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George Bush and the Content Free Response

I made the mistake of turning on the Today Show while I was preparing breakfast and caught part of the Matt Lauer/ George Bush interview.  Lauer gave the man an opportunity to behave like a statesman over the so called “Ground Zero Mosque”.  Guess what?  He didn’t.

Bush instead punted the way he did about torture, Katrina, etc. (but more on that anon).  He claimed he wouldn’t say anything because it would be perceived as interfering in the Obama administration (_What?!!!_), and he wasn’t going to add to more of the chatter and din.

Okay, to give Shrub credit he did speak out forcefully against the vilification of Muslims while he was president.  Right now the vitriol being ladled out against this religious minority has reached frightening proportions.  All he has to say is that this is America.  We honor and respect all faiths, and put himself firmly on the side of the First Amendment.  How is that hard?  Why should it be hard?

My cynical nature assumed that he won”t speak out on this topic because he wants to preserve Muslim bashing as a tactic for 2012 since gay bashing seems to be losing potency.

Then I  wondered if this vacuousness was what made his presidency such a disaster.  He just goes along to get along.  Cheny wants to blow a C.I.A. agent’s cover to punish her husband?  “Okay, cool, I have to go ride my bike.”  Condi, Rumsfeld and Cheny want a war with Iraq.  “Cool, daddy kinda dropped the ball on that.  I need to go ride my bike.”  New Orleans is drowning?  “Bummer, but I gotta take this birthday cake to McCain.”

There are two things that Bush could have done to regain any shred of his reputation.  The first was to acknowledge and repudiate in the most forceful way the use of torture, and the second was to speak out against this hateful rhetoric.

On torture he uses a five year old’s excuse — “The lawyers told me it was okay.”  YOU’RE THE PRESIDENT OF THE FREAKING UNITED STATES.  You have an obligation to dig a bit more deeply when people are proposing harsh techniques of interrogation.  A two minute Google search would have revealed that we _executed_ Japanese officers who waterboarded our troops in WWII. 

When Lauer pressed him, “What if an enemy has captured an American in or out of uniform and subjects them to waterboarding?  Is that torture?  Bush’s response.  “Read my book and you’ll know why I made the decisions I made.” 

No apology for making every citizen of this nation complicit in torture.  No stepping back from that terrible brink.  Nothing.  Just buy my book.  I hope the damn thing bombs, and since he can’t bring himself to speak in defense of the Constitution and this nation’s values and ideals I hope he crawls back in a hole in Texas tomorrow if not later today.

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