Today is the last day of George Walker Bush
's presidency. I have not been particularly kind to the President
during his administration, and it is near certain history
will remember him as one of, if not the, worst President in America's history. And so I am more than happy to see him go. He will soon disappear from the headlines, surround himself with sycophant
s and live out the life of an elder statesmen.
Yet it could have been so much worse. He was the first President to introduce a worthwhile AIDS prevention program in Africa. A year or two ago I thought he would bomb Iran on his way out of office. Instead he seems to have sunk an Israeli plan to do something futile. He has done a good job of co-operating with the incoming Obama administration.
The man isn't really evil. Dubya is merely a lightweight. Had he hired a non-ideological staff he might have enjoyed an average presidency. He was in over his head and trusted the wrong people. He isn't the first President so ill-served. Ulysses S. Grant also hired the wrong people. An even better comparison is Warren G. Harding who preferred playing cards to governing. The biggest difference was that Grant and Harding's flunkies were primarily interested in enriching themselves at the public expense. Bush's were interested in ideological purity. Unfortunately, ideologues are far more dangerous people than the merely greedy.
So goodbye George Walker Bush. We won't miss you a bit. I hope you live long and at peace. I also hope that some day that despite all the flatterers that someday you will come to understand just what you have done, and what kind of man you really are. Given your nature, that's probably the cruelest possible punishment for you.