I’ve stated in the past that George W. Bush’s best post presidential strategy is to lay low and hope that sometime down the line events prove him to be a better President than the current polls suggest. Unfortunately, some of Bush’s former minions are not taking the same advice.
Tonight on MSNBC’s “Hardball”, former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleisher got into a heated debate with host Chris Matthews. The second half of the debate appears below:
Primarily because of Matthews’ abrasive style, one could go back and forth on who was scoring more points in the debate. Fleisher held his own for the most part and Chris unnecessarily hit a very raw nerve by reminding Ari that 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch. It’s only at the very end of the interview that Fleisher proves why he and every other save-the-Bush-legacy talking head need to shut the hell up. At the 7 minute mark in the video, in defending the invasion of Iraq, Fleisher says:
After September 11, having been hit once, how could we take a chance that Sadam might not strike again?
To my astonishment both Chris Matthews and later Keith Olberman let this comment go by unchallenged! Perhaps Chris was just too tired by that point in the interview to actually hear what Ari said. “How could we take a chance that Sadam might not strike again?”
Sadam did not strike us the first time! What does Fleisher mean by “again”?
With this one sentence, Ari blew his entire argument out of the window, perpetuating the myth, even after Bush is gone from the public scene, that somehow Sadam was responsible for 9/11. It gives further evidence of the constant state of delusion in which the Bush administration was mired. Fleisher says this foolishness with such conviction that I find it hard to believe it is a put on. The Bush White House really believes that Sadam was behind 9/11 and no evidence to the contrary will ever convince them otherwise.
My heart went out to George W. Bush when he left office. I was mortified when he received boos at Barack Obama’s inauguration. More recently, I’ve almost admired Bush’s restraint now that we know that Bush’s legal advisers essentially gave him carte blanche to run a dictatorship. So now I tell all those well meaning associates of the former President who want to ensure his positive place in history to do so by just shutting up. The only thing that will redeem the Bush presidency will be the eventual establishment of a stable democracy in Iraq, which can then be traced back to Bush’s efforts.
For now, to use a now infamous phrase, all the talk in the world will do nothing more than put lipstick on a pig.