"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.16.2009

it's over

The changeover to the Obama administration officially happens at 12:01pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, but the effective end of the Bush administration happens in just a few minutes, at 9pm tonight, when all but three of the highest-level White House staff members turn in their credentials and leave. Here's the play-by-play on what happens after that.

I'll have more on the end of the Bush presidency early next week, including an argument as to why it's a bit much to be calling him the worst president in American history. (Hint: Did he oversee the division of the republic in half or stage what amounted to a direct and deliberate genocide? No. Then he's not the worst.) For now, enjoy the holiday weekend, read a heartwarming story or two, and know that the republic is stronger than one bad presidency.

9 Comments:

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

On Tuesday evening, I will make my way over to a hanger at TSTC to join 500 or so loyal Republicans to greet Dubya and Laura. It's a "Welcome back to Texas" party. So, for a few hours I'll play the role of a Bush supporter. I hope to get a picture made with the former President - will be drinking an O'Doul's in his honor.

Friday, January 16, 2009 11:11:00 PM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

How on earth has their screening system broken down enough to get you a ticket? :)

Friday, January 16, 2009 11:27:00 PM

 
Blogger David McCullars said...

I agree that history will most likely not tag Bush as the worst President of all time, but I don't particularly buy your argument against it. There's something to say about sheer volume of bad presidenting as opposed to one or two things that are overly heinous.

Taylor-Buchanan were all guilty of grossly negligent inaction (as were Harding and Coolidge with their laissez faire policy that led to the Stock Market Crash). Bush has plenty of irresponsible inaction on his resume, but he also has a plethora of active bad presidenting.

Jackson's Indian Removal Act is unforgivable -- resulting in thousands of dead Native Americans, but Bush has torture and the deaths of at least 100,000 Iraqi civilians on his hands. (And not to defend the horrific treatment of Native Americans, but Jackson wasn't the only president who was guilty of what we would now consider crimes against humanity -- every president before Lincoln allowed slavery to continue. That doesn't forgive it, but sometimes the inertia of society is too massive for anything but time.)

Plus, Jackson at least has much positive in his legacy. The most positive thing I can say about Bush is that he has handled the changeover to the Obama administration relatively peacefully. It's too soon to say if Bush is the worst of all time. But one thing we can all agree on is that we hope desperately not to see anyone worse in our lifetime.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:28:00 AM

 
Blogger texasinafrica said...

You haven't read my argument against it yet! How much do you know about Chester Arthur?!?

Saturday, January 17, 2009 10:49:00 AM

 
Blogger David McCullars said...

I guess my knowledge of Chester Arthur is ill-informed as I never knew him to be all that horrible. For the most part, he turned against the political machine of Roscoe Conkling and actually fought corruption with his Pendleton Act -- so much so his own party nixed any re-election bid. Now the Chinese Exclusion Act doesn't win much support from me, but it's a far cry from the Patriot Act or the Alien and Sedition Acts. I'll grant you there is considerable conspiracy regarding his birth, citizenship status, and thus eligibility to even be President. And there is a slight possibility Arthur could have been behind or at least inspired the assassination of Garfield, but if we're going to include conspiracy theories into our rubric, there are people out there claiming Bush caused 9/11.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:48:00 PM

 
Blogger Charlie Mac said...

American history is still being made, so calling anyone the worst president in American history could be premature unless preceded by the operative phrase "so far".

I have been watching politics since before I could vote. I have voted every year since I became elgible at 21 in 1955.

I have never known a politician who began to admit he could not fulfill his campaign promises after elected, but before being sworn in until Obama did.

So maybe just possibly we should all reserve making statements about the worst American president for at least a few more (4)? years.
Mac McFatter
Semmes, AL

Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:51:00 PM

 
Blogger David McCullars said...

I tell you what I know for sure is premature ... implying someone may be the worst president of all time before he/she is even inaugurated. That's just wishful thinking. Let's wait until the Obama administration is over before we add him to the mix. Bush, however, is now fair game.

Of course we're implying "so far" into this discussion. I think we all hope the American Republic continues on for generations to come. How could we possibly compare presidents who haven't even been born yet.

Is admitting you won't be able to fulfill all your campaign promises bad presidenting? Since when has been being honest a bad thing? Stuff happens, and the plans a candidate might have had for their presidency invariably gets pushed to the back-burner. We are so used to candidates over-promising, that no one in their right mind (at least not someone who has been voting since 1955) actually believes everything will be accomplished. The important thing about campaign promises is that it tells us what that person's priorities are, what they would do if the planets aligned and allowed it to happen. I can only think of two presidents who actually delivered on their campaign promises: Washington and Polk. And in truth the best presidents we've had haven't gotten that status because they did what they said they would -- it's because they reacted the right way at the right time under dire and (largely) unanticipated circumstances.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 3:25:00 PM

 
Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Agreed. Bush is not the worst president ever--but is the worst in a LOOOOONG time. Definitely the worst in my lifetime and I watched the Watergate hearings live.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 5:19:00 PM

 
Blogger Roger said...

Question: Who is the WORST President ever????


after Round one: McCullars 3
Texas in Africa .5
Charlie Mac -1

Saturday, January 17, 2009 11:20:00 PM

 

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