Silence is Golden

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.

Rutherford Political Blogger Alliance

11 thoughts on “Silence is Golden

  1. Richard Nixon came to the end of his life as a quiet, wizened elder statesman kind of guy. He’ll always be remembered for Watergate, of course, but he and his people never tried to defend him (not counting Gordon Liddy, but let’s skip the psycho).

    Bush would do well to follow that model. He’s unpopular, and he’s lost the arguments. What will serve him best is trying to sit back, as you said.

    Sadly, though, a lot of people do still believe the Hussein-9/11 connection. Some of them still think that Hussein’s WMD’s will be found if we just invade Syria.

  2. You’re right. Nixon in retirement is an excellent model for Bush. Some 30 years after his presidency, Nixon is regarded highly for some aspects of his tenure, especially in foreign relations.

    As I suggested above, the problem is not so much with Bush as it is with his cronies, many of whom I read are having trouble finding employment in the Obama era.

  3. Nixon is an interesting study in the context you’ve both offered up. I don’t know though if any other American Presidents will be in line for kind thought and reflection. Partisanship is too cemented into our psyche now to allow otherwise.

  4. The interesting thing is that Bush has never tried to defend himself. He never attacked those who attacked him and basically ignored any opinions anyone had to offer about him.

  5. Bush would do well to follow that model. He’s unpopular, and he’s lost the arguments.

    And exactly how do you know that Wickle? Do you have some gift the rest of us not privy to? Has history been written already, or do you measure history by simple election results?

    Jimmy Carter was elected once…and only once.

    Harry Truman left office as the most unpopular President of recent memory, yet now is considered one of the two or three greatest Presidents of the 20th century by anybody being far in judgment.

    My hold your water there pal before passing judgment. I got a real good feeling you’re going to be eating a lot of crow before everything is written…

  6. Tex, I think you’re missing the point. As far as I know, Harry Truman’s cronies didn’t go marching around trying to guarantee his place in history right after he left office.

    There is no disputing that historians and much of America rate George W. Bush low. Is there a chance that will change in ten years? Absolutely. As I stated earlier, if Iraq ends up a valuable stable democratic ally of the United States. fair minded people will credit George Bush for getting that ball rolling. It remains to be seen if that happens.

    By the way, I read a recent story that at least under Sadam, Iraqi women had some semblance of equality. Under the current regime, Iraqi women are selling their young girls into prostitution at an alarming rate. To say that the jury is out, is putting it mildly.

  7. Tex, I think you’re missing the point. As far as I know, Harry Truman’s cronies didn’t go marching around trying to guarantee his place in history right after he left office.

    No, I think you missed my point Rutherford. Truman was a different era where politics weren’t broadcast across the globe real time. This is no different than what Clinton’s lackeys did about a tech bubble and Marc Rich. My point was directed toward Wickle as that it is stupid to judge someone’s legacy when it hasn’t even played out.

    If the Iran situation pans out like I think it will, I think history will show Bush and Co. knew exactly what they were doing. And being that I think our military provided a crushing defeat on foreign soil to Al-Qaeda, I think Iraq will look much better ten years from now. Much of that depends on how stable Iraq remains.

    Rutherford, you know I don’t find you the least bit objective. I’ve seen Rabbit make the occasional blunder of halfway conceding your pet points (not voting for McCain), and man you jump on it like a March hare – no pun intended. You’re completely one-sided in judgment.

    Though I think you a reasonably sharp individual, I still know you’re a blatant left-wing shill, and your case of BDS vastly overwhelms your sense of rationality concerning anything of Bush. The bottom line is “R”, I think your mindset incredibly shallow and myopic.

    P.S. – Historians are completely worthless as I just saw they had judged JFK as our 6th greatest President ever…give me a break.

  8. Tex, No, I fully got your point that the verdict on Bush is yet to come in … that history cannot be judged after only seven weeks past his administration. On this, we agree.

    Neither of us is objective.

    Hate to admit it but I had to look up BDS. Got a good LOL out of it. Thanks! 🙂

    P.S. The jury is out for me on JFK. He’s a martyr which naturally elevates him, although that did little for Garfield and McKinley.

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s