Thursday, January 15, 2009

One Less Bush

In honor of my cohort, the right honorable Ron "Devil Dog" Meinsler, I watched President George W. Bush's farewell speech on FOX tonight. One of those pieces of history that I'll look back and remember I was a part of it.

Here are my thoughts on the speech:
  • Liked that he seemed genuinely gracious toward his own family and toward Obama's family.
  • Liked how he ended paying tribute to the American heroes in our Armed Forces.
  • Liked when he pointed out that every day and every decision was related to American security, in his mind.
  • I agreed that freedom should be universal
  • I agreed that he did mark new ground by gaining the ability to seize terrorists' funds

  • Didn't like how everything ties back to 9/11. It ratified my opinion that we didn't keep an eye on our own domestic situation (ie: finance) and failed to do what we were supposed to do abroad (ie: capture OBL..)
  • Didn't agree that we should sacrifice our freedoms or moral standards in order to pursue mythical enemies (ie: declaring "war on terror" as if somebody named "terror" will sign a peace treaty with us, or we can capture "terror" and control "terror" and democratize "terror.")
  • Don't think he mentioned immigration. If he were really concerned about securing American peace and freedom he would have invested as much in border security as he did in invading Iraq.
  • Completely disagreed with his apparent thinking that the "financial bailout" did any good at all. Unless giving taxpayer money to banks so that they can horde it, pass it along as bonuses / perks, or use it to buy other banks can be considered a good thing?
  • And I don't think he fully articulated how different the country is now (unemployment / debt / entrenched in two wars) than when it was handed to him (low unemployment / surplus / peace) eight years ago.
As for the speech, it was better and less smug than I thought. However it didn't carry any tone of regret for our current situation.

Do I think it "was all Bush's" fault? Not at all. But I don't think he made any significant use of his powers to make things right or dictate a course for this country other than where we are right now. I don't blame Bush for everything. I actually think the useless, over-paid, under-performing Democratic Congress of the past two years holds more of the blame. They could have cut the purse strings on these wars. They could have brought more oversight into the banking systems. They could have passed comprehensive immigration reform. Instead, they did nothing they promised to do, allowed more of our kids to be killed in Iraq, and allowed the banks to pollute the financial air we breathe, all during their watch when they have the power to make changes.

At least Bush is leaving. And he did so with a modicum of grace. We're stuck with the Chicken Dems for a couple of more years.
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