
    should lead. Its a high standard. But the no new taxes pledge was dumb from the start. It could not be kept. He should have known that from the start. It should not have been made in the first place.

    Politicians do pander from time to time, but there are somethings you don't pander to... he already had the nomination, who would the GOP have supported in 1988? The pledge wasn't needed for the middle. All it did was give the likes of Stephen Moore, Grover Norquist and the billionare behind TABOR credability. Like at President Johnson on Civil Rights v. the Nixon Southern Strategy (which Reagan and GHWB also adopted, I might add) there are some places you just don't go.


    Like at = look at (not my day) (none / 0) (#80)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:01:57 PM EST
    should have read (none / 0) (#63)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:28:26 AM EST
    Do you think he would have done so, if he had the Tom Delay Congress of 2002-2006?


    To me (none / 0) (#36)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:32:17 AM EST
     George H.W. Bush embodies "The Establishment" and despite the obvious negative connotations of that term, I don't believe that is an entirely bad thing-- especially compared to the Right-Wing which competes for dominance in the Republican Party. Elder Bush represents "old-school" foreign policy in which U.S global economic and political power and influence is paramount and decisions on the use of diplomacy, economic power and  force were carefully analyzed with the goal of maintaining and expanding U.S. global power -- for the benefit of the U.S. economy and security.

      The "Establishment" is inherently cautious and moderate. "The Establishment" also does not view the government as "the problem" but rather as one of its tools to achieve its objective of a secure and stable  environment in which making money is most easily achieved. It's problems with government are largely limited to when government makes it harder to make money. Otherwise, it has little problem with and often supports government intervention.

       Bush and the rest of "The Establishment" recognized the reality of his era. A Republican would not win without pandering to the "Right-Wing," so he did so. That's little different than what every politician does. Compromising principles or feigning commitment to popular causes is hardly a distinguishing factor of the elder Bush and, in my view preferable,  to rigid "cause" motivated politicians at the very top of the pile.

      Elder Bush flip-flopped on abortion and pandered on taxes to win. Viewed from the pesrpective of Democrat v. Republican that win was unwanted perhaps but viewed from the pesrpective of George H.W. Bush or a different Republican it looks a lot better.

    There's more to governing than foreign policy (none / 0) (#38)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:49:00 AM EST
    What looks to you like "just politics" of flipflopping on abortion or pandering on taxes, looks to me like bad divisive domestic policy. I note to GHWB, he considered it "just politics" too, nothing personal,  just stuff ya had to say to get elected. Never mind abortion is a complicated issue and voodoo economics is bad domestic policy, that ultimately proved Keynes right and put what Ike called the military industrial complex on steroids while slighting infrustructure- GHWB and his predecessor bare responsibility for the rise of the E-Coli Conservatives. Who needs levees and bridges?

    I'm sure it does... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:01:25 AM EST
    ... but you are a rigid "cause" motivated type. Elder Bush pandered to anti-abortion supporters because he saw that as necessary to win and some Democrats pander to pro-abortion supporters for the same reason. Do you view that as "bad divisive   domestic policy" or do the rules change when you are among those  to whom the politicians pander?

       My point wasn't that pandering is a great thing, it's that one has to be capable of strenuous contortions to make the stretch that such is a distinguishing characteristic of the elder Bush relative to almost all other politicians.


    You will find I am very reasonable and flexible (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:22:03 AM EST
    I'm actually a moderate. I haven't changed. The GOP has pushed the  politics to the extreme right. Perhaps that colors your vision.

    You overlook I said abortion is a complicated issue. I guess it didn't fit with your image of me.

    I gather you concede my point on taxes.


    That makes two of us (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:34:16 AM EST
    Did you support Desert Storm?

    reluctantly- (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:54:21 PM EST
    and I felt better with the coalition that GHWB put together. I think that (the war andhow he handled it) was the highlight of his presidency. I didn't much care for the rest of his presidency.

    But it (none / 0) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:24:59 PM EST
    was by far the most imnportant part of his Presidency.

    Suppoose Bush 43 had been a good President EXCEPT for Iraq. He would still be a terrible President.


    Yes, but Low bar. (none / 0) (#93)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 03:58:10 PM EST
    He did a crappy job of pandering to them (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:07:04 AM EST
    What exactly did he do, besides naming Thomas, he also named Souter, to placate them?

    Why do people think Buchanan primaried him?


    Pandered on taxes (none / 0) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:09:07 AM EST
    and then raised taxes.

    Well, heck (none / 0) (#57)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 09:10:02 AM EST
     even  Saint Ronny talked a lot more about "right-wing" causes than anything else once you look beyond the military.

       Elder Bush's post-pandering agreement on the need for a tax increase is a MAJOR reason why he was a one term President. (He also was a victim of the cyclical nature of the economy). That he was willing to jeopardize his reelection chances by raising taxes after "read my lips" is also seen as a "flip-flop" but more charitable people might view it as a show of character.

      I also think that the because the "right-wing" never really embraced him (or vice versa, despite his attempts at pandering) that when Perot offered himself as an alternative some right-wingers abandoned Bush to send a message despite knowing the likely result.


    not a fan of pop either.. (none / 0) (#37)
    by concerned on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 07:40:45 AM EST
    great to see u BTD..

    albeit dude is not as bad as shrub (which is not sayin much, how could anyone be..jus sayin) shrub's way worse (senior wiser not to go in to bagdad) but not a fan of pop either (or ronnie, for that matter) ..opposed goin in to 1st war too. but still it is a funny piece. and it's great to see u BTD. i still dig your diaries and comments. take it easy. peace. re Iraq, for me it's: out. now. dammit. period. time to get the hell out of dodge and we never should have gone in in the first place. JMO.

    Thanks for stopping by (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:08:39 AM EST
    anytime. ..dig that subject post. ;) (none / 0) (#94)
    by concerned on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 04:52:44 PM EST
    Eeewwww... GWHB Desert Storm? (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:14:11 AM EST
    Maybe you are being blinded by the son. Anyone looks good in comparison.

    The same goes for DEsert Storm relatively speaking.

    Not at all (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:21:39 AM EST
    I have repeatedly said on this blog that I am a Centrist.

    You will hate my views on trade I am sure.


    Now I Understand (none / 0) (#69)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 11:13:21 AM EST
    Why you once said that you were to the right of many here at TL.

    You are a republican that I could like though.... hee, hee....

    Much more to the left of GWHB.


    No one's mentioned... (none / 0) (#52)
    by dutchfox on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:23:23 AM EST
    the woman with the pearls and her influence on her hubby. What is this? is Poppy dead? This thread sounds like an obit appraisal. My earliest recollection of GHWB is back in the early 70s, when Poppy was invited by the YAF to my university in CT. He was living in Midland then, but touted his Yankee patrician roots.

    Especially dirtying the name Bush (none / 0) (#56)
    by timber on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:55:39 AM EST
    That diminishes the chance for Jeb Bush to run for president.  

    I had no issues on George Bush--except the Iran Contra. I was neutral to parties then.

    However,  I soured on the Republican Party after seeing how mean they were against Clinton--investigating him no end regarding petty private things for the sake of character assasination.

    Then Bush 43 came--and the contrast between the parties became so evident.

    Panama (none / 0) (#67)
    by Randinho on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 10:54:38 AM EST
    The residents of El Chorillo in Panama City would beg to differ with your appraisal of this Bush.

    Of course (1.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 11:05:25 AM EST
    One imagines that Baathists would disagree as well.

    And many others.


    Ouch! (none / 0) (#70)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 11:34:05 AM EST
    And Your Point Is What? (none / 0) (#73)
    by Randinho on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:03:44 PM EST
    Apples and oranges

    El Chorillo is a neighborhood in Panama City that was devastated during Operation "Just Cause." Estimates of civilians killed during the invasion run as high as 4,000. Some 20,000 people lost their homes.

    All to get Manuel Noriega for drug trafficking.

    Your comparison on its face is patently absurd.


    I was not comparing them (1.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:23:44 PM EST
    I was merely pointing out that many will disagree for reason that are more emotional than analytical.

    For example, do you think Bush wanted the El Chorillo district targetted?


    No, But So What? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Randinho on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:33:44 PM EST
    No, but he used a sledgehammer to kill a gnat and then tried to have the collateral damage covered up. Hardly the mark of a "good president."

    FDR (none / 0) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 02:24:32 PM EST
    firebombed Dresden.

    Truman dropped the BOMB on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Clinton executed a mentally retarded man.

    Clearly you must consider something more than one inicdent in judging a President.

    At least, I do.


    Oh, It's More Than One Thing (none / 0) (#89)
    by Randinho on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 02:32:05 PM EST
    Iran-Contra, pandering, disparaging "the vision thing," Clarence Thomas being the most qualified person to sit on the Supreme Court, the false equivalence of "quota bills," using Amnesty International reports to justify Gulf War I while ignoring their reports about HR abuses in Haiti.

    I'm sure if I had been alive when Roosevelt and Truman were president, I would have found plenty of fault with them as I did with Clinton.


    Ok (none / 0) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 02:58:23 PM EST
    as long as we agree that by your measure, they all pretty much sucked.

    Oh Please (none / 0) (#95)
    by Randinho on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:57:59 PM EST
    Now you're just being petulant. Honestly what did Bush do to raise the level of mediocrity that plagued this in-box president to "good" in your estimation? Gulf War I, a war that was preceded by Bush's doubling to $1,000,000,000 the amount of credit guarantees Saddam received from the Commodity Credit Corp. after he gassed the Kurds in Halabja? Is that the best you can do? Good grief, even I could come up with the Clean Air Act of 1990, and his signing of the Torture Victims Protection Act, but that's hardly enough to erase the manifest incompetence that plagued his administration.

    He should have been a RC priest. Perhaps then we would have been spared his evil spawn.


    Orlando Bosch (none / 0) (#96)
    by Randinho on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 08:59:58 PM EST
    Good presidents don't pardon the likes of Orlando Bosch.

    When I quickly check out the (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 11:51:58 AM EST
    front page of the NYT while I'm standing on my driveway, I try to predict which portion of the paper BDT will post on today.  Never would have guessed this article though.  

    Here's my favorite phrase from the story:

    perhaps at a political fund-raiser
    #42 has no respite.  All the blog commenters who won't support Hillary Clinton due to fears of dynasty will love this article.  Of course, she and Bill aren't a "father-son" combo.  

    Oops. "# 41." (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:40:18 PM EST
    Curious (none / 0) (#82)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:22:22 PM EST
    what story would you have written about?

    Well, let's see. Not the tornado in Brooklyn. (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 02:04:35 PM EST
    But I would have pegged you for "Hurdles Frustrate Effort to Shrink Guantanamo," or British Criticize U.S. Air Attacks in Afghan Region."  

    Of course, if I were the blogger, it would be "More Opera in Theaters," but thats in the Arts section.


    "worst president in history?" (none / 0) (#72)
    by diogenes on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 11:58:26 AM EST
    I seem to remember that LBJ presided over a much bigger fiasco of a war than Iraq is, and he financed it in a way that created massive inflation that was not solved until the Reagan years.

    Are you kidding? (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by bob5540 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:10:58 PM EST
    LBJ did many great things.

    Bush has done nothing great, not even moderately good.

    Case closed.


    The jury will probably still be out on (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 01:11:07 PM EST
    LBJ long after it is in on "W".  At least he had the glands to not cut his party's throat with his special brand of insanity.  Something nobody can ever say about "W".

    Fatherhood (none / 0) (#75)
    by bob5540 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:20:03 PM EST
    I understand perfectly well what BTD is saying. I too have often felt pangs of empathy for the father, who has brains enough to realize his son is the worst thing that ever happened to the White House and the country. I admire BTD for having the guts to say so, in the face of the hatred many of us have for all things Bush.

    Of course I wish Bush 41 had been able to put country ahead of family and talked his son out of running. But that was of course impossible, whether or not Bush 41 even tried. Bush 43 has father issues and he ran to spite his dad.

    Didn't Bush the Elder assume Jeb would (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 12:39:07 PM EST
    be the candidate?

    didn't make my toes curl. On that note, I'm not sure I could listen to 4 or 8 years of Rudy either. GHB was the first Repub I voted for, after so solidly regretting my vote for the peanut farmer 4 years previous. I never had the feeling GHB wanted his second term enough and I still hold that against him.

    Has your view of the "peanut farmer" (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 09, 2007 at 02:36:25 PM EST
    mellowed w/time?

    Too much information... (none / 0) (#97)
    by desertswine on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:27:41 AM EST
    When the clan is in Kennebunkport, all the Bush children, the president included, stream into their parents' bedroom at the crack of dawn for coffee.


    worst president (none / 0) (#98)
    by diogenes on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 01:22:30 PM EST
    How about Carter? (Stgflation, etc?)  Bush has an assortment of second term scandals not unlike other second termers (e.g. Reagan) and a war which is small in fact compared to Vietnam, Korea, etc but whose daily 3-4 American deaths make the front page in a way that massive deaths in Darfur, Bosnia, or Rwanda did not.