Let's look into the future. Not the one with all the projected bread lines. Let's look into the non-economic hysteria future -- say five years from now. Maybe we're in a second Obama term. Either way, we've had some time to reflect on Bush years. He's quietly tucked away in his Dallas whites-only suburb -- rarely heard from.
In the strategically chosen location of the 9th Ward -- there's a group of raucous young people having a celebration. Decorating the room are effigies, near beers and "mission accomplished" banners. Everyone sips super watered-down drinks called "Hurricane Katrinas." The cocktail weenie hor' derves are served with Bill of Rights napkins. Everyone brought bags of unwanted shoes to donate to charity (after they get thrown at the dummies). All the attendees are wearing name tags that read things like "Hello my name is Turd Blossom" and "Hi, I'm Ostrich Legs." Later, they will announce their annual "C Student" scholarship for business majors. And then there will be the pretzel eating contest.
What is this group? It's none other than the George W. Bush Society. Their yearly gala (that happens every six months...'fuzzy math') is a riot!
The Dick Cheney look-a-like contest was cut after more than two people showed up as Darth Vader. "Ok, we get it. Ha. Ha." The game Duck, Duck, Decider was also a dud. But really, it's about the catchphrases: Members gleefully yell out gems like "Don't forget Poland!", "Yeah, so what?" and "I've been misunderestimated." Its half satire, half street theater, half earnest send up (fuzzy math) -- and it's all Bush.
The Millard Fillmore Society started in the post-Watergate era of the 1970's. It was a group that honored mediocrity to celebrate the otherwise unremarkable 13th president of the United States of America. They held an annual birthday party for the President, plus a national essay contest with the title "What would America be today if there had been no Millard Fillmore?", and the publication of a magazine, "Milestones with Millard."
No word on if they still meet. They don't have a website. If they did, I bet it wouldn't be very helpful... on purpose.
Is George W. Bush the worst president we've ever had?
Before Dubya came on the scene, most historians agreed the worst president in the history of the United States was number fifteen, James Buchanan. Apparently, they think that the Civil War could have been avoided if Buchanan wasn't as impotent and he was incompetent. Touchy. Touchy. Buchanan said that 'history will vindicate my memory.' Clearly not.
Bush has said of his presidency, "History is going to have to judge." Which is often said by people who are wrong about most things; something else wrong about who will end up judging them.
Bush, like most presidents that are about to leave office, is concerned about his legacy. What will he be remembered for? How will he be remembered? What things will be named after him? A group in San Francisco wanted to name a sewage treatment facility after the 43rd president.
That would only be fitting if the plant worked in reverse.
Where will Bush's memory thrive? Will there be a few loyalists who will quietly salute their president that dared to never live up to his potential for greatness? Those besides Barbara Bush? Maybe.
The majority of those that survived two Bush terms -- his place for us is in camp. That's right, his Halloween mask will live in sarcasm for eternity. His name will grace collapsed bridges, inappropriate backrubs and sentences to nowhere.
So, really, is Bush the worst president we've ever had? Well, he never let facts get in his way -- why should we?
If hindsight is 20/20 -- Americans will love Bush in their rearview.
Bush's legacy will be etched forever in kitsch. His entire presidency will be one big Nixon Shaking Hands with Elvis picture. He will be the Diff'rent Strokes episode with Nancy Reagan. He will end up being the only president whose intellect is preserved for the ages in the medium of Bobblehead.
Just wait for it. Bush will be up there with ol' Milly Fillmore... if he's lucky. Which history has shown -- he is.
This article also appeared in the LA Daily News.