Sunday September 16, 2012

RICHMOND

Former President George W. Bush has been getting away with it all his life.

During his rapscallion days he had Dad and Mom to deflect the shame of being a drunk and possible druggie. During his eight years as our president he had the power to start wars while slashing taxes for the very rich, cutting back on needed repairs for our national infrastructure and okaying water boarding for prisoners of war.

Nobody has sympathy for the enemies of our nation and this time around we are dealing with the most pernicious group ever, but to lower our standards to match theirs was a disservice to our nation’s history and our present society. It reached the point where in his last year in office Bush received a 19 point favorable rating, down from 90 percent before the public got to really know him.

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Consequently, it was not really a surprise when he an nounced months before the Re publican national convention that he would not be attending. Former Vice Presi dent Dick Cheney, the evil counselor to the president, also announced he had other plans. It is not known if this was a pact between Bush and the Romney contingent or just something that fell into place, but W was only present in a short film about his father. His brother, Jeb, who was invited, maintained that bygones should be bygones and let’s get on with it.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, however, stated firmly that George W. Bush was responsible for the fix the country is in now and that Democrats, if nobody else, will blame him forever.

All of this is probably rolling off W’s ducklike personality and he is biding his time until the furor dies down and he can start making speeches at top dollar. What the themes will be is still up for grabs.

Meanwhile, political columnists are turning a critical eye on President Barack Obama and rating his acceptance speech as coming in fifth in the sweepstakes. Number one, of course, was that given by former President Bill Clinton as he skewered the Republicans right, left and in the middle.

Second was the heartwarming biography of the president as delineated by his wife, Michelle. Third was the rip rouser by Vice President Joe Biden and fourth was the ringing endorsement by our own governor, Deval Patrick. Many analysts see a bright future for this young man.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Obama are duking it out in what they have determined are the eight swing states that might swing either way. And Romney is conceding that there are a few things in Obama care that he would keep, such as pre-existing conditions and children on Daddy and Mommy’s health plan. They are also boning up for their forthcoming debates which will possibly be the determining factor for the fence sitters. Our own Sen. John Kerry is acting the part of Mitt Romney in Obama’s SAT simulation so you can be sure there won’t be many laughs in that ordeal.

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New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who has been a little worn out in the past couple of years, did an old-time dinger on her reaction to Obama’s acceptance speech at the convention. She was more than annoyed by it. She also resented its tone and its accusations. She claimed that Obama was blaming us for the difficulties we are in now, but that he had "kindly" decided to give us another four years of his time to straighten things out.

"How on earth," she asks, "could we have let so much of what we fought for slip away? How did we allow Mitch Mc Connell, Karl Rove, the super PACs, the Tea Party, the lobbyists and the special interests take away our voice?" "How could we," she asks, "have let the storybook president lose his narrative?"

All the defects she points out about Obama are probably true, but right now Mitt Rom ney and those about him make Obama look pretty good. That’s why we have a ball game still going on with the ninth inning coming up.

Everybody should watch the debates. Everybody. It may be the most important thing you have ever done in your life.

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle
contributor.