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Movie stars are forever immortalized on the Silver Screen, musicians
through their recordings and athletes in the record books...but it is a
President, that wants to leave behind a legacy.

Considering that Lincoln's legacy will always be his courage in "freeing
the slaves", Roosevelt's on how he transformed a nation with "The New
Deal", and Kennedy's for being a restrained and precise decision maker
during the height of the "Cuban Missile Crisis" can certainly
understand why President Obama does not want a failed "sequester"
to be any part of his own story.

As President George W. Bush opens his Presidential Library, his legacy
is also beginning to emerge, as either the President who grabbed the
the bullhorn atop the rubble of a devastated nation, or the man who
grabbed our attention with enough bullsh#t, to take us to war with Iraq
under the most grievous of false pretenses.

Historians like to say that we are entitled to our own opinions but not
our own facts...but according to the new book and documentary "Hubris"
by Michael Isakoff and David appears that the Bush Administration
also felt entitled to carry out their policies in spite of the facts and by
manipulating everyone else's opinion.

Time after time, "Hubris" portrays a pattern of reported information being
analyzed and discredited by the appropriate government agency, and then
the information being presented on national television by Administration
officials... as an indisputable reason for going to war.

All culminating in a speech by Colin Powell to the United Nations and the
world, that contained knowingly false information on the fact that Iraq had
obtained aluminum tubes and uranium to develop nuclear weapons, and had
the ability to launch them through a sophisticated mobile delivery system.

When in fact, Angry Birds was more of a threat to the crops in Farmville,
than Saddam Hussein was to the United States of America.

It just might be his legacy that all of his accusations were correct, he just
had the wrong it is Iran that has proven to have pursued a
nuclear program and to have been a state sponsor of terrorism throughout
the world.

But this legacy of "false pretense" did not begin on September 11th...but
arguably was forged on the very day Mr. Bush was selected by the Supreme
Court instead of elected to be the 43rd President of the United States.

If your Presidency begins under a "cloud" or "false pretense", than maybe
that is a prognosticator of what your legacy is destined to become.

So, a President who wanted his legacy to be, "he kept America safe"...
will instead be defined by the fact he ignored a memo, warning of the
9/11attack, and as Commander in Chief suffered the most casualties
on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

A President who wanted his legacy to be that he protected American
freedoms, will be faced with the reality that he actually lessened them
through the Patriot Act and with the authorization of enhanced interrogation
techniques and torture.

A President who wanted his legacy to be "Mission Accomplished", was instead
forced to wait for the next President to bring the troops home and kill Osama

But his legacy would not be limited in scope to a wartime President overreaching
in defense of a nation.

This is the very same President whose legacy will be telling "Brownie" what a
good job he was doing during Hurricane Katrina, while overseeing the worst
government response to a natural disaster since "chads" started flooding out
from among Florida voting booths.

A President who will forever be known for losing 2.5 million jobs in his last 3
months in office, tax cuts and a prescription drug program that helped forfeit
a 5 trillion dollar budget surplus, and a "No Child Left Behind" educational program
that was only further behind an economy that wasn't just driven into a ditch, but
was on a "Journey to the Center of the Earth".

But what has proven so far to be his most lasting impression...his most enduring
flame that burns to this that he was the original "Divider and not a Uniter".

Extreme partisan politics, red state - blue state - Fox News and and a right wing
radio, that came alive when Karl Rove started to wear his Monica Lewinsky blue dress
at every Washington DC halloween party,...became part of main stream culture under
the Bush Administration. So mainstream, that Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh are now
being accused by the "Tea Party" of not being conservative enough.

Today, in less than a period of 18 months, the sequester of across the board tax
cuts which was designed as a "Political Armageddon" that would force both sides to
the negotiating table rather than face the consequences of not reaching an agreement, no longer an impossible alternative, but just another part of the legacy of a past
Presidency that believed in a United Political Party at the expense of a Divided Nation.

That is why it is important to remember that a "legacy" is not just a rearview look at
history... but a constant building block that lays a foundation for the future.

And that even though a President may be spoken about in terms of a "Legacy", we
are the ones, who ultimately will own it and have to live with its consequences.

Originally posted to PoliticalPizza on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is freaking brilliant (13+ / 0-)
    When in fact, Angry Birds was more of a threat to the crops in Farmville, than Saddam Hussein was to the United States of America.
    Yet the "Very Serious People" refuse to admit the huge bloat to the deficit that occurred because of Shrub and his war of convenience. It's like they fell for his stupid accounting "trick" of not counting it in the budget. WTF? Maybe Obama should just say "Medicare is no longer part of the budget so we can't count its contribution to the debt". Would that work?

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:43:31 PM PST

  •  What tax cuts would these be? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bon Temps
    ...the sequester of across the board tax
  •  Look, no matter what Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loose Fur, Dave in Northridge

    does or doesn't do, he will be remembered as our first black president. That's going to be his #1 claim to fame. Nothing he can do about that.

    •  Yeah, saving the economy, reorienting energy (8+ / 0-)

      production towards renewables, saving the auto industry, reforming health care, reforming immigration policy, changing the conversation on guns, presiding over the widespread acceptance of gay marriage, all those major transformative events of this presidency pale beside that one little fact: the president is BLACK!!!!

      This guy has already been the most productive president since FDR. His race will clearly be part of his legacy, but he transcends it in so very many ways.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:37:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but over the course of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge

        time the details get forgotten. How many people remembered that Lincoln fought for the 13th Amendment (before the movie came out)? Yet everyone knew Lincoln as the guy who told yarns and had a beard he grew for a little girl named Virginia. We remember the easy-to-remember.

        •  Huh? (6+ / 0-)

          For me Lincoln has always been the president who freed the slaves.  That came through even in the Honest Abe young reader biography of him I devoured in elementary school.

          Sure, prior to the Spielberg film the focus was a little misplaced on the Emancipation Proclamation rather than the 13th, but the big picture was correct.

          And I still think the proper referent for Obama is FDR more than Lincoln.  I think his presidency will ultimately be transformative of the relationship between citizen and government in a way similar to the New Deal.  You may not realize just how great a president he is.  It's hard sometimes to see history as it happens before your eyes.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:14:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Gettysburg Address perhaps? The Civil War too? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          litho, Lilredhead

          I reckon most people would equate Lincoln with his stewardship during the Civil War.  

          And how many schoolkids have recited the Gettysburg Address at least once?

          Re: 13th Amendment--people probably don't know the extent of his support for the amendment and perhaps some in our white culture are unaware of the role of the Emancipation Proclamation, but I think most people would at least associate Lincoln with efforts to free slaves.

          •  Yes, Lincoln freed the slaves. And (0+ / 0-)

            he had a black beard. Those are the two facts everyone knows. The third is that he wore a stovepipe hat (and was tall). Few people know that he served as a one-term Congressman, losing reelection because he voted against the Mexican-American War (which was a very courageous vote). More people know about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree (which never happened) than know about the XYZ Affair or Washington's personal role in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion. And more people know who Brittney Spears is than know that Joe Biden is VP. We're a dumb country.

  •  Bush Kept America Safe....Not (14+ / 0-)

    The NeoCons keep telling us that Bush kept us safe -- except for just one day in September of his first year in office.  On that one day, George Walker Bush FAILED his responsibilities miserably.  He is the only president in the history of this country that failed in such a way, even when he was repeatedly warned by his predecessor many times.  
    On September 11, Bush failed the American people.  Everything that came after September 11 makes his legacy even worse.    Declaring a War of Convenience against Iraq, sanctioning torture and lying to the American people over and over again secures his place as the biggest failure in the history of the country.
    It will take decades to repair all the damage he created.

    •  He and his team compounded that disaster... (7+ / 0-) assuming that taxes need not be raised for this so very important deployment of our military machine. Some of them hid behind the thin veil of "once we get our hands on those oil fields, this will more than pay for itself " and enough of our fellow citizens wanted to believe that was possible. If tax cuts pay for themselves then "successful liberation" of an oil state must be even more lucrative...right? I'm convinced Cheney and the NeoCons knew there was no cost neutral, let alone revenue positive end to this - at least for the Federal Government. They intended to dole out benefits to the Financial Elites all along, charge any expenses and negative consequences to government, then blame any future Democratic Administration for bloated, wasteful spending and the resulting accumulated deficit.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:43:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget (0+ / 0-)

      the anthrax attacks, and all the other acts of terrorism directed at Americans on Bush's watch.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:49:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, this is the key aspect (3+ / 0-)

      As St. Reagan was beatified by conservatives for things he didn't do and ignored for things he did do, the Protectors of Bush's Legacy will be pushing this lie for decades while ignoring the facts that you recite.

      It's also worth noting how Cheney and other conservatives tried to scare us in the 2008 election by saying Obama was weak on terrorism.  Even after the election, Cheney continued his unprecedented attacks by a former VP on a sitting president.

      After Obama’s election, Cheney continued to attack the new president’s approach to the war in terror in general and Pakistan in particular.

      In February of 2009, Cheney complained that: "When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry."

      In March of 2009, Cheney complained that Obama was taking actions that would "raise the risk to the American people of another attack."

      In April of 2009, Cheney told Sean Hannity that the "Obama people" were abandoning "tough policies."

      In May of 2009, Cheney appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to what he described as the Obama administration’s "half-measures" and said: "There is never a good time to compromise when the lives and safety of the American people are in the balance."

      Throughout 2009, Cheney kept attacking Obama.

      And despite Obama's success, Cheney still adheres to the lie. From the same article,
      Now that Obama's approach has achieved what the Cheney approach could not, the former vice president is playing his favorite game: rewriting history in his favor.
      This, of course, should be the cornerstone of the Bush legacy--being false on the facts.  Indeed, the Bush administration was rewriting history or mis-recollecting as it happened!  e.g., How many "I don't remember" by his Attorney General as just one example.
  •  asdf (9+ / 0-)

    We lost a quarter of our income during Bush's reign, a little more each year. Blame him for anything and everything you like.

    Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

    by jennifree2bme on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 11:05:26 PM PST

  •  Brilliant diary (6+ / 0-)

    Well written and reasoned. I could not agree more. No one talks about this. It is simply mind-boggling how much shit the Bush/Cheney administration got away with and the condition they left this country (and world) after lifting off in that helicopter to chants of nah nah nah nah... What they did to legitimize and main-stream the culture of take-no-prisinors Lee Atwater style filthy politics is only one of their many contributions to our current nonfunctioning cess pool in DC. Thanks W! Good luck trying to wash off the smell of your festering soul.

    Sociopathy is the new black.

    by rivamer on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:46:48 AM PST

  •  Excellent summary (6+ / 0-)

    of the disaster that was George W. Bush.  Just yesterday I was arguing over the cause of the sequester with someone at my office - he asked me "Are you still blaming Bush?".  Yes.  Absolutely.  It's makes me sad to imagine the very different future we might have if if he hadn't been President.

    The man should have been impeached - even after he was out, and his administration should have been put under investigation.  I lived through Watergate and Nixon was a saint compared with Bush.  Maybe in 100 years the whole truth will come out - if our nation still exists in one piece.

  •  SUPPLEMENTALS. I advise President Obama (4+ / 0-)

    to pay for anything he likes with SUPPLEMENTALS. Quarterly SUPPLEMENTALS, monthly SUPPLEMENTALS, ffs.
    Hey, there's plenty of precedent.
    Some Repig: "I didn't think we'd have to PAY for that!"

    I ♥ President Obama and have his back.
    "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts."
    ~Wanda Sykes
    01/01/14 is 2014. End war on Afghanistan.

    by OleHippieChick on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:24:16 AM PST

  •  I blame him for shingles, the Kardashians and (4+ / 0-)

    having to eat the heels in a loaf of bread.

    Many hands make light work, but light hearts make heavy work the lightest of all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:06:46 AM PST

  •  Reagan is the one (3+ / 0-)

    who set us on this course. Remember his desire to "starve the beast"?

    GWB was just the logical culmination of three decades of deliberate fiscal irresponsibility.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:52:57 AM PST

    •  Yesh! I say blame Reagan! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As long as we can blame someone other than Obama, we'll be ok...  Because, hey.. he's just a victim of circumstances!

      •  I assume (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lilredhead, Oldestsonofasailor

        you are one of those who believes Bush should be absolved of all responsibility for the mess he created, that Republican obstruction is irrelevant, and that Obama should have waved his magic wand and fixed everything immediately?

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:23:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I like to blame Bush as much as the next guy.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Whatithink, PubliusPublicola

          But we are now into Obama's second term.  He owns it.  If he is incapable of governing without blaming Bush at this point, he shouldn't be in office.

          He hasn't met with the GOP in the sequester once since the beginning of the year.  Not once.. but he did call Boehner yesterday.. after his golf trip.

          So, no.. I'm not letting him off the hook.  He agreed to this sequester, not Bush.  If he thought the GOP would stiff him, then he shouldn't have agreed.

          •  No way does Obama own this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Have you forgotten the events of 8/2??

            Republicans demanded this. If Obama vetoed it, there would have been default (or an override of the veto).

            8/2 was a day that will live in infamy.

            •  Revisionist history.. (0+ / 0-)

              So, now Obama was helpless?  Poor poor president Obama..

              "They FORCED him into this deal with the devil!"

              Good Lord.

              President Obama had every opportunity to make a deal with Boehner.  Boehner had offered $800 Billion in revenues in exchange for the cuts.  Obama blew the deal by demanding more.  Boehner blew the deal by blowing off the President.

              You act as if the veto was the only option.  The veto or the sequester.  No.  He shoulda made a deal.  Both parties should have compromised and we wouldn't be here now.

              •  My point is more fundamental (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happy camper, Lilredhead

                Why did 8/2 have to happen at all?

                You are quibbling about details like he gave the hostage taker $1 million and a plane and an island to let the hostage go when   he could have offered just the plane and the island, and therefore he bears some responsibility.  Whereas I am saying blame the one who took the hostage.

              •  There should have been (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                no need to "make a deal" with people who would threaten to default on the national debt if they didn't get their way, a debt that they themselves voted to create. They want to impose their fiscal austerity policies on a country that just got done explicitly rejecting their ideas. There isn't an economist out there who believes the sequester will be anything but a disaster.

                "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                by happy camper on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:35:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you are not looking hard enough (0+ / 0-)

                  If you only read Krugman, you will get the admin's propaganda line..

                  The truth is, most government agencies have already adjusted their spending habits in anticipation that the sequestration would be law.  We have felt nothing.

  •  As long as I'm teaching US since 1865 (2+ / 0-)

    from a book that has a chapter on the years after 2000, I'll be coming back to this diary for lecture notes with some frequency. Thanks for all the unpleasant reminders.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:23:55 AM PST

  •  Remember that G.W.Bush is afraid... (3+ / 0-)

    G.W.Bush cannot go to Europe for the very real threat of being arrested as a war criminal.
    The first ever for a United States President.

  •  I blame Reagan "gov't is the problem" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As his revolution ages out they want to take the country down with it. If Head Start is going to help poor urban ( ... cough ...) kids then they've decided to go faith based political suicide bomber. This is just the "starve the beast" nonsense all the Randians have been ranting about in between starting wars and, I dunno, reading comic books or surfing porn.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:57:14 AM PST

  •  Why doesn't anyone..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lilredhead, Amber6541

    ....state the REAL reason that war was declared on Iraq?

    Cheney and the Oil Company heads (including Haliburton, I'll bet) met SECRETLY very early in Cheney's presidency (not a typo) in order to carve up the oil fields of Iraq for their own interests.  

    How much did Haliburton et al profit from what then transpired?

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke ...I am not the NRA and I vote too..... - ME

    by CyberDem on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:02:05 AM PST

  •  I wonder what's in Shrub's library? "Big Penis (2+ / 0-)

    Comix"? "Strut Your Way to Fame and Fortune"? The autobiographical "Oedipus Tex Makes it to the Top of the World"?

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