Bush’s apologia offers little new

If you have been keeping up with the news lately, then no doubt you have noticed George W. Bush has come out of his self-imposed exile to promote his new memoir. While I understand the ex-President’s publisher has to make money off its investment, this self-serving apologia provides nothing more than an excuse for supporters of the ex-President to reaffirm their support and to blast his successor.  In terms of substance or historic insight, the book is pretty thin gruel.

In his promotional interviews, Bush claims the low point of his presidency was not when his administration used cherry-picked evidence to convince the Congress to invade Iraq, or when he deliberately gutted constitutionally-protected liberties of American citizens.  According to the new Mr. Bush, the nadir of his tenure in office was when a rapper accused him of being a racist on national television during a benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Bush can perhaps now sleep well at night, serene in the knowledge that the rapper, who has a history of uttering statements that make himself look like an idiot, now says he regrets making that particular comment about the former president.

One of his prouder moments as recounted in his memoir seems to have been when he personally approved the use of torture to elicit information from captured terrorists, notwithstanding the actions authorized clearly violated U.S. laws, simply because his advisors told him not to fret about it because they had decided what they were doing was “lawful.”

Many Republicans and conservative talk-show pundits are swooning over Bush’s re-emergence into public life; but it is difficult to grasp why any of them would have nostalgic feelings toward man who largely is responsible for his party’s electoral defeats in 2006 and 2008. What’s more, Bush’s demonstrated contempt for free markets, individual liberty, and the Constitution are counter to what the Republican Party supposedly believes in.

His brand of “compassionate” conservatism gave us an expensive and expansive new entitlement program in Medicare Part D; numerous bloated federal budgets (after inheriting a balanced budget); regulations that expanded at a rate greater than any president in the last 35 years; and TARP – a massive federal government bailout he claimed was necessary to “save the free market system.”

Republicans may miss Bush simply because the current occupant of the White House is a Democrat who defeated a Republican. However, it was Bush’s incompetence and arrogance that helped paved the way for someone like Barack Obama to succeed him.

George W. Bush is no Ronald Reagan; and despite his self-serving attempt to sugar coat his tenure in office, it remains a bitter fruit for America.

56 comments Add your comment

J.B. STONER

November 14th, 2010
10:11 am

SAY WHAT?…………………

KEEP SMOKIN THE CRACK,SON……………….

You are an idiot, plain and simple.

Dr. Pangloss

November 14th, 2010
11:37 am

Not only nothing new but a lot that was plagiarized.

ATF

November 14th, 2010
12:13 pm

Right on, Mr. Barr.

Bush was a disaster and no rewriting of history will make him any better. He cut taxes while putting us in an unjustified war in Iraq and then mismanaging it. He endorsed standards of behavior – torture, spying on citizens without due process – that have lowered us in our own eyes and the eyes of the world.

No wonder the rest of the world gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. It wasn’t for what Obama had done – it was just because he wasn’t Bush or another Bush look-alike.

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Minister James

November 14th, 2010
11:48 pm

Why is it that an administration; mainly Bush, Cheney can lie; get over 4,000 innocent Americans killed, over a 100,000 maimed and injured, over 100,000 innocent Iraqis killed and no one kicks about these war criminals? America; this is not to axe grind; this is the truth and America will be judged as a whole because of this evil. We are supposed to be the worlds’ becon of freedom, not a tyrannical force. Cheney is still proffitting from this evil through Halliburton and in all likelyhood the Bush family oil business is too.

'Mitch' Green

November 16th, 2010
10:00 am

May I point out to the many who have stated that they “can’t believe a Republican said this” or that Barr should tell this to “his party” etc etc etc. Barr is not, and has not been for more than 6 years now, a Republican. He is an official member of the Libertarian Party. And ran as such during the presidential election in 2008.

Also, no where did he state or imply that Obama is or has been a better president that George W. Only that the actions of George Bush and the stances of the Republican Party during that set of terms was the cause of the mass of voters turning to the Democratic Party. And this is a correct statement.

George W Bush was NOT a small government Republican. He was in support of a larger and more influential government in terms of spending and market. He supported a large addition to Medicare. He supported and helped settle the first part of the large bank Bailout. He supported increases in regulation on the market rather than lessening government interference. All of which are certainly not classifiable as supporting or fostering “small government”. To boot, his administration was far from successful in maintaining practical and set budgets in federal agencies.