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Via Josh Marshall's TPMpire, witness George W. Bush re-enacting Johnny Sack's journey back to prison after his daughter's wedding.

You can understand where the man's head is at. Immigration reform was it: This was the last issue he could possibly hammer out a deal on with the Democratic majority. A massive citizenship program could have been his second-term legacy, a fat item in his Wikipedia entry between "narrowly defeated the worst Democratic presidential nominee since John W. Davis" and "got food poisoning from poorly-prepared seitan while awaiting trial in The Hague."

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  1. Doesn’t “Choked on a Pretzel” have it’s own subheading?

  2. I agree with MikeP.

  3. Nah, the most recent worst Dem nominee was James Earl Carter in 1980.

  4. The only thing that matter regarding Bush’s evaluation by history, the only thing that has mattered for four years, is what the government of Iraq, and the larger Persian Gulf in general, looks like in 2020 or so. Anybody who says they know is lying.

  5. Wait! He also stood on top of some ruble.

  6. I totally agree Will. and Cesar that was shameful.

    And was that nominee Gore or Kerry? They both suck it hard.

  7. How quickly we forget Stephen Douglas!

  8. Kerry did better at the polls than any other candidate in his position in the history of the Republic.

    This country has never voted out an incumbent president during wartime. The closest any challenger ever came to winning an election unders those circumstances was…John F. Kerry in 2004, when he won 48% of the vote.

    The worst Democratic nominee in recent memorty? I’d have to rank McGovern and Dukakis above either Kerry or Carter.

  9. Jimmy-

    I would never have said that if the entire Republican Party hadn’t wrapped themselves in the mantle of 9/11 for the last 5 1/2 years. That, my friend, is shameful.

  10. What about providing the most entertaining speeches? Doesn’t he get a mention for making college kids the drunkest of any president during the SOTU?

  11. I’m not your friend. Whatever you think about the political actions of Republicans, referring to the final resting place of over 3000 Americans as “some rubble” is shameful.

  12. A massive citizenship program could have been his second-term legacy, a fat item in his Wikipedia entry

    Do you suppose Georgie is computer-literate enough to even know what the Wikipedia is – let alone know how to access it? I wonder if he knows how to use a computer.

  13. I don’t think George Bush ever had to overcome a serious setback before becoming president.

    It shows.

    Remember “character counts?”

    It does.

  14. I’m not your friend. Whatever you think about the political actions of Republicans, referring to the final resting place of over 3000 Americans as “some rubble” is shameful.

    Yes, but the only think more shameful is to stand on that final resting place and use it as a soapbox to push through civil rights violations, an unnecessary war and massive expansion of government.

    I think Cesar was simply pointing that out.

  15. Jimmy

    There sure was a lot of rubble covering the final resting place of those 3000 Americans before it was cleared away. I think you have some brainpan leakage.

  16. smartass sob –
    did you forget that Georgie has used “the Google?”

  17. From day one I said, immigration and Social Security are the only two issues W is half way right on.

    So in eight years of getting everything he want handed to him, and just taking what wasn’t handed, after eight years of exploding government, earmarks, astronomical transportation bills, undoing decades of agricultural subsidy reform, military imperialism, torture, FUCKING TORTURE, colossal new entitlements, all the lies, all the bullshit… What two things did he try to do and not get? Take your time, think hard, answer when you’re ready.

  18. Jimmy-

    I apologize for any choice of words that may have confused what I was trying to say, or to imply disrespect towards the people that died there.

    That was not my intent. My intent was to point out how the deaths of 3,000 innocent Americans have been used in the most politically exploitative manner possible by both Bush and by a certain wing of the Republican Party.

  19. Cesar

    Don’t apologize to Jimmy. He’s a moron.

  20. Regarding the worst Democratic Presidential candidates, I think Gore would have probably one (despite being a piss-poor campaigner) if Bill Clinton had kept his pants zipped.

    Kerry was just awful, though again not as bad as Dukakis, Mondale, or McGovern.

  21. “Yes, but the only think more shameful is to stand on that final resting place and use it as a soapbox to push through civil rights violations, an unnecessary war and massive expansion of government.”

    Good thing Bill Clinton never stood on the rubble of OKC and blame his political enemies and talk radio for it or anything.

    This was a terrible bill and a slap in the face to everyone who actually played by the rules and went through the hell that is getting a green card. Bush managed to alienate his last remaining supporters with this garbage. I and practically every Republican I know was ready to leave the party and quit voting if this monstrosity passed. It was wildly unpopular with the public, but the media, big business and the political elite loved it and tryed to shove it down the country’s throat with no debate or with no one really having any idea what the bill really said.

    This is a victory for democracy. It shows that despite all of the corruption and bullshit in Washington what the voters want can occasionally happen. The President and his allies in Congress basically tried to give the country the finger and say tough shit we are passing this anyway and it didn’t work. Thank God.

  22. Reinmoose | June 28, 2007, 4:06pm | #

    smartass sob –
    did you forget that Georgie has used “the Google?”

    Oh! I didn’t know. I had thought he meant gargle, as in gargle with booze.

  23. “got food poisoning from poorly-prepared seitan while awaiting trial in The Hague.”

    Come on….this is in Wikipedia?!?!

    Now I will get some smart ass telling me that rather then criticizing Wikipedia I should fix it…yeah cuz complete and utter shit needs my help in getting fixed.

  24. John-

    I was just as pissed at Clinton in the late ’90s when he used the militia groups and the OKC bombing as an excuse to ram gun control down peoples throats.

  25. John,

    I don’t think Clinton was much better, and arguably worse long-term, because at least Bush was so blatant that people woke up and got pissed. A lot of Slick Willie’s bullshit passed under the collective American radar.

    Keep fucking up Georgie, and we’ll keep waking up.

    Viva la resistance!

  26. Now I will get some smart ass telling me that…

    HEY! 😉

  27. David, need you any reminding that fascist FDR was and still is hugely popular.

    Anyway Bushes tax cuts have greatly improved our economy and standard of living.

    Oh yeah David, like me, you liked that Bush was moving towards amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    I think i am changing my opinion of you David from “kick republicans whenever possible” to “kick anyone more unpopular then libertarians even when I agree with them.”

  28. I’m not a moron. And despite what you believe about 9/11 being used for political gains, I actually believe that it should shape what we do. Namely, the war on terror is the most important effort of our generation.

    This is all I’ll say, as I can see any opportunity to bash Bush has brought the flamers out of the woodworks. Wow, yea, insult Bush on a medium which you love to point out that he doesn’t even use. Talk about pointless.

  29. Bush says…

    The American people understand the status quo is unacceptable when it comes to our immigration laws.

    Of course the status quo now, after the attempt at immigration reform, is worse than it was before the attempt.

    New enforcement and fence bills were passed in order to cajole anti-immigrant legislators to the table to discuss “comprehensive” immigration reform. And the stepping up of administrative enforcement against arbitrary illegal immigrants — another part of the cajoling of legislators — is a truly disgusting exercise in mass punishment of victimless crimes.

    Bleah.

  30. The problem tactix is that when a Democrat does something outragous the media sits there with their teeth in their mouth. Can you imagine the outrage if George Bush had been in charge at Waco? Clinton and Reno do it and its a big yawn. If a Republican gets out of line he might get away with it but at least the left gets up in arms about it. If Hillary Clinton wins in 2008, she could do anything Bush did times ten and no one on the left would say a word.

  31. I don’t think George Bush ever had to overcome a serious setback before becoming president.

    Sure he did: his love of sweet, sweet booze.

  32. If Hillary Clinton wins in 2008, she could do anything Bush did times ten and no one on the left would say a word.

    And thats why I’m scared to death she will actually win.

    Just wait until she uses “9/11” or “The War on Terror” as an excuse for a national gun registry or a massive tax hike.

  33. A lot of Slick Willie’s bullshit passed under the collective American radar.

    No shit?

    Like when Clinton kept FBI files on Republican’s. I guess Nixon only got kicked cuz he hired ex public employees to spy on Democrats…if he only knew all he had to do was keep his crooks payed from tax payer dollars he would have finished out his term.

  34. Wow, yea, insult Bush on a medium which you love to point out that he doesn’t even use. Talk about pointless.

    I could care less if Bush doesn’t use teh internez. Voters use it. A lot. Trolling fucking idiot…

    If Hillary Clinton wins in 2008, she could do anything Bush did times ten and no one on the left would say a word.

    *shudders in fear of the thought*

    That’s exactly what I mean. At least Bush has done enough to fire up the other side. However, with the rise of the “fair and balanced” news, I don’t think the left will have free rein when the time comes for them to be in power again.

    The pendulum keeps swinging between Dems and GOPer’s. As libertarians, we need to reach up and rip the fucking thing off.

    (Sorry about the excessive swearing, these stories just piss me off to no end.)

  35. I found Bush’s remarks about Congress using their time after the July recess to get spending under control particularly ironic. Where the hell was that prudent restraint on government spending when you had a Congressional majority, Bush!?! Oh, that’s right…you didn’t exercise it because (according to Paul O’Neill) Dick Cheney told you that looting the government was the GOP’s reward for winning Congress and the White House.

    Hell, I’m ecstatic that the immigration bill failed…particularly since it means that illegal immigration (which shouldn’t be illegal) will be able to continue more or less unchanged. If the government isn’t going to abolish their ridiculous restrictions on people coming here to work, I’d rather they at least not add to them.

  36. Correction:

    The left will not have as much free rein…

  37. A lot of Slick Willie’s bullshit passed under the collective American radar.

    The problem tactix is that when a Democrat does something outragous the media sits there with their teeth in their mouth.

    Um, guys… Remember that impeachment thingy?

  38. New enforcement and fence bills were passed in order to cajole anti-immigrant legislators to the table to discuss “comprehensive” immigration reform.

    What the politicians don’t realize is the fact that, like the Drug/Civil War, stopping illegal immigration is a losing battle…

    Worried about the border fences? Refer to the recent Penn n’ Teller: Bullshit on immigration.

  39. That Penn & Teller episode was hilarious. It took the illegal immigrants they hired a whole day to build one segment of government-specification border wall and five minutes or less to go through it.

  40. I think the pair that won the race through the “fence” did it in under 2 minutes…

  41. “Kerry did better at the polls than any other candidate in his position in the history of the Republic. This country has never voted out an incumbent president during wartime. The closest any challenger ever came to winning an election unders those circumstances was…John F. Kerry in 2004, when he won 48% of the vote.” – joe

    That’s a heckuva set of qualifiers trying to keep Kerry from looking like the guy who was so pathetic he couldn’t even beat Chimpy McBusHitlerburton…

    “The worst Democratic nominee in recent memorty? I’d have to rank McGovern and Dukakis above either Kerry or Carter.” – joe

    Yeah, kinda spoiled for choice there, aren’t you? (BTW, you TOTALLY forgot Mondale…)

    Not that Dole, Bush, Ford or Nixon weren’t as bad or worse – like I said, spoiled for choice.

  42. Long Live the GREAT WALL of AMERICA

  43. I c no problem hiring MEXICANS to build the GREAT WALL of AMERICA. Just as long as they are on the MEXICAN Side of Border.

  44. Tactix,

    Yup, I can’t remember the exact times, but the pair that went under got through quickest and the pair that went over the top got through last. Perhaps the sample size of P&T’s survey was unrepresentative, but I imagine we’ll find out for ourselves if the government ever builds that stupid wall.

    Hmmm…could this all mean that subscribers to Showtime are drastically underrepresented in the anti-immigration crowd?

  45. Roz,

    I imagine you didn’t watch that particular show either.

  46. I’m glad the immigration bill went down. The status quo is better than the huge new bureaucracies the bill would have created.

  47. oh yeh, and bush is an asshat.

  48. The only thing that matter regarding Bush’s evaluation by history, the only thing that has mattered for four seventeen years, is what the government of Iraq, and the larger Persian Gulf in general, looks like in 2020 2070 or so. Anybody who says they know is lying.

  49. None of it will matter in 2142, when the earth is covered in ice.

  50. I love how the right-libertarians (John, etc.) complain about this bill because it didn’t crack down hard enough on the illegal immigrants and because they didn’t “go to the back of the line.” Of all the horrible ideas in this legislation, they always base their objection on the most trivial garbage.

    How about these reasons for why this bill was a horrible idea…

    1. It would have set up yet another federal database, this one amounting to a national employment registry, where an employer had to ask the feds whether they could hire you (one mistake locking you out of employment) What about freedom of contract? What about privacy?

    2. The bill would have also required an even more widespread employer crackdown on those that dare hire cheap, willing labor. What ever happened to freedom of enterprise?

    3. What about the fact that these “fees and fines” that in reality amounted to little more than official bribery? What ever happened to the libertarian distaste for rent seeking among politicians?

    4. What about giving 12-20 million new and low income citizens access to government healthcare, TAFN, and other stressed government welfare programs? What about fiscal responsibility?

    5. Finally, it would call for less than half the fence necessary to cross the border (apparently Mexicans don’t know how to walk around obstructions), and the fence that it requires cut easily be climbed over, dug under, cut through by illegal immigrants anyway. What ever happened to intelligence?

    These are just a few of my objections.

    You guys seem to think that this bill is wrong not because it expands government, infringes on civil liberties, doesn’t solve the problem, or is political opportunism by a congress that can’t seem to do anything correctly. No, no, no you object to it because it isn’t vindictive enough. Am I wrong?

  51. There will be no ice in 2142.

    The coming of the great white handkerchief will be before that.

  52. Actually, circa 2020, four years ago, I was pegging 2020 as about the earliest that things might be judged. Given your sarcasm, I can only guess that you do, in fact, know what the future holds. Golly gee, don’t hold back; won’t you please share your genius with us?

  53. “got food poisoning from poorly-prepared seitan while awaiting trial in The Hague.”

    David Wiegel wins the thread, before it even starts.

  54. I think that it won’t be possible to get rid of the illegal immigrants currently in this country without doing something that will make libertarians cringe.

    Either:

    1) We round them all up with the police

    …resulting in riots, mistaken identities, and all manner of police excesses…

    OR

    2) We prevent illegals from getting a job

    …requiring government ID cards, a massive intrusive database, legal citizens denied employment because of glitches…

    OR

    3) We bribe the illegals to leave

    …resulting in a mass cash payout which offends libertarian thrifty sensibilities, and which may not even work…

    I think all we can do is enforce the border better and deny government services to illegals. Enforcing the border better will result in a “Great Wall of America” like some people have pointed out, and I find the idea distasteful.

    So…… I’m for amnesty and open borders. Make the illegals legal to employ and require they be paid at least the minimum wage, thus reducing the demand employers have for them, thus causing fewer of them to come over. I think it’s the only realistic solution that doesn’t offend my sensibilities.

  55. Wow, yea, insult Bush on a medium which you love to point out that he doesn’t even use. Talk about pointless.

    He’s right, you know. We really should go back to giving televised press conferences.

  56. “got food poisoning from poorly-prepared seitan while awaiting trial in The Hague.”

    Come on….this is in Wikipedia?!?!

    No, dumbass, it was a joke.

  57. This country has never voted out an incumbent president during wartime. The closest any challenger ever came to winning an election unders those circumstances was…John F. Kerry in 2004, when he won 48% of the vote.

    2004 was only the third election in the history of the US where an incumbent president ran during a foreign war. The other two (1940 & 1944) were won by that cruel stepfather of our country, FDR. So, what you’re saying is that Kerry was a stronger candidate than Wendell Willkie. Hooray for him.

    And, Truman and LBJ would almost certainly have lost had they run in 1952 and 1968, during the Korea and Vietnam wars. So there’s no track record on presidents running during unpopular wars.

  58. Oops, actually it was only the second time, since we weren’t in WW2 yet in 1940. What was I thinking…

  59. Vaddayamean vee, vite man?

  60. crimethink,

    Well, in 1900 we were still fighting in the Phillipines (a disgraceful campaign one must admit).

  61. crimethink,

    Also I guess there is James Madison’s re-election following the declaration of war against Britian.

  62. Don’t forget 1864. The Civil War was by no means wildly popular, either.

  63. Grotius,

    I thought the War of 1812 ended before Nov. 1814, but it turns out I was wrong and the war ended in Feb. 1815.

    So, that’s two previous reelected presidents during wartime. (Three if you count Lincoln in 1864, but that wasn’t really a foreign war, and IIRC the war was going very well for the North at that point.) Still, I think my main point stands…

  64. Lord Jubjub, it wasn’t popular during the first couple of years, but (lucky for him) Lincoln wasn’t up for election until the war was almost over.

  65. I just looked it up: Sherman captured Atlanta on Sept 2, 1864, and reached Savannah by December. So I guess things were going well on election day that year.

  66. Ah, so that was Bush’s mistake. He should have started that war the day he entered office. . . 😉

  67. crimethink,

    Madison was re-elected in 1812. The war started in the summer of 1812. Make of these facts what you will.

  68. Also, Grotius, were there even two national parties in 1812? Madison was an Old Republican, the Federalists were long gone, the Democrats were obviously not around yet, and I thought the Whigs were pretty much confined to New England.

  69. Never mind, I guess his opponent was a Federalist, who got 89 electoral votes.

    Maybe I should start remaining silent and thought a fool, rather than the alternative…

  70. crimethink,

    Well, you could be like and be possessed of mountains of useless trivia. 😉

    ~Justified Ancient Liberation Zulu
    Got to teach, an’ everything you learn’ll
    Point to the fact that time is Eternal~

  71. I love how the right-libertarians (John, etc.) complain about this bill because it didn’t crack down hard enough on the illegal immigrants and because they didn’t “go to the back of the line.”

    Ditto. These are, of course, the same people who complain about immigrants changing our culture, speaking a different language, bringing foreign ideologies, and taking up our open space and natural resources.

    Yeah, sure, they just love legal immigrants. That’s why they go to the barricades to make sure there won’t be any more of them.

  72. In some alternative universe, Bill and Hillary Clinton were never criticized by the press.

    That must be the same universe where wartime incumbancy isn’t really a meaningful factor to consider when you look at the dynamics of a presidential election.

  73. We should delay our judgment until 2020? How convenient for the people presently in office. Until then, should we just give them free reign? Indeed, by that thinking, why should we even hold elections, as we can’t possibly evaluate a sitting president until long after his re-election?

    First, Iraq isn’t Bush’s only legacy. The president’s attempts at expanding executive power at the expense of rule of law have been disgusting, and we don’t need to wait to criticize him on that front.

    Second, Iraq has been a disaster. The writing is on the wall. Our political leaders have asked us to delay judgment on this mess until long after they’re politically accountable. Some of us have fallen for this farce, and some of us haven’t.

  74. Anyway Bushes tax cuts have greatly improved our economy and standard of living.

    Oh, and this is pure nonsense. GDP growth under this administration has been far from exceptional. While I strongly support tax cuts, the net effect of the tax cuts + defecit spending on the economy is very much open for debate. Moreover, Mr. Bush has been one of the primary architects of “Big Goverment Conservitism.” More spending = more taxation; it’s just a matter of when.

    But whatever, we can’t possibly evaluate his economic policies until 2090…

  75. 2020?

    Look, I’m glad that the people who spent 2005 shouting “Egypt’s sham elections were slightly less of a sham! Bush was right!” have come to appreciate the wisdom of taking a longer view, but after a certain number of fatalities, you stop the drug trial, even if you haven’t completed the protocol for the double blind study.

  76. 2020 might as well mean never. For better or worse, very few people are going to be thinking about the Bush administration in 2020 in those terms.

  77. Chris, you “should” do whatever the hell you want to do. I was merely commenting that people who try to write history in real time are nitwits. The only thing that substantially matters in regards to the historical evaluation of the Bush Adminsitration is what happens in the Persian Gulf over the next decade-plus or so. I don’t know, and if you do, please don’t keep it to yourself.

  78. Will Allen,

    I really don’t care what historians write in 2020. We have to evaluate what to do about Iraq right now.

    And, considering that the administration you’re defending has a piss-poor record of looking ahead even a couple of months, please don’t claim that they’re taking the long view of Iraq while those of us who are opposed are short-sighted. As George Will said recently in regard to Condi’s comments on the recent Palestinian break-up, “‘We never saw it coming’ is the epitaph of the Bush administration”

  79. crimethnk, perhaps you had difficulty reading the post that produced my remarks in this thread. It pertained to how history will judge this Administration. Now, perhaps in the universe you inhabit, saying that historical judgements take time is the same thing as mounting a defense. In my universe, it isn’t. I could write paragraph upon paragraph about what mistakes and blunders I think they have made. In terms of hisorical judgements, however, those paragraphs are pointless, because the only thing which will be meaningful in terms of judging this Administration years from now is what the political situation is in the Persian Gulf. If it’s a mess, Bush will be judged extremely harshly. If it’s considerably better than it has been since the fall of Ottoman’s, the judgement of Bush will be far more generous.

    Now, it may make you feel really, really, good about yourself to pretend that you know the answer to that question. What makes you really, really good about yourself, however, has very little to do with reality.

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