Monday, January 19, 2009

Farewell to a President ...

As a member of the small minority of Americans who admire and respect President George W. Bush, I wish I could personally thank him for always putting our country first during the last eight years, regardless of the consequences to him politically and personally.

The following is an excerpt from a tribute to Mr. Bush, which was written by Mark Impomeni, a blogger for AOL News Political Machine. His post is called "Farewell to Bush: A Decent Man," and I hope you will put your political views aside for a moment and read it.

"George Bush came to Washington pledging to change the tone, to unite not divide. He arrived, however, after a bitter and bruising election contest which resulted in some liberals and Democrats vowing that Bush was not their president, and setting out from day one to discredit him.

But if he could not change the tone in Washington, President Bush did not let the tone change him. Displaying more class and grace than his adversaries combined, Bush never engaged in the hyper-partisan bickering, much to his supporters' chagrin. That is not to say that he did not engage in the political process. He did, and many times outmaneuvered and defeated Democratic opposition, both when it was in the minority and the majority. He did it with a smile, not a snarl. And they hated him all the more for it.

Of all the decisions that President Bush made, the most consequential will forever be those made in the prosecution of the War on Terror – chief among them the decision to invade Iraq. Forged by the September 11th attacks, Bush acted in what he believed to be the best interest of the nation. He relied upon intelligence that previous presidents had relied upon in determining that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and he concluded that his duty as president required him to act to prevent those weapons from being handed over to the people who had murdered 3,000 Americans on home soil.

There can be no doubt that there were mistakes in the planning and execution of the Iraq War strategy. There are in every war. For a time there seemed to be a real chance that the United States might be driven from Iraq in defeat and disgrace. But rather than yield to political expediency, Bush doubled down on Iraq, and unleashed a new strategy commanded by a brilliant new general, that has won the victory in Iraq and validates the original decision.

President Bush would be due a little bragging. But that is not his way. He has celebrated his vindication quietly, meeting in secret with the families of hundreds of the fallen, and personally contacting the family of every single one of the more than 4,000 brave men and women who served him, and the mission he gave them, to the last.

More than any other president in American history, President Bush was the subject of media scorn and derision for most of his term. The mainstream press exposed his secret programs, gave voice to his most shrill critics, amplified questions about his motives, and even publicized forged documents to try and prevent his reelection. Here, Bush was willing to push back from time to time. But he never sustained any of those efforts long enough or loudly enough to overcome the sheer volume of false, misleading, and uncharitable material published against him. But he attended all their dinners, and made the appropriately self-deprecating jokes. Because, ultimately, it did not matter to him what they wrote about him. What mattered was his duty.

No one who was alive on September 11th, 2001, would have thought that the United States would not be attacked again in the next seven and a half years. That it has come to be is all to President Bush's credit, and it will be his enduring legacy. The terrorist surveillance program, aggressive interrogations, Guantanamo Bay, enemy combatants, the PATRIOT Act. All are decisions that Bush made in order to protect the country from further attacks, and all have been derided by civil liberties activists and Democrats as illegal invasions of privacy, shredding the Constitution, and the establishment of a police state. They have all have been unqualified successes. President Bush vowed that another September 11th would never happen on his watch, and he made sure of it.

A true dispassionate history of the Bush Administration will not be written for a generation. Time must pass to let emotion settle out of the mixture. When it is written, it will almost certainly judge George W. Bush to have been a fundamentally decent man who strived to do his duty and did not shirk the responsibilities of leadership, often at great political cost.

He will be remembered as a president who prevented another terrorist attack against great odds, while freeing 50 million Muslims from oppression. And he will be remembered for having received no credit for any of it while he was in office.

There will come a moment, much sooner than anyone now believes, when the country will collectively miss George W. Bush – when an old fashioned leader is required. On that day, Mr. President, you will finally have earned a measure of the respect that you were denied in your years in the White House.

Thank you, sir, for a job well and faithfully done."

I would like to add my best wishes to President and Mrs. Bush as they begin their new life in Dallas. May God watch over them and bless them with peace and contentment in knowing they served their country well.


Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

Fabulous post...thank you for this. I will miss Bush - although not perfect, he is a God-fearing man and definitely put his country and its protection at the forefront. I cannot fathom what will take place in the next four years...

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Janie,
This is a great post. I think that George Bush has been the scapegoat for many of the problems our country has had.

It is so easy for people to blame him rather than look for real solutions.

I too join you in wishing President and Mrs. Bush the very best!

Stacey said...

I agree with you 100%!!

Stacey said...

I agree with you 100%!!

Anonymous said...

Thank You! Thank You! Someone that understands President Bush kept our country from being attacked on American soil! I do not care what the media says we are all to be greatful for President Bush taking 9-11 serious and making sure that we were safe. I say were, as I did not vote for Mr. Obama and I pray that this man takes the threats to our homeland seriously because God help us all if he does not!

God Bless!

Libby Buttons said...

Although every President has his weak areas regardless of party, G.W. was/ is a man of great conscience and integrity. I believe history will reveal his many positive strengths and contributions to America. He got my vote.

August Rose said...

O'w How I feel the same way. President Bush understood one thing. We have to take the war to them and not let them take it to us. Many of those who opposed his ideas would feel differently if bombs would fall around their homes. We are like no other country, we have never had a bomb enter our own beloved land.


Anonymous said...

Amen Janie, thank you for this post !!!

I sent President Bush an email at the White House last week thanking him and wishing the President and his family the best in retirement.

One more thing that is NEVER mentioned in the media, President Bush gave more to Afica to combat AIDS than anyone has.

I think history will be kind to this man, I hope so, already Obama and his staff have said that Bush and his entire staff have been so helpful with the transition. I seem to remember Clinton's staff stealing the G's from all the computers !!!

Let us pray this is the man for the job, and this days goes well...

God Bless America,
Kathy :)

kymber said...

Thank you so much for this post today! I, too feel the same way about President Bush. I feel so sorry for the horrible way he has been treated during his presidency. He was never respected and so often mocked for trying his best to take care of his beloved country.
We all as a country should be ashamed of the treatment to this gentle man.

He will always be one of the greatest presidents to me. I am sure he feels the hatred from the liberals, but I hope he also feels the love from those who stood by his side. So sad that the media never gave him a chance. It truly breaks my heart because he carrys the guilt of decisions made about the Iraq war - instead of standing WITH him as a nation we all let it divide us.
I appreciate your thoughtful words on this important day.
Blessings to you,

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i believe history will show that gwb was a great president. and of course laura the best first lady ever. gracious and lovely...

this is a wonderful post!

today, as the new president is sworn in, i have hope that he can do what he says, but much doubt. all we can do is wait and see...

smiles, bee

Melinda said...

Amen! I agree with you completely, if he hadn't take the stand he did, I truly believe we would have been attacked again.

Although I didn't vote for Obama, I will support him as our president, however, I am nervous.


bj said...

So glad to see others that love him and Laura as I do. Please see my post is already up and ready to post.

Audrey said...

Janie, thanks for saying all of this so eloquently. I think he made tough decisions in the best interest of his country. Love him and Laura!

cottage farm villa (cottagecharm) said...

I also want to thank you for this post. I too feel thankful for President Bush keeping this country safe since Twin Towers. My personal feelings are that people are fickle and forget. They vote a president in and then they bash him. They have done this with every president that I have been old enough to remember. The only president that somewhat escaped this was dear Ronald Reagan. Give it 4 years, if not less, and Mr. Obama will be receiving criticism. It is sad. We should stand by our President from the day they enter office until the day they leave. I believe each President we have had, did the best that "each" one of them could do. Mistakes are made. Sins are committed. They are men. They are human.

God Bless America, God Bless the Bush Family and God Bless our New President and his family.

I truly hope he and his cabinet realize that nothing matters in America, in the world for that matter, if we are not safe. Money won't matter, healthcare won't matter, education won't matter if we are struck with a biological weapon. I am hopeful that Mr. Obama will continue to follow President Bushes lead in keeping us safe.

Let's enjoy this historical day!

Julie @ Sweet Chaos said...

Bless President Bush & Mrs. Bush. They are beautiful people & for me, it was a pleasure to have them represent & serve our beautiful country. I'm watching the inauguration now & have goosebumps. I'm concerned for the welfare of our country & just hope that Obama can do our country well. I fear that we've possibly gotten our "come uppin's" although I pray that's not true.

Anyways, I'll miss cute ol' George & Laura...

beth at aunties said...

AMEN! What a beautiful and well deserved tribute to a man with integrity and desire to keep our nation safe and Moral.
I am so grateful to him for the way he stepped up to the plate and did what he HAD to do, after 9-11.
May the Lord bless him and his sweet wife for the service they have rendered. He is a man of man of God, just as our forefathers were.
I pray continually for our country that we will continue to have the freedoms and liberties which we enjoy.
Bless your heart Janie, for posting this timely and well deserved Tribute which brought tears of gratitude to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

a million thank yous for this post......jennie in tn

Allison said...

I also want to jump in and say "THANK YOU" for writing this. So many always look to blame the president for the faults of the country as a whole. He will always have my respect for how he handled 9/11. I look forward to having him back in Texas as a private citizen.

midnight macaroons said...

God Bless George W. Bush!!! I'm proud to have called him President.

Tonja said...

A beautiful tribute. He is a fine man, and I pray history will prove his greatness.

Thanks for sharing this!