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The Bush Lie

By       Message David Michael Green     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H2 10/23/10

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First the Big Reagan Lie, now the Even Bigger Bush Lie.

It was only a matter of time, of course, before conservatives would come out of hiding.

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Pummeled over the years for their association with the catastrophe known as the Bush administration, singing its praises had become too great a lie even for those whose every political utterance is an exercise in deceit and hypocrisy.

But I knew they wouldn't wait long before trying to canonize their main man, just as they've already done over the years by building a one-man Mt. Rushmore In The Sky for their patron, Saint Ronald of Hollywood-cum-Washington (and what, really, was the difference between the two in his case, anyhow?).

And now, of course, they are starting to do it for the Caligula Kid as well. Billboards are popping up on the landscape with a picture of the prior president, asking, "Miss me yet?" Regressive commentators on television are beginning to dare mentioning the Bush years again. Recent poll data shows that Bush and Obama are rated as near equals in the public's assessment of the two presidencies. Now the Boy King's memoir is soon to be released, and we can certainly expect a lot more of these attempts at reviving the stinking corpse of his wrecking ball presidency.

But the project of turning Bush into a great president comes with a few, um, issues associated with it, however. Heck, even just rescuing him from the cesspool of the club of failed presidents requires no small miracle.

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Most of the presidents amongst these bottom-dwellers are guilty of some singular bungling of large proportion, such as failing to prevent the Civil War, blowing Reconstruction, or doing too little in response to the Great Depression. Those are serious indictments. But what if you were guilty of the equivalent of all of those crimes, plus ten more? All in one presidency?

Meet George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States.

Trying to mythologize the Bush presidency is not going to be easy.

If you manage to turn a record high surplus into a record high deficit, and to double the national debt in the process, history will not hold you in high regard for doing so, just as it indicts Ronald Reagan for tripling the debt on his watch.

If your policies serve the interests of an economic oligarchy rather than the people, history will not approve of that, just as it does not admire Republican presidents from Grant to Hoover for doing the same.

If you populate your administration with corrupt political cronies rather than experts and experienced administrators, history will treat you poorly for it, just as it does Ulysses Grant.

If you completely fail to respond to a catastrophic hurricane that drowns a major city, history will adore you about as much as it does Nero, who fiddled while Rome burned.

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If you manage to sell your country a war on the basis of lies, history will not regard you well, as it has not Lyndon Johnson for precisely that reason.

If you succeed in mismanaging a war into protracted failure, history will not be kind to you for that, just as it isn't kind to Harry Truman for the stalemate of Korea.

But if you manage to do that for seven years, rather than three, history will be even less kind to you.

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www.regressiveantidote.net
David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (dmg@regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is (more...)
 

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