There is a marvelous diary by the freewayblogger reminiscing about his activities when our not-very-much-if-at-all-missed former president was in office. I got to thinking about all the things I appreciated about this site then. It was a place to come and find some balance. There were people here who would say "Yup, this is insane; you are not imagining the world has gone crazy." I loved you all! (still do).
I was given a challenge and one of my early diaries here was asking about the possible approaches to making a toast in honour of the President. People here were very sympathetic, adn this (below the fold) is what came of it. I posted it as a diary in February of 2007. Feel free to reminisce and add your own statments about what you "got" out of eight years under His Illegitimacy. I got Daily Kos and Keith Olbermann. Still would rather have had President Gore than either of those, but those were pretty good consolation prizes.
For our semi-annual Burns Night Supper, I was invited to give a toast to the President (to balance the one for the Queen). Last week I asked for advice about how to phrase things so I could give a toast that everyone could drink to.
Thanks to everyone for their help and I have posted the results after the jump.
Raise a glass to our education president. When elected he was a decidedly incurious man, with little interest about the world with very few trips abroad. I was concerned about him setting a bad example for our students.
But I underestimated him -- he has taught us a lot about the geography of the Middle East. My students who eight years ago would not have known the location of Afghanistan now know the capitol of that country. They not only know the difference between Iraq and Iran, but care deeply about it. He has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets to express their intense passion over the events of the day. Today we have none of the passivity and comfortable acceptance of our place in the world that was so prevalent during the Clinton administration.
As was the case with his election President Bush has shown each and every one of us how important our individual votes are. And he has re-emphasized the brilliance of the founding fathers of this republic. How important it was to enshrine the writ of habeus corpus and the separation of powers in the constitution! How very fragile the law actually is. The law clearly requires all parties to recognize its legitimacy in order to work. And the President has shown us this as well.
Max Lerner said of Harry Truman "A president is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has hit his stride." Our president has said history will judge his administration.
So here is to President George W. Bush -- may he have a long life, long enough that he will indeed know how history will judge him.
My thanks to all the suggestions people gave me, and LNK specifically for the Lerner quote.
I think the toast went over pretty well. It was a tough task, but I had Stephen Colbert as a role model. I of course was not particularly funny, but I was very sincere.