Harsanyi: Who wants to read a politician’s memoirs, anyway?

posted at 1:37 pm on March 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, we found out that Crown Publishing will give George W. Bush a $7 million bonus for the rights to his presidential memoirs, and that Bush already has 30,000 words written for the book.  Bush will join Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon in efforts to write their own legacy after leaving office through autobiographies; Nixon wound up writing several books and creating a career as a political analyst after his disgraceful exit.  David Harsanyi wonders why anyone bothers to read them, given the lack of honest perspective found in the genre:

When news broke this week that former President George W. Bush planned to pen a book exploring the tough decisions of his presidency, my initial thought was: Who cares?

But then I remembered that this kind of assault on our intelligence never ends. And it is not confined to a political party or ideology, and no creed, race or religion is immune from the generic dullness of books authored by politicians.

Is it conceivable that a politician could write a candid or fascinating book? The answer, I submit, is hell, no. Politicians are inherently risk-averse, obsessed with message control, legacy building and revisionism.

Well, it is conceivable, although perhaps not for American politicians.   Winston Churchill wrote enormously illuminating histories of his experiences in both World Wars, especially his indispensable six-volume series on World War II, while still remaining and competing in politics.  Any serious student of the period knows that it is required reading, quite gripping, and for the most part avoids revisionism entirely.

But that is the exception to the rule, and Harsanyi has great fun in a terrific column running down the execrable subgenres of the political memoir: The Bogus Campaign Manifesto, the I’m So Intellectual, The You Think You Have It Tough, and his favey-fave, The Let Me Explain To You How The World Works You Dolt subgenres.  Most of today’s political class have availed themselves of at least one of these tools, and Barack Obama has managed to do combine all four into his memoir, The Audacity of Hope, which I found to be tedious and lecturesome.  Obama just got $500,000 for a bonus for his pioneering effort to add a fifth for his new children’s book.  George Bush is no exception to the rule, either, with his Bogus Campaign Manifesto A Charge To Keep.

That doesn’t mean that Bush’s upcoming memoir is doomed to failure.  He might provide an honest self-exposure and add something substantial to the historical record, as his hero Churchill did.  But anyone who followed this President knows that he may have been one of the worst communicators in modern White House history.  He repeatedly failed to defend himself against substantial and silly charges alike.  He rarely spoke to the American people, had almost an allergy to press conferences, and generally defaulted on defining the issues and his presidency.

Based on that track record, does anyone expect his memoirs to provide a wealth of enlightenment?  And if it did, wouldn’t it serve to annoy the hell out of those of us who complained bitterly about the Bush administration’s competence on communications for the past eight years?


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…I saw the movie.

Firebird on March 20, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Bush already has 30,000 words

29,000 of them are uh’s.

/BDS suffer.

lorien1973 on March 20, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Bush should have written his memoirs BEFORE he became President, then he could have used them as proof of his fitness for office.

“Let’s elect THAT guy….he wrote a book!”

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I’m sure tens of people are waiting for this memoir with bated breath.

dcwvu on March 20, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Bush should have written his memoirs BEFORE he became President, then he could have used them as proof of his fitness for office.

“Let’s elect THAT guy….he wrote a book!”

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Yes, but he (Obama) actually wrote two auto-biographies before he became President.

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I look forward to the book.

Maxx on March 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM

[channeling non-descript libtard] Why write a book when you can watch Will Ferrell on Broadway?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on March 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Can I get $7,000,000 for reading it? A reading bailout maybe?

robblefarian on March 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I will read it because I want to see what Bush wouldn’t do during his presidency: defend policies that were visionary and wise and take on his clueless critics.

And Harsanyi shouldn’t complain about the impossible: having his intelligence insulted.

Basilsbest on March 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM

wait a minute! i will certainly read this book because: it will distract me from TOTUS and because he might include pictures of Laura which will distract me from the First Clydesdale.

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM

“Let’s elect THAT guy….he wrote a book!”

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

Ha! The American people would never fall for such an obvious ploy. Oh wait, they just did.

I suspect Bush will be better with the written word rather than the spoken word. A low enough bar, perhaps, but I’m sure he’ll have a good editor.

rbj on March 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Enlightenment? Maybe.

Annoyment? Likely.

Worth hearing him finally open his mouth? I think so.

Maquis on March 20, 2009 at 1:46 PM

bush will get Laura to edit alot of his book. she is very well-read & well-spoken. and she never wore the White House drapes to her husband’s inauguration.

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Yes, but he (Obama) actually wrote two auto-biographies before he became President.

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM

No he didn’t. Bill Ayers did.

PBoilermaker on March 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I think Cheney’s memoirs would be much more revealing and interesting.

SPCOlympics on March 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Yes, but he (Obama) actually wrote two auto-biographies before he became President.

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM

No he didn’t. Bill Ayers did.

PBoilermaker on March 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Hard to argue with that.

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Cheney couldn’t possibly disclose 10% of the secrets he has stored up in his bald head. boy, i bet he knows some good stuff.

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 1:49 PM

Audacity of Hope, which I found to be tedious and lecturesome.

Barack Obama, tedious and lecturesome? Who knew?

msmveritas on March 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM

sorry Bush didn’t have time to write books before he became President–he was a 2-term Governor of a really big state.

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM

I’ll buy it. I have my problems with the guy. But I’m truely interested in hearing what he has to say. You know, he probably wanted to be the heir apparent to Reagan, but those tragic events in September 01 pretty much prevent that from happening.

therightwinger on March 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

After the debauckle of the ONE,

the next President,or for that matter,

any Liberal who runs for office,better be

CERTIFIABLE!

canopfor on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

PBoilermaker on March 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Bingo! It is the height of narcissism that he wrote an autobiography when he hadnt done anything worth mentioning. I care nothing about his college life and snorting cocaine.

becki51758 on March 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Headline on CNN.com yesterday was ‘The decider inks book deal’

Their BDS in incurable.

Personally, I think he is 10 times the man Duh-One is.

cntrlfrk on March 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM

rbj on March 20, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Yep, and aren’t we glad that America elected the cool author guy with zero executive experience?

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

“I am told he gets $7 million for his life’s accomplishments in book form. So, the book is five pages long?”

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:43 PM

That’s like a bankhanded compliment, saying that his accomplishments are really quite valuable.

BadgerHawk on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I hope he waits until 2011. Chances are Dems will see his book release as an excuse to play politics(like they always do) and blame him for everything and remind people of his existence before the midterms. I want there to be no distractions about how the Dems are running this country into the ground further than Bush ever could. I don’t want to even open an opportunity for these scurrilous assholes to blame Rs.

gsherin on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Really? I think Bush’s will be fascinating, and I’m not that big a supporter.

This is the first president who faced the omnipresent threat of a major terrorist attack on our homeland, a guy who consistently made unpopular decisions and was vilified for them, to the extent that Bush death wishes became nearly their own artistic genre. I’d be interested to know how he withstood it all.

blue13326 on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Any serious student of the period knows that it is required reading, quite gripping, and for the most part avoids revisionism entirely.

some of Churchill’s writings, like the ‘history of English speaking peoples’, while excellent, also have some political agenda stuff inserted into it from that era.

Bush needs to do this badly, and not just for his legacy but the good of the country. Lots of lies to correct.

jp on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

I expect Bush to do most of the writing for his bio and follow the example of Churchill, his political hero. If he is even halfway effective at vindicating his presidency, I will be super pissed since he barely bothered to do so when it really mattered.

Terrie on March 20, 2009 at 1:55 PM

That’s like a bankhanded compliment, saying that his accomplishments are really quite valuable.

BadgerHawk on March 20, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Yep, but what would you expect from a graduate of Cornell Agriculture College?

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Pass on rewriting history.
getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Bush isn’t going to write about the demorats involvement in the AIG fiasco, duh.

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Generally I’d agree with you here. Clinton did the same thing. But Bush strikes me as much less concerned with ego than Clinton (or President Obama for that matter), and so I’d be more inclined to want to read this one.

Plus, Bush never even bothered to try to fight back against the press, so I’m a bit curious just to hear his side of some of the stories.

BadgerHawk on March 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Graham Allison wrote an excellent book called “Essence of Decision” about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was one of my textbooks at the Harvard Kennedy School and was the basis of the movie “Thirteen Days.” If Pres. Bush really writes a book that focuses on his big decisions and how he made them, it could be just as good and useful. The process of presidential decision making is worth writing about and worth reading about if described truthfully.

Another vapid presidential memoir like Bill Clinton’s is not worth reading. But I have a feeling this is not going to be one of those books.

rockmom on March 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM

I take it, registration is still open on this site?

Kjeil on March 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Yep, but what would you expect from a graduate of Cornell Agriculture College?

carbon_footprint on March 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Big Red Bear!

BadgerHawk on March 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on Mar 20,2009 at 1:52PM.

getalife:

Do you mean,the Bubba years,exploits of the Sexual Predator
in the Oval Office,

or,

the history of a Senator Hopey-Changey with only less than
2 years experience,

can I have a do-over,in swearing in for office flub!

canopfor on March 20, 2009 at 1:59 PM

bush will get Laura to edit alot of his book. she is very well-read & well-spoken. and she never wore the White House drapes to her husband’s inauguration.

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM

That was a JC Penney’s bedspread – not the WH drapes.

katiejane on March 20, 2009 at 1:59 PM

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Actual governing experience is overrated, as we now see from the fine job TOTUS is doing. ////sarc (Just in case that wasn’t as plain as the telepromter on Barack’s face)

msmveritas on March 20, 2009 at 1:59 PM

I can’t wait to read TOTUS’s memoir. Or have his guy read it to me.

29Victor on March 20, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Why read Bush’s side of things when we can watch movies and Broadway shows that just totally make shit up to trash him? It’s not like Americans are interested in the truth anymore… they just want to know what Hollywood actors think.

That’s why we have a clueless President, and also why, for the first time in my adult life, I am NOT proud of my country.

drunyan8315 on March 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

I, for one, am looking forward to this book.

I have a whole collection of books about the presidents. I prefer to have at least one pro book, one con book, one straight up history and when possible one autobiography.

Reading each of those kinds of books helps give a well rounded view of the individual president.

myrenovations on March 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Audacity of Hope, which I found to be tedious and lecturesome.

Barack Obama Bill Ayers, tedious and lecturesome? Who knew?

msmveritas on March 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM

alexraye on March 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

“Let’s elect THAT guy….he wrote a book!”

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM

+100

ladyingray on March 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

After the idiot biographer for Reagan did such a crappy job, who is supposed to write these things?

29Victor on March 20, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Attaboy (girl? person?), keep focused on rewriting it now.

warbaby on March 20, 2009 at 2:01 PM

You are a thankless lot and the book will be great. He is an honest man.

tomas on March 20, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Is any autobiography not an exercise in revisionism?

Bill Ayers?
William Shatner?
Dr. Phil?

For that matter all of his “foibles” listed here apply to any autobiography… not just a politicians.

If anything one should read Cervantes’ author’s preface to Don Quixote to know that those foibles have been true for quite some time.

Skywise on March 20, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Look forward to reading it.
Unlike the sleeper cell, I’m sure President Bush will do his own work.

christene on March 20, 2009 at 2:03 PM

I suspect this will be an enlightening book. W isn’t a dumb guy, just a straightforward communicator who’s more interested in action than polished oratory. I think he’ll come across well on paper.

Besides, as noted above, Laura will help him. I’m sure she is a quiet but effective guide to put his thoughts into ink.

I didn’t agree with him on some of the biggies, but I thank God he was in office rather than Gore or Kerry. I wish he was there now, instead of what we’re stuck with for the next four years.

cs89 on March 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Does it come with a Magic Eight Ball so the reader can actually experience the decision making process for themselves?

Kuffar on March 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Bless your heart, no silly, not the current events, this is a book written my President George Bush.

christene on March 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM

29,000 of them are uh’s.

/BDS suffer.

lorien1973 on March 20, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Must have learned from Obama when BO is not prompted.

Wade on March 20, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Ed, it’s not a bonus. It’s an advance payment on a product — his memoirs.

Dusty on March 20, 2009 at 2:06 PM

It will outline Harriet Myers, the immigration plan, the Katrina response and other great moments in GW history.

Should be titled _ Burn Before Reading.

Al Gore will research and ghost write.

Kuffar on March 20, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Given the ridiculously unbalanced media coverage, I’d rather like to see W’s side of the story.

TheUnrepentantGeek on March 20, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

I’m sure that if you do anything enough, it gets old.

TheUnrepentantGeek on March 20, 2009 at 2:11 PM

There is a market for it, why not?

I don’t see the point of romance novels, but if people want to read them, that’s their choice.

reaganaut on March 20, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Graham Allison wrote an excellent book called “Essence of Decision” about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was one of my textbooks at the Harvard Kennedy School and was the basis of the movie “Thirteen Days.” If Pres. Bush really writes a book that focuses on his big decisions and how he made them, it could be just as good and useful. The process of presidential decision making is worth writing about and worth reading about if described truthfully.

Another vapid presidential memoir like Bill Clinton’s is not worth reading. But I have a feeling this is not going to be one of those books.

rockmom on March 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM

It would be interesting and gripping if it was all about 9/11. In fact, I’d almost advise him to limit it to that one date.

Illinidiva on March 20, 2009 at 2:14 PM

It will be fine and probably a decent read, not that the frothing harpies of the left will consider it as anything less than a modern “Mein Kampf”.

Half of the liberal reviews will occur before the book has even hit the shelves, and the other half will be done by those who fail to actually read it but claim to know exactly what it says.

Bishop on March 20, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Plus, Bush never even bothered to try to fight back against the press, so I’m a bit curious just to hear his side of some of the stories.

BadgerHawk on March 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Agree. But he’s a little late. Left his supporters high and dry.

Christian Conservative on March 20, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Wow- the snarkiness is rather high.
Hey if someone is dumb enough to give away 7 million I say “good for you W”. We all would take it.
Also, lets just see how bad Bush looks in a few years time-especially if we get another “man-caused disaster” because we started to play nice with throat-cutters.

jjshaka on March 20, 2009 at 2:16 PM

It would be interesting and gripping if it was all about 9/11. In fact, I’d almost advise him to limit it to that one date.

Illinidiva on March 20, 2009 at 2:14 PM

He was roundly criticized when running for his second term for focusing on 9/11. That’s going to probably be a central focus, but I suspect he wants to talk about some of the other events of his 8 years at the helm.

cs89 on March 20, 2009 at 2:25 PM

When his book is turned into audio format…………..

……….. will he win an Emmy for it like Bill & Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and Mr. Teleprompter himself?

Seven Percent Solution on March 20, 2009 at 2:27 PM

I bet President Bush sells more books than san fran nan did.
L

letget on March 20, 2009 at 2:42 PM

I sure hope George vetted whoever the editor will be. A snake in the grass on this one could be more poisonous then a ‘Two Steps’.

Limerick on March 20, 2009 at 2:47 PM

I hope President Bush’s book sells 1 million copies and causes multiple fatal heart attacks at MSNBC!

SCOOPTHIScarlos on March 20, 2009 at 2:54 PM

After the last two months, I will gladly read a memoir about the last eight years when grownups were in charge!

Besides, after listening to Obama speak – I don’t think it is possible that he wrote Dreams of My Father or The Audacity of Hope. The only time that Obama sounds remotely like the author of the books is when he is speaking from the teleprompter. Maybe TOTUS is an accomplished author too!

libertylady on March 20, 2009 at 3:01 PM

bush said in his speech in Oh! Canada! that he was going to write about his hardest decisions. i guess #1 hard decision was being nice to bambi.

kelley in virginia on March 20, 2009 at 3:07 PM

He will sell a ton. He will sell even more if he labels it as a “tell all” about himself.

Grafted on March 20, 2009 at 3:19 PM

BDS lives on! Everywhere. Nice to know true colors of some, “searching” for ANYTHING. Pathetic!

Anita on March 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Historically, they’re important. Jefferson Davis wrote “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” – which could be considered a memoir of the only President of the CSA. It’s very enlightening – and gives a very unique perspective – as do Nixon’s and Clinton’s memoirs. Confederate General J.B. Hood also wrote a good memoir … “Advance and Retreat”, which is also enlightening.

You have to take these into perspective. They seem to be most often written by “tarnished” individuals in their own attempt to “set the record straight”. They are often tainted with “rationalization” and aren’t always representative of truth. BUT – they are an AWESOME source of information and insight into a person’s way of thinking.

HondaV65 on March 20, 2009 at 3:23 PM

He repeatedly failed to defend himself against substantial and silly charges alike.

Bush has finally been worn down by the 8-year media drumbeat and has joined the parade. The other day he said he was surprised that anyone would want to listen to him speak.
Lynne Cheney for president.

whitetop on March 20, 2009 at 3:56 PM

whitetop on March 20, 2009 at 3:56 PM

Better to be criticized than ignored. Bush was criticized & he ignored the media. Look where the MSM are today.

Anita on March 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Does anyone think Bush himself is actually going to write this thing, and not some anonymous lackey?

Lehuster on March 20, 2009 at 4:48 PM

All complain about W’s terrible oratory. I’m from TX and loved to hear him speak. If he mis-pronounced something, I never noticed because we all probably said the same here. Anytime he used a made up word, did anyone doubt what he meant? When he spoke, you didn’t have to hunt for what he actually meant. He worked to fulfill his campaign promises, even the ones he ran on that didn’t necessarily have a lot of support. But it wasn’t a surprise. And now he refuses to defend himself from 0′s daily passing the buck for anything 0 has to face. That’s class, but I so wish he would respond.

Yes, I will definitely buy the book.

Oleta on March 20, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I will read it b/c my love for W but I’m more interested in Rove’s book coming out soon. Apparently Rove is going to name names when it comes to people who undermined the Administration, and this includes Republicans. Apparently a Republican Senator went to W before the Surge and complained b/c it wouldn’t help the GOP politically and W told them to go to hell. I really want to know who that traitor is.

lavell12 on March 20, 2009 at 5:05 PM

I predict one of the biggest sellers in Presidential history. Even people that hate him will buy it looking for more ammo.

If he writes like he communicates behind closed doors without cameras around it should be a great read.

patrick neid on March 20, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Better question: Why be honest when Obama and Conyers are just waiting to prosecute him for anything they find in there that they don’t like.

It's Vintage, Duh on March 20, 2009 at 5:36 PM

After 8 years of hearing everyone bash GWB this is one conservative that wants to listen to his side. Hope he bashes a few politicos too because he never was partisan in the White House.

Herb on March 20, 2009 at 6:15 PM

But anyone who followed this President knows that he may have been one of the worst communicators in modern White House history.

You’ve been infected by the msm coverage of Bush. He’s actually a pretty good communicator when he tries. He certainly communicated better than McCain, Gore or Kerry. In the middle of low approval ratings in 2004, he was able to communicate his positions well enough to be re-elected, in what should have been a good year for Democrats.

Oh, he can mangle the language on occasion. But he always got his point across.

I have a feeling if the Republicans hadn’t treated him like a leper in the last election, he could have defended his record well enough to actually punch back against Obama, which was certainly more than McCain ever did. The entire election could have turned out differently.

tom on March 20, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Pass on rewriting history.

getalife on March 20, 2009 at 1:52 PM

We need a rewrite badly. The first draft of history was done by the media, and is embarrassingly bad.

tom on March 20, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Based on that track record, does anyone expect his memoirs to provide a wealth of enlightenment?

Yes, it could.

And if it did, wouldn’t it serve to annoy the hell out of those of us who complained bitterly about the Bush administration’s competence on communications for the past eight years?

No, it won’t. Why? Because I don’t need the media to tell me what’s in the book, or read the book for me. A sitting president doesn’t have that luxury. They rely on the media to get their message out, and when they don’t, as happened the last 8 years, it doesn’t matter how much information you put out.

The Bush admin could have been better at communicating, but it wouldn’t have mattered. When the messengers don’t like you, your message isn’t getting out.

xblade on March 20, 2009 at 8:45 PM

What’s wrong with you people?

I think most of you are acting like the “elitist” jerks you rightfully critisize here daily. So Bush isn’t a great communicator, so what? I care more what he does, not how he explains it. You really think anyone in the media who would diseminate that message cared to listen anyway?

We’re now faced with a President who communicates “nothing” very well and look where we are. Did I wish Bush would have fought back harder sometimes? Sure, but does anyone here really believe it would have been heard? In this political climate with this media? If you do, you’re smoking something pretty mind altering.

He shot straight and it still wasn’t good enough for many of you. He stood tall against everything evil in this world and all you can do is complain that he didn’t speak clearly enough for you.

I’ll be proud to read his book and pray every day that soon, we’ll have the integrity of that Man in the Whitehouse again someday. Until that day, we’re all screwed.

Whippet on March 20, 2009 at 9:49 PM

tom on March 20, 2009 at 8:11 PM

We do need a rewrite

I would say that 90% of dems have said that reforming a nation in the Middle East was impossible.

I would say that 90% of dems have said that the war has been prosecuted irresponsibly and corruptly.

Both of those statements run in direct confluence of each other, yet they were mantra.

Of course we may have done the impossible by prosecuting a war irresponsibly,….incompetently,…

and yet helped build a nation in the middle of violent squalor.

A story that pride should be brimming from every point in America and the Free World.

Yes Tom,

histiry needs a rewrite.

Sonosam on March 20, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Thats the way George pronounces ” history “.

Sonosam on March 20, 2009 at 9:57 PM

Well 43, we see the mess you were trying to avoid. The dam has broke for sure. Bring back 43!!

johnnyU on March 20, 2009 at 10:45 PM

Just look at all the things the media have told us over the last 8 years that are clearly wrong.

1) Bush lied us into a war in Iraq
2) Iraq was all about WMD’s that Saddam never had
3) We lost the war in Iraq
4) We fumbled our chance to get Osama bin Laden
5) Afghanistan/Iraq is a quagmire
6) Bush completely mishandled Katrina
7) Bush lied about Saddam seeking uranium in Nigeria
8) Bush’s tax cuts hurt the economy
9) Bush outed Valerie Plame to get back at Joe Wilson
10) Bush deregulation caused the current economic crisis
11) Bush caused the polarized political environment
12) Al Quaeda is stronger now than ever
13) Bush tortured detainees
14) Bush illegally spied on American citizens
15)

All these things — and more — are falsehoods accepted as truth by many in this country. I’m ignoring for sake of space all those cases where the media kept hunting for wrongdoing by the Bush administration, but found nothing, such as Enron. All the above are mostly wrong. Most are completely wrong.

But if you listened to and believed the news during the past 8 years, you believe every word of them, and may well even ridicule someone who contradicts these statements.

The media is famously said to write “the first draft of history.” They don’t do a very good job.

No surprise. They completely missed the decline and collapse of the Soviet Union under Reagan, mocked SDI as “Star Wars,” missed the recovery of the economy under “Reaganomics,” etc.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on March 20, 2009 at 11:07 PM

I think GWB will edit his own book. His aides and speech writers say that when they filled in the outline he’d given them for a speech, his corrections of their errors were brutal. He may not have a slick and easy way with the spoken word, but he may be excellent with the written word. In fact, I listened to a lot of his speeches and saw many of his interviews. Contrary to received opinion from the non-intelligentsia, GWB was remarkably well read and quite erudite. Whenever he referenced something/someone, he was usually quite accurate. GWB always had intellectual (ah, how the media loves this word) gravitas. They tried to deny it him, but even in spite of his discomfort with public expression, the natural intelligence and intellectual acuity came through.

Would that I could say the same about the TOTUS.

SilentWatcher on March 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Good. Now maybe we will learn just where it was he kept the VETO pen hidden all those years, and maybe we will discover whatever the hell it was that caused him to sign the hideous bailouts.

-Dave

Dave R. on March 21, 2009 at 4:25 PM