With Obama's inauguration a little more than a week away, I thought it time to reflect on President George W. Bush, and how wrong his detractors have been about him. Completely wrong.
Liberal Democrats officially became Bush haters when he won the election in 2000. That was the first time that the media tried to influence a presidential election in an obvious way, "officially" calling Florida for Gore before the polls closed. Voters, ignorant of what the media wanted them to do, elected Bush. Despite claims to the contrary, Bush won, legitimately. This infuriated Democrats, and they have determined to undermine him ever since, in whatever way they could, no matter how vile the charges.
The accusations portray him alternately as either an evil genius or an ignorant rube. No consistency is required in Bush-hater logic; if one charge doesn't stick, move on to the next one.
For example, Bush has repeatedly been portrayed -- even in the media -- as ignorant, unintelligent, incurious, and otherwise intellectually deficient. His Democrat opponents in his two Presidential elections have been portrayed as near geniuses. When it's pointed out that Bush had a higher GPA in college than either Gore or Kerry, Bush-haters maintain that GPA doesn't mean that much.
When it's pointed out that Bush has an MBA from Harvard, Bush-haters say that his family bought the degree.
When it's pointed out that Bush reads several dozen books a year, most of them histories or biographies, his critics say they doubt that he actually reads them. When it's then pointed out that authors who have spoken to the President confirm that he's read them carefully and thought about their ideas, Bush-haters say that doesn't prove anything.
In other words, there is no proof that is enough.
Recently in another forum, Bush was blamed for the most recent Israeli-Palestinian problems because he had "completely ignored" them for seven years. I pointed out to the poster that he was right, if you disregard:
- Bush's call for an independent Palestinian state (2002)
- American participation in the Quartet on the Middle East and the "Roadmap for Peace" (2003)
- Bush's open support of Sharon’s position that a final peace should not be based on pre-1967 borders - a departure from longtime US policy (2004)
- Bush's endorsement of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, welcome of the Palestinian leader in Washington, and support for parts of the Palestinian position (2005)
- the setting of a timetable by the US for easing Palestinian travel and bolstering Israeli security (2007)
- the hosting of a Middle East peace conference in Annapolis (2007)
The next accusation blamed Bush for supporting democratic elections among the Palestinians. In other words, nothing Bush did would have been acceptable.
Bush's legacy will be the war in Iraq and its consequences. Time will determine how he is judged. Regarding the Democrat Bush-haters, however, their legacy is already established. For Democrats, simple opposition is no longer enough, they must hate and destroy their opponents by any means possible. Hatred in politics has no need for logic or consistency.
Just as Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto guided communism and Hitler's Mein Kampf guided Nazi Germany, Democrats in American have their canon, Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Alinsky was a community organizer that influenced leftist politics using harsh, brutal and immoral tactics -- that worked.
Democrat attacks against Bush follow two of Alinsky's rules. Rule #5 says that "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There can't be any doubt at how effective this tactic has been, since the majority of younger voters get the majority of their "news" from The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. (Both, tellingly, from Comedy Central.)
Alinsky's Rule #8 says "Always attack, never let up." When one tactic fails, switch to another. This has been the modus operandi for Democrats since 2000.
History will determine the Bush legacy, but it's up to us to tell others the truth as we see it. Otherwise, the Bush-haters, using Alinsky's tactics, will influence our children and grandchildren. Regardless of his deficiencies and mistakes, Bush was a good man thrust into a horrendous situation. The major proof of his effectiveness is the absence of any more terrorist attacks in America for the last seven years, something that would have been considered a miracle on September 12, 2001.
Obama is inheriting his share of problems. Let's see if he can prove himself a good man.