Christopher Buckley on Bush

He is one of the best writers I know of, and he was a speechwriter for GHW Bush and a staunch Republican. You have to read Buckley’s exquisite column, of which I will snip only a brief portion.

I voted for George W. Bush in 2000. In 2004, I could not bring myself to pull the same lever again. Neither could I bring myself to vote for John Kerry, who, for all his strengths, credentials, and talent, seems very much less than the sum of his parts. So, I wrote in a vote for George Herbert Walker Bush, for whom I worked as a speechwriter from 1981 to ’83. I wish he’d won.

Bob Woodward asked Bush 43 if he had consulted his father before invading Iraq. The son replied that he had consulted ‘a higher father.’ That frisson you feel going up your spine is the realization that he meant it. And apparently the higher father said, ‘Go for it!’ There are those of us who wish he had consulted his terrestrial one; or, if he couldn’t get him on the line, Brent Scowcroft. Or Jim Baker. Or Henry Kissinger. Or, for that matter, anyone who has read a book about the British experience in Iraq. (18,000 dead.)

Anyone who has even a passing personal acquaintance of Bush 41 knows him to be, roughly speaking, the most decent, considerate, humble, and cautious man on the planet. Also, the most loving parent on earth. What a wrench it must be for him to pick up his paper every morning and read the now-daily debate about whether his son is officially the worst president in U.S. history. (That chuckling you hear is the ghost of James Buchanan.) To paraphrase another president, I feel 41’s pain. Does 43 feel 41’s? Does he, I wonder, feel ours?

…What have they done to my party? Where does one go to get it back? One place comes to mind: the back benches. It’s time for a time-out. Time to hand over this sorry enchilada to Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden and Charlie Rangel and Harry Reid, who has the gift of being able to induce sleep in 30 seconds. Or, with any luck, to Mark Warner or, what the heck, Al Gore. I’m not much into polar bears, but this heat wave has me thinking the man might be on to something.

It gets better and angrier, with each line. Remember, this is Christopher Buckley, a conservative Republican, a speechwriter for Bush Senior. This isn’t talking. I think we’re going to see a swarm of independents making a beeline away from Bush in November. If this is where conservative Republicans are, what about the independents? At the risk of creating bad luck, I can’t see how the Dems can possibly lose this time (although, trust me, I won’t put anything past the Dems when it comes to political ineptitude).

The Discussion: 9 Comments

I think we’re going to see a swarm of independents making a beeline away from Bush in November

I am leading the charge.

September 14, 2006 @ 3:35 am | Comment

The final “paraphrase” of the Federalist Papers is priceless.

September 14, 2006 @ 3:55 am | Comment

So glad to hear it, Johnny. I knew you were salvagable. Where can I mail your Daily Kos T-shirt and MoveOn mug?

September 14, 2006 @ 3:55 am | Comment

Wow, that’s great! I’m an independent and I’m voting straight-ticket democrat this fall. I see that as the only way to restore some sanity to our government. Perhaps if they lose big this year, the GOP will then return to more sensible and traditionally conservative policies.

September 14, 2006 @ 9:06 am | Comment

Thanks Mr Buckley, for putting it into words all can understand – and for not holding on to the partisan line for sake of partisanship.

It’s time to put this leadership behind us and pay attention to what’s happening in the world.

I’m not going to advocate for Gore as a politician – but if 30 years of study have taught me anything, it has taught me that his take on global warming is correct.

September 14, 2006 @ 10:23 am | Comment

I heart Al Gore!

I like Wes Clark a lot too.

BTW, if the Democrats lose, we’d better look beyond any ineptitude on their part to dirty tricks and voter suppression on the RNC’s part.

here is a just-posted story about a Princeton prof’s demonstration of how hackable electronic voting machines are. Though keep in mind that there are plenty of low-tech ways to suppress the vote – as the record in Ohio in ’04 demonstrates.

September 14, 2006 @ 2:55 pm | Comment

Just because Republican intellectuals are openly labeling Bush one of the worst presidents in history doesn’t mean the masses will vote democratic in November. Most of my relatives who voted for Bush still think “Democrat = liberal = tax and spend, soft on terrorism.” I think each race will really be individual versus individual rather than party versus party. Here in Virginia, Democratic challenger James Webb pulled ahead of Senator George Allen in the polls after Allen made fun of an Indian-American campaign worker at a rally. Allen is now fighting back by drawing attention to Webb’s public opposition to women at the military academies back in the late 70s.

September 14, 2006 @ 7:04 pm | Comment

You never know what can happen between now and November, especially with Rove pulling the strings. But polls do show that if the election were held today the Dems would score a considerable win. Several conservatives I know can’t stand the Democrats, but will hold their nose and vote for them anyway. Just about anything seems better than Bush to most Americans. We’ll know in a few weeks.

September 14, 2006 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

I met Bush 41 on an airplane coming back from Asia a few years ago, and though I never liked him as President, I concur regarding his decency. I know a brief meeting is not enough to really know a person, but I saw how he treated a mother travelling with her three kids (one with Down’s syndrome) to get a good feel for him as a human being.

September 14, 2006 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

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