Monday, December 08, 2008

What Will George's Legacy Be?

It's fairly certain that George W. Bush will not be held in high regard by historians or the general public for some time to come. Mr. Bush's legacy will be tarnished by many things, but none more significant than the financial crisis we are currently experiencing. The irony in this is that it is probably one of the many problems experienced in the course of his presidency that he had the least to do with causing.

There are many causes and drivers of the economic situation that we are in. Some are cyclical, some are made by poor policy decisions. Suffice to say, the era of Reagan era Laissez Faire economics is over. When I hear conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Tony Blankley call for immediate and extensive stimulus spending (read: Deficit Spending) by the government to get the economy going, I think "we aren't in Kansas anymore Toto".

Anyway, I digress. This post is about George's legacy. Like an old Polaroid photograph, time will fade the clarity of just how damaging the Bush Presidency has been. I suspect several authors, both insiders in the Bush White House as well as the usual punditry will attempt to capitalize on the foibles of the Bush years with books out as soon as possible. However, like most political tomes, these will find their way to the remainder table at Barnes and Noble fairly soon. Time will cause a blurring of the egregious sins Messrs Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. have committed against you, me and the rest of the world.

Barack Obama will have an influence on the Bush Legacy. Should he decide to support the pursuit of congressional inquiry into things like the Attorney General firings, he could place the Office of the Presidency in the middle of (now, take your side here) "trashing George Bush", or if you think like me, "Shining the Light on the Darkness that was the George Bush presidency".

Did George Bush do only terrible things as president? Was he just Emperor Palpatine in a Brooks Brothers suit? Is he really that evil? No. He's not. Dick Cheney is. Sorry, a little humor there. George did do some good. His efforts on increasing funding to combat AIDs in Africa is laudable. He should be commended for this. Africa is often the forgotten continent (continent Sarah!). It is per capita the poorest and most tragic place in the world. It is also likely where humanity got it's foothold. It is our birthplace. President Bush gets little to no political capital for saving hundreds of thousands of poor Africans dying from a terrible, devastating disease. He did this because his faith, his principles (however fucked up they may be on other things) drove him to it. I sincerely appreciate his efforts here.

However, that's the only thing I can see that is worth mentioning on the plus-side of the ledger. There are too many things in the negative side that I can't get away from my contention that he is literally the worst president we have ever had.

I know I'm biased. I couldn't stand the guy when he was governor of Texas. But that's just me. I would really like to hear from my readers (all 5 of them) about what they think the legacy of George Walker Bush might be.

Tell me what you think,


1 comment:

  1. A few of us in Chicago offer our musical tribute to W's "legacy." We hope you enjoy the video and the song. Feel free to do with it as you please.

    (Matt Farmer)

    Well, for eight long years we've been payin' your rent
    But now your lease done run
    And all our money's been spent
    So pack up your bags
    And take a last look around
    At how you drove a great nation straight into the ground

    And don't let the door
    Hit you in the ass on the way out
    Don't bother with the goodbyes
    Just make sure that you stay out
    There ain't no need to call
    No need to write
    We don't even need you to turn out the light
    Just crawl back to Crawford, brother
    Promise that you'll leave us alone

    Every step of the way, your story's been the same
    Just cruisin' through the world
    On your daddy's name
    You had the oilmen friends
    You had the Skull and Bones
    But it never would have happened if your name was Jones


    Slam dunk, privatize, deregulate
    Tax cuts, trickle down
    The politics of hate
    Flag pin, waterboard
    Intelligent design
    You were handed your throne by just five of the nine