During the dedication of the GWB library, The Pink Flamingo realized that I was there, as a fan and supporter of GWB when we were hearing rumors that he was going to run. I sat there, watching the final bookend of his Presidency today, the dedication of his library, with pride and with tears. As a daughter, watching him with his father, I was in tears. George H. W. Bush is so frail, yet his mind is there. His son is lucky. #41 is one day younger than my father. I thought about my father, who is for his age, remarkably mobile, but his mind, in Stage 4 of Alzheimer’s is no longer with us. Yes, it made me cry. It makes me cry writing this.
On Thursday we were treated to politics with the big dogs, adult, polite, civil, orderly, friendly, and grown-up. There was nary an ugly word. Everyone was on their best behavior. If not, Barbara Bush would have taken them to the woodshed. It was the way politics in this country once were and should be – politics done right. The loyal opposition was just that – loyal.
Last summer, when The Pink Flamingo gave up damning Barack Obama, I learned something. It’s much more fun and much easier to be nice. I like it. Sure, I’m going to say nasty things about the idiots of the tea parties – I can’t think of anything nice to say about them. The same holds true for far left party hacks. I’m tired of it. There’s exposing a problem, dealing with a juicy story, and damning someone simply because you don’t approve of their political ideology.
I don’t know about you, but The Pink Flamingo is sick and tired of it. The more annoyed I become with the blinders of both sides, the more interested I am in the middle ground. I think the middle ground is normal and rational.
The media is currently ‘assessing’ the Bush legacy. I think it’s more about us stopping to assess the media and their attention span, which is about the same as a sugared-up two year old. Last week it was Boston. Today it is Dallas. Tomorrow, well, who even knows. It’s all about attention whores tap dancing on the point of an eraser to get ratings. It’s like Charles Krauthammer, someone The Pink Flamingo once admired. He nearly sold his soul to support Mitt Romney. Today, though, he probably nailed it.
“…Like Bush, Harry Truman left office widely scorned, largely because of the inconclusive war he left behind. In time, however, Korea came to be seen as but one battle in a much larger Cold War that Truman was instrumental in winning. He established the institutional and policy infrastructure (CIA, NATO, the Truman Doctrine, etc.) that made possible ultimate victory almost a half-century later. I suspect history will similarly see Bush as the man who, by trial and error but also with prescience and principle, established the structures that will take us through another long twilight struggle and enable us to prevail….”
We don’t know what GWB’s legacy will be. We don’t know what Reagan’s is, let alone someone who just left office a few years ago. It takes a half century to truly evaluate just who and what a POTUS was and did, for the dirty laundry to be aired, sorted, and chucked into the right baskets. Face it, we’re just now getting around to dealing with Eisenhower, who, at one time was considered just so-so. Now, he’s being viewed with greatness. It is at this point, The Pink Flamingo wishes to add, when the vitriol is over, I suspect Richard Nixon will be viewed far more charitably than he is now – for two reason: China and the USSR.
At least Eugene Robinson mentioned the fact that Bush has an amazing legacy dealing with AIDS in Africa. That doesn’t matter though. He inspires the same knee-jerk reaction in liberals as Barack Obama inspires in conservatives. Ergo, for someone like The Pink Flamingo, neither side had credibility. In the WTimes, Joseph Curl completely blew it from the other side, damning Barack Obama’s speech. Obama was a class act, even if he played the role of the new kid on the block, laughing it up with Barbara Bush much of the time. One wonders, if, he did it on purpose. I think about my mother, and how she would be, today, dealing with something like this, and with my father. There is an inherent sadness with my mother. If Obama was keeping her occupied, then, wow!
Michael Gerson had a comment about GWB that truly annoys me when dealing with the left. They are all so sure Bush was wrong about Iraq and Afghanistan that they allow their aversion to the War on Terror to cloud what Bush did in Africa. The Pink Flamingo found it rather interesting that both Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter brought up the same thing – what Bush did with Africa, yet not a single far left hack will even give him credit for this.
“…For years, I saw Bush through the small but revealing aperture of the White House policy process. Someone would propose a sensitive meeting with a dissident, or a plan to save millions of lives from HIV/AIDS, or an initiative to help mentor the children of prisoners, or an effort to fight malaria in Africa. If such an idea ran the gantlet of lower-level objections and reached the president’s desk, I knew how Bush would respond. He would be direct, decent, human.Bush’s frankly moral approach, on other issues, is precisely what enraged his critics. But more than most, he is a leader of undivided sentiments. The same man who regarded the authors of 9/11 as evil saw the fight against global AIDS as an ethical imperative. It was all one whole. And with the distance of years, it looks a lot like principle….”
Usually reliably liberal sites are doing their best to damn George W. Bush. They all mention the wars, but none of them even touch on what this great man has done for Africa. They can’t. For ultra liberal hacks like Rachel Maddow (I just can’t bring myself to have much respect for her because of her unending bias against GWB) nothing else matters. They are as vicious about this, as the far right jerks are about Barack Obama. I don’t see much difference in the two groups. You don’t get many people like Donna Brazile who are honest enough to rise about their dislike of someone to say something decent.
I think, when it’s all said and done, the remarkable humanitarian and unmistakable Sermon on the Mount style approach to Africa is going to be George W. Bush’s greatest legacy. You’ll never see him nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the millions of lives he has not only saved, but enriched in Africa. You will never hear people like Rachel Maddow even begin to mention that Barack Obama is carrying out most of GWB’s policies. She doesn’t criticize Obama, but yet she constantly damns GWB. You won’t hear the far right complement GWB because of what he did in Africa. They constantly damn both GWB and Obama, so at least they are consistent with that one.
One thing is quite clear here. The GOP has gone so far right George W. Bush sounds more like a Democrat than a Republican. The far left is so far left, Barack Obama nearly sounds like a Republican. I have a friend who describes herself, now as a Centrist.
I could live with that.