Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Confused Farewell

History will be the judge of my decisions, but when I walked out of the Oval Office this morning, I left with the same values that I took to Washington eight years ago. And when I get home tonight and look in the mirror, I'm not going to regret what I see -- except maybe some gray hair," - Former President George W. Bush.

When does stubbornness and self-confidence become a curse?

From what I can remember, and from what my parents tell me, I've been a pretty stubborn child most of my life. When my brother and I would get whippings, I would defiantly refuse to cry until I couldn't hold the pain in anymore. Think Denzel Washington in "Glory." My brother would start crying as soon as the best was revealed, which typically meant his session ended much sooner.

I always argued with my parents, I always tried to convince them I was right. When my father told me I had to pay for my own car insurance if I wanted to drive his car in high school, I told him I'd rather catch the bus. And then I waited for him to ask me to drive to the grocery store to pick up something and blackmailed him with "So this means I can drive the car again, right?"

My father once told me an interesting story. He said that if he needed my brother and I to cross a lake, he knew that if he gave my brother good instructions, my brother would make it across easily if he never had to deviate from the guidelines. He said that if he gave me the same instructions, I would completely ignore them, but I would make it across the lake no matter what.

George W. Bush is pretty stubborn as well.

He won't let go of this mantra that history will prove he wasn't that bad. So, not only is he stubborn, he's the eternal optimist.

Back in 2004, when I first got engaged in national politics to a small degree, I was one of those liberals who couldn't understand how anyone could support Bush. Then, I watched a speech he gave and realized that if I didn't already understand that he was a blithering idiot whose policies would hurt me immensely, I might be drawn to his personality and cocksure nature. I kinda sorta understood why so many people liked him.

Of course, that was before the next four years.

What I'm trying to say is that it's kind of hard for me to decided what I think about Bush. Part of me, the stubborn part, is impressed with his ability to cling to his beliefs despite any opposition. Another part of me, the sensible part, wonders if Bush's stubbornness is a sign of an enormous ego that is the true cause for all of his failed decisions. And, finally, one last part of me wonders why Bush can't just exit the stage quietly.

Because it really doesn't matter whether he had good intentions when he led this country into this morass. It doesn't matter if he loves America the same way he loves God.

Good intentions are the asphalt on the road to hell.

And, what's love got to do with it?

Sidenote: This whole flap about Obama and the oath is funny. What I'm hoping is that a black person with a national platform will put forth the theory that John Roberts purposely sabotaged Obama because his latent racism wouldn't let him swear in a black president. That would be a great charge to force conservatives to refute. Don't you think?



Lolo said...

The reason that thickheaded idiot and his compatriots are so sure that their administration will get a pass from "history" is because "history" has had amnesia in past eras.

Now that we have the forever of the internet and thanks to caching of eyewitness documentation, I think that history is going to be a whole 'nother thing.

For Bush and Co., history leads to stupidity like Bob Dole weeping like a fool at Nixon's funeral. That's right, the man wept while paying tribute to the man whose crimes were such that his gravestone reads ..... Peacemaker.

Now, in your father's metaphor you and your brother both make it across that lake. You, in your wilful stubborness, still make it across. You are successful. Now tell me, tell me one real success that Bush has had. One goal that he has fought for, bled for, set himself to until he won his goal.

He would end up drowning five feet out in that lake, unless someone came along and dropped a life preserver on him with a cartoon on how to tie it on.

Big Man said...


I hate defending Bush, but, from what I understand he has made a lot of progress in fighting AIDs in certain parts of Africa. Now, that has to be weighed against the genocide he allowed to occur, but I guess that could be counted as a success.

And I would hate to get on your bad side because you come up with some amazing insults.

T.A.N. Man said...

As your brother, I resent the idea that if I don't have to deviate from the instructions provided I will make it across the lake. If that is true, it must also be true that if don't make it across the lake, then I had to deviate from the instructions. The inevitable conclusion is that I'm a blithering idiot. Thanks!

Stubborness is a burden many of us share. Though there is honor in confidence and integrity, the same must not be our only attributes. Stubborness implies a closed ear and mind, and given the journey on which we as a people and country have embarked, and especially considering the qualities of the captian of our ship which we seem to commend in unison, the endless value of an open ear and mind should be undeniable.

Bush, whether y'all share personality traits are not, is and was an idiot. This was due is large part to his stubborness. In fact, his last words to the President and First Lady, as my wife and I read them from his lips as he boarded Executive One were "Have fun in office." Obviously, he has not come to grips with the fact that he had too much.

Lolo said...

Oh dear. I can't sum up how many ways from wrong you've fallen for the rope a dope of Bush in Africa. Yes, this administration did do some good but you know, you could do something monumental by funding just one single well in most African nations so, the bar is looooooooow.


AIDS prevention, yes but at the cost of no access to family planning or birth control. Those are the terms of Bush's "aid" to African nations. That's right. No condoms for you, african women, no condoms and absolutely no family planning or prevention of pregnancy cuz you know, you're just looking to get your freak on on our dime. MmMmyeah, cuz that's what is priority, another paternalistic finger wagging to black people. "you folks just need to keep in your pants and we'll give you some money." Sheeeeeeeeesh.

Africa needs many things, can put dollars to use in some pretty basic and crucial ways, feeding, watering and educating people in desperate need of all those things but what did the Fool do? He pulled another one of those "give with one hand and smack you with the other" scams.

Meanwhile, is Mugabe still murdering and stealing from his people? Meanwhile, are many, if not most of the african nations struggling to feed the people that are born?

We can definitely have a discussion and sharing of information on how purely full of shit Bush's little attempt at handouts to Africa were. The man was in possession of the world's most effective bully pulpit ~ he could have actually put it to use for some good but no, he's gonna wait for history to wipe his ass.

Big Man said...

I heard about that family planning thing, and I agree with your description of it. I have no desire to defend Bush, but I figured sense your challenge was to name one good thing Bush did, it couldn't be that hard. I'm sure if I actually liked him, I'd be better at this game.


I may have made a mistake in relating our father's words. I can't remember them exactly, but I believe that was their gist. That you were superior at following instructions and I was superior at following my mind.

Now, I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, particularly given the ass whipping description I gave, but that was what I got.

I agree with you that stubborness can be a detriment, just like I know that it can be a virtue.

What did that Jay-Z fellow say again?

"Foolish pride is what got me through the times I wasn't felt, it's why I ain't never played myself."

Now, I can't say I've never played myself, but foolish pride has gotten me through some tough times. It's a tradeoff I guess.

Lolo said...

Heh, I'm filing Bush under the heading of "childish things". It's much better for my blood pressure.

I know he won't stay there though. One of the things that whipped me up this past year was having to go at my man and his "oh say what you will but Reagan was a Great Leader". I've got a wonderful man and he is smarter than me by a mile but oh, the foolishness that sometimes comes out of him is something else.

Deacon Blue said...

Were I Bush, I would have simply slinked out of the White House as quietly as possible.

Then again, if Bush had been me, I like to think the past 8 years wouldn't have been quite so much of a cock-up.

Also, I have a few shreds of humility, and that pretty much already blows the idea of "if I were Bush."

In short, the man defies the normal rules. If people look at the actions of a mentally ill person or a sociopath as unfathomable or irrational or do we explain the total inscrutability of Bush's intents? I mean, the man doesn't seem mentally ill or sociopathic in the traditional clincal sense.

I think he is simply the ultimate embodiment of cluelessness. Utter and complete lack of self-awareness or other-awareness.

I am not Star Jones said...

Of course Roberts flubbed the oath....he was so sure it would be McCain's old arse.

Raving Black Lunatic