Bush is heading for the exit. I would like to say “Good riddance!” but that would not be charitable. So I will just wish him well, knowing that he and his family will forever be immune to the financial, political and immigration disasters he bequeathed to the nation. I do not at all regret voting for the man. He was and remains a better man than those dreadful absurdities Gore and Kerry.
Bush did not see himself as a leader of a conservative movement. He never even tried to put one together. He never was a believer in small government, and scarcely used his veto power to cut the growth and power of government. Conservatives could not understand when Bush supported moderate Republicans over true conservatives for senate seats and governorships. A decent man himself, he could not come to understand that the Democrat Party had no interest in helping him govern, that it was interested only in power. All else was subsidiary to that goal. Bush spoke of an “Axis of Evil” but the true evil was lodged right in the Democrat Party. Bush never got this and still does not get this.
For conservatives it has been a frustrating eight years. We had a president who never once spoke out when the Democrats slandered the military and conjured up war crimes from their fetid imaginations. He did nothing when the media committed obvious treason and worked hard to ensure an American defeat and American military deaths. Bush conceded the ground time after time to the domestic enemies of this nation. It is they who controlled the narrative during the entire war. They still do.
It about drove some of us crazy when Bush sided with the Democrats over his own supporters. We remember immigration and the Dubai ports deal when he called conservatives bigots. We remember the ridiculous “No Child Left Behind” legislation Bush cobbled together with Kennedy. We remember when Bush signed into law the clearly unconstitutional piece of work called McCain–Feingold. It is no wonder that conservatives began to stay away from the polls. It is no wonder that Republicans lost congress in 2006. It is no wonder they lost the White House. Bush brought these upon himself and upon this nation.
Even in those few areas where Bush did well—taxes and abortion—he will leave no lasting legacy. Obama will appoint at least two justices to the Supreme Court, making it impossible to overturn Roe, and the Bush tax cuts will themselves expire in 2010. It will be as if Bush had never set foot in the White House.
It is difficult not to conclude that an Obama regime would have been impossible without the Bush presidency preceding it. If someone had said in 2000 that electing Bush would result in a Chicago thug and Marxist becoming president in 2009 he would have been thought mad. But here we are.
Even as he prepares to turn out the lights of his presidency, he dabbles in bipartisan idiocy that go far to make laughable the reasons conservatives voted for him. Here is just one example of his recent gibberish.
I readily concede I chucked aside my free-market principles when I was told … the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression.
Memo to Bush: Principles are not principles if you can so readily abandon them. They are then nothing but vague notions and feelings. Imagine Reagan saying something like that. Reagan knew that principles served as guiding lights behind every action, not as mere conveniences that one could abandon at whim.
Bush does not at all comprehend what Obama is.
President George W. Bush is offering some advice to his successor, when it comes to dealing with his critics. He says in the end, Barack Obama will have to “do what he thinks is right.”…Bush said he wishes Obama “all the very best.”
Obama desires to turn the nation into a socialist dependency wholly controlled by the Democrat Party. He plans to allow sodomites in the military. He has laid out plans to enlist the entire nation in his Marxist crusade. His fanaticism toward infanticide literally knows no bounds. And Bush wishes the creature “all the very best.”
Bush is kinder to Obama than he ever was to those conservatives who placed him in office.
It has been said that part of the Bush legacy is 25 million Iraqis brought into freedom. But what of the legacy Bush has left the 300 million of his own nation? Financial collapse, a resurgent Democrat Party, the defeat of the conservative movement, a swarm of millions of illegals and an Obama presidency are the true Bush legacy.
Not even in their wildest dreams could Gore or Kerry have brought these disasters upon the nation.
Update: For a less dismal view of the Bush presidency, see here. After you read it, you might ask yourself how many of the Bush achievements noted there will survive the first months of the Obama regime. What sort of ‘legacy’ lasts but a few months after the man who built it leaves office?
Update: Here is Mark Steyn on the Bush legacy. Some gems:
Conservatives can’t complain they were misled, although many do. Governor Bush campaigned in 2000 as the GOP’s first open, out-of-the-closet federalizer of the school system and as a big softie pushover for the ever swelling ranks of the Undocumented-American community…
A few weeks after the attacks, Bush had the highest approval ratings of any President in history. But he didn’t do anything with them. And the greatest mistake of all was his disinclination to take on the broader culture that, in the wake of 9/11, looked briefly vulnerable – in that moment when Americans opted for “Let’s roll!” over the desiccated Oprahfied chants of “healing” and “closure” and the rest of the awful lifeless language of emotional narcissism…
Steyn sums up Bush on a poetic note:
I doubt even with his feet up back at the ranch he reads a lot of 17th century French poets, but Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux put it well: “Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach; once we have left it, we can never return.” It was an ever bleaker and lonelier island, but George W Bush never left it.
To read Steyn is to be reminded what could have been.
Update: As is normal with him, Pat Buchanan pulls no punches.
And like that predecessor he often identifies with, Bush showed a Trumanesque defiance of his critics — and a Trumanesque failure to understand what ruined his presidency.
Prudence is the mark of the true conservative. Ike and Ronald Reagan had it. Neither Bush nor Truman did. And that is why the former left the country so much better off than did the latter.
The next 4 years will be worse.