10 November 2008

Pity the Pres

During the last 8 years I have never wavered in my support for President Bush. There are some things that I have disagreed with or been disappointed about, but on the whole I think he is a decent man who did his best, and I think history will reward that in due time, especially on the Iraq War.

Mr. Bush is not an evil man. Many on the left will claim to have given him a fair shake early on, but I don't remember that being the case at all. He was only on the job for 8 months when 9/11 occurred, and he took office during a recession. A former member of John Kerry's 2004 legal team had the following to say about the President:
It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right. 
Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.
No doubt the Bush administration will continue to confound for many years to come. As I said before, Bush the man has many qualities to admire. From the recollections of Jim Towey, a former White House staffer:
I remember coming to the West Wing one morning before the daily 7:30 senior staff meeting and seeing Mr. Bush at his desk in the Oval Office, reading a daily devotional. I remember the look of sorrow on his face as he signed letters to the families of the fallen. When he met with recovering addicts whose lives were transformed by a faith-based program, he spoke plainly of his own humiliating journey years ago with alcohol. When a Liberian refugee broke into tears after recounting her escape to freedom in America, the president went over and held and comforted her.
Little acts behind the curtain like these inspired intense loyalty by staff members. They spoke of someone never too busy or burdened to care -- like when he took time on Air Force One to call my wife when she was sick. The president's true character rendered his media image pure caricature.
There is reason to give the man a break. Liberals would do well to wish President Obama better treatment than that afforded President Bush. He has made his mistakes, but he has served his country in a difficult time.

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