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No Statute of Limitations on Bush Bashing

Democratic shorthand: Whatever the problems today might be, of course Bush was worse.

by
Jean Kaufman

Bio

May 16, 2014 - 12:06 am
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Now that Obama has been president for over five years, has the statute of limitations on Bush-bashing finally run out?

It’s true that Bush is no longer the intense and primary focus of the left in the way he was when he was president, or during the first couple of years of the Obama administration, when every problem in America was ascribed to his evil or to his stupidity.

It’s also the case that the left goes from one useful strawman/demon to another, and instead of Bush we now hear about the all-powerful climate-destroying Koch brothers, the horror of Christie’s lane closings, and the enduring but covert racism of all Republicans. As each possible GOP candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination comes to the fore, he or she will be duly vilified in turn with the goal of destruction of that person’s reputation and viability as a credible candidate.

But that does not mean that the left has forgotten Bush or memory-holed him. In fact, an editorial that appeared about a week ago in the NY Times about Obama’s foreign policy, where the editors had offered some mild and tepid criticism of Obama, offers an excellent example of the way Bush is used these days. As early as the editorial’s second paragraph, the editors felt the need to add the following:

It is paradoxical that, in key respects, Mr. Obama is precisely the kind of foreign policy president most Americans and their allies overseas wanted. He rejected the shoot-first tendencies of George W. Bush, who pretended to have all the answers, bungled two wars and asserted an in-your-face American exceptionalism that included bullying allies. We know where that got us.

That’s hardly ignoring Bush; it’s giving him pride of place. He is still brought up quite a bit now, but it’s nearly always in this particular way, a method which actually demonstrates how very successful the attacks on Bush over the years have been. Now his name is just added to a speech or an article almost as an aside, in order to counter any possible criticism of Obama or Democrats: whatever the problems today might be, of course Bush was worse. The idea is that Bush’s awfulness is so well-proven, so completely obvious and accepted, that it’s a self-evident tautology that no longer has to be argued or supported, merely accepted by all thinking persons: we know where that got us, and we wouldn’t want to go back there now, would we?

Once a meme has passed into the public domain as an accepted truth, whatever it may be, there’s no need for the left to argue for it any more. It can merely be brought out like a flag and waved, and everyone knows what it symbolizes.

This is nothing new, and one of the earliest and most successful examples was the war in Vietnam. To this day, the left considers the formation and then the ossification of public opinion on that war one of its greatest triumphs. To demonstrate how it works, take a look at what happened to writer John Updike when he took an ever-so-slightly-hawkish stance on Vietnam, originally stated by him in 1966 and restated in an essay he wrote in 1989, describing the flurry and consternation it caused in the literary and larger world at the time.

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Top Rated Comments   
Unfortunately when you're a historically awful President (worst economic record since Hoover, invaded the wrong country) you're not going to be forgotten overnight. Even given today's shortening attention spans.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like Orwell's "Emmanuel Goldstein", George Bush will always be a focal point of left-wing ire and deflection. Future historians will (someday) reveal what a reprobate we have permitted to occupy the current White House. Posterity shall call us fools.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's part of the left's constant re-writing of history even as it unfolds, in their own reality.

Reagan was a tottering old fool and Gorbachev actually gave in and ended the Cold War. The Warsaw pact was never a threat. The Vietnam War was Nixon's war, the USA lost (as opposed to a Democratic congress betraying the guarantees given South Vietnam). The second Gulf war was illegal, and about made up weapons of mass destruction, not about the 23 other casus belli. The US pushed Japan into WW2. The US nuked Hiroshima without cause. The japaneses would have surrendered.

Etc, etc, etc. And it's reinforced in schools across the nation.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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Bush was right and justified on Iraq. See:
http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html

Iraq's guilt on WMD and other issues was established at the outset and presumed in the enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire and subsequent UNSC resolutions, meaning if there had been no intelligence on Iraq's weapons, then Iraq was guilty. The US and UN held no burden of proof on Iraq. The entire burden of proof was on Saddam to prove that Iraq was compliant and disarmed. With Saddam, we had to be sure, beyond a doubt. UNMOVIC, like UNSCOM, wasn't in Iraq to search for WMD; UNMOVIC, like UNSCOM, was in Iraq to administer a compliance test. It was entirely up to Saddam to switch off the credible threat of regime change by proving Iraq's compliance and disarmament. When Saddam failed to pass the compliance test, that meant Iraq was in breach of its obligations, which triggered Operation Iraqi Freedom, just as Saddam's failure to comply had triggered Operation Desert Fox in 1998, when Clinton had declared "Iraq has abused its final chance".

The Duelfer Report of the CIA investigation after regime change shows Iraq was in broad violation of its weapons obligations, the 'containment' was broken, and Saddam had rebuilt the capability and intended to resume his WMD program. The program was already active in his clandestine services. The Duelfer Report makes clear that regime change in Iraq couldn't have happened too soon.

While the Duelfer Report supports removing Saddam from power, it isn't relevant to the enforcement procedure at the decision point for OIF. The bottom-line is Saddam was given every opportunity for over a decade to stay in power by proving Iraq was in compliance and disarmed. Instead, Saddam refused to comply and disarm from beginning to end, even with his last chance to meet his burden of proof under credible threat of regime change.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats, read Eric Hoffer's The True Believer.
You fill its pages.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
A lot of this is due to our own side's continual surrender to the MSM and continually throwing our own under the bus as soon as we don't need them. George Bush was a great President; he united the country after 9/11; cut taxes; got our revenge from Al Quadra/Taliban; liberated the Kurds and the Iraqis; and got Quadaffi to eliminate his WMD program without firing a shot. But when the MSM managed to do to Iraq what it did to VietNam, we threw him under the bus just as we did Nixon.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
I recall this as a child; VietNam became immoral the day after we lost it. At that point "our side" ceded the entire debate to the Left, which had subordinated all issues to it, even wrongly removing a President from office (you thought Watergate was about a break-in?) over the issue.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
It will never stop. When Obama leaves office, the historians he has hand picked and vetted all these years will begin writing his legacy, a legacy so full of so many miraculous achievements Jesus will look like a third string quarterback in comparison.
When the good people look at this pile of drivel that is Obama's "history" and laugh themselves silly, the apologists will rise up for one last time and say "Well, it could have been like that, but Bush..."
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Unfortunately when you're a historically awful President (worst economic record since Hoover, invaded the wrong country) you're not going to be forgotten overnight. Even given today's shortening attention spans.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Operation Iraqi Freedom was the right call by Bush.

Our status quo with Iraq - the stalemated, indefinite, ad hoc 'containment' of Iraq that replaced the original rapid-disarmament project - was toxic and failing. After 9/11, the 'containment' status quo was toxic, failing, and no longer tolerable. One alternative to the 'containment' was pulling the plug on the Iraq enforcement and freeing a non-compliant Saddam. That option was out of the question. The only other alternative was finally resolving the Saddam problem with a final chance to comply under credible threat of regime change.

The hope from the start was Saddam would comply of his own volition, which he should have done in 1991 let alone 2002-2003. Bush gave him a final chance to comply, but Saddam was unrehabilitated to the end.

By the close of the Clinton administration, we only had the 3 choices with Saddam. 9/11 pushed him to it, but Bush made the right leadership decision. Resolving the Saddam problem conclusively was the harder choice but it was the right and necessary choice.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
He was useless and we got Obie because of his awful performance. He was the one who made official the "religion of peace" phrase (crock!) and remember he governed like a Democrat and expanded government every time he could. His father was useless, he was useless, and so are the rest of his useless family. They suck big time, all of them.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a crock...

I WISH we had "Shot First" and asserted and asserted an "in-your-face American exceptionalism that included bullying allies"

George Bush was an effing pussy.
Vaporizing Mecca and Riyadh on September 12th would have been “shooting first.”

Telling the Muslim world “Look, your guy sucks…he’s evil, and so is everyone who follows him, got it? Now grow the f*ck up or get exterminated, I am done playing your games”

THAT would have been some “in your face” American Exceptionalism….and we all know that never happened, right? Islam means Peace, right?

I love liberals…they GET all the limp-wristed half-measures they ask for, they demand, they obstruct and commit treason over to enact as policy…..and then they complain about the results.

Liberals…Pathetic Beta-male Losers, always making excuses.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your comment honors this page. Chapeau!
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Like Orwell's "Emmanuel Goldstein", George Bush will always be a focal point of left-wing ire and deflection. Future historians will (someday) reveal what a reprobate we have permitted to occupy the current White House. Posterity shall call us fools.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
Posterity? You and I are saying it now!
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
The moral cretins of the left dump a lot of their views in public because they know conservative media will pick up on it and help them disseminate it.

The left certainly despises Bush, but without him the biggest moral cretin ever to occupy the WH wouldn’t be there right now.

Reacting to what these people say and write is good for business, but conservative media would better serve the country by finding out how dems learned to manipulate LIVs in the last election.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment

I have always believed America was prosperous and strong because it was rational, and prepared to pay the price for things that were worthwhile. Now that the left has discovered the utility of irrational myths to its politics I fear that our rational decision making is mortally weakened and may desert us altogether.
22 weeks ago
22 weeks ago Link To Comment
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