You know, I didn't really get it -- in 2004 Sen. John Kerry kept saying that President George W. Bush was the worst president in 75 years. I did the math -- and I am in liberal arts because I can't do math -- and it pinned 75 years as the Herbert Hoover administration. Now, when it comes to Hoover, he had the same grasp of his job and duties as Bush. In 1928 he said, "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." And then, well, I'm not sure what, but "the bottom fell out" seems oddly unexpressive for what his administration passively watched happen: the Great Depression.
Bush has managed to stretch his untarnished record of failure all the way from Kennebunkport, Maine, to Texas to the White House, and it was nice to show the world what a good deal of Texas politicians are like because even Hoover had something on Bush.
Hoover cared about something. Hoover once said, "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!" He was talking about the communists. He was speaking about people who starved because of the Bolshevik Revolution. So, whereas Hoover was willing, and even fighting-mad determined to help others despite their politics, Bush never really took on the issue of Darfur or many other issues that called for a strong Republican or conservative police action. President Bill Clinton was better than Bush with policing the world.
Molly Ivins was an idol of mine, and "Shrub" was her nickname for Bush. She is in heaven now, and I want to tell her that Shrub's legacy is what she predicted. She often spoke of Texas politicians, and once said, "It's often hard to discern the difference between Texas tough and Texas stupid."
Ivins pointed out that Bush's tax cuts in Texas in two consecutive sessions, 1997 and 1999, left the treasury empty. A record 2-year, $144 billion budget, had no money to go into it.
What was different about his White House time?
Standards in everything had to drop at federal and state levels under Bush because there was no money, whereas in Texas, he could only hurt the economy of almost 24 million people. When we let this faux, rhinestone cowboy swagger into the highest office in the land, he screwed 300 million people over.
Bush's legacy will be written about in terms we associate with Hoover, Richard Nixon, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge. In my mind, he will always be a spoiled brat who relied on others to advance himself until he got to the top from which he fell ever so disgracefully.
Now he leaves us to lick our wounds as his administration may lead to realignment like the one in the 1970s. Molly, is he Texas tough, or Texas stupid?