I watched parts of Larry King Live last night because I knew Sandra wanted to hear what Laura Bush (pictured at right with the President during the interview) had to say. But I am still suffering the after-effects. Like the other exit interviews the President has given recently, this one was far removed from reality. George W. Bush must live in another world.
Defiant and unrepentant, the President played the victim. In his version of events, he is the embattled hero standing on principle, buffeted by fate, paying for the follies of previous administrations, and staunch to the end. He insists he has kept America safe since Nine-Eleven, and that his controversial actions were justified by the threat of terrorism.
So it was the threat of terrorism that justified water boarding (defined in international law as a war crime), tyrannical assaults on the Constitution, perversion of the Justice Department, lying to the nation as a means of invading Iraq, and the horrors of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib (photo at right). I disagree totally, of course, but I can at least see a faint shadow of logic in the President’s claim.
Bush also made an effort to excuse his handling of the Katrina disaster, citing relief efforts for several other hurricanes that were not so badly mismanaged. And I believe him when he says the Katrina debacle was not because of racism on his part.
But no logic, however twisted, can justify – or even excuse – policies that enriched the richest Americans at the expense of the poor and middle class, and left the country’s economy in shambles. He told Larry King that he has no idea how his finances fared during the economic meltdown. His money is in a blind trust, he explained. But he opined that his finances probably were diminished by the economic crisis. This from a man who recently purchased a $2 million house in Dallas.
And I am sure it was not the threat of terrorism that motivated his attacks on the environment. Even in the waning days of his administration he unleashed a series of executive orders that, unless Obama repeals them, will scar the face of the American countryside for generations. This man, who says he looks forward to enjoying America’s national parks when he leaves office, is the same person who opened thousands of acres of pristine wilderness to mining auctions, who promoted pollution and resisted efforts to curb global warming.
The President’s whining was backed up by loyal wife Laura, who said she was angered by Barack Obama’s “personal” attacks during the most recent election campaign. Watching the couple fidget and squirm under Larry King’s innocuous questioning, I almost felt sorry for them. Almost.