Why I Have Come to Respect George Bush

It’s true, I really have. Of course I always respect someone who serves his country, (I’m a vet myself) especially in time of war. So the basic threshold of respect was always there. The fact that he was born in my home town probably adds to the mix, as does earning a degree from such a prestigious university as Yale. I was never impressed with his choice of vice-president and I have very mixed feelings with regard to his Supreme Court appointments. I think one has turned out very well while the other is an unmitigated disaster.

After following a presidency which might be described as turbulent it was nice when he emphasized harmony upon his taking office. Of course his handling of the budget and deficit, despite an economics background, proved abysmal. I can’t give him very high grades for his cleanup after the environmental disaster either. I do, however, have to give him credit for his handling of Iraq. You have to know when to get in, when to stay and when to get out.

I think the thing which has boosted his image the most in my mind has to be his work since his presidency. Combining with Bill Clinton to promote disaster relief for tsunami and Katrina victims follows in the best traditions of using ones notoriety in service of humanity. Both he & Clinton have quite a way to go to begin to approach the work Jimmy Carter has accomplished since leaving office, but it is a beginning. I only wish his son had listened to his father’s wise counsel before engaging in his Iraqi debacle.

Now I know his father, Prescott, was in bed with the Nazis and George did ralph on the Japanese prime minister. He also, as previously mentioned, appointed Clarence Thomas, arguably the worst and unquestionably the least inquisitive Supreme Court justice ever. The cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill was botched on his watch and the savings and loan crisis, which his son Neil so ably took full advantage of, were not exactly high points in a single term administration either.
Yet, in retrospect, who among us would not trade financial and ecological near ruin for the mess his progeny has produced. The environment is in meltdown, the economy for real people is swirling in the bowl, the country itself is almost totally polarized and the world holds us in the lowest esteem in history. Sort of makes you nostalgic for the old BushâÂ?¦doesn’t it?

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