Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Case Of The Disappearing Dubya

Among other things that Jeb "Jebbie" Bush has acting as a sea anchor on his would be presidential campaign is his idiot brother who Jebbie on the one hand wants to pretend he doesn't even know and the other hand is the source of many of Jebbie's supposed policy advisers.   A piece in Talking Points Memo looks at George W. Bush's disappearing act as Jebbie disingenuously tries to convince Americans that he isn't simply a warmed over version of his cretin brother.  Here are story excerpts:
This upcoming election marks the latest great GOP purge of history. The disappearing Dubya isn't a coincidence. It's part of a larger trend of former Republican presidential candidates being faded to black by the party whose mascot, ironically, is the elephant, an animal known for memory and longevity.

Nobody has pulled a more thorough disappearing act than George W. Bush. Unfortunately for the Republicans, Democrats and independents do have functioning memory cells. They can recall two disastrous wars, mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina, the war profiteering of Vice President Dick Cheney, rampant Wall Street deregulation, and huge tax cuts for the rich that helped the national debt to balloon out of control in tandem with defense spending. Unlike Reagan, there is no health reason for Dubya’s lack of public appearances. In fact, he is still around and healthy as a horse, perhaps due to all his vacation time as president.  (Bush holds the title of all-time great presidential vacationer, clocking in at more than 400 days of R&R.) 

The RNC solution to a mountain of damning evidence is a campaign to erase and displace—that is, erasing Bush from the public memory and displacing as many disasters as possible on to Obama. This is a test of the RNC propaganda machine to see how many people they can get to believe whatever they want.

The philosophical roots of erasing Bush from GOP history exists with neoconservatives and their patron saint. Leo Strauss is the neoconservative philosopher and darling of the Republican party. Strauss coined such semi-comical terms as reductio ad Hitlerum (comparing your opponent to Hitler). He also advocated civic mythologizing as more important than fact-based history in order to establish a new age of American exceptionalism. As a post World War II reactionary against Communism, Strauss devised radical theories about rewriting history. Ironically, his approach of bending and altering history was similar to Stalinist purges of records and erasing dissidents from public archives . . . .

If Reagan is an empty suit to be filled like exaggerated feats of heroism in a conservative piƱata, Dubya is a dark political vortex that sucks away light and hope for another Republican president. Financially, militarily, diplomatically, and by every managerial standard of leadership, Dubya is a presidential tragedy brought to you by conservative philosophers. His two terms were devastating in every major category of judging a president. There wasn't one element of government that escaped being damaged or compromised by his policy.  By the time Bush left office, it was very easy to buy into the mythology that government doesn't work, because it was many of his advisors who helped wreck the system so thoroughly that a sense of hopelessness pervaded.

What is surprising is that when he was in office the GOP establishment couldn't get enough of him, tying their party's fate to his misguided policies. Now that his policies have had time to show results (No Child Left Behind, Clean Air Act, cutting taxes for the rich and promising growth), it's Democrats who are desperate to remind the country of the results of Bush's policies, because we are still suffering from the consequences.

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