Posts Tagged George W. Bush
Republican Presidents And Political Scandals–The Five Greatest Scandals, Unmatched By ANY Democratic Presidential Administration!
As we witness the accusations of “scandal” in the Obama Administration, it is easy to forget that in historical terms, it is Republican Presidents who have presided over the most significant and numerous scandals.
Any objective historian would know that the five top scandalous Presidential administrations are all Republican Presidents!
In chronological order, they are:
Ulysses S. Grant—1869-1877–best known for the Credit Mobilier Scandal.
Warren G. Harding—1921-1923,–best known for the Teapot Dome Scandal.
Richard Nixon–1969-1974–best known for the Watergate Scandal.
Ronald Reagan–1981-1989–best known for the Iran-Contra Scandal.
George W. Bush–2001-2009–best known for the Scooter Libby Scandal.
Realize there are MULTIPLE scandals under each of these Republican Presidents, and by analysis, the “scandals” under Democratic Presidents pale by comparison, although no claim is made here that Democratic Presidential administrations are “holier than thou”!
The Republican Party and conservatives are having a field day on the supposed Obama scandals over the Benghazi, Libya terror attack that killed the ambassador and three others; over the improper investigation of right wing groups by the Internal Revenue Service; and the investigation of Associated Press journalists on the basis of a national security investigation.
We are being told that Barack Obama is another Richard Nixon, when it is more appropriate to say that Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are examples of another Richard Nixon, to a much greater level!
Nixon was involved in the promotion of break ins; internal revenue service investigations of political opponents, including Ted Kennedy; had an “enemies list”; had his aides do “dirty tricks”; blocked investigations by the Congress and the FBI. He undermined the Presidency in massive ways, and abused power in ways that have harmed the image of the Presidency ever since.
Ronald Reagan may have had a more pleasant persona, but he authorized illegal activities against Nicaragua, backed arms sales to Iran, feigned ignorance of Iran Contra, and promoted secrecy and suspicion of his opponents.
George W. Bush promoted deception and lies to get American into Iraq; engaged in the exposure of a CIA agent who opposed what he was doing; gave his Vice President Dick Cheney unprecedented power to abuse his position; had the IRS investigate liberal groups; engaged in lies and deception not seen seen Richard Nixon.
Barack Obama is NOT engaged in corruption of any kind, but his enemies are pursuing him as if he was the abuser that Nixon, Reagan and Bush II were, but it is all theater, and just like the pursuit of Bill Clinton for his personal behavior, it will fail, and the GOP will suffer as a result!
The sad part of this hot pursuit of Obama is that even liberal media are jumping on the bandwagon of attack, and they should be ashamed of themselves, as they demonstrate no knowledge of history, and are just pursuing a story to build up circulation and readership and make money, a sad moment for the media, when they allow the right wing propaganda to control them!
Barack Obama has fought for higher taxes on the wealthy, and brought them about in 2013, as Bill Clinton did in 1993.
Under Bill Clinton, we had the greatest period of economic prosperity in American history, the rich paid more, and the country did not tank!
Now under Barack Obama, the deficit in government spending is rapidly declining, and the stock market is at an all time high, both occurring as we see higher taxes on the wealthy once again!
The Republicans complain bitterly once again, and again, they are wrong, and economic expansion is occurring, even with the GOP attempts to block it, and instead, draw attention to what they call “scandals”, which, by comparison with scandals and controversies under George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, pale by comparison!
The result of the GOP political “dirty tricks” is that they will NOT harm Barack Obama’s historical accomplishments, or Hillary Clinton’s chances for the White House, which depend only on her desire to run. If she runs, she is the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017!
President Barack Obama has been President for more than four years, and is in the crucial first year of his second and last term in the White House.
The time for applause over his second term victory is over, and he must face the facts that his administration is in crisis, caused by his own lack of outfront leadership over what goes on during his watch in the Oval Office!
The Benghazi matter is being politicized, but more needs to be revealed about that tragedy, and no coverup is going to work, although it seems clear there is no “smoking gun” on that issue.
The confusion over the IRS checking out conservative and Tea Party groups is reprehensible, and it must be made clear who was involved, people appointed by the President, or civil service bureaucrats who have gone way beyond their authority, and abused their positions. Heads must roll, and if it is the bureaucracy, then the whole agency must be cleaned up of those who have broken the law, and prosecutions must follow quickly!
The Associated Press matter, if related to national security matters, must also be revealed in total, as media should never be interfered with by the Justice Department, and a full investigation must be pursued, with Attorney General Eric Holder properly recusing himself in this matter.
The point is, that despite Republicans gleefully jumping on these controversies, it is yet possible that nothing that Obama could have done would have been able to prevent these controversies, but he MUST be proactive, not laid back and withdrawn, which has too often been his mode of operation in his first term.
Obama is in danger of ending up like other second term Presidencies, in the midst of scandals which undermine their legacy, no matter how good those legacies might be.
Progressives do not want Obama to end up in the troubled historical legacy of such predecessors as:
Ulysses S. Grant–Credit Mobilier Scandals
Harry Truman–several minor scandals
Dwight D. Eisenhower—Sherman Adams Scandal
Richard Nixon–Watergate Scandal
Ronald Reagan–Iran Contra Scandal
Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinksy–Paul Jones Scandals
George W. Bush—Scooter Libby Scandal
The only way to avoid this fate is PROMPT, ASSERTIVE, PROACTIVE leadership by our 44th President, who has done so much good, and should not allow his enemies to destroy him by a policy of passivity, and leading from behind!
For anyone who wonders when the Presidential Election campaign of 2016 will begin, it is now clear that it has begun this month, May 2013, with the Republican Party unwilling to change its image, policies or beliefs, and setting out to destroy the candidate who is favored by 65 percent of the American people, former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!
Hillary Clinton is accustomed to massive assaults on her character, her ethics, her public record, as she became the most attacked First Lady in American History, with possibly the exception of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who like Hillary Clinton, represented a fundamental set of principles and values that terrified conservatives and Republicans in the 1930s, and again in the 1990s.
So Hillary Clinton, a very tough lady, must decide if she is willing to take the heat, venom, poison, and utter contempt that she will have visited on her over the next three and a half years. Her husband was vilified from DAY ONE, and yet managed to produce a record far superior to earlier or later Bush Presidencies.
Hillary Clinton, if she decides ultimately to run for the White House, will have to deal, also, with the reality that when and if she becomes President, she will not have a restful day, but that is par for the course, as it was for Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and now Barack Obama.
But as long as the American people continue to see her as the first woman President, who see her as a visionary who will fight the good fight against the Right Wing hate machine on Capitol Hill, on Talk Radio, and on Fox News Channel, as well as powerful pressure groups that work against the interests of the masses of the American people, she will triumph and make the Republicans like it, and if they do not, she will have the personality to condemn them openly, and not be as “nice” as Obama has been, to his own detriment!
Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has indicated second thoughts about her vote in the infamous Bush V Gore case of December 2000, when the Court decided to intervene in the 2000 Presidential Election controversy between Al Gore and George W. Bush in Florida.
The Supreme Court decided that the vote recount ordered by the Florida State Supreme Court should be halted, giving the victory to Bush, and leading to his election by the miniscule margin of 537 votes, and making him the Electoral College winner by 271-266.
Now, O’Connor has expressed regret that the Court did something it had no precedent to do, decide the election results in a closely competitive contest by far less than one percent of the vote. Where does it state in the Constitution that the Supreme Court should so intervene? The state Supreme Court should have been the final determinant, and possibly, Bush would have won anyway, but at least the Supreme Court would not have done what was a revolutionary precedent!
It could be that O’Connor feels guilt because she is well aware of the disasters that occurred under George W. Bush, and the beginning of the attempt to change his historical image, through the opening of his Presidential Library this week in Dallas, Texas.
We will never know whether Al Gore would have been a better President, but it is hard to believe that he would have been worse than Bush turned out to be!
Former First Lady Barbara Bush is disarmingly frank and outspoken, and her statement that her son Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor, was very well qualified to run for President, but should not, as there have been enough Bushes in the Presidency, is an assertion which will reverberate through the Republican Party, and not for the good of the party’s future!
The fact that the former First Lady said this on the day of her older son’s opening of his Presidential library, with just about everyone knowing that his administration was a near total disaster, is telling.
It is clear that Jeb Bush is smarter, more competent, and would have made a better President than George W, but that is water over the dam!
The fact is that she is correct that a family should not have a monopoly of the Presidency, and that we should not have dynasties, and the reality that the Bushes took up twelve years in the White House, plus eight years in the Vice Presidency, is certainly enough for any family, more than any other family in history!
But when one looks at the potential Republican field of Presidential candidates for 2016, one has to say that, in many ways, Jeb Bush MIGHT be the best candidate the party could field, other than Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, but it is clear Huntsman has ZERO chance to be the GOP nominee for 2016, because he is too smart, too qualified, too mainstream, too sane, to be chosen by this disaster of a party in 2013!
What is left is Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Chris Christe, Scott Walker and a few other also rans, and when one looks at this list, it is clearly pitiful for a great political party with a dignified and distinguished history of great Governors, Senators, and even a few Presidents!
So if a sane, competent guy, who can also appeal to Hispanics and Latinos, but sadly has the wrong last name, and a mother telling him not to run, decides to stay out of the Presidential race, then ANY chance of a real Presidential competition in 2016 is totally over, and the GOP might as well concede to Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat who might be the alternative!
Former George W. Bush “brain” Karl Rove is totally delusional, as yesterday, he declared on Fox News Channel that George W. Bush belonged with the “greats” among the Presidency, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan!
This is the same man who failed to elect most of the Republicans that he supported through his campaign organization, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars from wealthy patrons who believed he knew who to back and could win seats in Congress.
This is the same man who said on Election night that Mitt Romney was going to win, and denied the obvious Barack Obama victory when it was already happening!
Bush will make the list of Presidents as one of the FAILURES of the Presidency, in the company of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Pierce.
Rove has conveniently forgotten Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy, all of whom rank better than Ronald Reagan, who might be number 11, but not in the top ten of all Presidents!
And Bill Clinton may eventually rank above Reagan as well, and Barack Obama might also make the top ten to twelve list, when he has left the Presidency, and passions have cooled down!
For those of us who are Presidential junkies, the only time we see a group of Presidents and First Ladies together in public is at openings of Presidential libraries, and at funerals of Presidents and First Ladies.
Since these do not happen very often in either regard, today’s gathering of five Presidents and five First Ladies at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library at the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was an exciting moment, no matter how one feels about the Presidency of George W. Bush.
Seeing Jimmy Carter looking hale and hearty; George H. W. Bush in a wheelchair in obviously poor health although only being less than four months older than Carter; Bill Clinton his usual talkative, charismatic self; George W. Bush being very positive, despite the clear cut failures of his time in office; and Barack Obama, always good with saying the right things, was fascinating!
Seeing Rosalynn Carter and Barbara Bush looking good, considering their advanced age; Hillary Clinton looking ready to run for President any time now; Laura Bush being her usual sweet self; and Michelle Obama looking always as an elegant lady, was also very inspiring!
Of course, Nancy Reagan, while not mentioned, was absent, as she is in her early 90s and not in good health.
And we saw the two daughters of Lyndon Johnson and of Richard Nixon, along with the daughter of Gerald Ford, but no other Presidential children, other than the two daughters of George W. Bush, of course! But only Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Reagan and his first wife, Jane Wyman, was present, not the son and daughter of Nancy Reagan, Ron Jr. and Patti. And neither was Caroline Kennedy, or the other children of Gerald Ford, and none of the children of Jimmy Carter, or the Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea!
In any case, for those who are into photographs of a group of Presidents or First Ladies, today was a very good day!
Every American President has obvious attributes and shortcomings, and the job of historians is to assess both, and come up with a reasonable conclusion on the tenure of each occupant in the White House.
George W. Bush has now been out of office for four years and three months, and has stayed out of the public eye and controversy, unlike his controversial Vice President, Dick Cheney.
Bush’s purpose in life is to begin the rehabilitation of his shattered image, primarily based on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the economic collapse in his last months, known as the Great Recession.
This is a lot to overcome, and having allowed Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to have so much impact on policy making does not help Bush’s quest to be seen as a President who did his best in difficult times.
Tomorrow, at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas, a few hundred miles from his father’s library in College Station on the campus of Texas A & M, all four former Presidents will be present, along with President Obama, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, and many other dignitaries.
The new library will allow visitors to make judgments on whether they would have done any differently in the major crises of his eight years in office.
The library also avoids much attention paid to Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush’s political genius, Karl Rove, who, like them, remains highly controversial and divisive in the minds of many Americans.
It will be argued that Bush is trying to manipulate history, and of course he is, but every President in his library attempts that.
Will a reassessment of Bush change the view of C Span scholars who in 2009, rated him 36th of 42 men who have been President?
Likely, over time, and particularly after his future demise, whenever that is, the image of George W. Bush will rise somewhat from the depths, but it is hard to imagine him going higher than say number 30 out of 43, and certainly, there is NO chance that he will surpass his father, rated 18th out of 42 in the C Span poll in 2009.