It was impossible to avoid coverage of the George W. Bush presidential library opening yesterday (a Thursday, always a good day to invite weekend visitors).
It was also painful having to watch three Democratic presidents (two former and one current) say generic, nice things about the man. But this is what politicians do. They are good actors. But then again they are all part of the same club. It doesn't get any higher for these guys. So members of that club can and do get along. How else could Clinton honor Nixon when he passed away, or Obama say anything positive about Bush 43?
There has been at least one great book about his presidency.
Here's a very recent blog post by Jonathan Chait, reminding everyone of how the library treads lightly over so much that went so wrong. Namely, he was never good, and he was never smart.
There are countles ways to deny Bush any positive legacy. There is no positive legacy to be found anywhere in his two terms.
Actually, he was the worst president in my lifetime, and arguably the worst EVER.
As the linked post above makes clear, he was not smart. One only has to remember the following true story.
In 2000, candidate Bush asked former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney to conduct a search for a suitable vice presidential candidate for the ticket. Cheney came back a few weeks later, presumably after an exhaustive review of the Republican Party's luminaries, and told Bush that he had discovered the perfect running mate.
And who was this paragon? Right, Dick Cheney!
And what did Bush do? Did he laugh in Cheney's face, tell him this suggestion must be a joke, point out that if he had thought Cheney was the right match he would have asked him in the first place? No, he named Cheney as the man who would be a heart beat from the presidency. Smart? I rest my case.
And so will many, many others, for years to come.