A Tale of Two Presidents

From my point of view, George W. Bush made some serious mistakes during his presidency.  At the same time, there are some things to be said for him.  In general, I think Bush was more respectful of institutions than President Obama.  Or, to put it the opposite way, there is a selfish recklessness in Obama that Bush did not display, to his credit.  This can be seen, I believe, by comparing their presidencies at the point now reached by Obama’s: the second term midterm elections.  There are similarities and differences.

The similarities: By this point, both presidents had low approval ratings.  The low ratings probably arose from the fact that the major policy initiative of both had turned out to be unpopular, and that both were perceived as responding ineffectively to crisis.  Bush’s major policy initiative was the Iraq war, and by 2006 people were tired of it.  And they thought he had not risen to the occasion in response to Hurricane Katrina.  Similarly, Obama’s major policy initiative, the Affordable Care Act, is very unpopular; and many voters are dissatisfied with Obama’s handling of the current border crisis.


As a result of these conditions, both presidents faced midterm elections in which their parties were likely to do very poorly.  That is what happened to Bush, and that is what seems about to happen to Obama.

Those are the similarities.

The difference: In response to his party’s impending losses, President Bush did not cook up a radical use of the executive power–or really a culpable refusal to execute the laws–on the eve of the elections in order to stir up his base, risking throwing the country into present political chaos, and embittering our politics for years to come, as a kind of Hail-Mary-Pass play effort to change the correlation of forces in the elections.  But that is what Obama is talking about doing with the immigration non-enforcement policy he is talking about implementing.

Bush would have regarded such action as a dangerous abuse of the office of the presidency, and he would be right.  Someday, when the partisan passions have cooled, impartial historians will count this in his favor.



8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Presidents

  1. Brian Amundsen says:

    I think the writer has it correct. Let’s compare the two men and their morals against the natural law of God. President Bush refused to allow embryonic stem cell research which would have expanded the murder of innocent children (that’s what an embryo is for those who don’t know that from their science class). President Obama, with his executive order re-starts embryonic stem cell research and signs in to USA law a bill which now allows for the abortive murder of embryos without any monetary cost. President Bush, by going after the radicals in Afghanistan and Iraq eliminate the murders, tortures, rapes of Christian men, women and children simply because they don’t believe in the Mohammad’s ranting. President Obama not only doesn’t protect those rights by implementing appropriate post war support in Iraq and Afghanistan, but does nothing to stop the same radicals from murder, torture, rape not in Iraq, but also in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and parts of the subcontinent of Africa. President Obama’s support for the poor was to insist that federal government funding of non-profits included accepting radical immoral standards of conduct by the recipients. President Bush embraced the religious non-profits and funded many of their programs without strings attached so they could continue to provide services to the poor, the unemployed and the hungry. President Obama pushes laws which step on the financially poor to keep them poor, President Bush had many programs which actually lifted the poor to realize they are not depended on any Caesar except God alone. History will look on President Obama’s presidency and label it the worst presidency ever, even worst than the failures of Jimmy Carter. If immigration was really important to President Obama, how come I don’t hear him calling all the Congressional party leaders to the White House to say, let’s work on a new immigration plan that is fair, just, and generous and let’s get it done in the next 90 days, anytime in the last six years he could have done this. We don’t see it because he has no leadership skills when it comes to working through conflict and doesn’t see any opportunity until there is a crisis. That is why he fails and screws things up in the world, where he is suppose to be a leader, and instead leads from behind (which is actually called a follower).

  2. Hettie says:

    Further proof that intrinsic evil is fine, as long as you’re a conservative. Only this website could proclaim that the man who legalized torture in the US was not reckless.

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