Monday, January 19, 2009

Congratulations to President George W. Bush

On the last full day of the Bush presidency, let me extend my congratulations to our President for fulfilling every expectation placed upon him when he first ran for our nation’s highest office. Specifically, he didn’t cheat on his wife.

When Bush said he’d restore honor and dignity to the White House, did anyone think he was talking about public policy? No, he meant no interns under the desk.

And I have every reason to believe he fulfilled that sacred promise.

We must remember that Bush did not run as a policy wonk, or visionary, or commander-in-chief. He ran as an alternative to the morally permissive (and promiscuous) ways of the Democrats, as exemplified by Bill Clinton. He ran as someone who would freak-the-hell-out if Janet Jackson’s nipple was exposed on television.

Our nation got exactly what it was promised: a dull person, in every since of the word.

We got a bland mind in bland body. Someone with the ingenuity and sex drive of a 1950s sitcom. A placeholder in history who could occupy the Oval Office for four (or eight) years without once forcing Tom Brokaw to utter the phrase “oral sex.”

Unfortunately, history happened to our placeholder president. He got caught with his pants down.

He got caught with his pants down on 9/11.

He got caught with his pants down on Iraq. And Afghanistan and Hamas and Iran. And North Korea and Cuba and Venezuela.

He got caught with his pants down on Katrina.

He got caught with his pants down on the economy. On spending and the deficit. On reforming Social Security and healthcare. On jobs and regulations.

Hopefully our nation has learned something from this experience. That the president needs to be more than a “nice” guy who won’t cheat on his wife. That we need a president with intelligence and vision and ambition.

I think we did learn it. That’s why we looked past race and elected someone who wants an active government tackling real problems.

Of course, I don’t think it’ll take too long before we forget it again. Before we grow complacent. And distracted. History is cyclical after all. But don’t count me as cynical. We’re here now, with President Obama ready to take the oath of office tomorrow, and I for one intend to rejoice in this moment in history for as long as it lasts.

No comments: