As January 20 approaches and we prepare to turn the reigns of power over to Barack Obama, the time has come to reflect on 8 years of rule by George W. Bush. As Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. How George W. Bush will be remembered will be determined by the historians. There is so much that goes on behind closed doors in government today that we will never know the truth until those records are unsealed and become known. However, I’m still going to post my attempt to sum up The GW Bush Years.
1) George Bush Vs. The Terrorists.
I am not entirely convinced that there have been no acts of terror on American soil since 9/11. I think that there have been incidents of chaos and murder that certainly qualify. What is undeniable, however, is that there has been no attack on the United States that has had the same loss of life as the September 11 attacks. For his willingness to stare evil in the eye and boldly proclaim that this will not stand, George W. Bush deserves to be remembered fondly. He was not perfect, but there can be no accusation that he did not care about protecting the American people from those who wished them harm.
2) George Bush and Iraq.
The Republican Party and George Bush have been flogged since the first boot hit the ground in Iraq, and I think that at the end of the day, any malfeasance on the part of the invasion of Iraq rests with the Congress and not with President Bush. In the years between then and now we have learned:
- Saddam Hussein had quite the collection of Yellowcake Uranium That’s quite a bit for a guy with no WMD program.
- The Oil for Food program was a sham, with corruption at the highest levels of the United Nations.
- Some of our more intransigent allies were benefiting financially from the Oil for Food program’s corruption. Thus showing that it was not a failure of diplomacy on the part of the Bush administration.
- Bush’s 16 words are still true. The British did (and still do) believe that Saddam Hussein was attempting to buy Uranium from Niger.
At this point in history, anybody that wishes to say that “Bush lied us into war” is committing a grievous slander against George W. Bush. The Bush Administration has either been proven to be right, or has been proven to have been given bad intelligence for all the accusations they made against Iraq. A lie is a knowingly false statement. I do not believe that anybody has shown that any statement made by George Bush meets that standard.
Likewise, as North Korea has gone nuclear, and Iran is on the verge of going nuclear, it has become obvious that despite the best efforts of the nations of the world, we have been unable to stop this. Sometimes diplomacy does not work. The real accusation that opponents to the Iraq War can justifiably make are 1) The diplomatic sanctions imposed on Iraq were sufficient to keep Saddam Hussein in check, and 2) Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States. As the case of Iran and North Korea show, Number 1 simply is not tenable. Number 2, however, will be debated for years to come.
At the end of the day, the fault lies with the Congress, who neither vetted the intelligence to the degree that it needed to be vetted, nor voted to declare war. Many Democrats have insulted the intelligence of the American People with their excuses for voting to authorize the invasion. The bottom line is that they did not do their job. Ron Paul had it right when he pointed out that the appropriate thing to do would be to actually declare war. We toppled a foreign government, if that doesn’t merit a declaration of war, what does?
3) George Bush and Amnesty
George Bush will go down in history for insisting on Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants in the face of fierce opposition from his own constituency. This is one of the greatest failing of his administration, in that he just did not get it.
An open and porous border is an invitation to criminals and terrorists. The federal “War on Drugs” could be won simply by securing the border, yet, the government refuses to lift a finger. The crime and the lives lost in the fighting amongst the drug cartels and the gangs in the United States can be laid fairly at the feet of George Bush and his abject and stubborn refusal to secure the border.
I contend that Americans are some of the most generous and tolerant people in the world – and the attitude that George Bush has brought to the issue of illegal immigration is insulting and condescending. There is no way you will convince me that if a million Mexicans can get into the United States several hundred terrorist operatives could not. You can not tell me that as much heroin and cocaine come into the United States, terrorist could not smuggle in a nuclear bomb or a chemical weapon.
I do not believe that it is unreasonable to expect that any immigrant who moves to this country to assimilate into our society and learn our language. Yes, our immigration law is horribly broken, but we simply cannot have an open border and we must get a handle on that first.
Securing our border is vital in both our conflict with radical Islamic psychopaths as well as getting the poison of illegal drugs off our streets and the violence and destroyed lives that go with them. On this front, the Bush Presidency has been a resounding failure.
4) George Bush and the Overreach of Government
This is the greatest failing of the Bush Administration. During the Reagan Presidency, there was talk of dismantling the Department of Education. In the Bush Presidency, No Child Left Behind grossly expanded the Federal invasion into the education of our children. President Bush vetoed almost nothing. His spending has been unrivaled in history, and it is disgraceful. This issue has single handedly destroyed any credibility that the Republican party had. There is so much to say, but so little point.
The bottom line is that under President Bush’s watch, we have created the largest, most invasive, most irresponsible government in the history of the United States of America. And it is embarrassing.
George Bush will be remembered for his destruction of the US budget, and also for abandoning capitalism the moment that the inevitable consequences of government meddling in the system came calling. The bailouts under his watch are something that could have truly been taken out of the Fascist Playbook.
I merely laugh when I remember that Barack Obama campaigned on change from the “failed economic policies of the Bush administration” and his first act of a Trillion Dollar Stimulus is the equivalent of putting the worst of the Bush Policies on steroids.
5) George Bush and Abortion
As Barack Obama is poised to take office, we are seeing article after article of his intention to roll back limitation President Bush put in place to protect the sanctity of Human Life. This speaks more about the lack of respect for life in the incoming Obama administration than it does about the Bush Administration.
For the vetoes, the refusal to fund embryonic stem cell research, and the banning of partial birth abortion (a true crime against humanity), The Bush Administration has done precious little to further the pro-life cause. Planned Parenthood has not seen their federal money diminish under Bush’s watch, for one.
O that George Bush could see with the same clarity of morality for the unborn that he uses for the people of Mexico or the people of Iraq.
And there you have it. No need to drag it out, I’m sure that there are books that could be written, and will be written, on the George W. Bush Presidency. But I think that’s the sum of it.
George Bush: A well meaning man who forgot that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.