Many are viewing George W. Bush's treatment of the incoming administration as a sign of his presidential qualities and as something of a surprise. I have heard long time Bush haters offering praise for him and his administration based on this.
Me? I am not surprised, nor do I think it is a move worthy of praise. I think before we get all wrapped up in the outward appearence of such actions, we need to think of motives and agenda.
Have any of you seen a more corrupt presidential administration as George Bush's has been over the last 8 years? Scores of administration members, some quite high ranking, have been indicted, convicted or otherwise run out of office in shame. Even people who did nothing criminally wrong, were poorly suited for their jobs, and the nation paid for it...such as FEMA and the Katrina disaster.
When I think back over my life and the presidential administrations I have been alive for, I cannot think of one administration that has come close. In fact, I sat down and listed each scandal or even bad mark on each president in my life. Nothing scientific, and I am sure I left some minor items off. I started with Nixon and finished with Clinton. Afterwards, I found that I could still count more scandals and problems in the Bush administration than I could in all of the others combined. Watergate was a misdemeanor compared to the felonious and downright treasonous actions of this Bush administration. Sure, there were some pretty serious issues that those presidents had to face, and many of them made mistakes...and even had cabinet members do stupid things or get themselves in hot water. But, collectively, not even close to what this one administration has chalked up.
How does this relate to Bush being nice to the incoming administration? Well, that is rooted in something that my brother is fond of pointing out: That those other presidents had only a few 'issues'...that we know of. While not defending Bush, my brother was really showing contempt for all presidents...but his point still has merit. I agree. I am sure that Reagan or Bush Sr. or Billary all had issues that would be shameful had we known about it. I am quite sure there is always a mess swept under the rug within each administration. But, you still have to hold that same view to the Bush administration. Regardless of what we found out during their term in office, there will be much more we do not know about...people who get away with 'it'...whatever 'it' is. In other words, as much as we have seen shameful and corrupt from the Bush administration...it is bound to be the tip of the iceburg.
That is rather mind blowing, when you consider some of the things that this poor excuse for a president has been involved in. Forget wire tapping the democratic party headquarters (the crime Nixon was accused of)...Bush has wire tapped all of us. Forget about weapons for hostages...Bush lied to get us into a war that would directly profit him and his cronies. Forget about 'Read my lips, no new taxes'...Bush has lied and lied, and then lied to cover up lies...spinning his reasoning for the war differently each time there was a question...and utterly ruining our economy with deregulation and catering to the business owning elite rather than the needs of the American working force as a whole. Makes you wish the only thing bad your president was doing was getting blown in the oval office.
So...if we have only seen the tip of the iceburg...the next administration will be in a very good position to uncover a lot of additional scandal and corruption. They will find everything from outright criminal activity to simple boneheaded methods of doing things. All adding up to a gross mismanagement of our nation.
And Georgie knows that Obama is not going to let things slip by. Obama does stand for change...and his bi-partisan cabinet is showing just that (he wants universal change to how things are done...not a change from republican stupidity to democrat stupidity), as he has bridged more gaps in his selections than any president I can think of.
Due to my complete lack of trust in George W. Bush...I really really hate the man for what he has done to our nation...and because I do not trust this administration to do anything unless it directly benefits them...I believe that this 'making nice' with obama is really about trying to sugar up the group that will most likely uncover some pretty nasty things. I do not think this is Bush wanting Obama to have a successful term and so wants to help him hit the ground running. No, I think George is worried about his post-office neck. And I think he should worry.
Before I climb off of my soap box...I will state that I think the man should be held criminally accountable for much of what he has done. Not the bumbling stuff. Not the stupid stuff. The criminal stuff. Lying to get us into a war...placing private american business in a position to rob us of our tax dollars in the guise of rebuilding Iraq and making it a democracy (lol). Nothing short of treason. His involvement in the tampering with federal judges alone was criminal and struck a direct blow at the balance of power that the constitution ensures to prevent just such a power grab. His direction to allow torture...something that apalls me, as a former military person myself...should see him tried as a war criminal. (Note: In our history, the US has pushed for and gotten people tried for war crimes for doing exactly the same things that Bush advocated. In those cases, we have held the reigning ruler - usually a dictator - accountable rather than the individual soldiers who were ordered to carry out the torture...and we have even supported execution for those men found guilty...for doing what Bush did.)
Thomas Jefferson famously said that no more than 25 years should go by without a serious revolution, whether bloody or passive. His point was aimed at leaders, and the ability for men to scheme and conive their way into power and then usurp the authority. Our nation has had numerous revolutions..some bloody some not. Technology and economics caused some of them...bad decisions and a need for change caused others. We had revolutions with respect to slavery, women's rights, economic disasters, world altering conflicts, being mired in inappropriate wars, etc. While Jefferson was speaking of more direct and involved revolutions, as it turned out, he was right, he just did not see that our form of government and modern views of civil rights would allow those revolutions to occur more passively or in conjunction with other events. The people would not have to beat their plowshares into swords.
However...this is a time where I feel we as the employers of our president, have to enact another revolutionary idea. We need to hold our president criminally accountable for what he has done to our nation. You may see this as me just wanting revenge on the man I think has harmed our nation more than any other single person in the last 50 years...possibly ever. You would be correct in thinking that I have that motivation...however, that is not my primary reason. The main reason we should...must...do this is to send a message to all would-be presidents that this nation and it's people will not ever let someone get away with such actions.
Bush is treasonous. He harmed our nation more than Benedict Arnold ever could have. He lied to get us into a war that had nothig to do with defending the US or our interests, costing the lives of thousands of US military personnel, and even more Iraqi lives (the people we were allegedly doing this for). He allowed several big corporations to run rogue through Iraq, robbing US taxpayers of money badly needed domestically. He allowed 8 billion (at least) per month, for 6 years to be spent on the war he got us into, thus allegedly helping Iraq become a democracy, while our nation struggled more and more economically, as we watched our dollars go overseas never to return. I could go on and on, but I do not need to. The above accusations alone would make him the most despicable and corrupt president in our history.
I think the best this country could do would be to show the rest of the world and all aspiring politicians in this nation an incarcerated Geroge W. Bush. We have always been known as a fair and just nation. In fact, our enemies used to want to be captured by us, because our prison camps treated them better than their army units. They never had to worry about being tortured. You don;t think that means much? I think it means everything. In WWII it was a symbol that we were indeed unlike our enemy. We went into Iraq because their leader was a torturing and murderous person...and we used torturous and murderous methods...making us no better than that which we fought. I think a fair and just nation does hold it's own leaders accountable for wrong actions, to show the rest of the world that we can be trusted above and beyond who our leaders are.
Presidents are not above the law, they are supposed to serve the law. They are the executive branch, charged with enforcing the law. A corrupt president is no different than a corrupt cop...and we all want corrupt cops busted and punished...for obvious reasons. Those same reasons extend to the president 100-fold.
So when you see the Bush administration acting like it is being nicey nice for Obama...remembert hat he has a hide to try to save. While we have never really gone after our former presidents for things they did in office, I think that has mainly been because the crimes were relatively small or the effects were able to be curtailed. I think that this time it is different, and Dubya knows it...he is not a very bright guy, but as a lifelong failure, he has honed his 'cover your ass' skills well. I think that is all this gesture is. After all, if this is about George wanting what is best for the country, he should have started acting on that impulse back when he first took office.