George W. Bush's Book and Proud Republican Ignorance

George W. Bush still haunts us 10 years later.


Just as we bruised people begin to brush off the dust from the election, the worst visage of the past came back to taunt us: George W. Bush splashed over the small screen, smug as ever about his bloody war for no good reason in Iraq. No worries about leaving a nation once graced with peace and plenty in tatters and tears in his eventful eight years. Searching for White House likenesses, he reminds one of swaggering 19th century Andrew Jackson, without the charm.

[See a photo gallery of the Bush legacy.]

The exquisite timing of 10 years since the dreadful deadlock of the 2000 election is probably pressing on me, too. After a decade, the only thing I like about Bush is his wife. He is, like Jackson was, uxorious.

Enough about him. He's history--history he'll never read, as he is so fond of saying.

Wisconsin broke my heart, by the way, last week. The Republican governor-elect, Scott Walker, according to Madison's leading piano teacher, seems to know "nothing about everything." Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold, who lost after three terms, in the end showed his class and quoted Bob Dylan's song, Mississippi, "My heart is light and free/I've got nothing but affection for those who sailed with me." He added, "Forward." That's the Wisconsin state motto.

[See a slide show of winners and losers from the 2010 elections.]

Okay, let's go with that tantalizing phrase, "nothing about everything." Doesn't that aptly capture our friends in the Tea Party, first among them Sarah Palin? The level of cultural and political illiteracy among the Tea Party candidates, especially the women, is staggering. Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle, along with the curious congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, seemed to have vast empty storehouses of knowledge. Sarah Palin has never gotten caught with her nose in a book. This makes you wonder why Republicans tolerate this know-nothingness in their midst. Then again, there's a proud tradition of Know-Nothings in American history. New York Mayor Bloomberg is more pessimistic: the new class coming to Congress, he said, can't read and don't have passports.

[See editorial cartoons about the Tea Party.]

Soon it becomes clear the Republican men riding the Tea Party wave are not much better than the women (who lost, mostly.) But hey, the new House Republican majority has six weeks to put to good use. Is it too late for them all to start a book club and read the brilliant John Maynard Keynes and his General Theory? Class, after what this economy has been through, aren't we all still Keynesians now? For the record, it's the book of macroeconomic theory that saved the day for the Depression.

[See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]

For a nice liberal like me, the rich hypocrisy is that the Iraq War, declared by a Republican president, is the main reason the Treasury is dry and depleted, in debt. So Republicans have a lot of nerve talking about cutting government spending and slashing the deficit after they and the aforementioned president inflicted that war on us and the world. Democrats still standing in the House, don't give an inch of high ground on the hurting economy. Often Republicans are better at twisting the truth than Democrats are at telling it.

Ain't that the truth.

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