God Bless You President Bush!
By Susan D. Harris
The American public was still reeling from eight years of a Clinton presidency riddled with “-gates,” scandals, and impeachment when Governor George W. Bush was forced into a long battle with that strangest of all “green” monsters, former Vice President Al Gore. “Dangling chads” became the focus of a nation. When the Supreme Court finally put Florida behind us, President Bush and his staff arrived at the White House and Old Executive Office Building only to find they had been vandalized by an embittered and childish Clinton staff. Who demanded an apology from Bush spokesperson Ari Fleischer for even mentioning the vandalism? That champion of truth and sexter-to-be, Anthony Weiner. Alleging the White House was only out to smear Clinton aides, Wiener said of Fleischers’ allegations: “I just don’t believe there’s any there there.” Wordplay reminiscent of “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
A few short months later President Bush made a brief stop at an elementary school in Florida to promote literacy. It was, after all, the First Ladies passion as she held a Master’s Degree in Library Science.
Later, President Bush would be mocked and ridiculed for wasting seven minutes reading The Pet Goat to a class of school children after being notified of an attack on the World Trade Center. Looking back, we can only thank God the adults were in charge that day and that the Supreme Court stopped Al Gore from stealing an election.
Twelve years later, August 23, Russia was demanding a swift probe into a chemical weapons attack in Syria. Experts were saying time was vital, because the more time passed, the harder it would be to detect what kind of chemicals were used, if any. That day, the suburbs of Damascus were pounded in one of the heaviest strikes in days. What was President Obama doing? Spending time joking with the boys and girls soccer teams at a small high school in rural Upstate New York. This president, displaying a despicable narcissism that has sadly become the norm, abandoned ship in the midst of an international crisis to promote his own agenda. While cruising through the liberal stronghold of New York State on a “College Affordability Bus Tour,” did it never occur to the president that his time might have been better spent building a coalition to launch an attack on Syria – just in case he might suddenly decide, in less than two weeks’ time, to lob some missiles at someone?
As we look back at September 11, 2001, we cannot help but be reminded of what it was like to have real leadership in the White House. President Bush wasn’t perfect, and we may not have agreed with all his policies or actions, but we believed him when he said “Our military is powerful, and it’s prepared” and “America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.”
Who can forget President Bush standing atop the rubble, bullhorn in hand saying, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear from all of us soon?” We were strong. We were united. We had faith in the midst of despair.
President Bush’s greatest mistake may have come with waiting too long to strike Iraq as he sought approval at home and abroad. Many still believe that Saddam Hussein’s WMD’s have returned to haunt us in Syria. Liberals are already on the defensive about this, because if true, that means years of tiring their arms holding “Bush lied…” signs were all for naught.
President Bush, unlike his predecessor Jimmy Carter, has remained respectfully quiet after leaving his post. Many would like to hear him speak up, enter the fray, or impart some pearl of wisdom as we struggle to maintain our Republic under the yoke of Progressivism. But maybe it’s okay if we give him a pass on this one.
He gave his all when we needed it. He saved our economy, boosted our spirits, and stood firm in his defense of a country he loved as much as we did. The Patriot Act was born as a necessary tool to tear down the ‘wall’ built by the Clinton Justice Department – a law that “hampered communications between U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies fighting terrorism.” Perhaps we are finding that the Patriot Act, like the Constitution, was “made only for a moral and religious people” and “is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
A recent Gallup poll showed 49% of Americans expressing positive feelings about President Bush – a number that has increased sharply since he left the White House. Not long into Obama’s blundering reign, “Miss Me Yet?” signs and bumper stickers, replete with pictures of President Bush, began popping up across the country.
The answer is yes. We miss you President Bush. You were a true leader during one of our darkest hours. No matter what history records, those of us who lived through those hours will never forget that it was your leadership that held this country together when it was ready to split apart at the seams with panic and grief.
God bless you President Bush. A grateful nation misses your leadership and strength on this 12th anniversary.
Authors picks for Accompanying Music: