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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

President Bush Breaks Silence, Retains Class

Last night, President Bush started the tour for his new book Decision Points with a televised interview with Matt Lauer. Naturally he was interrogated about certain points of his time in office, particularly the war in Iraq. He professed his regret over reactions to incidences like Hurricane Katrina. But what I doubt will be touted in the media are his most endearing aspects:

"In March 2009, Bush said Obama "deserves my silence," and he plans to stick to that pledge. "Once you get back into the arena, and once you get back involved in politics," he says, "you will be a critic." He cares deeply about immigration, he says, but he doesn't expect to speak out about it. "That is the kind of issue that tends to suck one into the political environment," he says.

Obama often criticizes Bush, though he sometimes says "the previous administration" instead of using his predecessor's name. In an August speech, he said the recession was caused by Bush policies that "cut taxes for millionaires (and) cut working folks loose to fend for themselves."

Isn't Bush tempted to defend himself and his record? "No, because once you're in, you're in, and I don't want to be in. ... Politics is a chapter in my life. It wasn't my whole life. If I feel uncomfortable doing something, I'm just not going to do it."

Did anyone else see the interview last night? What did you think?

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  1. Dear Professor

    I find President Bush an enigmatic figure. On the one hand there is much to admire in him, including the overcoming of an addiction. No one can doubt his patriotism. On the other hand his predelictions for big government provided the excuse this administration has used to expand the monster further. If he had not gone down that road would they have dared to go this far this fast?

  2. I find GWB enigmatic as well. I'm conflicted by letters of solicitation that come from his library foundation.

    I'm tempted to give in admiration of the way he rallied the nation after 9/11 and his unvarnished love for those serving in the mililitary.

    As of now, I've not donated because of the way he grew government and "abandonded the free market to save the free market."

  3. Note: Rush will interview President George W. Bush Tuesday at 1:06 ET. It will be Bush's first national radio interview to promote his memoir, "Decision Points."

  4. I saw parts of the interview last night. I thought the President was the same classy individual he always was. If we remember during his entire tenure in office no matter what anyone said about him, he did not respond but did his job. The fact that he could write this book and evaluate how he came to the important decisions in his administration and even accepting that there were mistakes shows that he is truly intelligent. In fact I would say far more intelligent than anyone in office today.I propose that his book is going to be invaluable to historians to come. For it details how and why decisions were made and it shows the reasoning required in the Oval office and of the most powerful individual on Earth. And unlike our current administration President Bush is able to Man-Up.

  5. I watched part of it. All those years of the media painting him as a buffoon, and I thought last night he spoke clearly and truthfully.

    To someone that didn't invest effort into the political arena until only a few years ago (ignorance is bliss), some things he said were very interesting to me.

    All that complaining about waterboarding, and it was used on 3 guys. Hmm..

    But, like I said, he explained his decisions and encouraged people to come to their own conclusions, given his perspective. Well done.

  6. CHMusicus: All that complaining about waterboarding, and it was used on 3 guys. Hmm..

    Waterboarding is torture, and illegal under U.S. and international law; as is the use of stress positions, beatings, deprivation and rendition to countries known to abuse prisoners.

  7. I always said that there were two kinds of "class." The first is something you are allegedly born with (which I don't buy into). The second is something you give yourself.

    Both Bush Sr. and Jr. allegedly have the first kind. But they definitely have the second kind in spades.

  8. I'm with you Zachriel. However most popular objection to the torture under Bush seemed to be politically rather than morally motivated...as witnessed by the near evaporation of public outrage under the current president.

    I'm sure some believe it stopped on 1/20/09...but I'm far too cynical to believe that.

  9. Zachriel, I didn't mean to downplay waterboarding at all. I personally was not aware it was used on so few prisoners.

    I would agree with K in that the objection seems to have been politically motivated (W could do nothing right whilst in office, according to the media).

  10. A good man with good intentions laying his share of pavement on the road to hell. How history remembers him depends on who ends up writing that history. Unfortunately, a favorable legacy for the Bushes will only be written if the one-world corporatist socialists win. We are on the other side. We want liberty.

  11. @pasadenaphil-would these be the same one-world corporatist socialists that spent 8 years waving around their BusHitler signs?

  12. It takes a large, and honest, man to say "I made mistakes". That is not something we see with the current administration who has just been cut off at the knees.

    And for those who consider the method we use to waterboard, I suggest you inform yourself to the method used by the North Vietnamese that made it illegal to do so. And are you now saying that all our SERE teams that have been waterboarded, as part of their training, are now "victims"? Please, let's have a little honesty here.

    W is what is called a "compassionate" conservative. i.e., he is a left leaning conservsative. And I suggest that history will treat him with more kindness than most Americans did. Remember what Truman's ratings were when he left office, and now he is heralded as one of our best presidents.

    Only time will tell if the liberation of Iraq will serve in the desire to create an ally in the Middle East and promote freedom in that region. But I can promise you, as Iraq prospers, and its people prosper under freedom, other nations are going to take a good hard look and understand that they too, can have the same freedom. Iran for one. We are already seeing signs that Iranians are bucking their oppressive government. Too bad the luguini-spined current POTUS did not support them in their endeavors for a free society. Instead, he went after tiny Hondouras, and lost.

  13. GW is basically a good decent man, but that in no way eradicates his big government escalation and the big problems he helped create.

  14. I like GW as a person, especially his love of America.

    But -- even tho' he denies it -- his approval of amnesty and most of all, his impressing upon the country that "Islam is a religion of peace" did more harm to America than...well, than anybody until Obama.

    Listening to him talk brings back memories of the days when you could listen to a president talk like a human being, TO us, and not AT us in that smug, condescending manner.

  15. Zachriel: Waterboarding is torture...


    Not everything unpleasant is "torture."

  16. Regarding President Bush's refusal to be goaded into dumping on the Secular Saviour:

    It's simply Class vs. Crass. Obama's on the losing side on this one.

    "Don't sell your soul for the sake of politics."
    --G.W. Bush on the Oprah Winfrey Show

  17. Micha Elyi: Not everything unpleasant is "torture."

    That's right, but waterboarding causes the type of severe pain and suffering associated with drowning.