President George W. Bush (or Dubya, as some like to call him) has seen his approval rating skyrocket to better-than-even in the most recent Gallup polls. 49% of those question now view Dubya in a positive light, versus only 46% who view him in a negative light. For the first time since 2005 more Americans like Dubya than hate him.
For the record, the way the poll is conducted it may be equally true that 49% of the people asked view Dubya positively in his role as FORMER president. It's also worth noting that the poll was taken immediately after the opening of Bush's presidential library, which followed five years of an almost complete invisibility from public view.
Five years after his departure from office, Congress is completely constipated by a Tea Party, obstructionist and clearly racist GOP, which makes the Legislative Branch during the Bush administration seem almost competent.
To further bolster goodwill toward our former president the current administration is embroiled with a boatload of scandals from Benghazi to the IRS to wire-tapping, the latter two, it should be pointed out began during Bush's tenure. As pols and pundits know, politics is perception and throwing this crap against the wall repeatedly will leave a stain on the wall.
In my opinion, the one thing Dubya's got going for him is affability. He seems like the kind of guy you wouldn't mind inviting along for a couple brewskis. One gets the idea that given the opportunity, G.W. Bush knows how to party. My hope is that he really is a nice guy who was Peter Principled to his level of complete incompetency.
At the very least, Bush failed to rein in the Diabolical Duo, Cheney and Rumsfield. To all but the completely clueless, it was clear that Cheney ran the White House with an iron fist. He was going into Iraq before the attacks of 9/11, before anyone ever heard of weapons of mass destruction. Either Bush had no clue or he was complicit with one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the American public.
However affable we see him now, G.W. will never outrun his legacy, the pendulum will swing back. Whatever you think caused the Great Recession, Bush ushered it in with open arms. It's pretty hard to refute that major contributing factors included his two tax cuts and two open-ended wars, all unfunded.
Nor will the people of New Orleans ever forget his absence during their time of need. "Way to grow Brownee" and "Mission Accomplished" will remain the malaprops that define the G.W. Bush years.
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