Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Of Presidents and American Idols

Last night I had a terrifying and unusually lucid dream. I was cornered in a train car that was speeding out of control and was headed toward a bridge that had been blown up. I was trying to tell the people who were gathered around and barking at me that the train had to stop and someone had to pull the emergency brake--but they screamed that they would not listen to me because I had called in the wrong vote . . . for American Idol. Because I had done this horrible thing, they said, they were now going to make sure that the winner of American Idol became our next president. "But the bridge . . .!" I shouted. Then I woke up . . . only to read Andrew Breitbart’s column today in which he argues that we are headed toward an American Idol presidency and in which he practically begs Republicans to eschew the model of their Democrat brethren, keep their heads in the coming years, and remember--first and foremost--that the bridge is broken. We need to figure a way to get those guys to pull the brake.

Oh, yeah. He also engages in some political heresy and I am happy to endorse it. He notes that even with all the tumult of the Bush years, he still likes the guy and thinks that, basically, he did a decent job. Did he have failed policies? You bet. Was he, on some level, fundamentally naive about the nastiness in Washington and his ability to prevail there with a "new tone?" Absolutely. Did he approach the situation in Iraq with an overly optimistic understanding of human nature and animating principle in "every human heart" to be free? Certainly. Did he underestimate the power of evil? I think so. But all of these failures were encouraged and drawn out by an opposition party working in concert with (if not in agreement with--and I wouldn’t go that far) the forces around the world that wish to see the power and majesty of the American republic diminished. They were encouraged by people who either do not understand the nature of the threat or who, in any case, are not persuaded that we deserve to prevail. In short, Bush had to fight enemies at home and abroad. He never could do the former effectively, I think, because he did not understand--or, quite possibly--he did not want to understand them. Instead he focused on the bridge ahead that was out and spent his presidency looking for the brake. Maybe, in retrospect, we’ll all come to see that this was the best that could be expected given the circumstances. The surge abroad seems to be working. We still need an intellectual one here at home. It is very hard to blame Bush for not being able to marshal those forces . . . particularly when so many of them were marshaled against him. I wish him peace of mind and of soul as he exits the stage and I thank him for his efforts to keep our country safe during these troubled last eight years.

Discussions - 2 Comments

Never too late to play these pathetic cards, that anyone who opposed Bush was an 'enemy at home'? Never too late to spin the Bush legacy narratives? The man, and the presidency, has been a total failure. From the
faith-based initiatives, signing statements, semi-judicial torture, Harriet Miers, lie-based pre-emptive wars, terror attacks on home soil, electoral malfeasance, division-based campaigns, economic incompetence, utter lack of foresight, making his nation an international laughing stock, outlawing stem cell research, disregard for FISA (and for the rule of law in general),the Bush legacy will surpass Carter's in the history books, and of course the right to this day does not grant Carter the benefit of the 'circumstances' over which he presided. I eagerly await the criminal investigations into Bush, especially after he himself pardons his cronies in his last few sickening weeks in office.

He'll be known for plenty of things... my favorite personally are the multiple signing statements he attached to bills. The darn constitution always gets in the way of Terrorist Fighting!! Good-bye and good riddance to our favorite faux conservative decider.

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