A beer in the hand is worth two with Bush
And that’s because the truth is that Dubya nearly had me for a second there. There he was all over TV last week, talking about his book, acting vulnerable on Matt Lauer and nervously fiddling with his hands, and I thought, “Hey, maybe this guy wasn’t so bad after all. Not the brightest bulb, but relatively sane.” I mean, at least he wasn’t advocating for the abolishment of the Department of Education or denying witchy tendencies. And then I remembered his eight years of presidency. So while Bush has been popping up everywhere, spreading his special brand of Texan charm all over the media and chortling a lot, I’ve been thinking back to a not-so-distant land of two years ago.
We all know that it’s hard to be president. And when a national figure, however ideologically loathsome you might find him, graces late-night television with hangdog looks of regret and teary sighs, it’s difficult not to feel some measure of sympathy. But let’s not forget that however artfully worded and cloaked in romantic rhetoric Bush’s memoir may be, there remains the cold, hard legacy of his presidency. The war in Iraq. Sept. 11. Guantanamo Bay. The economic recession. Waterboarding. Hurricane Katrina. In his eight years in office, Bush succeeded not only in isolating over half of the American public but almost all of the international community with an arrogant foreign policy of bilateralism and “nation-building.” So before we get nostalgic over a head of state who notoriously seemed to spend more time out of the White House than in, let’s take a kinder look at those on either side of the aisle who are working to clean up the messes of a president more notorious for his incompetence than anything else.
Fool me once, Bush, shame on you. But fool me twice, and we’ll see if I ever invite you out for a beer again.