We Won't Have George Bush To Kick Around Any More

[ Posted Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 – 16:43 UTC ]

Maybe I should re-think that title. After all, when Richard Nixon said "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more," it was in 1962 -- long before his stunning political comeback. But since we have the Twenty-Second Amendment and Bush has already done his time in office, I think I'll be pretty safe when I say that left-wing bloggers (and comedians and political cartoonists everywhere) are starting to feel a little... empty... looking towards a future without George Bush in it.

Bush, if nothing else, was a perpetual fount of things to both laugh at and excoriate him for. And, in some odd "Stockholm Syndrome" kind of way, my guess is that on one level (providing easy material), we're going to miss him.


But not all that much. Dan Froomkin at nicely sums up the Bush years in an extraordinary single paragraph that really says it all:

He took the nation to a war of choice under false pretenses -- and left troops in harm's way on two fields of battle. He embraced torture as an interrogation tactic and turned the world's champion of human dignity into an outlaw nation and international pariah. He watched with detachment as a major American city went under water. He was ostensibly at the helm as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression took hold. He went from being the most popular to the most disappointing president, having squandered a unique opportunity to unite the country and even the world behind a shared agenda after Sept. 11. He set a new precedent for avoiding the general public in favor of screened audiences and seemed to occupy an alternate reality. He took his own political party from seeming permanent majority status to where it is today. And he deliberately politicized the federal government, circumvented the traditional policymaking process, ignored expert advice and suppressed dissent, leaving behind a broken government.

The whole Froomkin column is worth reading, as it also "reviews the reviews" of Bush's final press conference yesterday. The verdict from the Fourth Estate does not bode well for Bush's attempts to salvage some sort of legacy from the wreckage of the past four years.


Meanwhile, Jacob Weisberg (over at Slate) has comprised the final "Top 25 Bushisms of all time." As we look back at the Bush years, who can forget such memorable lines as these:

1. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

4. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across the country." --Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

8. "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." --Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

12. "There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." --Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

15. "It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet." --Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

16. "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." --U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000

19. "I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep on the soil of a friend." --on the prospect of visiting Denmark, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005

22. "You know, when I campaigned here in 2000, I said, I want to be a war president. No president wants to be a war president, but I am one." --Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2006

24. "They misunderestimated me." --Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

25. "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." --Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

Dark dungeons of the Internet? Excuse me?


But I'd like to actually end today on a compassionate note towards President Bush and his family. Because one thing I'm bipartisan about is First Pets. Especially First Cats.

And I'm sad to report that our serving First Cat -- India "Willie" Bush -- has gone to the great catnip fields in the sky, at the ripe old age of 18. While many are not even aware that the Bushes owned a cat (his dogs Barney and Miss Beasley get all the press, it seems), they got the black short-haired cat when their twin daughters were nine, and she has been with President Bush ever since (she was left behind in the White House when the twins went off to college). India was named for Texas Rangers ballplayer Ruben "El Indio" Sierra (Bush used to own the team), and was also called "Willie" by the family.

And, endearingly to cat owners everywhere, the family also called the First Cat by the name of "Kitty" -- which all cats answer to... if there's the possibility of food involved. The website (appropriately) has the story, and Sky News has a great photo of India/Willie/Kitty standing her ground with Miss Beasley. A few other India photos: on a couch, prowling around the Christmas tree, and two (that are particularly amusing, if you look at how tightly Laura is gripping that cat -- so as to not have a cat-and-dogfight on her own lap) other Christmas White House pet photos.

I offer my condolences to the entire Bush family at this time for their loss. The loss of a pet is always a traumatic time which should transcend political differences, and I grieve with President Bush, First Lady Bush, and Jenna and Barbara as well.

Requiescat In Pace
India Willie Kitty Bush


[Note: Still no word from the deathbed (or, if you prefer, the "ninth life") of Socks Clinton, who now lives with Betty Currie.]


-- Chris Weigant


One Comment on “We Won't Have George Bush To Kick Around Any More”

  1. [1] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Time for a LOL pic:

    "I can has new president?"

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