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Friday, February 1, 2008

Greatest President ever.

I know that many people adore Ronald Reagan: They think he's perfect and all that stuff, and I mostly agree. But in my point-of-view, GWB's still the man! In the face of terrorism, anti-Americanism, and anti-Bush rhetoric both coming from America herself and the rest of the world, President Bush remains ready for battle. No matter how hard his enemies try to derail him and his freedom agenda, the President soldiers on, brushing off their stinging insults with nothing more than a smirk. After all, that's all they're worth.
Many aspiring White House heirs try on different masks and wear whichever suits the audience, even if the mask doesn't fit. But with President Bush what you see is what you get: He tells it like it is and if you don't like it, then tough. To him, it barely matters if you're conservative or liberal: If he believes a certain policy is good for the country then he's gonna do something about it, whether it pisses off his own base or not. I don't agree with everything he says, but c'mon, genuine guys- heck, geniune politicians -barely exist these days.

In the crazy world of Washington, President Bush is one in a million.

Sunset for the Bush Era

Come December, I’ll be writing - perhaps for no other reason than to clarify my thoughts - a long review of President Bush’s Administration. He’s not out of office yet, but absent some unexpected crisis emerging, the days of his forcing through broad policy changes are over. In his State of the Union, he laid out some excellent policy proposals, but the real effort to advance any of them will have to be made by his successor - mostly what we’ll get between now and November is a series of markers being laid down for the election. Some useful things might come out of this, but nothing earth shaking. For good or ill, President Bush - like all Presidents in their last year in office - is a caretaker President.

And yet the level of vitriol levelled against him is still not just strong, but seems to be rising. As I drove home Tuesday I scanned around the radio stations for Florida returns and stumbled across Michael Savage - in the time between tuning in and getting sick to my stomach (quite literally) over Savage’s nauseating polemics, I heard him claim that Romney won’t win because he’s not part of the “Bush Machine” and that McCain is Kennedy’s sock puppet…and the people who voted for McCain in Florida? Brooklyn Bolsheviks…switching over to some classical music to regain my sense of civilization, it occured to me that aside from the sheer idiocy of Savage’s statements, there was also the complete pointlessness of it all…President Bush is on the way out, and Savage was blowing a gasket over what he viewed as President Bush’s nefarious machinations in the Florida GOP primary. Savage is, allegedly, of the right - but his sort of bilge is also very common on the left where we, in January of 2008, still hear calls for President Bush’s impeachment and/or trial for war crimes.

Future generations will marvel, I think, over the amount of invective directed towards a center/right American politcian who bent over backwards - some times to the great dismay of his core supporters - to be kind to his opponents. President Bush is a man of first principles, but also a man who is willing to work with just about anybody in order to get the business of America done. A Chrsitian in fact as well as name, he’s treated by his opponents as a spawn of perdition. And the oddest thing of it is that all of the invective - like Savage’s rant - has been pointless. President Bush is of that moral belief (so am I) that abuse by others - if suffered patiently and for the glory of God - is a thing to be thankful for. President Bush, courtesy of his opponents, has had 7 years of intense schooling in how to be patient - and, I’ll bet, also in how to pray for those who hate you. The only people harmed by all the lies and slanders against President Bush have been those who launched them - who have poisoned their own souls, and made themselves into worse people, day by day.

Some people observe the hatred out there and worry - I do, too, at times. But mostly I’m coming ’round to the view that the anger and resultant hatred is burning itself up. For all their noise and apparant strength, they are stretched to the breaking point, and anyone who comes along and continues to be patient and kind with them will benefit from the whithering of the haters. The next four to eight years might well be a lot quieter than we expected - and the sunset of the Bush Era just might end up being the dawn of an era of good feelings.