So George W. Bush is looking pretty good these days, according to his polling and Dana Milbank’s report on a recent interview. Phase 1 of the image rehab, Hiding Out, has gone splendidly; Phase 2, Quietly Doing Charity Work, is succeeding in Africa, and Phase 3 is, per Milbank, the Graciously-Above-Politics Interview. Done.
Bush, who left office as a political figure ridiculously despised and strategically ignored by the two major parties, respectively, is suddenly an ex-president, one of the most beloved roles in America. And people like him much more now. Even, PostScript has to concede, in the comments to Milbank’s column.
While there was plenty of hating, the most important thing about Bush was explained by arnoldspritzburg:
Pssssssttt!!! Hey libs! C’mere! [whispering] I have a secret to tell you [glances over both shoulders...] BUSH IS NOT PRESIDENT ANY MORE!!!!!! You’re going to have to start to learn to deal with that reality, loobers.
But some loobers (loobers? Is that a thing?) are learning to deal with that reality pretty well. Centsorsense is cool with Bush, as long as he’s not president or in charge of things or doing much in America anymore or part of the partisan bickering:
Bush has always seemed like a nice guy. Now that he isn’t in the White House with Cheney at his side, he is doing small things right.
blbixler says, well, Bush had nowhere to go but up:
Bush’s place in history can be improved by pretty much any positive action. Even giving a quarter to a homeless vet would be an improvement on his administration’s policies.
The only good thing that George W. accomplished was the destruction of the GOP.
Okay, PostScript knows those were not exactly glowing endorsements. But for Bush, and Bush-dislikers, that is remarkably positive Internet, right there.
Which k-paul considers a mark of success:
The truly great Presidents are both adored and despised. Lukewarm acceptance is the mark of a failed presidency.
dr_vaman says it’s awfully hard to dislike Bush now that he is, literally and rhetorically, out of the game. The current players are the ones we hate:
Bush told Karl “it’s very important for people not to be overly critical of someone else until you’ve examined your own heart.” This statement is very important for people like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and some Republicans. Perennial lying by Reid and Pelosi and irrelevant speeches by Obama have hurt this nation. Republicans sticking to some principle whatever that is above the nation’s health is also ridiculous at best. I hope the key statement made by George Bush in this article is taken seriously, and people start living with each other’s’ views.
And quark2 says, it’s just how America rolls. Or rather, swings. We’re pendula:
Nixon resigned in disgrace & became the elder statesman. Bill Clinton is now a plus & welcomed by campaigners. It was only a matter of time before Bush reemerged. It will take decades really before history will honestly be able to judge.
The only way to win is not to play. Or to have played, but stop, but still be active in good causes, but also do something weird and artistic that people do not expect, and continue not playing. Like the adage says.