W: ‘So, Yeah… I Was Pretty Much Right All Along’

 

620x349For six long years George W. Bush has kept opinions about Obama’s policies to himself. While Cheney has more than made up for the absence of the last administration’s feelings, W was of the mindset that it is “unpresidential” to speak badly of other Presidents. Maybe he is right, but certainly to the chagrin of Conservatives.

That was until Saturday night when W spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas. During his speech he stated the obvious (to us Conservatives) but nonetheless, it was refreshing to hear it from the man who has been the bane of every political bomb thrower, blamer and punchline.

Selected statements as reported from Bloomberg:

Obama, in his view, was placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world. He also said Obama was misreading Iran’s intentions while relaxing sanctions on Tehran too easily.

Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”

On Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011, he quoted Senator Lindsey Graham calling it a “strategic blunder.”

Obama promised to degrade and destroy Islamic State’s forces but then didn’t develop a strategy to complete the mission, Bush said. He said that if you have a military goal and you mean it, “you call in your military and say ‘What’s your plan?’ ” He indirectly touted his own decision to surge troops to Iraq in 2007, by saying, “When the plan wasn’t working in Iraq, we changed.”

“In order to be an effective president … when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”

I don’t know if W finally letting loose has anything to do with his brother’s likely candidacy for President. One would hope that, like most of us, it’s simply because he has had enough of the feeble and feckless foreign policy, whose disastrous results will be hoisted onto the next President.

Whatever your opinion is of the Iraq War and the interventionist policies of the last administration, the indisputable fact is that the 2007 surge worked. Iraq, in a relative sense, was stable.

In 2015 American troops still have a presence in Korea, Japan, Germany, and sparingly located in other historic hotspots worldwide. Obama’s inability to negotiate a new status of forces agreement is, by all measures, one of the most consequential foreign policy failures in modern history.

As we head toward 2016, Hillary must either decide whether she wants to defend Obama’s policies or hide from them. With Obama’s predecessor now apparently comfortable entering back into political forum, I hope we hear much more of W’s reality based perspective.

There are 38 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Woo-Hoo, Dubya!  Thanks, DS!  By the way, anyone who hosts/participates in a yearly Wounded Warrior Ride “Because I sent these folks into battle. I have a responsibility toward them.” has my everlasting respect, regardless of his brother.

    • #1
  2. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    I’ve always admired the fact that W and his father have the class, dignity and respect for the office to refrain from criticizing previous presidents.

    However, after watching the WH Correspondent’s Dinner last week, I was so appalled at Obama’s decidedly unpresidential attacks on many Republicans (not to mention his Comedy Central presentation and Michelle’s Vegas show girl attire) I say it’s high time to take the gloves off!

    • #2
  3. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    I, for one, think W has an obligation to speak out. He was president and understands the inside baseball of these issues.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    GW’s presidency was shaped, I believe, as much by watching Clinton screw up the whole world as by anything else.

    I have to wonder if Jeb’s run is about making a course correction after watching Clinton, Kerry, and Obama once again send us off in a perilous direction.

    On the morning of January 1, 2000, the New York Times posted the most beautiful photograph of earth, and the editors called us a “big blue marble” moving through space and time.

    Bush saw us this way.

    I am engrossed in another thread today defending George, but I loved this post. Thank you.

    • #4
  5. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Did someone alert Mr. Carter that it is unpresidential to badmouth other presidents?  Or the country, for that matter?

    • #5
  6. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    “As we head toward 2016, Hillary must either decide whether she wants to defend Obama’s policies or hide from them.”

    If Hilary grows a pair, I can imagine that – like Senator Menendez – the Barry Administration can find a charge to place against her.  Not using a State Department server which might reasonably contain her emails is one such charge, but there are probably others.

    Hilary cannot step far out of line, and won’t.

    • #6
  7. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Ryan M:Did someone alert Mr. Carter that it is unpresidential to badmouth other presidents? Or the country, for that matter?

    He’s a piker compared to Obama; at least he waited until after his presidency.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The really worrying aspect of GW’s weekend remarks is that he is a man of ironclad principle. For him to break with his personal rules to make these statements could mean that things are as bad as I fear they are.

    Ugh.

    • #8
  9. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    George Bush’s reticence of the last 6 years has been admirable. I do think he should have been much more vocal in support of his actions and principles while in office, though.

    The more I think about it, the more I see that we passed a real inflection point in the public mood and perception midway his second term. That drive to discredit Bush and all of the right was led by the rabid press. I don’t know if that trend could have been blunted by anything, but it seemed he didn’t even try, didn’t recognize the danger.

    • #9
  10. user_1065645 Contributor
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    EThompson:However, after watching the WH Correspondent’s Dinner last week, I was so appalled at Obama’s decidedly unpresidential attacks on many Republicans (not to mention his Comedy Central presentation and Michelle’s Vegas show girl attire) I say it’s high time to take the gloves off!

    ET: YES! The insularity of the DC/NY press corp reminds me of the kewl kids back in high school. Outside of their own myopic circles, their 17 year old haughtiness and unjustified superiority made them pariahs. For those of us who were either in that group, or watched them with disdain, we have all thankfully matured.

    Well, most have matured… the fabulous media elites who tell us how to think still act like the pubescent hormonal group-thinkers they are. These echo chamber rugrats in adult bodies have tremendous power… and they know it. They celebrate themselves with a faux red carpet (really!), laugh willingly at low-hanging humor (another Biden joke? Shocking!) and look tremendously butthurt when their organization becomes a punchline.

    None of the speakers write their own jokes anymore, as that job is handed off to the crack Daily Show writing team (true)… in other words, these talking heads are following the example of their Teleprompter in Chief.

    Sorry.. for the rant… but these elitist numskulls should at least have the consideration to flaunt their vapid megalomania privately.

    • #10
  11. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    David Sussman:

    EThompson:However, after watching the WH Correspondent’s Dinner last week, I was so appalled at Obama’s decidedly unpresidential attacks on many Republicans (not to mention his Comedy Central presentation and Michelle’s Vegas show girl attire) I say it’s high time to take the gloves off!

    ET: YES! The insularity of the DC/NY press corp reminds me of the kewl kids back in high school. Outside of their own myopic circles, their 17 year old haughtiness and unjustified superiority made them pariahs. For those of us who were either in that group, or watched them with disdain, we have all thankfully matured.

    Well, most have matured… the fabulous media elites who tell us how to think still act like the pubescent hormonal group-thinkers they are. These echo chamber rugrats in adult bodies have tremendous power… and they know it. They celebrate themselves with a faux red carpet (really!), laugh willingly at low-hanging humor (another Biden joke? Shocking!) and look tremendously butthurt when their organization becomes a punchline.

    None of the speakers write their own jokes anymore, as that job is handed off to the crack Daily Show writing team (true)… in other words, these talking heads are following the example of their Teleprompter in Chief.

    Sorry.. for the rant… but these elitist numskulls should at least have the consideration to flaunt their vapid megalomania privately.

    The worst part is that Obama had to have spent beaucoup tax dollars and time on this presentation; he hired his own comedian!

    • #11
  12. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    EThompson:

    Ryan M:Did someone alert Mr. Carter that it is unpresidential to badmouth other presidents? Or the country, for that matter?

    He’s a piker compared to Obama; at least he waited until after his presidency.

    Excellent point.  Not that he has pulled any punches… or, I suppose I don’t want to know which punches he actually HAS pulled.

    • #12
  13. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    David Sussman:

    EThompson:However, after watching the WH Correspondent’s Dinner last week, I was so appalled at Obama’s decidedly unpresidential attacks on many Republicans (not to mention his Comedy Central presentation and Michelle’s Vegas show girl attire) I say it’s high time to take the gloves off!

    ET: YES! The insularity of the DC/NY press corp reminds me of the kewl kids back in high school. Outside of their own myopic circles, their 17 year old haughtiness and unjustified superiority made them pariahs. For those of us who were either in that group, or watched them with disdain, we have all thankfully matured.

    Well, most have matured… the fabulous media elites who tell us how to think still act like the pubescent hormonal group-thinkers they are. These echo chamber rugrats in adult bodies have tremendous power… and they know it. They celebrate themselves with a faux red carpet (really!), laugh willingly at low-hanging humor (another Biden joke? Shocking!) and look tremendously butthurt when their organization becomes a punchline.

    None of the speakers write their own jokes anymore, as that job is handed off to the crack Daily Show writing team (true)… in other words, these talking heads are following the example of their Teleprompter in Chief.

    Sorry.. for the rant… but these elitist numskulls should at least have the consideration to flaunt their vapid megalomania privately.

    oh, no.  I was hitherto blissfully unaware of the WH correspondent’s dinner.  I would be fine never knowing that the daily show folks wrote material, although I suppose it would be my first guess if asked.

    • #13
  14. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    What do you think Obama will do after leaving office? I bet he gets his own show on a big network where all he does is criticize the GOP president and tell everyone what he would do in that situation. He loves the spotlight. No way he just goes off in to the sunset. He like the sound of his voice too much.

    • #14
  15. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    As much as I appreciate W. speaking out, I really wish he had done more with respect to Iran when he was president.

    • #15
  16. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Metalheaddoc:What do you think Obama will do after leaving office? I bet he gets his own show on a big network where all he does is criticize the GOP president and tell everyone what he would do in that situation. He loves the spotlight. No way he just goes off in to the sunset. He like the sound of his voice too much.

    If he was wise, he would hop a flight out of here before the law catches up with him. (One can dream, anyways)

    • #16
  17. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    MarciN:The really worrying aspect of GW’s weekend remarks is that he is a man of ironclad principle. For him to break with his personal rules to make these statements could mean that things are as bad as I fear they are.

    Ugh.

    Much logic in that statement! Ugh is right!

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Moderator
    Ricochet
    @OmegaPaladin

    Interestingly, he avoided an outright endorsement of his brother – actually stating that he would be a hindrance to Jeb due to the perception that it’s a dynasty.  I gather he is going to avoid committing himself to a candidate in order to promote unity.

    • #18
  19. user_904 Thatcher
    user_904
    @RobertDammers

    I’m with Jay Nordlinger on W.  You don’t need to endorse him on every policy to recognise that he is a man of uncommon independence and decency.  The one aspect of Blair’s premiership I was happy about was his alignment with W post 9-11 – from which his standing in the UK has never recovered (I’m a Blair contrarian).

    I missed him immediately.  And I walk out of the room when my wife is watch satire shows that insult  him.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    Yes!!!  What a welcomed voice.  This is partly why I loved the George W. presidency.  We were shaping the world for the better, not retreating and letting the world degenerate into chaos.  The natural state of the world is not peace; it is chaos and it takes an ordering hand to keep it from falling apart.  Yes, there are limits to what the US can do, but doing nothing is not the answer.

    • #20
  21. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @

    I don’t think it matters much what he says now. In general, I think its best for former Presidents to keep out of the political fray. However, with Bush it always seems that by the time he says anything, it’s too late.

    Another consequense of Jeb’s candidacy, for better or worse, is that W now can’t say anything without being questioned. I’ve lost a LOT of respect for the Bushes. They should be actively discouraging Jeb, not lamenting about his ‘name’.

    • #21
  22. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Metalheaddoc:”What do you think Obama will do after leaving office? I bet he gets his own show on a big network where all he does is criticize the GOP president and tell everyone what he would do in that situation. He loves the spotlight. No way he just goes off in to the sunset. He like the sound of his voice too much.”

    He will live in a large population center which lots of press access and control a number of political entities which defend his programs and trouble those who would dismantle his efforts to destroy this country.  I would not be surprised if he remained in the DC area, but not in any poor section of Baltimore.

    • #22
  23. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Quinn the Eskimo:”As much as I appreciate W. speaking out, I really wish he had done more with respect to Iran when he was president.”

    It was a bridge too far.  He could not have gotten backing from Congress to do what had to be done, so he did not even try.

    • #23
  24. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    OmegaPaladin:”Interestingly, he avoided an outright endorsement of his brother – actually stating that he would be a hindrance to Jeb due to the perception that it’s a dynasty. I gather he is going to avoid committing himself to a candidate in order to promote unity.”

    If there are low-key, quiet things – including money – that W can do without gaining any press, he’ll do it.  The good word.  The thoughtful reminder of successes in Florida.  A suggestion for a personal or corporate donation, no problem.

    Standing on the stage?  Not until Jeb is being sworn in, and then only on the periphery.  Any hand in what Jeb will try to accomplish?  Only at the end of a phone line and only if asked.  One assumes that some of the personalities W worked with or against are still there and some of the impressions he gathered may still have some weight.

    • #24
  25. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    I predict that in Obama’s retirement he will – are you sitting down? – give a lot of speeches. He will also found the Barack Hussein Obama II Center for Racial Healing, an extortion outfit along the lines of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. His primary home will be a compound in Hawaii, but he will maintain a townhouse in Georgetown, a penthouse apartment in Manhattan, and a house in Hyde Park.

    • #25
  26. Quinn the Eskimo Member
    Quinn the Eskimo
    @

    donald todd:

    Quinn the Eskimo:”As much as I appreciate W. speaking out, I really wish he had done more with respect to Iran when he was president.”

    It was a bridge too far. He could not have gotten backing from Congress to do what had to be done, so he did not even try.

    While he cannot necessarily be faulted for more succeeding, given the stakes, I think he can be criticized for not doing more.

    • #26
  27. user_309277 Member
    user_309277
    @AdamKoslin

    Johnny Dubya:I predict that in Obama’s retirement he will – are you sitting down? – give a lot of speeches. He will also found the Barack Hussein Obama II Center for Racial Healing, an extortion outfit along the lines of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. His primary home will be a compound in Hawaii, but he will maintain a townhouse in Georgetown, a penthouse apartment in Manhattan, and a house in Hyde Park.

    Soooo…just like any other retired politician?  I fail to see anything nefarious here (except for the comparison to Al Sharpton).

    • #27
  28. FloppyDisk90 Member
    FloppyDisk90
    @FloppyDisk90

    David Sussman:I don’t know if W finally letting loose has anything to do with his brother’s likely candidacy for President. One would hope that, like most of us, it’s simply because he has had enough of the feeble and feckless foreign policy, whose disastrous results will be hoisted onto the next President.

    Whatever your opinion is of the Iraq War and the interventionist policies of the last administration, the indisputable fact is that the 2007 surge worked. Iraq, in a relative sense, was stable.

    I grant wholeheartedly that Obama’s foreign policy, such as it exists, is indeed feeble and feckless.  But that’s no reason to get all dewy eyed over the equally feckless military adventurism that marked our decades long intervention in Iraq.  That the IA folded like a cheap suit when faced with the equivalent of an armed mob is a glaring indictment of its failure.

    • #28
  29. user_1065645 Contributor
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    Franco:I don’t think it matters much what he says now. In general, I think its best for former Presidents to keep out of the political fray. However, with Bush it always seems that by the time he says anything, it’s too late.

    Another consequense of Jeb’s candidacy, for better or worse, is that W now can’t say anything without being questioned. I’ve lost a LOT of respect for the Bushes. They should be actively discouraging Jeb, not lamenting about his ‘name’.

    I still respect them as a family and love the fact they are so close. I am annoyed by the largess of Jebs apparent bundler pool. It appears much of Romneys backers just shifted over the Jeb.

    • #29
  30. user_1065645 Contributor
    user_1065645
    @DaveSussman

    donald todd:

    Quinn the Eskimo:”As much as I appreciate W. speaking out, I really wish he had done more with respect to Iran when he was president.”

    It was a bridge too far. He could not have gotten backing from Congress to do what had to be done, so he did not even try.

    Agreed. Iraq expended what political capital Bush had, and by 2005 the Pelosi/Reid daggers were in 2006 election cycle overdrive.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.