George W. Bush's Legacy is No Laughing Matter

The country is still paying for President George W. Bush's mistakes.

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You'd think he'd have the decency to stay at home.

Yes, you'd think he'd be under house arrest with his wife and dog, Spot, in Crawford, Texas.

You'd think he'd show penance for the biblically bad 21st century he has visited upon us, complete with a flood and seven years of famine after seven years of feast.

But no, there he was, a free man dressed in white tie at the gathering of the elite Alfafa Club dinner in Washington.

Former President George W. Bush came to this annual jokefest with co-conspirators, brother and former Gov. Jeb, and old-school father and former President George H.W. Bush.

[See a photo gallery of Bush's legacy.]

(I think of them as the three Macbeth witches: "Where shall we three meet again? In Florida, Texas, or in Maine?")

The parched Bush presidency in the American people's book is no laughing matter. We are still paying the price—in the trillions—for his wars.

But at this fancy dinner, Jeb showed just how much his family cared about that, in posing a joke to George: "Who put you in charge?"

The answer: "And George says, 'The Supreme Court, five to four.'" That brought the house down. Very nice.

Sandra Day O'Connor, the outgoing club president, lent even more reality to the show, since she cast one of the five votes in the 2000 Supreme Court decision.

O'Connor made no secret of her Republican partisanship in the tense days of vote counts leading up to the decision. She will always have her name tarnished on that historical disgrace.

But why cry when you can laugh instead? Nobody at that dinner has to worry about putting food on the table. The mighty like having a few presidents on the menu.

[Read former Supreme Court Justice Stephens on the Bush v. Gore decision.]

President Barack Obama came with first lady Michelle, but they did not stay long to soak up the scene of lavish excess: the Washingtonian establishment laughing at their follies.

Good for the Obamas, leaving early. A scolding to George W. Bush for going out in public and making merry. He's a walking reminder of the shambles left in his wake. Go home, sir, and stay there.

Let's face it, if the 21st century was a Broadway show, it would have closed a long time ago.

My father likes to say the 43rd president left a K.I.T.E for Obama to fly in 2009: Katrina, Iraq, Terrorism and the Economy.

Obama has done pretty well on those fronts, but he should not have to sit long at a table in the presence of his enemies.

  • See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.
  • See pictures of soldiers returning home from Iraq
  • See the Top 5 GOP Candidate Gaffes of 2011