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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bush Thankathon Continues

Tributes and memories from bloggers are pouring in!

Yesterday we gave the Bush haters one last day to vent their anger at President Bush. Frankly, eight years should have been enough already.

Right Think with Rivka opened her weeklong Thankathon with this simple rule:

We all have areas of disagreement with Bush and this week wasn't meant to discuss those issues. It is meant to 'honor' him. We are taking this week to look at the things he has done right.
That's the rule I intend to follow for the remainder of this week. It's time the lefties who are demanding we respect Obama demonstrate their capacity to do the same for President Bush in this final week.

Thankathon Highlights:

Ken at The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth couldn't wait until Monday to begin the Thankathon. He used his regular feature, the Sunday Commentary to offer this:
[President Bush] understood that this enemy would not yield to negotiations or pacification but that the only course was action through strength in defeating this evil enemy. His faith in the tremendous ability and dedication of our brave men and women in uniform and his caring leadership as Commander in Chief has protected this Nation and brought freedom to thousands who had known nothing but oppression in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Many of our reflections this week take us back to the nightmare of September 11th. It was a formative time for our nation and the Bush presidency. On Tuesday, Ken reminds us of that moment at Ground Zero with this video:

That image of President Bush with the bullhorn and the cheers from the rescue workers shouting "USA, USA" will go down in history. It's also the moment when a young ten year old boy named Ben first became aware of politics and came to admire deeply the only President he has ever known. Ben's video tribute is a touching reminder of all the young people whose lives have been forever changed by the times we now live in. It will be up to the Ben's of this world to write the history of the Bush years. With that in mind, Bush's legacy is in good hands.

But there is so much more to the Bush record of achievement than war leadership. Marie's Two Cents, Dee at Conservatism with Heart (who had the brilliant idea for this Thankathon) and Right Think with Rivka all cited the very excellent article by columnist Fred Barnes: "Bush's Achievements: Ten things the president got right."

A brief excerpt:

Bush had ten great achievements (and maybe more) in his eight years in the White House, starting with his decision in 2001 to jettison the Kyoto global warming treaty so loved by Al Gore, the environmental lobby, elite opinion, and Europeans. The treaty was a disaster, with India and China exempted and economic decline the certain result. Everyone knew it. But only Bush said so and acted accordingly.

He stood athwart mounting global warming hysteria and yelled, "Stop!" He slowed the movement toward a policy blunder of worldwide impact, providing time for facts to catch up with the dubious claims of alarmists. Thanks in part to Bush, the supposed consensus of scientists on global warming has now collapsed. The skeptics, who point to global cooling over the past decade, are now heard loud and clear. And a rational approach to the theory of manmade global warming is possible.
Rivka wasn't content to let the list go at ten. She added five more:

11. Bush held his ground on Stem Cell Research.
12. Bush freed an oppressed people both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
13. Bush has enabled Iraq to be a free nation which is crucial in the middle east in fighting the war on terrorism and spreading democracy.
14. Bush has put a huge dent in the power of AlQaeda by having the guts to keep going after them and not backing down in Iraq.
15. Bush cut taxes, got rid of the marriage penalty and raised the child tax credit. He gave us the money back that Clinton stole.
A Compendium of Bush Accomplishments

Writing at Sparks from the Anvil, Wordsmith has compiled fact sheets of the Bush legacy gleaned from the White House web page. Topics include:

  • Protecting America/Global War On Terror: President Bush Has Kept America Safe, Global War on TerrorAgenda: President Bush's
  • Freedom Agenda Helped Protect The American People
  • Military Transformation: Transforming Our Armed Forces to Face the Threats of Today and Tomorrow
  • Veterans: The Bush Administration Has Provided Unprecedented Support for Our Veterans
  • Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction: Defending Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism
  • Global Health Initiatives: President Bush's Global Health Initiatives Are Saving Lives Around The World
  • Tax Relief: President Bush Helped Americans Through Tax Relief
  • Trade: President Bush Expanded And Enforced Trade Agreements To Open New Markets For American Products
  • No Child Left Behind: No Child Left Behind Has Raised Expectations and Improved Results
  • Health Care: President Bush Strengthened America's Health Care System
  • Medicare: Empowering Medicare Beneficiaries With Affordable Options
  • Faith-Based and Community Initiatives: President Bush Has Improved How We Address Human Need Through Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
  • USA Freedom Corps: USA Freedom Corps: Strengthening Service to Meet Community Needs
  • Energy and Climate Change: Diversifying Our Energy Supply and Confronting Climate Change
  • Conservation and the Environment: President Bush Has Advanced Cooperative Conservation
  • Stem Cell Research: Advancing Stem Cell Research In Ethical, Responsible Ways
  • Judicial Appointments: Judges Who Honor the Constitution
  • First Lady Laura Bush: Mrs. Laura Bush's Leadership
At Flopping Aces, Mata Harley recounts how First Lady Laura Bush (who deserves her own day in our Thankathon) expects history to judge President Bush:
His convictions and courage to face down domestic voices - even from his own party - exerting pressure for to do what is politically expedient instead of what is morally right is one of the prime reasons Laura Bush, our most gracious and elegant First Lady, says she believes that her husband was a good President for our times.

Mata concludes:

I shall miss the quiet strength of this President, as much as I shall miss the stated elegance and grace of Laura, our First Lady. In a world where media polls rule pols, and ever on the mind of an elected official is public opinion and high approval ratings, this man took the bruising personal volleys from the public and media for everything from Commander in Chief decisions to critiquing his oratory skills. He accepted it all with the grace and aplomb of a true leader…

… but he never let political pressure divert him from what he believed was right for the US and Iraq today, and our national security in the future.

It will take time for the petty ill will of the media and the public to recognize what Bush accomplished… in spite of their attempts to force this President to govern according to their agenda. What can be directly attributed to this President is a self-governing Iraq and Afghanistan - and their residents the ability to govern themselves; a Libya without a WMD programme; a Pakistan who is an ally instead of an armed enemy, and a Muslim world increasingly fed up with jihad right along with this US President.
The Last Press Conference


Monday's news conference with President Bush, the last of his presidency, was a hot topic for bloggers on Monday. Dcat at Razor Sharp Claws posted video highlights and Curt at Flopping Aces posted videos of the entire event.

President Bush expressed his disappointment(transcript) with how Democrats responded to his outreach:

President Bush: I am disappointed by the tone in Washington, D.C. I tried to do my part by not engaging in the name-calling and -- and by the way, needless name-calling. I have worked to be respectful of my opponents on different issues.

He went on to express his desire that people are respectful of President Obama in a way that they were not towards him. That's the kind of good man he is and we're still waiting for the Bush haters to learn that lesson. I'm not holding my breathe.

Dee Said Thank You in Person

I regret I have not had the opportunity to meet or hear President Bush in person. Since I have had the opportunity to hear or meet every other GOP President going back to Nixon I can't complain. But Dee, who initiated the idea for this Thankathon, did have the chance to meet President Bush and speak to him:

There were 12 of us volunteers who got to be on the tarmac waiting for Air Force One to arrive today. It was so awesome to see the motorcade pull in and then to see Air Force One land. I almost had tears in my eyes as I saw him come to the door and begin to descend down the steps.

I had 3 things I wanted to say to him and I was able to get them all said. I let him know what a huge honor it was to meet him, I told him I was praying for him and that I was proud of how he was protecting our country in the war on terror. When I told him I was praying for him he said it was working!!!
Dee closed her Monday Thankathon post with the words of Thomas Paine:
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
--Thomas Paine, “The Crisis”, December 23rd, 1776

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