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Bush Defended from Malodorous Tribute in WSJ

by BobHiggins Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 12:56:06 PM EST

Photo: Some presidents get high schools named after them, others get highways and bridges. What does George W. Bush get? A sewage plant! Through a brilliant plan hatched in a bar, SF voters may be able to name the Oceanside Water Pollution Plant after our current president, George W., in November. dnguyen

In one of the more asinine posts I have read lately the Wall Street Journal today ran an opinion piece titled "The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace ," which I recommend to anyone needing a real howler to start the day after the stress and tension of a long and rancorous election season.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro begins the piece by castigating San Franciscans for naming a  sewage treatment plant after Bush which which calls "one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president."

I see a more delicious, if malodorous, whimsical irony in the "tribute" than disrespect or cruelty. But that's just me.

He decries Bush's record low approval ratings as if surprised that the public, the world and his own party would run screaming in revulsion from an arrogant and incompetent sociopath who has personally done so much to bring about the death, destruction displacement and impoverishment of so many.

Shapiro's plaintive cry, "What must our enemies be thinking?,"  has an easy answer from this point of view, his enemies appreciate him somewhat less than his "friends."

Shapiro's claim that Bush has been a bipartisan who has "reached out" to his political opponents must come from some parallel reality in Shapiro's tabloid imagination. There is no room in the mind of George Bush for concepts more complex than "us or them," or "for us or against us."

In Bush's mind the "forces of good" are represented by his "base" the bloated "haves" and the obscene "have mores," who so desperately want the oil and any other treasure that the "evil doers" are sitting on, and have commissioned young Bush to be the front man in their 21st century neo colonial resource "crusade."

He claims that Bush's "bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties. "Bi partisan? Not Bush, bi polar perhaps but never bi partisan.

Shapiro believes that Bush was unfairly treated in his manipulation of the judiciary.

[Bush's] "Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats.
While decrying activist judges he proceeded to stack the supreme court with people guaranteed to take action against laws that have not only been on the books for decades, but have withstood a nearly continuous barrage of legal challenges. His appointments to the court have been purely political but the judicial activism of the right, of the oligarchs and theocrats among Bush's base is acceptable, the other sixty or seventy percent of the country be damned.

Having warmed to his lament Shapiro keens:

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Refugees?, orphans?, no, I don't blame these on Bush, he simply worked overtime to create millions of new ones. Wrecked economy? No, Bush didn't invent greed, he just enjoyed it so much that he helped to create a regulatory climate where it was seen as less venal and more fashionable, grand theft as the noblesse oblige of trickle down economics. Besides, the taxpayers will replace any shortfall from the bottom up. Creative socialism begins at the top you know and trickles down.

Original sin? No, the radical right pretty much pinned that on Bill Clinton a decade ago.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us.
I'm curious, did he utter that before or after he declared the Constitution to be "just a goddamned piece of paper." Wasn't there also something about "one ring to bind them?"

Shapiro attempts to link Bush's "legacy" with Harry Truman in terms of poll numbers, and because Truman's stock has retroactively risen in our historical consciousness, he attempts to coattail Gerge W on the waistcoat of Harry S; where are the cartoonists when you really need them?

Not waiting for the laughter to subside, Shapiro charges like the Light Brigade to this stunning close:

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

We, I take that to include me, "lack character and resolve," have "slandered" and treated George Bush cruelly, have been "disloyal" and are guilty of "arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation ....." And so on.

In fact, George Bush's approval ratings far overestimate the man. The fact that he will probably retire to some gated brush pile of a "ranch" to live out his days as an extremely wealthy, carefully protected, moderately amusing if slightly goofy statesman of the harebrained right, and not in the prison cell he has earned for his wretched performance, is testimony to the incredible forbearance of  the public he so mistreated.

WSJ says:

Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004.

I suspect that Mr. Shapiro might have written this from a private and padded cell somewhere while recovering from his delusions, and the last statement goes a long way toward helping me to understand the Kerry debacle.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

I have long objected to naming the plant after him. As anyone knows who has had to go without a municipal sewer system, this is vital infrastructure. It would be sorely missed, which is more than we can say of George Bush.

So strange, this pandering to the enemies. Shapiro and his ilk suggest we should vote and think and plan based on what bin Laden and others think, but ignore our allies and what the founding document called "a decent respect for the opinion of mankind" whenever it suits them.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson

by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 01:34:09 PM EST
Besides all the inanities you point out, there's the completely unnecessary one of basing the article on a proposition that lost, 70%-30%.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 03:18:31 PM EST
How much "Bush derangement syndrome" do we still have? Right now would be a good time to list his (all anticipated) "achievements", but who cares about the guy?

Would a series of photo-bushisms bring any nostalgia?

by das monde on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 10:31:14 PM EST

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