George W. Bush
Michelle Bachmann, the most conservative and articulate 2012 GOP presidential candidate, dropped out of the race after her poor showing in Iowa last week. Herman Cain’s disappointing withdrawal last month over spurious sexual harassment allegations suggests we won’t be discussing a flat federal income tax for at least another election cycle. John Huntsman was a surprisingly conservative governor of Utah, and could still benefit from the shell game Republican voters have been playing with their candidates for the past six months—if voters ever notice he’s running. Mitt Romney is an unreliable conservative; Newt Gingrich is a combustible bloviator; and Ron Paul is a nutty America-hater.
What about Rick Perry? Last September, he was the GOP’s latest, greatest hope for about three invigorating weeks. The only—only—reason Republican voters abandoned him in droves after his bump in the polls was his clunky and unscripted performance in the first few debates—a flaw he’s long since overcome. Perry’s marble-mouthed tendencies have been limited thus far to one format—the presidential primary debate—and even there he’s improved dramatically, such that commentators have been gushing, “Perry had a really good night!” and “This was the best Perry debate performance so far!”
(I don’t fault Perry for not being able to remember the third agency he would close; there are so many I would shut down, I also would lose track. When Ron Paul helpfully offered “EPA?” I would have said, “That too!”) read more »
George W. Bush’s memoir Decision Points is a surprisingly good read—not that I expected it to be terrible, as Bush-haters probably do. (I rate his presidency middling, better than his father’s, and better than any Democrat’s since at least JFK’s.)
Given the sharp turn our nation has taken leftward—and downward—the memoir made me feel ridiculously nostalgic.
The chapter titles are short, punchy, to-the-point. You can practically hear W reciting them into his mini-tape recorder: “Quitting.” “Running.” “Personnel.” “Stem Cells.”
That would be “Quitting” as in drinking, and “Running” for political offices including governor of Texas and the presidency. “Personnel” relates Bush’s decision-making process for nominating and/or firing staffers Dick Cheney, James Baker and Ted Olson (lawyers in Bush v. Gore), Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Bob Gates, Andrew Card, John Roberts, Harriet Miers, and Samuel Alito.
Not surprisingly, the longest chapter is “Iraq,” which outlines Bush’s decision to invade the country and take out Saddam Hussein. Bush lays out the case for his decision to attack clearly, logically, and unimpeachably, including the overwhelming global consensus that Hussein was producing weapons of mass destruction. Bush chronicles the support he received from steadfast allies Tony Blair, John Howard, and José Maria Avnar, and the backstabbing he encountered from treacherous weasels Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac, and Vladimir Putin. read more »