Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
 

Recommended Photo Store
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading? Click here to find out.
 
Make your Amazon purchases though this banner to support this blog:
 
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Contributors:
  •   Please send any comments or suggestions about America 3.0 to:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Rehabilitating Bush

    Posted by Shannon Love on November 11th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Let the rehabilitation of Bush begin! For the past 8 years, the most strident and hysterical leftist criticism of Bush has centered on his intelligence policies which leftists assured us arose purely out of a callous disregard for civil liberties and human rights, if not outright evil. 

    Now we read this from the WSJ [h/t Instapundit]:

    President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say…They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists.

    Whoa, whoa whoa! Pragmatic? Bush’s polices are suddenly pragmatic? What about the incessant ranting for years that Bush had gone far beyond any practical necessity?  

    Poof, it’s gone. It’s gone because it has fulfilled its purpose. Leftists demonized and distorted Bush’s policies for one of two reasons: (1) They were idiots who didn’t understand modern technology and conditions or (2) they sought to demonize Bush for their own political gain. I think Obama operates from Reason 2. Now that the responsibility for national security falls in his lap, the steps that Bush took to bring intelligence methods and law into the 21st Century suddenly look like nothing but common sense. Obama will not risk American lives and his own legacy merely to pander to leftist hysterics who still think everyone communicates over analog phone lines. 

    Obama has to do this because Bush’s policies, which Congress and the courts repeatedly signed off on, did arise from pragmatic necessity as everyone with real knowledge of modern intelligence gathering knew all along. Bush and the rest of the federal government did pretty much what conditions required them to do in order to win a war and maintain security going forward. 

    Of course, this means that Obama will have to rehabilitate Bush in order to defend his adoption of Bush’s policies. He can’t say that Bush went far beyond necessity and the Constitution and then turn around and do the same thing. No, he will patiently explain that it turns out that Bush had most things right and that we need to respect the wise decisions that he made and to finish the work he started. 

    I predict this will be only one area in which leftists will quickly “re-evaluate” Bush’s legacy. Now that leftists face the same responsibilities that Bush has faced, they will see his actions in a different light. As a result, I predict that Bush will be much better thought of five to ten years down the road than he is today.

    It’s too bad they didn’t have the integrity to put the country first back when it really counted. 

    [Update: Here are some previous post that provide some technical context for this issue: No Wires to TapBig Brother IS Watching You and a comment on the Information Zero Problem.]

     

    24 Responses to “Rehabilitating Bush”

    1. Don't Drink the King's Wine Says:

      Speaking of rehabilitating President Bush, here is my pedestrian effort: http://dontdrinkthekingswine.com/2008/11/10/dear-mr-president/

    2. Letalis Maximus, Esq. Says:

      Well, Obama voted for the Patriot Act Amendments last summer. It wasn’t like the Useful Idiots weren’t warned.

    3. Jeffersonian Says:

      If Obama keeps tossing the lunatic left under the bus like this, I might have to start liking him. Might.

    4. diz Says:

      They will change a few words and declare they have “reined in the excessive abuses of the Bush Administration”.

      The media will cooperate.

      Only the sort of leftists who thought Clinton was an imperialist for getting involved in Bosnia will notice or care.

    5. John Says:

      He will have to rehabilitate Bush somewhat. But, don’t forget most of this stuff won’t get reported. This made the WSJ, but I bet it won’t make the WAPO, NYT or any of the major news networks. I would guess that your typical Obama supporter will think even two or three years into the administration will be convinced that they US doesn’t torture and that only the evil Bushies did that. Further, the media will cover up any scandal. For example, the worst prisoner abuses happened in Afghanistan, not Iraq. But, the media never played them up they way the did Abu Gharib because there were no sexy pictures and the media didn’t have an axe to grind over the war in Afghanistan. Now the media has made it clear that it wants the Obama administration to succeed. I have no doubt there will be things that the government does now that won’t be reported “for the good of the country” that would have been front page news under Bush.

    6. mishu Says:

      Look for Camp Delta to remain open.

    7. Danny L. McDaniel Says:

      Obama role will be the first Presidential emergency responder. The economy and wars will pin him down for the duration of his presidency, be it four or eight years. At least he has a strong Vice-President in Speker Nancy Pelosi.

      Danny L. McDaniel
      Lafayette, Indiana

    8. Blacque Jacques Shellacque Says:

      Now that leftists face the same responsibilities that Bush has faced, they will see his actions in a different light.

      Leftists nearest to the situation might, but those who aren’t, who are far, far away from that position, like the leftist voter, they’ll probably be a little preoccupied with their own feelings of betrayal…

    9. elHombre Says:

      It really takes a long time for some things to sink in. Obama will never stop running against Bush. He will not condone Bush’s actions even as he repeats them. He will lie.

      He will lie because that is what he always does when confronted with the possibility of political discomfort.

    10. reliapundit Says:

      bwahahahaha!

      “pragmatizists”!?!?

      really!?!?!

      you fell for it.

      the left/msm/obama campo is just calling them pragmatists.

      anthony lake?
      susan rice?
      malley?
      powers?

      all appeasers.

      i predict opbama names leftie appeasers and calls them pragmatists.

    11. John Says:

      he will patiently explain that it turns out that Bush had most things right and that we need to respect the wise decisions that he made and to finish the work he started.

      Bush won’t get that lucky. Obama and the left will happily reap the benefit of Bush’ policies, all the while lamenting about how they are “stuck” with these legacy bureaucracies — and well its just too late to do anything about it now. Darn.

    12. AK Says:

      No, [Obama] will patiently explain that it turns out that Bush had most things right and that we need to respect the wise decisions that he made and to finish the work he started.

      Barry-O doesn’t need to “rehabilitate” Bush to keep most of what he did intact. He’ll probably make a big production out of reversing a Bush policy through a mostly symbolic gesture, like closing Guantanamo Bay, that will mollify the nutroots. He might even bad-mouth Bush (in his slick “hidden middle-finger” way) in the process. The base will be happy; meanwhile, he won’t even mention all the other stuff that Bush did. It won’t be an issue because it won’t be addressed.

      The other thing he might do is to reverse the practice without disavowing the principle. Okay, no more torture… but only because it isn’t necessary. We’ll pull out of Iraq… because the war is over. But he’ll never go so far as to say that he won’t authorize torture or preemptive war, should it become necessary in his view.

    13. Methinks Says:

      As a libertarian Republican I was lectured by “libertarian” Democrats (is there really such a thing?) that Bush overstepped his bounds – the Patriot Act destroyed liberty, Habeas Corpus, GITMO, blah blah blah – and we need a Democrats to restore all that lost liberty (for terrorists). I argued that there is no way a Democrat will get rid of any of those things because it will give him far less power to protect the country and because politicians are generally not in the habit of reducing the government’s power but are rather keen to take every opportunity to increase it.

      I am bitterly vindicated.

    14. Jonathan Says:

      I was against the Patriot Act because I thought that it was unnecessary and that it had too many provisions that were unrelated to fighting radical Islam and would be abused. So far it hasn’t been abused much. I suspect that it will be abused more eventually. I suspect also that if/when it is abused, most of the people who opposed it under Bush will not initially object to abuses committed by a Democratic administration.

    15. Harold P. Butts III Says:

      The past 2 elections have shown the public what the Bush and party reputation was currently worth. Not much if anything.

      As for history, it is too early to comment, as seems to be done here. Time will judge his presidency.

      As for Obama: cut him some slack. We judge Lincoln, Ronnie R., Gen Ike et al not while they awaited inauguration but after they had been in office and did or failed to do what they managed to get done (or not done). Why the rush to judgement on a marriage while the wedding has not yet taken place?

    16. Brian24 Says:

      As one of those “libertarian Democrats” Methinks mentions, let me say this is hugely disappointing. It’s also totally unsurprising. One of the reasons you should be very careful about the powers you take when your own boys are in office is that the next administration never gives them back.

      Of course, you guys totally miss the fact that Congressional Republicans will almost immediately begin attacking Obama for shredding the Constitution and taking away our liberties. They will be just as correct as the Democrats were previously. And I have no doubt that most of the commenters here will support them wholeheartedly without recognizing the contradiction.

    17. Shannon Love Says:

      Harold P. Butts III,

      As for Obama: cut him some slack…Why the rush to judgement on a marriage while the wedding has not yet taken place?

      I will not. I am not judging him based on his future actions. I am judging him by what he has already done. Obama and many of his closest supporters have, over the past 7 years argued that Bush’s intelligence policies were (1) unnecessary and (2) obviously illegal. Now, when it is to his advantage, he does a 180.

      He is doubly damned in my eyes because he obviously understood the necessity Bush’s policies at the time but instead decided to put his own political self-interest above the interest of the country.

      Had Obama stuck to his guns and decided to tough it out as President while flying blind without intelligence, I would thought him foolish but I would have respected his integrity.

    18. Shannon Love Says:

      Brian 24,

      Of course, you guys totally miss the fact that Congressional Republicans will almost immediately begin attacking Obama for shredding the Constitution and taking away our liberties.

      You might be surprised. Republicans tend to take national security very seriously. A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats supported Clinton on Kosovo.

      They will be just as correct as the Democrats were previously.

      The Democrats were wrong. It takes more than a high school reading of “1984″ to understand the necessities and trade off of modern intelligence needs.

      And I have no doubt that most of the commenters here will support them wholeheartedly without recognizing the contradiction.

      Probably, we’re obviously not as intelligent and self-aware as you are and instead merely form our national security decisions based purely on political affiliation.

    19. Brian24 Says:

      A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats supported Clinton on Kosovo.

      I dispute that. There were a few votes taken in 1999-2000 on Kosovo, and while party lines were blurred, the anti-Kosovo forces were led by John Kasich and received more support from Republicans than Democrats.

      The Democrats were wrong. It takes more than a high school reading of “1984″ to understand the necessities and trade off of modern intelligence needs.

      *eye roll* Yes, and it takes more than a silly ad hominem attack on me to show that centering an ever-increasing amount of power in the presidency is an effective way to ensure our national security.

      Probably, we’re obviously not as intelligent and self-aware as you are and instead merely form our national security decisions based purely on political affiliation.

      Well, I don’t know you personally so I have no idea if that’s true of you. But frankly, I think one of the biggest problems this country has is that most of the politically-aware people are more interested in rooting for red or blue than actually thinking out complicated issues.

    20. Shannon Love Says:

      Brian24,

      *eye roll* Yes, and it takes more than a silly ad hominem attack on me…

      You started it by claiming that we would mindlessly make our foreign policy decisions based purely on how such decision affected this or that political party. If your going to insult people you should expect insults in return.

      …to show that centering an ever-increasing amount of power in the presidency is an effective way to ensure our national security.

      You didn’t offer any argument to the contrary. Neither did you appear to have read any of the technical post I link to. Therefore, I assumed, and continue to assume, that you have based your objection to the Bush/Obama policies based on nothing other than a reflexive rejection of state power.

      I’ve been writing on this issue for years now. If you want me to take you seriously, you’re going to have to make a token effort at a serious, detailed argument.

    21. Methinks Says:

      Of course, you guys totally miss the fact that Congressional Republicans will almost immediately begin attacking Obama for shredding the Constitution and taking away our liberties. They will be just as correct as the Democrats were previously. And I have no doubt that most of the commenters here will support them wholeheartedly without recognizing the contradiction.

      And the Democrats suddenly supporting the shredding of the constitution will not be hypocritical?

      Hypocrisy is the native tongue of politics, Bryan.

    22. Mike HY Says:

      Of course, this means that Obama will have to rehabilitate Bush in order to defend his adoption of Bush’s policies. He can’t say that Bush went far beyond necessity and the Constitution and then turn around and do the same thing. No, he will patiently explain that it turns out that Bush had most things right and that we need to respect the wise decisions that he made and to finish the work he started.

      You wanna bet? When Obama says up us down and white is black, the media will just nod their heads.

    23. Obloodyhell Says:

      > I would guess that your typical Obama supporter will think even two or three years into the administration will be convinced that they US doesn’t torture and that only the evil Bushies did that.

      John, the whole notion of surveillance of international communications without warrants was initiated under Clinton — do a search on “Project Echelon”.

      The concept of “Extraordinary Rendition” (i.e., turning captured terrorists over to places where they would not be bound by U.S. Law as far as treatment goes) was ALSO initiated by the Clinton Admin.

      Of course not — such things only mattered when the GOP was in charge.

      Now that they aren’t in charge any more, you shan’t hear another word about any of them…. until the GOP is in charge again.

    24. Hendryx Says:

      I still believe Carrie Prejean should have won the Miss USA 2009, and not Kirsten Dalton.

      Carrie was looking stunning in her swimsuit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI3N5CrIusE