For those (including, as he always says, George Bush) waiting for history to make its judgment on George Bush, Republicans have already helped out and begun rewriting it beforehand.
In sports, this is called "playing the ref," arguing in hopes of getting a better call later on.
To con men, it's referred to as "ginning the system." History has named it "The Big Lie."
And so, with contorted twists, they desperately try to make up seem down, wrong seem right. Why anyone would listen to these people who have been wrong for eight years about pretty much EVERYTHING -WMDs, war, torture, global warming, financial oversight, housing and the economy - why anyone cares one whit what the William Kristols, Karl Roves, Peggy Noonans, Jonah Goldbergs and Kate O'Beirns of the world have to say is a mystery of life.
Even Robert Novak has strutted that he would out Valerie Plame again. These are people tone deaf to life. And ultimately, that has gotten 81% of Americans to say the country has seriously gone off track. And these tone deaf would do it all again.
Most people who crashed their loaner Cadillac straight into a brick wall would say, "Ooops, that wasn't good, I should drive around the wall next time."
Of course, it makes sense for them to try to rewrite history, since the neocons of the Bush administration have long insisted that they don't live in a "Reality-based world." If you don't believe in reality, might as well try to rewrite your mistakes into something they're not.
And so, we get Peggy Noonan, America's most passive-aggressive writer, attempting to convince a down-spiraling nation, "At least Bush kept us safe." Forgetting for a moment that this is the modern-day equivalent of the old joke, "Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" -- Excuse me, but..."kept us safe"?? KEPT US SAFE???!! George Bush ignored a briefing memo titled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike In U.S." and over 3,000 people were killed, the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Pentagon was attacked and even more died. He lied America into a war where 4,209 more Americans have died -- and over 100,000 have been wounded. He opened Iraq as a new base for al-Qaeda, spied on Americans and weakened the Constitution. He overlooked warning of Hurricane Katrina, and a city was destroyed. He's crumbled the U.S. economy, made America a massive debtor to China, and increased hostilities with Iran. And Peggy Noonan dares to rewrite history that George Bush has kept us safe.
We get the eternally-wrong William Kristol continuing his losing streak by proclaiming last week, "We've won the war" in Iraq. It's hard to even just type that phrase; I can't imagine someone actually saying it -- at least without being struck by a bolt of lightning. What is true, however, is that despite his rewritten, fake Kristolesque victory, the 150,000 troops are still fighting and dying.
Amid the many contorted attempts to rewrite Election Day history, perhaps the most foolish was by Saxby Chambliss. As an incumbent U.S. Senator from deeply conservative Georgia barely squeaking by in his run-off election, he explained that his victory was proof that "We don't live in a center-left nation." In fact, if anything proves how center-left America has become, it's that an incumbent U.S. Senator from deeply conservative Georgia needed a run-off to barely squeak by. An African-American president, 59 Democratic senators and 259 Democratic representatives (to 176 Republican) is just bonus proof.
And we get Karl Rove participating in a debate to argue that George Bush is not the worst president of the past 50 years. (Since Mr. Rove was the strategist for the worst president, he might have some major face to save by rewriting history.) But how bizarre that he participated at all: let's say he "won" the debate; demonstrating that George Bush is only the second worst president is an embarrassing victory. Yet it takes rewriting history to even reach that level. "There have been four president's who have had lower approval ratings," he offered. "Carter, Nixon, Johnson and Truman -- history has judged each man differently after their departure." It's not that this is a pitiful defense, since not all those former-presidents have been judged well - it's also a lie. As the L.A. Times reported last month, "...Bush's approval rating, according to the latest CBS News tracking poll has dipped to 20%, the lowest ever recorded for a president."
But of course, the worst rewriter of history is the author of it himself, George Bush.
"I think I was unprepared for war," he told Charles Gibson of ABC. "I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack." Except that he exactly campaigned that way. "If elected president, I will protect America from America itself, from missiles and blackmail."
When asked about removing Saddam Hussein, he insisted, "A lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence." Except that we know from the Downing Street Memo and Ron Susskind's recent reporting that the Bush administration had the CIA make that intelligence be what the Bush team wanted.
Mr. Bush lauded himself as the "comforter in chief." Except that the only reason people need that comfort is because George Bush has a 20% approval rating.
This is a man who rewrites history so that he bears no responsibility for his actions. "People will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in president." He ignores all the decisions that were made on Wall Street while he was president. He ignores that if there were problems, why he never addressed them.
It's understandable why Republicans are so desperate to rewrite a dismal, crumbling history. After all, everyone likes a happy ending. Not to worry, though -- America got one: the Obama Administration starts January 20.