BY TAYLOR MARSH
Is President George W. Bush responsible for anything? Talking to Charles
Gibson recently about the financial fiasco that finally imploded on his watch:
GIBSON: Do you feel in any way responsible for what’s happening?
BUSH: You know, I’m the President during this period of time, but I think
when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the
decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before
I arrived in President, during I arrived in President. [...]
No doubt Bush missed the decade where Ronald Reagan deregulated everything from banking to our airwaves.
The problem is so a decade or so ago. What about being unprepared?
GIBSON: What were you most unprepared for?
BUSH: Well, I think I was unprepared for war. In other words, I didn’t campaign
and say, “Please vote for me, I’ll be able to handle an attack.”
In other words, I didn’t anticipate war. Presidents — one of the things about
the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen. [...]
Actually, that’s the point. When we elect a president we expect him/her to
be able to handle The Job. What is that job? Commander in chief, for one.
Does George consider F.D.R. part of the “modern presidency?”
He sure had to handle more than his fair share of “the unexpected.” Truman? What about J.F.K.?
For two election cycles Democrats have had to listen to Republicans and wingnut
commentators screeching about Al Gore and John Kerry, laughing at their egg
headedness, if you will. Finally, along comes Barack Obama, who is most assuredly a thinker,
but someone who learned over a long campaign to reach through the fog of words
to talk straight to Americans. But the one thing that resurfaced with Obama
is Truman’s adage that should serve him well. The buck stops with him.
As for George W. Bush, once AWOL, always AWOL. Nothing is ever George’s fault.