Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace
What must our enemies be thinking?

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

APAccording to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."

Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.

The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."

To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.

Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004

Sphere: Related Content


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you. The ridicule of president Bush has even extended to writers and illustrators of children's books. On a post today, one author/illustrator replaced the face of the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard of Oz, with that of Pres. Bush. I thought it tacky and rude to say the least and left the comment.

Anonymous said...

No matter what anyone thinks about Bush personally, he is still the President of this country and the office of the pres should be respected. In times of war or economic downturns, the President makes a great scapegoat. Look at the way Lincoln was treated - he was a sitting president who was probably the most spat upon and most savaged by the press (and by his own party) in our history, yet he is arguably the most beloved former president we have. Jimmy Carter took his lumps and was one of the most unpopular presidents but he is a good man and one of the best ex-presidents we have known. The people of this country do themselves a disservice when they dump all their unhappiness on a president and just vote for someone from the other party to spite him.

Bush didn't engineer our financial crisis but he is being made to pay for it. Neither Obama nor McCain in the White House could hope to make the situation any better. The complexities of the financial world are beyond their reach for the most part.

No matter who the president is we need to respect the office and not make him out to be a buffoon or a monster before the rest of the world. It makes us all look that way if we do.

knowitall said...

He's done a lot of wrong, I will admit that. But he wasn't alone. The left-wing illuminati in Congress did their share of wrong, but have yet to take ownership of the blame.