How did we get there, GW Bush as leader of the western world for two terms?
I recall that during his first term, GW Bush reportedly said that God had called him to the presidency. He said this in a conversation with one of his favorite tele-evangelists, maybe Billy Graham. My reaction was NO WAY, BUSH! God had nothing to do with it.
So how did we come to have the most mediocre of all mediocre presidents elected twice (2000 and 2004) to lead the nation? I would argue that his election in 2000 came about because of these factors: Monica Lewinski, whose sexual dalliance with Wm. Clinton hurt the Al Gore campaign; the electoral college, which gave Bush an electoral victory despite the fact that Al Gore won the popular vote nation wide; election fraud in Florida, followed by a political decision by conservatives on the Supreme Court giving junior Bush a very questionable victory in Florida.
So we had this not-quite-ready-for-prime-time man as our president for a four-year term, during which the tragedy of September 11, 2001 happened, followed by the so-called ‘war on terrorism.’ And GW Bush and his team exploited this to the hilt. He became a “war president.” His political operatives,led by Karl Rove, set about scaring voters into thinking that, unless the administration’s policies were followed, we would lose the war to the terrorists. So we came to the election of 2004, in which the Republican strategy was to convince voters that unless we retained the glorious leader, our Commander-in-Chief, the terrorists would eat us up. The strategy was successful. Of course, the Karl Rove dirty tricks and swift-boat-campaign smearing of John Kerry also helped. So in 2004, with questionable returns in Ohio, the voters returned this less-than-fabulous GW Bush to the White House.
It wasn’t until later in the second term (2006) that voters finally woke up and detected the true colors of Mr. Bush and rejected his Congressional Republican allies in the 2006 mid-term election. After the tragic failures of the Iraqi policy, the utter incompetence in dealing with the Katrina disaster, the corruption and ineffectiveness of the Congressional Republicans, the mess in the Justice Department created by Cheney, Rove, and Gonzales, and a few other events — only then did the majority of citizens finally awake to the fraudulence, corruption, and general incompetence of the GW Bush administration.
So who were the best allies to the GW Bush political fortunes? Try Monica Lewinski and Osama bin Laden (and his merry bunch of terrorists). Without these elements, our man GW Bush would never have come within shouting distance of the White House.
Isn’t the study of history wonderful?
Another note regarding the appearance of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker before the congressional committees to explain the so-called troop surge in Iraq: General David Petraeus looked great in his General’s uniform, with all those ribbons and silver stars. Obviously, the congressional committee members were star struck! By comparison, the ambassador to Iraq, Crocker, looked very drab in his businessman’s suit. Why didn’t Petraeus lend him a few ribbons to make him look impressive too?
(I asked my wife to make me a jacket like Petraeus wore, with ribbons and silver stars. But she refused.)