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Thank You W.

Posted by David A. Peterson on 22. January 2009 in Message |

The other night George W. Bush gave his farewell speech to his fellow citizens. The President has never been a good speaker. If you get him in a give-and-take type of scenario he can be enlightening and funny. Last night he was humble and thoughtful.

 

President Bush gave us 8 years of hard work in an unbelievable period of uncertainty. I have been following politics as long as I can remember and I can’t remember 8 years like the 8 years we just witnessed.

 

Reagan was a polarizing leader but besides his economic prowess and his commitment to contain the Soviets it was a very uneventful 8 years. Carter had his Iranian crisis and the economy to deal with; Nixon opened us up to the Chinese and concluded the war in Vietnam, oh and then left due to his own foolishness.

 

Johnson focused on the War on Poverty and Vietnam and the associated social upheaval wore him out. George H. W. Bush had his own recession to deal with and was there to negotiate the end of the Soviet control of Eastern Europe. Kennedy had the Cuban Missile Crisis and then his life was cut way too short.

 

But George W. Bush – President Bush had a respite of about a month or two before the sh*%^T hit the fan.

 

Let’s Review

  1. He won his first election with hanging “chads” from Floridah (my home state, it used to be spelled Florida back in the day).
  2. The Internet Bubble burst right after he gets elected. Wild speculators had run the NASDAQ index to almost 4,700 in February of 2000. President Bush is in the office about a month when the decline of the Internet businesses begins to happen.
  3. September 11, 2001 begins the war on terror. Our country is attacked and an already shaky economy begins to accept the slide down into a deep recession.
  4. Late September some moron scares the nation with his own personal anthrax attack using the US Mail service as his delivery mechanism. Many years later an American, Bruce Edwards Ivins, is identified as the culprit. He dies before telling us why?
  5. October 7, 2001 the war in Afghanistan begins. The world and the country unite behind the effort.
  6. March 2003, President Bush creates his legacy – The Bush Doctrine, which is the first time the U.S. wages a full scale war without being directly attacked by nation of Iraq.
  7. November 2004 President Bush defeats John Kerry and is reelected President. Again Bush is elected by the narrowest margins. The country is polarized from the war on terror.
  8. In 2005 President Bush tries to tackle the future problems with Social Security. By the summer the measure goes down to a bi-partisan defeat showing the nation what the entire 2nd term will be like.
  9. August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina slams into Louisiana, the levees in New Orleans break and the response from the 1stresponders was uncoordinated leading to unimaginable misery. Bush’s popularity that was already falling from the war begins to plummet. By 2009 neither the costal region or Bush’s popularity has completely recovered.
  10. September 2005 Hurricane Rita – the FEMA response was terrific.
  11. 2006 Iraq War was in a dismal state with a civil war imminent and all sides killing more and more American. Many in Congress think the war is lost.
  12. Sometime 2006 sub-prime mortgages are at their peak allowing many Americans to purchase homes they could not otherwise be able to afford.
  13. November 2006 mid-term elections turn the House and the Senate over to Democratic control. This is the new beginning of liberalism in the United States.
  14. January 10, 2007 President Bush begins the surge with an additional 20,000 troops going to Iraq. By the summer Iraq begins to stabilize under the courageous work of the additional troops and the battles they fought.
  15. August 2007 significant defaults and home foreclosures begin in certain parts of the country. The credit crunch begins.
  16. Early 2008 it becomes evident that the Taliban has regrouped in Pakistan and is now able to again wage war on the United Nation forces in  Afghanistan.
  17. Mid 2008 the Energy Crisis begins with oil speculators running up the price of oil. It eventually hits $140/barrel. Gasoline moves to over $4.00 gallon acting as major tax on the American public
  18. August 31, 2008 Hurricane Gustav slams into New Orleans. FEMA is excellent and the levees hold.
  19. September 2008 the credit crisis peaks. Financial institutions begin to fail and they all stop lending to each other and the public. The recession of 2008 gains amazing speed.

A lot more could be added to the list, Iran, North Korea, Israel, Lebanon, Hamas, Darfur, The Gaza Strip. Russia’s new nationalism. China’s economic miracle. Social Security reform, Immigration reform. The No Child Left Behind school policy. Prescription drug benefits. The war in Georgia. TARP and the automaker’s bailout. I’m sure I’m leaving a bunch out.

President Bush has had a lot on his plate these past 8 years. Through it all he acted decisively. He acted according to his values. He never lost faith in the country and in himself.

President Bush didn’t bring the world and national events upon himself. But he dealt with each event as it occurred.

With the successful transfer of power to President Barack Obama the history of Bush’s presidency is now under review. How will the world see President Bush 20 years from now?

I’ll sum it up for you… In times of peril you can lead, follow, or get out of the way. W. – Thank you for being there when the country needed a strong decisive leader.

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