Ask anyone who follows politics in this country and they will tell you, if they are honest, that they have a favorite POTUS. Ask my mother and she will willingly admit that her fave is Harry Truman. My grandmother was a huge Reagan fan. The Pink Flamingo? Well, I don’t even mind admitting that it is George W. Bush.
We all have a ‘special’ relationship with our favorite POTUS. Doesn’t matter that we’ve never met the man, probably never will. It’s like rooting for your favorite baseball team, or following a player from that first month in the Majors all the way through to the Hall of Fame. My uncle once told me that I will never be a true baseball fan until I chose a player at the beginning of his career, and follow him all the way through to the Hall of Fame. Then, he told me, the game will never be the same, ever again. He was right. When MY MAN Johnny retired, baseball has never been the same. It never will be. I suspect the same holds true with politics. Once you follow your favorite through, to the bitter end, it will never be the same, ever again.
Today, all the talk is about the legacy of George W. Bush. I’m not really interested in the legacy, thingie. The Great Man has stated, repeatedly that he isn’t, either. I happen to think that, for all his faults, one of The Great Man’s greatest attributes is his honesty. I also think he is a man of great honor, integrity, decency, self-deprecating humor, and one whale of a baseball fan. He is also a surprisingly good artist with an amazing sense of color. (That alone is quite rare).
When it comes to his post-Presidency ‘legacy’, The Pink Flamingo still thinks that GWB has not been treated fairly. The left has been almost as nasty about him as the right has been about Barack Obama. If we truly want to be bitterly honest, we need to admit that one of the problems GWB has had with his post-Presidency reputation is not due to the still quite extreme dislike from the left, but the chilling, vile, and vindictive hatred from the extreme and libertarian right. Let’s face it, the far right betrayed George W. Bush the way the far left appears to be ready to betray Barack Obama.
The bitter honesty is that any leader who attempts to be fair, and tries to lead from the center, either right or left of that center line, and tries to be a leader for all the people, is going to be damned by the extremes on both sides of the aisle. It’s the nature of the beast. It is quite obvious that Barack Obama is governing just a little left of center, or basically like Ike. Don’t look for him to continue winning popularity contests.
The same holds true for George W. Bush. Neither the far right, nor the far left has any great love for him. It’s like Barack Obama. He is a good and an honorable man. It doesn’t mean that he is right on everything and wrong on everything, He is a good and honorable, honest, decent man. I’d rather have that sort of a man in the Oval Office than one who thinks he is right all the time, and has the honor and decency of a snail.
So, GWB’s approval numbers are back up to where the almost should be. There are the usual reasons. Primarily, they are up because you can’t constantly hate someone all the time. We’ll start to see the same thing with Barack Obama in about 8 years or so. The far right will have someone else to hate, so they will not hate Obama as much as they do now. Same thing holds true with GWB. We also need to face the fact that the reason his poll numbers tanked was not because of the far left, but the far right, the libertarians, and the FOX watching, Rush Limbaugh brainwashed conservatives who betrayed him – people like Laura Ingraham who set out to betray him – you know, the Koch Whores.
I’m not looking at GWB with rose colored glasses. I think his tax cuts were an absolute disaster. Then again, for the most part, he was betrayed by the extreme right who were shilling for the ultra wealthy libertarians. Unlike many, I’m not going to rush to judgement on the wars he fought. I still think he did the right thing, even if there are factions who don’t. No Child Left Behind was a wonderful idea, but he made the mistake of assuming educators knew how to behave like adults.
The far, bigoted, white supremacist, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigration, pro-KKK, Tanton, Malkin, Numbers USA crowd had to destroy the man. He understood that people of all races and national origins had a right to become American Citizens. That alone was enough for the haters of the right – the ones who are basically now in charge – to destroy him. They will continue to hound and destroy any decent person who gets in their way.
My big complaint about the Bush years was the fact that libertarians were allowed to bully their way into power. No, that was not his fault. Like Ron Fournier wrote in the National Journal, GWB is a good man. That could be the reason he may not have been as successful as a POTUS, the same way Obama will not be viewed as successful as some. Neither man is a psychopath. When it comes to leaders, people have a tendency to look at narcissistic psychopaths as more successful than good, decent, honorable men and women. There’s a simple reason for that – good, decent, honorable men and women who are kind and considerate lack the killer instinct that sets them apart from those who go for the throat. They are the usual winners in life.
Good guys usually finish last. Then again, I’m going through my cynical phase. The Pink Flamingo was looking at an article about Ayn Rand and the free market. As a normal Republican, in the GWB mold, I share his desire for free markets, low taxes, fewer regulations. The problem, though, was the psychopaths of the world – the Randians took advantage of GWB. They take advantage of everyone. How were we to know that they would take control of the GOP and basically destroy our economy and the entire middle class? GWB didn’t. He’s a good guy, honest and decent. When you’re dealing with the indecent, like the Koch Brothers, honest just no longer cuts it. Face it, honest can’t win.
And – that’s where George W. Bush went wrong. He is honest, and decent. He is a kind, good, and caring man with manners, who treats those around him fairly. Barack Obama’s the same way. Don’t expect him to get a break, either.