Countdown: Four Days (Obama and Bush)

President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush have conducted a fairly seamless transition of power over the last couple of months. Each man is being very gracious to the other, and for the most part, trying to keep from stepping on the other man’s toes. Obama has repeatedly told reporters that there is only one president at a time. Bush, for his part, said in his last press conference that he would he would get off the scene and go back to Texas.

Yesterday’s two major political events highlighted this carefully designed dance between the current Chief Executive and his successor; Obama’s response to Bush’s farewell address to the nation and Obama’s answer to the inevitable question: “Are you going to bring Bush up on charges?”

On the former issue, I think it was wise for Obama to not watch the address so he will not be in a position to have to remark on what Bush said. Why stir up controversy if you don’t have to? Obama is going to have enough to deal with on Tuesday afternoon. There is no upside to any comment he might make so let Bush ride off into the sunset on his own terms.

This point connects to the placing Bush on trial question. I know the left is going to cry for Bush to be tried as a war criminal as sure as Republicans were calling for Harry Truman (dropping the atomic bomb) and Lyndon Johnson’s (Vietnam) head in 1953 and 1969 respectively. However, Obama understands the big picture and will not go there because he has real issues to fix including a sluggish economy. Obama is not going to waste his political capital, and the good will he has worked to get on both sides of the aisle, on a ex-presidential witch hunt that will drain all of the life out his administration for at least two years.

Forgive or Forget? As far as Obama is concerned, forgiveness of Bush is not necessary for him to move his agenda forward. However, it may be politically wise for Obama to help the country to forget the last eight years as expeditiously as possible… by letting him retire in peace back in Texas.

         

Author: TONY CAMPBELL, Columnist

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10 Comments

  1. Obama will never go after Bush and I agree that he shouldn't. The bigger problem will be what to do if the United States is approached by a legitimate, stable Iraqi or Afghani government a few years down the road wanting to put him or Cheney on trial, whether directly or through some international organization.

  2. Obama will never go after Bush and I agree that he shouldn't

    In which case the next Republican President will know that he can bomb any defenseless country and start a war whenever he/she wants for any damn reason.

  3. Yes, that is right. Us Republicans sit around all the time planning invasions.

    Because killing innocent civilians is so much fun.

  4. Yes, that is right. Us Republicans sit around all the time planning invasions.

    Can you name a single Republican Administration post WWII that has not invaded some foreign country, or overthrown some democratically elected government or funded some proxy war?

    Not that Democrats are a whole lot better…

    Because killing innocent civilians is so much fun.

    Must be cause we have done lots of it over the past 50 years…

  5. Don, under that criteria, and as you rightly point out, what Democrat hasn't done those things post-war? Maybe Carter. That's about it.

  6. Don, under that criteria, and as you rightly point out, what Democrat hasn't done those things post-war? Maybe Carter. That's about it.

    Yep, and that might also explain a bit of the Anti-Americanism out there.

    I wonder how we would feel if every time our democratically elected government did something the Chinese didn't like, it was overthrown and was followed by a purge that killed & disappeared a couple of million Americans.

  7. Carter = Afghanistan

  8. Being a superpower means…never having to say you're sorry.

  9. Just don't come crying to me when some asshole turns around and parks a car bomb on the middle of downtown NY, DC or LA,

  10. Eisenhower = Iran (coup) , Guatemala (coup), Vietnam.
    Kennedy = Vietnam, Cuba
    Johnson = Vietnam, Indonesia (coup with large scale purging), Dominican Republic(invasion)
    Nixon/Ford = Vietnam, Cambodia(bombing), Laos(bombing), Chile( coup), Argentina(Death Squads), Indonesia(weapons for invasion of East Timor )
    Carter = Afghanistan
    Reagan = Lebanon, Granada, Nicaragua( funded proxy war), El Salvador (death squads), Arming Iraq & Iran to make war last longer.
    Bush = Haiti (coup), Iraq( war lied to start war & betrayed Shiites), Somalia
    Clinton = Balkans
    Bush Jr = Haiti(coup), Venezuela(attempted coup), Somalia(proxy war using Ethiopia), Iraq, Afghanistan

    And those are just the highlights… The ones I remember of the top of my head.

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