Thursday, July 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Mr. President

The gaping crevasse dividing the American electorate is perhaps manifest no more strongly than by their attitudes toward the president. Lefties and Democrats take pleasure in vilifying President Bush at every opportunity. The antics of Michael Moore, George Sorros, Cindy Sheehan and Al Gore have become so shrill and ugly that fair minded Americans are offended. And it is not only the glitterati; I have friends who say nasty, disrespectful things about Bush (though not often in my presence). I suspect these people hate the president although, being moral relativists, they will never admit to hating anyone, but are not above comparisons to Hitler or the Gulag.

On the right side of the cultural divide are people like my daughter and son-in-law, Col. Dave and many others who hold the president up as a role model for their children. They respect the presidency - and the man who embodies the American values they hold most dear. Above all else, he is a good man.

Seth Swirsky wrote recently in Real Clear Politics about how “Bush's decency highlights Democrats incivility.” He relates the time when President and Mrs. Bush invited the Clintons to the unveiling of their portraits in the White House. These excerpts of the president's welcoming address once again show Bush to be a man with a warm heart and generous spirit:

President Clinton and Senator Clinton, welcome home. It's great to see Chelsea. The fact that you survived your teenage years in the White House... speaks to the fact you had a great mom and dad. Thank you all for coming back...We're really glad you're here. As you might know, my father and I have decided to call each other by numbers. He's 41, I'm 43. It's a great pleasure to honor number 42. We're glad you're here, 42... Mr. Rodham did have the joy of seeing his only daughter become America's First Lady. And I know he would not be surprised to see her as she is today, an elected United States Senator, and a woman greatly admired in our country.

Hillary Clinton repaid the president's kindness by saying, among other mean-spirited things: "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington" and "I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."

Then during his 2006 State of the Union address, the president offered nothing but gracious good humor when he said his father's "two favorite people" - Bill Clinton and himself - were turning 60. As laughter filled the Senate chamber, the camera recorded a stone-faced Hillary Clinton.

Today George Bush turns 60… the big 6-0.

Just like I did, here is the president trying to convince himself that turning 60 is no big deal: "I'm not supposed to talk about myself, but in a month I'm turning 60. For you youngsters, I want to tell you something. When I was your age, I thought 60 was really old. It's all in your mind. It's not that old, it really isn't."

The president comes from healthy stock; the Bushes do not go gently into old age. The first President Bush went skydiving to celebrate his 80th birthday two years ago.

Out for a run, the president was interviewed by PEOPLE magazine.

What's the last body part that gave out on you?
My knee. My legs are probably next. But I'm working out hard still at age 60, trying to retard age, riding hard (on my mountain bike).

Mrs. Bush also turns 60 this year. What's the last romantic thing she did for you?
She said, "Get out of bed and get me coffee" (laughter). No, she's having a surprise birthday party for me.

Are your daughters Barbara and Jenna still daddy's girls?
As far as I'm concerned, I'm the guy they're able to manipulate (laughter).

Do your own parents still give a little too much opinion on how you're doing?
Mother does, in particular (laughter). The other day she said, "It's hard to believe I have a 60-year-old son." I didn't say, "It's hard for me to believe I have an 81-year-old mother."

I’m proud to have this man as our president. I’ll close with a few words from Mr. Swirsky:

The president's demeanor, standing as it does in perfect counterpoint to that of his political adversaries, is one of the reasons Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House, and, I predict, will continue to do so.

Americans prefer nice people, because they recognize that a thriving civilization requires civil people.

Happy birthday, George, keep on biking.


Blogger gary daily said...

The big 6-0 for W. A good time to evaluate yourself Bush II, others are.

Historian Robert S. McElvaine puts it this way:

“My assessment is that George W. Bush’s record on running up debt to burden our children is the worst since Ronald Reagan; his record on government surveillance of citizens is the worst since Richard Nixon; his record on foreign-military policy has gotten us into the worst foreign mess we’ve been in since Lyndon Johnson sank us into Vietnam; his economic record is the worst since Herbert Hoover; his record of tax favoritism for the rich is the worst since Calvin Coolidge; his record of trampling on civil liberties is the worst since Woodrow Wilson.”

[Please note, McElvaine’s comparisons include Democrats along with the usual obvious past cases of Republican malfeasance and ineptitude in office.]

And here is the distinguished political scientist Alan Wolfe on W’s damage to the honorable and necessary political philosophy of conservatism:

“. . . on the right as vehemently as on the left, the verdict has been rolling in: This administration, if not the worst in American history, will soon find itself in the final four. Even those who appeal to history's ultimate judgment halfheartedly acknowledge as much. One seeks tomorrow's vindication only in the context of today's dismal performance. . . .

“Eager to salvage conservatism from the wreckage of conservative rule, right-wing pundits are furiously blaming right-wing politicians for failing to adhere to right-wing convictions. Libertarians such as Bruce Bartlett fret that under Republican control, government has not shrunk, as conservatives prescribe, but has grown. Insiders like Peggy Noonan complain that Republicans have become--well, insiders; they are too focused on retaining power and too disconnected from the base whose anger pushed them into power. Idealistic younger conservatives bewail the care and feeding of the K Street beast. Paleocons Pat Buchanan and Robert Novak blame neocons William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer for the debacle that is Iraq. Through all these laments there pulsates a sense of desperation: A conservative president and an even more conservative Congress must be repudiated to enable genuine conservatism to survive.”

[This is all starting to sound like the Democrats scratching at each other in 1972.]

Let’s face it, W looks good on a road bike, but his intellectual, administrative and oratorical short comings have run this country into a ditch.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It occurred to me that I refer to my closest friends as “Brother” – it used to be that only my Marine buddies were my Brothers (or Sister, as the case may be), but over time I’ve started using the term of honor and endearment for close fiends and people who I honor and respect. So, having said that, assuming you don’t mind:

Brother Bill – This piece reminded me of someone. I don’t know if I ever told you about my ex-friend Jeanne. Jeanne is a commercial real estate broker who lives in Pacific Palisades. Although new friends, we shared many interests, including running, hiking and racquetball. One day politics finally came up in the course of normal conversation, and Jeanne stated to me that she loathed President Bush so much that the very sight of his photograph made her physically ill. I replied that although I had loathed bill clinton (and in point of fact still do), when he was my Commander in Chief I showed him respect and honored the office that he held, and that it was not just a shame, but a sin that liberals and democrats like her hated George Bush so much that they were willing to degrade the best interests of our great nation to score political points against him and/or to try to do whatever they can to have his policies fail, even when those policies were sound, again, just to “get at” George Bush. I reminded her that the Republican Congress gave bill clinton Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg; arguably the most liberal justice of all time, while democrats have fought President Bush for every appointment he’s tried to make, even among candidates only mildly right of center. I ended the conversation by saying that while I enjoy diversity and honest disagreement and dialog as much as anyone, people with a mind set like that, including her, are borderline treasonists and are not welcome in my company. Never saw her or spoke with her again.

What is it about these people that they can put America’s best interests aside – in fact put the best interests of freedom-loving people across the globe aside, just for their petty politics.

Semper Fidelis.


11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill I feel the same way about our President, a man of principles, core values and goodness. My husband and I respect and support him.Happy 60th birthday Mr.President! We love you.

Thank you, Bill.


11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We praise Dear Decider for his wondrous works for humanity. Dear Leader Bush has our utmost respect and gratitude. We wish Him all of the best on his 60th birthday, and wish for Constitutional change so he can stay in office for many more decades to come. May those who illegally criticize Dear Decider be rounded up and sent to prison camps in Northern Alaska. May the press be shut down if they dare reveal the inner secrets of our Beloved Leader's government. May we be victorious in our Crusade against the Mohammedeans, and reclaim the fossil fuels which our rightly ours, according the Scriptures.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to our honorable president. Many many more!


1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Bush has always risen above the crowd with his graciousness and kind & sometimes funny words even to those who say the most awful things about him. (although he's been giving the press a run for their money lately). He brought dignity back to the Office of the President. That's something I admire and respect.

With regard to his politics...well, I agree with most of his agenda and the rest I "agree to disagree."

Happy birthday Mr. President!

Dori M.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Decider definitely brought back dignity and a sense of gravitas to his job:

President Bush: Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?
Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times: I can take them off.
Bush: I'm interested in the shade look, seriously.
Wallsten: All right, I'll keep it, then.
Bush: For the viewers, there's no sun.
Wallsten: I guess it depends on your perspective.
Bush: Touché.

—Exchange with legally blind reporter Peter Wallsten, to whom Bush later apologized, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006

"That's called, 'A Charge To Keep,' based upon a religious hymn. The hymn talks about serving God. The president's job is never to promote a religion."—Showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

Long live Dear Decider!

9:55 AM  
Blogger gary daily said...

Why is it Bush supporters to a much larger degree than Bush bashers make it all so superficially personal? Bush is fine Christian man. Bush has a sense of humor(?). Bush is a role model for my son. Bush has a square jaw. Bush looks good on a mountain bike. And on and on.

The lack of substance in these “defenses” of the man drives many moderates and left leaning Democrats over the edge into mindless (though often very amusing) bashing. But there is plenty of room left on blogs and in print to carefully examine the evidence from Bush’s six years in office. Now the old Reagan question can fairly be asked of Bush and his gang: Are you and the country better off now than you were six years ago? Answer that one candidly, recognizing that the party in power deserves more than half the blame for the dismal picture that confronts this nation, and you are on your way to an important close inspection of how we got where we are and who is responsible.

I would venture that most Bush supporters know the record of their leader’s policies, foreign and domestic, are shot through with miscalculations in planning and missteps in execution. But to remain supporters they have no where to go but to hide behind what they see as the human qualities of the man. Many do this to cover their own guilt and misreading of the man they had such high hopes for, the man they personally bought into with big money and deep emotions--all with flags flying and bumper stickers prominently displayed. And a few do it for more easily calculated reasons. For them the Bush Years have been good years for the wealthy. But all rationalize and fool themselves into thinking their support is some kind of exalted “loyalty” and steadfast “patriotism.”

Bush’s human qualities are not worth debating or bashing at this point in his presidency. His record and what this has meant for the country is where the debate should go.

11:12 AM  

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