Friday, April 26, 2013

Bush vs. Obama: Class vs. Crass-Humility vs. Hubris; Syria: What Will Obama Do Now?

Breaking: Andy Reid Trades First Overall Pick For Bite Of Double Bacon Cheeseburger...The Onion

  • I'm not going to try to defend George W. Bush's policies. I'll leave that to historians. But if there are clear differences between Bush and Obama, they were in evidence at yesterday's opening of the Bush library. It's become increasingly clear this man knows it was never about him (even though his critics said it was). For Bush, it was all about the country. "The United States of America must strive to expand the reach of freedom...It was the honor of a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble as the United States," said Bush yesterday. I just can't see Pres. Obama uttering those same words (in fact, it brings to mind what Michelle Obama said upon her husband getting the nomination in 2008 when she said it was the first time in her life she was proud of America).  Contrast this with the current president's obsession with lecturing us, with attacking us (he even did it to the Supreme Court justices in his first State of the Union). So should anyone be surprised that the Bush poll numbers are virtually tied with Obama's now?  Peggy Noonan wrote, "Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 because he was not George W. Bush." Then she goes on to point out, "Mr. Bush is popular now because he's not Obama." In Obama, more Americans clearly see a man who appears arrogant. In Bush, most Americans didn't think he thought of himself as superior. He gave the impression he was grateful to serve the country. Noonan relates a story of an old political operative who visited Obama in the Oval office and came away "worried and confounded" because he felt Obama didn't appear awed by his surroundings.
  • At yesterday's gathering of presidents, the former presidents hit the right notes. Even Pres. Obama's speech was generally gracious to his predecessor. Yet, at one time during the speech, he felt compelled to make it political (when he spoke about immigration  reform and legislation). Once again, an attempt to refocus attention upon himself. Even Politico, not exactly a conservative publication, wrote this of Obama this week: "Hubris in a leader is an obnoxious thing leading to imperiousness in governing...Unfortunately, the president's high-handedness and self-absorption have been accumulating in the last several months..." My only criticism with this piece is the writer is off by 4 years.
  • So whatever you may think of George W. Bush's policies, the fact is he's a good man who always knew it was about the country not about him. Unfortunately, I don't believe we can say the same thing about our current president.

  • Yesterday, I wrote a piece about Obama's continued spreading misery to most Americans ("Obama's Magical Misery Tour"). Rich Lowry pointed out today that---in the past---budget showdowns have always treated air-traffic controllers as "essential employees."  Lowry also wrote the administration---in furloughing air traffic controllers---found a way to make one of the most aggravating aspects of modern American life, more aggravating. In other words, spreading more misery upon Americans. By the way, the FAA should be able to manage with less money. Their budget doubled in just the last 15 years.
  • Recent reports indicate that Assad of Syria used chemical weapons on its people. Pres. Obama drew a line in the sand last year when he said, "We have been very clear--that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized." So perhaps for the first time in his presidency, Obama now finds himself faced with what his other predecessors were faced with in terms of the use of WMD's by a dictator whose regime has murdered almost 100,000 people. You can be sure Iran is watching.