Happy Trails, Mr. President!

Posted: January 20, 2009 by lamayor in The Presidency

2001.9 George W. Bush

As a citizen of the great state of Texas and a long suffering Texas Rangers fan, I’ve observed George W. Bush for a long time.  I have always admired him.  The man is simply a decent, down to earth, and honorable guy.  He says what he means and means what he says.  There is no guile to him, no putting on of airs – especially impressive for a man with his pedigree.  He went in saying what he was going to do and did it, Devil (and the liberal smart set) may care.  Misunderestimate him at your peril.

Still, I have mixed feelings about his presidency.  He spent too much (Congressional Republicans aided and abetted him), was loyal to a fault (Rumsfeld comes to mind), and mismanaged an honorable war (why didn’t he “surge” into Iraq in the first place?).  Of course, there was the silliness of “Compassionate Conservatism”, whatever the hell that meant.  I’m not going to analyze his presidency here though.  Many brighter minds have already done so, and besides, we now have a President Obama and it is time to look forward and new battles to fight.

Speaking of brighter minds, Marc A. Thiessen in the Wall Street Journal compares Bush to Truman and articulates what many of us have been saying, namely, that history will be kinder than today’s punditocracy has been.  For us doubting conservatives, there is a lot to like, too . . . .

Similarly, many conservatives who are angry with Mr. Bush today will take a better view of his presidency with the passage of time. While he took actions that dispirited some conservatives — from bailing out the auto industry to taking North Korea off of the list of state sponsors of terror — Mr. Bush did more to advance conservative priorities than any other president.

Mr. Bush enacted sweeping tax cuts. And he has the best record on judges of any Republican president — his appointments of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito will be judged favorably over time compared to Justices Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter and John Paul Stevens (all put on the high court by Republican presidents). Mr. Bush enacted free-trade agreements with 17 nations, more than any president in history. He created Health Savings Accounts — the most important free-market health-care reform in a generation. And he defeated Democratic efforts to use the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Schip) to nationalize health care.

Mr. Bush won a Supreme Court ruling declaring school vouchers constitutional and enacted the nation’s first school-choice program in the District of Columbia. He has been the most pro-life president in history, securing passage of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. He refused to fund the destruction of human embryos for research — and was vindicated by the scientific breakthroughs that followed.

Mr. Bush increased defense spending by nearly 73%, the largest increase since the Truman administration. He unsigned the International Criminal Court treaty, withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and fulfilled Ronald Reagan’s promise to deploy defenses against ballistic missiles. This is a conservative record without parallel.

George W. Bush gave us a lot to like.  An aside — The best bumper sticker I ever saw here in liberal Austin: “George W. Bush: Saving Your Ass Whether You Like It or Not!”

Like I said, being from Texas, I’ve observed the guy for a long time.  However, his greatest success is little known outside the state’s borders.  I don’t know if he has ever been thanked for it publicly, but I will do so here — Thank you Mr. President, for helping to build The Temple – the majestic Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  It is your greatest achievement indeed.


Welcome back to Texas, Mr. President.  It is good to have you back.

  1. Jason says:

    I’d love it if Dubya became the commissioner of baseball in 5 years. He’d kick Bud Selig’s arse.

    It was good to hear all those things he did. I knew his record on life was good, but some of that other stuff was overshadowed by the extremely liberal things he did… you can’t just pass over the Auto Bailout (which went over the heads of the Senate & American voters). TARP comes to mind, No Child Left Behind, Medicare “reform” are some of his more glaring liberalisms.

    I agree that time will tell. An unpopular war taints his legacy now. In time, when the mid-east is stable again, he will be reevaluated.

    Great post! Keep it up! Thanks for stopping by realityunwound.com.

  2. Lynn in TX says:

    Wish I had seen or known about that bumper sticker several years ago. Love the sentiment.

  3. Lynn in S.A. says:

    Also – history will vindicate those things which seem to some to have not been the way to go at the time. Goodness wins over evil eventually.

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