Thank God the psycho-drama that is the Bush administration is about to end, limping across the finish line like an injured runner who completes the marathon hours after everyone else has packed up and gone home. He stands proud in the knowledge that at least he finished what he started; only he really has no grasp of what it is that he started.
At this morning's farewell press conference, the swagger was gone, the condescending nicknames for the press were abandoned, and the relief that the country is no longer his problem was evident. One got the feeling that George W. Bush has been living in a parallel universe for the past eight years, where he was surrounded by the most intelligent minds of our generation who's agenda was simply to do what's best for the American people. The economy? Not his fault. The Iraq war? "Disappointed" that there were no WMD's. Partisanship and division? Never really saw any. The Katrina response? He allocated billions to rebuild the city. Get off my back.
I'm currently watching reruns of The West Wing on cable. As you remember, it was about a group of imperfect but well-intentioned people who were given the honor and responsibility to run the United States. Sure they made mistakes, but they always put the county first. I really find it hard to believe that conversations regarding constitutional responsibility between Leo McGarry, Josh Lyman and Toby Zeigler were ever broached by Monica Goodling, Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove. I do believe that more nights were spent by the best and the brightest from Regent University trying to figure out a way to convict Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (his only crime being that he was a Democrat) than devising a plan to make college affordable for everyone.
I just have a feeling that Bush didn't try very hard to do his job. Wanting to be the leader of the free world so you can stick it to your father is not the healthiest way to approach the presidency. And if the press conference was any indication of what went on inside the Oval Office, there was never any reasoned debate regarding the issues. I'm the President, Bub. It's my way or the highway.
He said that history will judge him decades from now, when anyone who actually experienced his presidency will be long gone. No witnesses. I tend to think it won't be much different from the way most of us judge it now, a tragic and wasted eight years.