Annals of Inopportune Op-Eds

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Take it away, Stanley Fish.

Within a year of the day he leaves office, and no matter who succeeds him, George W. Bush will be a popular public figure, regarded with affection and a little nostalgia even by those who voted against him and thought he was the worst president in our history.

What does Bush have to do? Not much, just be himself, not the wise and inspiring leader of the Western world — he never quite got that one right — but the amiable, funny, folksy and gregarious guy who tricked himself and the rest of us into thinking he was something more. Now he doesn't have to do that. We'll not be depending on him, so we'll be free to like him.

You know who had a great sense of humor? Herbert Hoover.

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  1. This is like saying you’ll be friends with the guy who did your wife and drove your car off a cliff because he has a sense of humor. He’s a good person at heart! And he’s at peace with himself! I swear!

  2. Hitler liked dogs.Thread over……

  3. Not the silliest thing Stanley Fish has written in that column, but close.

  4. I don’t think Frank Rich is that crazy. Nixon resigned in disgrace and was every bit as hated as Bush is. But a couple years of inactivity and Nixon started to look pretty good. Lots of Nixon obituaries were flattering–even thouse written by democrats.

    With time healing the wounds of the Bush administration, some of the “Bush=Hitler!!!” stuff will start to look hysterical.

  5. The thesis seems to be that the seething hatred of GWB will die down after he leaves office. Not a shocker, really.

  6. We’ll not be depending on him, so we’ll be free to like him

    Who the fuck is depending on him now?

  7. George W. Bush will be a popular public figure, regarded with affection and a little nostalgia even by those who voted against him and thought he was the worst president in our history.

    Yeah…that’s gonna happen.

    As recently as last Thursday, conservative friends of mine were still bitching about how much they hated Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

    But, I imagine there’s a bunch of injured Iraq War vets, kids who couldn’t get financial aid for college, people who lost their homes to foreclosure and ex-national Guardsmen who agree with you there, Stanley.

  8. The thesis seems to be that the seething hatred of GWB will die down after he leaves office. Not a shocker, really.

    Seething hatred, sure. But at the moment Bush looks like he’ll be remembered as a new Nixon or Hoover. Do we think he’ll even be invited to speak at the 2012 Romney/Jindal convention?

  9. Who the fuck is depending on him now?

    Billionaires seeking handouts?

  10. Hmmm…… not for me. For me, I will always associate Bush with torture and utter stupidity. Somehow, I don’t think he will ever denounce torture and I know he isn’t going to get any smarter.

  11. “Billionaires seeking handouts?”

    And David Weigel’s gall bladder.

  12. Depends on who Bush pardons as he leaves.

  13. Billionaires seeking handouts?

    Fuck you, Warren Buffet!

    Depends on who Bush pardons as he leaves.

    Himself, probably.

  14. In the long run, Bush will be remembered as the guy who took down the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and left some semblance of freedom and human rights in their wake.

    I guess some people will remember him for waterboarding Khalid Sheik Mohammed, too, but not in a bad way.

  15. A new President is going to come and we are going to find to our shock that Russia is still an aggressive imperialistic power, Iran is still run by religious lunatics bent on obtaining nuclear weapons, Europe is still feckless, demographically dying and filled with large, radical Muslim minorities, New Orleans is still a poverty infested banana republic, and that overall the enemy and fate gets a lot bigger vote in our problems than the President does. At that point, Bush’s stock will start rise as we realize the oceans are not beginning to recede and the sun rises on the same problems we always had.

    Fortunately when that happens Weigel will be no closer to any position of responsibility and probably won’t be self aware enough to learn anything from it. The story will be just how the next President, whoever he is, caused all these problems.

  16. In the long run, Bush will be remembered as the guy who took down the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and left some semblance of freedom and human rights in their wake.

    aw man, that’s great. i’m going to use that at the next next upper east side cocktail party.

  17. I want to see the liberals explain things when Obama is rendering people to other countries to be tortured, just like Clinton did, using the living hell out of the new FISA legislation, and bombs Iran to keep them from getting nuclear weapons or ends up in a colonial war in Africa to keep the Sudan or Somalia from becoming a failed state. It is going to be damned entertaining to watch.

  18. Episiarch,

    He can’t pardon himself. Next contestant?

  19. dhex,

    You have to admire his ability to type something like that with a straight face.

  20. Well said, TallDave.

  21. utter stupidity… I know he isn’t going to get any smarter.

    Heh, sounds familiar.

  22. sugar, i presume he was laughing as hard as i was when i read it.

  23. PL,

    He can’t pardon himself.

    That’s 9/10 thinking. We’re in Presidency 2.0.

  24. He can’t pardon himself. Next contestant?

    Well, he couldn’t do warrantless wiretaps either, right? Ah ha!

    You have to admire his ability to type something like that with a straight face.

    It is possible he was giggling when he wrote it. You can’t see him.

  25. John,

    Thanks.

    SugarFree/dhex,

    You guys keep right on ignoring reality.

  26. Does anyone remember who lost China?

  27. “Do we think he’ll even be invited to speak at the 2012 Romney/Jindal convention?”

    Well they’ll do their best to make sure another hurricane will touch down some time around the ’12 convention.

  28. I wouldn’t worry, judging from Reaon’s approving citations of Glenn Greenwald’s constant flagrant misuse of the word “unprecedented” no one remembers executive overreach very long anyway.

  29. “In the long run, Bush will be remembered as the guy who took down the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and left some semblance of freedom and human rights in their wake.”

    Iran is forever in Bush’s debt.

  30. I don’t think Frank Rich is that crazy. Nixon resigned in disgrace and was every bit as hated as Bush is. But a couple years of inactivity and Nixon started to look pretty good. Lots of Nixon obituaries were flattering–even thouse written by democrats.

    He had the kinder obits because of the dumb, you don’t speak ill of the dead rule. Nixon is still seen as a shitty guy and a shitty president.

  31. In the long run, Bush will be remembered as the guy who took down the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and left some semblance of freedom and human rights in their wake.

    Right, because pulling out of Vietnam did so much to make Nixon look good.

  32. Bush will look better if the next president sucks ass. I think there’s a good chance of that.

  33. Iran is forever in Bush’s debt.

    Maybe he could ask Maliki to stop smashing all our militias?

    Also, the whole “free elections” and “free speech” things happening on the other side of our border is really problematic for our theocratic thugocracy. Think he could get them to stop that?

  34. Right, because pulling out of Vietnam did so much to make Nixon look good.

    Well, we’ll just to hope N Vietnam doesn’t invade and conquer Iraq.

  35. Let me just go on record as predicting that President McCain will find some reason to invade Vietnam.

  36. You guys keep right on ignoring reality.

    i don’t own an AM-receiving radio, so i miss out on reality all the time.

  37. PL,

    I heard that the Vietnamese are developing Bahn Mi of Mass Deliciousness.

  38. Dear God. Invade first and ask questions later. The Axis of Pleasure must be stopped!

  39. i don’t own an AM-receiving radio, so i miss out on reality all the time.

    You don’t exactly need an AM radio to notice that Afghanistan’s government isn’t executing women in soccer stadiums anymore, or that Iraq has held several free and fair elections while doubling GDP and most basic services. You just need to have your eyes open.

  40. Within a year of the day he leaves office, and no matter who succeeds him, George W. Bush will be a popular public figure, regarded with affection and a little nostalgia even by those who voted against him and thought he was the worst president in our history.

    That’s just stupid. I voted for the dumbass in ’00 and have been regretting it for 6 years or so. I do hold hinm as one of the worst two presidents in U.S. History, and seriously doubt my mind will change, even given the rose colored glasses effect.

    Posterity has been kind to Ford and Clinton, as it should be. I still hate LBJ and Nixon. Bush the second will fare no better than them.

  41. Strong words, TallDave, but would you say the same to the liberation of Vietnam?

  42. “Also, the whole “free elections” and “free speech” things happening on the other side of our border is really problematic for our theocratic thugocracy. Think he could get them to stop that?”

    Free elections?? Like when former Sunni insurgents, who then helped US forces drive out al-Qaeda, manage to get arrested and roughed up just as they announce their candidacy for local councils? Thats the kind of free speech and democracy in action that gets me all warm and fuzzy inside.
    Maybe Maliki and his al-Dawa party learned those types of tricks when they were busy being funded by Tehran and blowing up our embassy in Kuwait.
    But hey, at least the current head of the Iraqi gov’t has no ties to international terrorism. Because then we might have to do something crazy and overthrow him.

  43. Free elections?? Like when former Sunni insurgents, who then helped US forces drive out al-Qaeda, manage to get arrested and roughed up just as they announce their candidacy for local councils?

    Gee, next you’ll tell me Obama’s people are threatening state violence against those who criticize him, or that Mark Steyn is on trial in Canada for criticizing Islam.

    I heard Ukraine has election problems and violence too, I guess things were better under the Soviets.

  44. Kids today have it so good. I remember when I ran against Saddam.

    Lemme tell ya, campaign laws are a bitch when they’re enforced with nerve gas.

  45. You just need to have your eyes open.

    stop it! you’re killing me! if i laugh any harder i’m going to pee myself!

  46. But hey, at least the current head of the Iraqi gov’t has no ties to international terrorism

    Hey, leave Obama alone!

  47. If I could just get these pesky blinders off, I would totally see that the present state of Iraq was worth spending trillions of tax dollars and wasting thousands of American lives to accomplish.

    Just like welfare fans, I also tell warfare fans: Pay for your hobbies out of your own goddamn pocket.

  48. “I heard Ukraine has election problems and violence too, I guess things were better under the Soviets.”

    There was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

  49. dhex,

    Yes, reality is amusing. You should try exposing yourself to it more often.

    SugarFree,

    Funny, people said the same thing about S Korea once. How many lives was that worth “wasting?” How about Afghanistan? Europe?

  50. i already told you i don’t have AM radio.

    where else can one find this precious reality you speak of?

  51. AM radio web 2.0!

    woo!

  52. There was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

    Da, is true. People wanted Communism. had to build wall to keep Westerners from crowding utopian socialist states.

  53. TallDave,

    Bathe in the blood of as many military men and women as you want, your skin’s not going to look any better.

    Afghanistan was justified and worth the blood and treasure as a pure revenge trip. I’m fine with royally fucking over as hard as possible anyone that attacks us.

    Iraq was a house of cards. The feeble attempts to defend at this point it is just sort of sad.

    But it makes a useful marker of people too stupid or too crazy to pay attention to. (Hint: I’m talking about you.)

  54. “where else can one find this precious reality you speak of?”

    It’s most intense during REM sleep.

  55. Bathe in the blood of as many military men and women as you want, your skin’s not going to look any better.

    Ooh scary rhetoric! I give you an A for imagery, but an F for content or making any sense.

    Afghanistan was justified and worth the blood and treasure as a pure revenge trip.

    So, bathing in the blood of soldiers is OK, as long as our motivation is revenge.

    Iraq was a house of cards.

    I would respond to this if I could tell what it meant.

    Well, enjoy your worldview, I guess.

  56. Funny, people said the same thing about S Korea once. How many lives was that worth “wasting?”

    You imperialist capitalist pigs just don’t get it.

    We like being 3 inches shorter than S Koreans due to malnutrition. And they would like it to, if you’d just let us force them to.

    If you were a REAL libertarian, you would respect our freedom to oppress.

  57. You know who had a great sense of humor? Herbert Hoover.

    To be fair, Hoover lived just about longer pos-presidency than just anyone ever has, and did a lot to personally rehabilite his personal and professional reputation, a la Carter, although did not quite get the public recognition that Carter did.

  58. If you were a REAL libertarian, you would respect our freedom to oppress.

    The hardcore multiculturalist/relativist worldview in a nutshell. Well done, sir.

  59. I predict that within a year, liberals won’t give a damn, but conservatives will hate his guts.

    Personally, after this bailout bill, I am thinking of getting one of those “Fuck Bush” stickers myself.

    I’ll put it right next to the NRA, Free market, and Support the Troops ones, just to make the point clearer.

  60. Free Speech and Free Elections in Iraq are the reason why Ahmedinejad had flowers thrown at him as he triumphantly rode into Baghdad to meet with the president of the country that had invaded Iran under the dictator we deposed. Yeah, the Iranians are really bummed out about that, I’m sure.

  61. So, the theory here is that and Iraq that is just barely being held together by the presence of 150,000 American troops, and which will fall apart if we dare leave, has produced a 2:1 split against the war and against Bush by the American public.

    But once we’re out – an event that TallDave thinks will lead to chaos – things are going to turn around, and people will think Bush and his war were really awesome.

    ‘kay.

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