To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, January 25, 2021


The Real Bush Years



As the classic New Year’s song asks, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?”

Not if our auld acquaintance is the Bush regime. Yes, our country will soon be getting a new beginning, and maybe, just maybe, we can put our country back on the right path. As we head that way, however, we ought not totally put out of mind the dark path we’ve been down the past eight, lest we allow future leaders to take us there again. Let’s long remember our old acquaintances of the Bush years.

Start, of course, with George W – what a guy! Just ask him, he’ll tell you.

While he spent seven years and 11 months of his tenure trying to thwart media scrutiny of his life and actions, in this final month he’s suddenly popping up everywhere, eager to reveal the inner George.

The essence of his self-assessment as president is that while not everything he pursued worked out perfectly, he should be viewed as a bold, transformative and even profound president. “An old sage,” he called himself during a December Q&A session.

Wow. A sage. What can you add to that? Let’s hope that some loved one thought to buy a tube of Reality Gripper for him as a Christmas gift.

In fairness, though, George is not the only one who’s saying that he’s been absolutely terrific. Top-ranking officials of his administration are also vouching for his overall excellence. In case they’re not sure what to say, the White House PR office has very helpfully provided a two-page memo of talking points for the officials to follow in their public appearances.

Titled “Speech Topper on the Bush Record,” this dandy document extols Bush as a terror on terrorists, a courageous tax-whacker, etc. Indeed, in two pages of bullet points, the memo finds not a single flaw in the marvelous man’s record. Amazing!

For those of you looking for a more fair and balanced analysis of the past eight years, why not trust Karl Rove?

Yes, the gnarly right-wing gnome who has been Bush’s political keeper since his first campaign in Texas is now directing the “Bush Legacy Project.” Rove and a crew of faithful White House Bushites are crafting a comprehensive overview of the boss’s tenure, coming soon to an IMAX near you, no doubt.

All indications are that these diligent diggers have also been unable to find any flaws in the Great Man’s record. What a legacy!

One common theme to emerge from this presidential positioning is that, above all, George W. Bush maintained “the honor and dignity of his office.”

Gosh, one wonders if Reality Gripper can be bought by the case.

There’s no need to dwell on the negative, but as we wave bye-bye to Bush and Co., it’s worthwhile to offer a few of our own bullet points highlighting some of their greatest hits:

Stealing the 2000 election.

The Patriot Act.

“Dead or Alive.”

Pre-emptive war.

Iraq “will be a cakewalk.”

Weapons of mass destruction.

“Bring ’em on.”

Troops with no body armor.

“Mission Accomplished.”

Osama bin Forgotten.

Abu Ghraib.


Secret renditions.

Torture memos.

Walter Reed Hospital scandal.

“I’m the decider.”

Valerie Plame.

Scooter Libby.



Harriet Miers.

Alberto Gonzales.

Fired federal prosecutors.

Illegal spying on Americans.

Executive privilege.

Signing statements.

Secret energy task force.

Fake News Releases.

Cheney shoots a lawyer.

Tax cuts for the rich.

More tax cuts for the rich.


National debt.

“Heck of a job, Brownie.”

Minneapolis bridge collapse.

Global climate change.

Privatize Social Security

Veto of children’s health care bill.

No Child Left Behind.

Deregulate Wall Street.

Bail out Wall Street.

Iraqi journalist throws shoe.

Approval rating down to Richard Nixon’s historic low.

It’s said that the worst job in the circus is cleaning up after the elephants. As we move on from the Bush years, we can’t ignore the messes they left. There’s a great deal of cleaning up to do.
Jim Hightower’s columns appear regularly in The Oklahoma Observer

Creators Syndicate

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Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.