If you weren't alive 14 years ago when two airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and one into the ground killing almost 3000 perfectly good human beings in a single day, you probably believe George Bush was a lousy president based on what you hear in the media. And by "alive" I mean, fully a grownup with a family, kids, a job and some adult responsibilities. Most grownups at the time expected leadership from our president after that catastrophe.
And we got it.
Other pundits than me, those who pontificate with perfect hindsight, find much to criticize the former president for. I believe they gain this "perfect hindsight" from the fact that their heads have been shoved up or are in the process of being re-inserted into a place from which perfect hindsight is the only possible view available (if only for a short moment before things go dark).
At the time of the attacks, I was watching the new president with interest. My job at the time was writing federal, state and local grants on behalf of nonprofit organizations. About that time, I had spent some months studying the changes that were happening in the federal government. The president had issued instructions to all departments to take a hard look at their agencies and re-evaluate what they were doing, looking for waste, fraud and corruption. At the time, I thought, "Good for him!"
|As president, Bush sent millions in US relief|
to fight Aids in Africa and continues
to raise money for the cause today.
It worked too. In East Texas alone, community-based and church-run food banks gave away so much food that food stamp applications dropped dramatically; so much that the feds were able to cut a whopping $800,000 from the Food Stamp agency's budget in just one year in that one region alone. The bureaucrats nearly had a stroke. They began a frantic $200,000 "marketing" campaign to increase food stamp applications again to get their budget back up. At one regional meeting they blamed the budget cuts on church food bank programs.
In the months leading up to 9/11, President Bush, dissatisfied with the security reports he was getting, issued instructions to the CIA to stop telling him what they thought he, the commander-in-chief ought to hear and to start telling him what was actually going on. About this time, I had a sit down supper with a career CIA officer who worked at the bureau in Washington. He was very upset about President Bush's instructions, calling Bush the worst thing ever to happen to this country and to the CIA. The complaint? The president wanted to see raw data, not an "interpreted" version of the data as prepared by Langley. This career spook really believed it would be better if the president were kept like a mushroom by the CIA - in the dark and fed a steady diet of horse manure. That's not how he put it, of course, but that was the upshot.
Of course, what happened nine months into his presidency, rather confirmed Bush's opinion with regard to the quality of information he was getting from his so-called "intelligence" services. Had 9/11 not happened; had the CIA's cadre of Clinton-era bureaucrats done their job better and given the president the information he needed, things might have been very different budget-wise under President Bush. For all intents and purposes, it looked like, in the early months of his presidency that W was planning to follow, not so much in the footsteps of his father, but in the footsteps of his father's old boss - Ronald Reagan.
|The "Bullhorn Speech"|
Tragically, believing that no good crisis should go to waste, the career bureaucrats, Democrats and other fans of big government began immediate efforts to refatten the federal budget, tacking new spending for signature Democrat "social justice" programs as a condition of passing spending appropriations for the Afghan and Iraq wars. Don't forget, Saddam had promptly booted out weapons inspectors in the aftermath of 9/11 (after he first did a little dance of joy at the news). Without a way to insure the craziest leader in the Middle East wasn't building nukes, everybody wanted the lunatic taken out - even Democrats.
John Kerry really was serious when he said he was for the war, before he was against it. Once the war was safely underway and the likelihood of Saddam planting a nuke under the Russel Building was dramatically reduced, of course Democrats like Kerry had to turn against the war. How better could Democrats force the president to allow their pet programs to fatten back up, than to hold the war effort hostage? When, in our naivety, the American people put the Democrats back in control of the Congress in 2006, they went hog wild as we say in Texas. The Democrat driven housing collapse at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ensued and within 18 months, an economy that had been going along pretty well, even with the war effort, was thoroughly in the dumper.
About the only thing that was still going well was the war effort. We'd not had a single terrorist attack on home soil since 9/11, Saddam was swinging from a rope and Ben Laden was huddled in a cave pooping in a bucket. So, of course, that success had to be turned into a failure and W's successor managed to do that quite thoroughly and in short order.
|George Bush meeting troops at DFW Airport|
|Bush talks to local kids while building |
AIDS treatment centers in Africa.
And what's Bush doing? Well, he's not criticizing President Obama for one thing, which is the gentlemanly thing to do. The president visits wounded soldiers in hospitals, shooing away any cameras that don't belong to the soldiers and their families. He meets returning soldiers when they fly into DFW when he can. He and Laura have continued their aid work in Africa which started with W's AIDS eradication efforts when he was president. The couple have been very busy building clinics and medical facilities and raising money to address the AIDS epidemic in Africa. No fanfare. No crowds of TV reporters and cameras of the sort that follow Jimmy Carter around. Thousands of grateful Africans are the only ones who take notice. Bush is very popular for his humanitarian work in areas that have been devastated by AIDS. The trouble is these sorts of people aren't Hollywood producers or gay actors or slutty actresses who picked up a social disease - just people who need help. The media doesn't pay much attention to such people, particularly if they don't support the "progressive" agenda the media is desperately promoting.
Meanwhile, back in the states the liberal media and the "progressive" left continue blaming the former
|The George Bush tube top - a popular|
fashion accessory in central Africa.
I get tired of seeing a good man mocked and ridiculed for doing what he believed was right. On most things, I agree with what Bush tried to do. I think the former president did what he thought was right based on the information he had. That is far different from how either his predecessor or his successor did things. Both Clinton and Obama seem to operate on the "do what is expedient to get what I want" principle of political leadership.
|Being President is not brain surgery, but |
wouldn't it be nice to have a president
who could do brain surgery if he wanted to....
because he's smart enough?
Sadly, all we can really do is pray at this point that Jesus comes before this world blows itself up around us. If the last few elections are any indication of where we're going, the next president will probably be the sort that stands upon the rubble of the next massive terrorist attack, wrings her hands and squeals, "Oh my God, they tried to blow me up. How dare they?" Then she'll whip out the old briefcase and start pressing buttons that will turn the Middle East into a sea of glass like Revelation talks about.
I just hope Jesus has the bus gassed up and is coming to get us soon. I have a skin condition that doesn't respond well to radiation.
© 2015 by Tom King