April 25, 2013

Former president George W. Bush is an honorable man. He is purpose-driven, honest and sets a good example for my 11-year-old and 13-year-old kids to follow.   I hope in his remarks today at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum President Obama says something to acknowledge that Bush is an extraordinarily good and decent man.

All the vitriol directed at him bewilders me. Why all the personal animus? It wasn’t because of what he said. Bush never called anyone a name. I don’t think he spoke ill of his political opponents, ever. It also wasn’t what he did. His most controversial decisions surrounding the invasion of Iraq were almost universally supported by Democrats at the time.

(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Former presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

Bush brought character to his decision-making. He must have believed what he was doing was right because so many of the decisions he made avoided taking the easy way out and were, at best, politically risky. I don’t understand the level of contempt his critics have for him. The only thing I can see is that the left hates much of what he still stands for and how he has lived his life.  Bush went to church and he was not shy about his Christian faith.  He is a southerner, a Christian, a family man, a conservative and a white Texan, and he beat the Democrats at the ballot box — twice. It must make them crazy.

The ultimate judgment of the American people will be fair, even if the Bush haters and leftist snobs here and overseas will never be fair. Even today, Bush’s obvious ambivalence toward his critics appears to torment them. They wish he would act defeated, but he isn’t. In politics, sometimes the best revenge is to keep your chin up.

More on George W. Bush and the Bush Library:

Julian Zelizer: 5 Myths about George W. Bush

Ed Rogers: Why do they hate Bush?

Stephen F. Knott: Bush is a victim of rush to judgment

Jennifer Rubin: Bush is back

George W. Bush: Extend the fight against AIDS to other diseases

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.