Bil Browning

The end of BushCo open thread

Filed By Bil Browning | January 19, 2009 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Bush administration, BushCo, George W. Bush, Obama Inauguration

I have a tough open thread topic today, Projectors. Let's see if you're up to it.

BushCo.jpgIn the spirit of Barack Obama's positive message of hope and change, let's try to look on the bright side of the Bush presidency. Name something positive that the Bush administration accomplished during his eight years in office.

My answer? He appointed more minorities to positions of power than any other President. Love 'em or hate 'em, Collin Powell, Condi and Alberto Gonzales were all ground-breaking appointments.

The floor is yours.

Photo credit to JP Stormcrow's daughter.

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The Marine sanctuaries in the Pacific are the only positive thing I can think of.

For what it's worth, Bush's Administration has been more engaged with and given more attention to Africa than his predecessors. Not all of the attention has been good, but there were substantive initiatives in health and humanitarian aid.

In his first term, Bush held a class reunion of the all-male class he was in at Yale. However, one of his classmates was a MtF transsexual. Bush welcomed her to the White House by saying something to the affect, "Nice to see that you got to finally be yourself."

That was very kind. I didn't know that one. Thanks, Monica.

There is that big marine sanctuary he just designated.

He didn't create some ludicrous excuse for not having an election in November, and now he's leaving office. That's about it.

They say he was very good at clearing brush and pulling weeds down at his Crawford ranch. That's about does it for his 8 years of accomplishments.

That does seem to sum up the total accomplishments doesn't it?

Well, here's something that has made a huge positive difference in my partner's life: Bush is responsible for the enactment of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.

Of course, it's not perfect; the "doughnut hole" is nuts. And I wanted so much more -- i.e., comprehensive health care reform -- but even this has helped so many seniors and disabled persons. I'll give Bush some credit for that, and for standing up against members of his own party on this issue.

Uh... he didn't die, thus making Dick Cheney president... officially.

Now that is a damn good answer. :)

The Bushes ordered new a new china pattern for the White house. Well, two actually: a state pattern and residence pattern. The state pattern is green and gilt. The residence pattern features magnolias and bugs. The insects not withstanding the residence pattern will be lovely for poolside dining. Note to next first family, install a pool.

Well, I will probably get flak for this, but I think his leadership immediately after 9/11 was inspirational.

In the days after the attack his calm and commanding presence was what America needed to see and hear. The speech he made at ground zero was possibly the greatest he ever made, and stands as one to be remembered by history for helping the country to heal and collect itself after the shock and surprise of the events of that horrible day.

That I think, was his finest hour as our leader.

Too bad he disgraced himself, his administration, and the good name of our country so soon afterward.

The Medicare drug benefit, and he didn't even do it as well as it could or should have been done.

The biggest favor Bush can do for society now, is to finish what he started in college, and drop dead of cirrhosis and cocaine poisoning.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 20, 2009 7:33 AM

His part in making the transition to the Obama administration perhaps the best there has been.

I would mention his refusal to pardon Larry Craig, but that's only because it wasn't a federal offense.

He (with help from Karl Rove) accomplished the fall of the Republican party.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 20, 2009 7:40 AM

His part in making the transition to the Obama administration perhaps the best there has been.

I would mention his refusal to pardon Larry Craig, but that's only because it wasn't a federal offense.

A few people have already mentioned Hawaii, and I'll give him that one too.

It's easy to protect the environment when the parts you protect don't have anything anyone wants in them anyway, but still, Hawaii.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | January 20, 2009 7:40 PM

He reminded us of the necessity to chew one's food well, saving who knows how many countless televised sports fans from choking tragedies.

He was also rather entertaining at the Olympics, copping feels from scantily clad beach volleyball players, gesticulating wildly at swimming events, and giving all appearances of being significantly off-the-wagon at the opening ceremony.

He ran into walls and closets well, fell off bicycles with some gusto, and did great fratboy imitations in interactions with fellow world leaders (remember Merkel?)

He gave hope to the tied-of-tongue as he, with much expert help, went from a complete oaf who couldn't utter a coherent sentence to someone who could pull off a press Q & A with at least the aplomb of a C-student of speech at the high school level.

He promoted American tourism by having an administration unusually full of those who dare not leave our borders for fear of judicial come-uppance at the Hague.

He pardoned neither himself nor Dick Cheney nor the plethora of lesser and still impeachable criminals that populated his administration.

beachcomberT | January 21, 2009 8:27 PM

He took more vacations than any other president. Unfortunately, that left Cheney, Rove & Co. running things.

I hate to be the only critical voice here, but...this reminds me of the time I came home and announced to my parents that, because President Nixon had just died and one shouldn't speak ill of the dead, my fifth grade teacher was having us write a report on all of the good he'd done during his presidency. I was justifiably confused; I'd gotten the impression he hadn't done anything good at all. And my parents, who'd contributed to that impression, were incensed at the idea of rewriting history simply because someone had died.

I rebel similarly at the idea of rewriting history simply because someone no longer occupies the White House. I was cheering on the mall yesterday when Bush's helicopter took off, though my girlfriend and I registered our protest by kissing instead of booing when he appeared on the Jumbotron (and when Warren spoke.) I can agree that it's time to stop raking Bush over the coals, to the extent that it will distract us from work that actually needs to be done, since he no longer has quite so much ability to sabotage the world. But I do believe that he should be punished for his crimes, if only so future presidents know they can't disregard the law with impunity. And supporting President Obama and looking forward to hope and change do not require us to paint the past a rosy pink. If we don't wish to repeat it, we would do well not to forget or whitewash it.