Let me put this out in front: I am a liberal. Not a shocking revelation, but true. I hate the current administration and almost everything they've done. (I say "almost" because there might be something I didn't hate even though I can't think of an example right now.) I used to hate Bush. I say "used to" because...well, I don't anymore. I don't like him, and I would never vote him into any office higher than "guy in charge of picking up the keg".
I think I really stopped hating him when I watched this video. For the first time, I didn't see him as a cocky, defensive, incompetent asshole. I saw him as a man who has been defeated. He fought for his immigration bill--I think it was the first thing that he did as president. Not his staff, not his advisors--this was his bill, and he got destroyed. For the record, I thought it was a pretty good bill. It wasn't perfect, but nothing is--and like he said in the video, the status quo is unacceptable and we need change.
Bush is a great politician. He can campaign like no one's business--he was reelected in 2004 despite the fact that his administration screwed up, everyone knew it, and people were really getting pissed off. You have to respect that ability to win despite everyone's better judgment. So--good politician, horrible president. I don't think he's as dumb as he acts, I don't think he's a bad person, I just think he's an incompetent leader.
The shitstorm surrounding Dick Cheney has really shown that Bush has not acted like the president. He has consistently allowed his advisors and staff to make decisions, leaving him to sign the papers. He should have paid attention. He should have been well-informed. He should have been involved in these decisions. He should have been a leader.
I don't hate him for it. I can't respect him because of it. I feel sorry for him because of it. I feel sorry for us because of it.
So, how could he redeem himself? Politically, I think that the best possible move for him is to force Cheney to resign and to apologize for what he and his administration have been responsible for.I think that if he just stood up and said "We screwed up. I screwed up, a lot. Dick Cheney will be resigning from his post, and we plan to move ahead for the next year and a half to try to correct some of our mistakes. I'm sorry." I think he needs to stand up, be a leader, and stand firm against Cheney. Honestly, I think that if he did that he would avoid impeachment. He would finally get the place in history books that he wants so badly--and at least that would be favorable.
If he did those things (and I doubt he will) I still wouldn't like him. It wouldn't undo the past seven years. We'd still be in Iraq, we'd still have warrantless wiretaps, we'd still have torture and abuse and secret prisons. But for the first time in seven years, I would have some respect for George W. Bush as a person and as a president.
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