Bush Takes No Regrets Tour, Media Refuses to Challenge Him

Bushs No Regrets Tour

Ellen Goodman notes that children are held to a higher standard then Bush holds himself, Bush’s No Regrets Tour

What’s equally hard to swallow is Preston Hollow, the Dallas neighborhood where the Bushes bought a $2.1 million house that, as Jay Leno quipped, “thanks to his economic plan, he got it at a bargain.” What I can’t “snap out of” is the fact that he is preparing to write a book and design a library whose themes will undoubtedly be: “Heckuva job, George.”

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

This is the tenor of the farewell tour being conducted across the landscape from ABC to the American Enterprise Institute. It’s the No Regrets Tour, the nonreflective “reflections by a guy who’s headed out of town.”

George W. Bush will be remembered with names such as Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and Katrina. With phrases such as “weapons of mass destruction” and “mission accomplished.” He came in with a budget surplus and leaves with a massive deficit. He blew the good will of the post-9/11 world. But being this president means never having to say you’re sorry.

Leaving office, he takes credit for seven years of safety and no debit for a day of disaster. He takes credit for the boom – “it’s hard to argue against 52 uninterrupted months of job growth” – without taking responsibility for the deregulated bust. He takes credit for the surge, not the disastrous preemptive war.

Bush, McCain and every other Iraq dead ender claims the “surge’ worked, but non-genuflecters know that it was 95% lucky coincidence on the tactcal level. It was also not a success in undoing the damage of five years of occupation, Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2008

1. Iraqis are safer because of Bush’s War. In fact, conditions of insecurity have helped created both an internal and external refugee problem:

‘ At least 4.2 million Iraqis were displaced. These included 2.2 million who were displaced within Iraq and some 2 million refugees, mostly in Syria (around 1.4 million) and Jordan (around half a million). In the last months of the year both these neighbouring states, struggling to meet the health, education and other needs of the Iraqi refugees already present, introduced visa requirements that impeded the entry of Iraqis seeking refuge. Within Iraq, most governorates barred entry to Iraqis fleeing sectarian violence elsewhere.’

2. Large numbers of Iraqis in exile abroad have returned. In fact, no great number have returned, and more Iraqis may still be leaving to Syria than returning.

3. Iraqis are materially better off because of Bush’s war. In fact, A million Iraqis are “food insecure” and another 6 million need UN food rations to survive. Oxfam estimated in summer, 2007, that 28% of Iraqi children are malnourished.

We still have a press that is asking Bush and Cheney real tough questions like how do you think history will judge you. Two spin-meisters like George and Dick eat those questions for lunch. Why doesn’t the press use this as an opportunity to make up for being complacent syliphants for Iraq and Republican economic policies the last eight years. How about confronting them with some facts ando some home work, be ready for the spin. That is the job of a free press in a democracy, acting as the people’s surrogates. Real journalists are not there to take dictation, but to shed a little light on the truth.

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Via Think Progress,

QUESTION: How do you explain your low approval rating?

CHENEY: I don’t have any idea. I don’t follow the polls.

My experience has been over the years that if you govern based upon poll numbers, upon trying to improve your overall poll ratings, people I’ve encountered who do that are people who won’t make tough decisions.

This is actually pretty good spin as far as spin goes. Then there is the faint smell of martyr complex. Cheney and Bush, the poor beleaguered leaders of great vision – forget about lying hundreds of thousands of people to their deaths. Forget about Cheney doing business with Saddam and being caught lying about it. Forget all the propaganda and not so sly statements Cheney made about the non-existent WMD and non-existent links between Saddam and 9-11. There is some element of truth to Cheney’s thoughts in the sense that sometimes political leaders do have to make decisions that might be for the best, but are unpopular. Cheney, like Bush and some recent rescue the Bush legacy editorials chose to ignore recent history. After 9-11 Bush enjoyed some of the highest approval ratings in history. Obviously not because Cheney and Bush were caught flat footed as Richard Clarke pointed out, but because Americans rallied to show Al Qaida and their sympathizers a united front. Polls seemed to mean quite a bit to Cheney, Bush and Rove at the time. Then there are the interviews themselves in which Cheney says his popularity doesn’t matter, but keeps bringing up how history will judge him. Part of history is how people see a political figure and their actions – did he do what was best for the country. Just one more bit from the Casper-Star Trib interview,

“As vice president, I don’t run anything. I’m not in charge of the Park Service, but I can make suggestions, and my staff is actively involved in a lot of those issues on my behalf.”

If you’re not in charge of anything, you are not responsible for anything. If you’re not responsible you can’t take credit for those “tough” decisions. Mr. Forth Branch seems to want to have it both ways.