Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 6, 2008

WE LET BUSH DOWN.... A friend emailed me last night, telling me that this op-ed from the Wall Street Journal may very well be the single most foolish op-ed ever published in a major American newspaper. That's obviously a difficult standard to live up to, so I was skeptical.

And then I read it. I think my friend was on to something.

The piece was written by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, whose work I'm unfamiliar with, but who the WSJ identifies as an "investigative reporter and lawyer." His argument is fairly straightforward: the disgrace of the last eight years wasn't Bush's presidency, but rather, how mean we've all been to him.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

Got that? Bush didn't fail Americans; Americans failed Bush. When his presidency became farcical, and his failures became overwhelming, it was the American people who were "disloyal." Presumably, the electorate was supposed to stand proudly behind the president, regardless of his actual job performance.

To hear Shapiro tell it, we should not only be ashamed of ourselves for noting Bush's countless failures, but we should also begin to realize that Bush is better than us. Indeed, our failures -- not Bush's -- have literally made us less safe, because our enemies have noticed the president's low approval ratings.

I've seen some bizarre arguments over the years, but I've never seen anything quite like this.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (100)

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Comments

...and the 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is...

Posted by: rusrus on November 6, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Well, then, I look forward to Mr. Shapiro's forthcoming op-eds scolding conservatives for their disloyalty toward President Obama.

But I sure ain't holding my breath...

Posted by: Redshift on November 6, 2008 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

I am not supposed to be loyal to politicians, they are servants of the people and should be loyal to the constituents.

Bush acted like he was loyal to a small percentage of the salus populi and that was his 'base'. Bush worked hard to be a divider.

Posted by: Jet on November 6, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

If a Democrat has won a decisive victory, then I fear we haven't done our jobs.

Posted by: Tom Brokaw on November 6, 2008 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, my bad. I'll take the blame for all that disloyalty. Now, please go fix the country, and I'll shut up now.

Posted by: Antonius on November 6, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Is this the first robin of spring, a trial balloon at establishing a new meme? Bush didn't fail us, we failed him. Either that or this guy is auditioning for a job at the Bush library. Some people will say anything, look at Bill Kristol.

Posted by: jrw on November 6, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I remember when Bush said if your not with us your against us.

Pfttt.

Posted by: Jet on November 6, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

I've seen some bizarre arguments over the years, but I've never seen anything quite like this.

Oh, come on. You can see this kind of argument usually 4 times a week, around midnight or so on Comedy Central. I think the show is called, "The Colbert Report."

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on November 6, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

This guy used to be a tabloid 'reporter' - he had the Globe's JonBenet beat for years.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on November 6, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, and Custer didn't fail his men the Indians did.

Posted by: stevio on November 6, 2008 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm, I wonder how he felt about President Clinton? Maybe the president has to be a complete prat before this schmuck feels some sympathy.

Posted by: Stacy6 on November 6, 2008 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Bush has gotten off much lighter than he should have. The public basically made a hero of him shortly after 9/11 instead of reading it as a failure to prevent the terrorist strike. Same with his old man. The first Gulf War was very preventable.

Posted by: lou on November 6, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

i am calling this the fox news effect. since they report very little that might be critical of any republican but esp. the bush-cheney-rove gang, they have no idea why the rest of us have been outraged. i recently had a discussion with a staunch goper, christian conservative friend and he could not name one thing that bush had done wrong. i also spoke to a moderate friend whose husband loves fox -- she had no idea how conservative the channel was. after all, they say they are fair and balanced and o'reilly says he is an independent.

Posted by: FLDem on November 6, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Of course it's our fault. We, as a country (but not me personally), re elected the fool.

Posted by: amy on November 6, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Let's see now, have I been cruel?

C- student
Cheerleader
Spoiled fratboy pledge torturer
AWOL at TANG
Cocaine abuser and alcoholic
Enjoyed not pardoning prisoners on death row while governor
Multiple failures running businesses, in spite of later being lauded as the CEO President
Saved, and saved again by his father, and by a higher father
An unprincipled, immoral, abusive fool, who enjoys to belittle his close associates and underlings
A clueless idiot, who was saved by 9/11, as his presidency was already tanking
A coward, who sat paralyzed in that Florida classroom, scared to death of what Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz had set in motion, and only emerged when it was clear that this one would be on bin Laden
Lied, cheated and dissembled the world into accepting an illegal assault on a sovereign nation
Joked about not finding any WMD in the Oval Office, while US servicemen and -women were dying, and thousands more would die, and tens of thousands would be maimed, in that folly of a war

Sorry, I could go on for thousands of lines here.

Cleaning up after this sorry mess of a man is going to take decades and cost trillions.

Posted by: SteinL on November 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Disloyalty to Bush has sapped and impurified our precious bodily fluids. Bush could not fail, he could only be failed. Now we're going to be invaded by Islamofascist hordes who will make us all wear burqhas.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on November 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Shapiro nailed it.

Years from now, the American people will look back in shame at how they treated Bush, and will regret not electing McCain to give the country the change it needed.

Posted by: Al on November 6, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, the best part of this whole op-ed is that the fact he was an INTERN for john kerry is listed as a qualification to write it. an INTERN. I was once an intern for the ADL...i will now have an op-ed published by the new york times about...anything having to do with jews or racism?

Posted by: Alex on November 6, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Shapiro wants to prove that GOP incompetence includes even sycophancy.

Posted by: skimble on November 6, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Is Shapiro from Bizarro America? Or is he getting a kickback from Bernanke and Paulson?

Posted by: RememberNovember on November 6, 2008 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, I needed a good laugh this morning....

Posted by: ArtEclectic on November 6, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Every single Republican and conservative should read this dork's op-ed. They should be tied to chairs, have their eyelids taped open and forced to read it over and over and over again until they finally realize they have to drive guys like this out of their party and movement, or at least to the far, far fringe of it.

The fundamental problem with the Right isn't the ideology. It's that it has become the welcoming home for mindless Authoritarians like Mr. Shapiro. The GOP and conservatism today is stuffed full of people who would have been perfectly content living in Stalin's Russia or Mao's China or Pinochet's Chile. Until they marginalize and deligitimize these people, I'm not sure they can EVER be trusted again with political power.

Mike

Posted by: MBunge on November 6, 2008 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The WSJ should be ashamed of itself for publishing such crap. Guess the Obama win really did make them lose their tiny minds.

Posted by: emjaybee on November 6, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

HAHAHHAhahahhaha!!! Priceless.

Posted by: Monty on November 6, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

"Thank You, President Bush" Lawnsign seen in Claremont County (outside of Cincinnati) while canvassing for Obama:

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i31/illinoisDemNet/DSCN0090b.jpg

Posted by: leo on November 6, 2008 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Problem: Our country is swirling down the bowl
Solution: CHEER! Yay Bush!

Posted by: tom.a on November 6, 2008 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

The WSJ should be ashamed of itself for publishing such crap. Guess the Obama win really did make them lose their tiny minds.

Don't read the Op-Eds from the WSJ much, do you? This type of crap is not new for them.

Posted by: Walker on November 6, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I read this yesterday afternoon (linked to it from Drudge, God help me) and I was sure it was satire. I didn't really appear in the WSJ, did it? I mean, that paper's been known for YEARS for its sharp take on the administration and its policies, right?

Posted by: Michigoose on November 6, 2008 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Those of us with actual brains remember the viciousness with which Republicans attacked the Clintons (and expect more of the same with Obama,as the campaign has already demonstrated.) If they'll accept responsibility for their own disloyalty, I'll accept mine.

As if.

Posted by: Nancy Drew on November 6, 2008 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"who the WSJ identifies as an "investigative reporter and lawyer."-Benen
"This guy used to be a tabloid 'reporter' - he had the Globe's JonBenet beat for years."-low-tech cyclist

BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Posted by: Palinoscopy on November 6, 2008 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't know that the WSJ printed satire on their editorial pages. Aren't they aware that some people might be confused by this and take it seriously?

Posted by: tedb on November 6, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I'm betting that this is a prank. Look for the reveal in a couple of days. This is beyond the Colbert Report.

Posted by: Geoff on November 6, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

this isn't so bizarre for the wing nuts to believe. Thirty-some years later- the wingnuts I know still believe Nixon was an honorable man, brought down by disloyal underlings.

delusions run deep. it's part of a collected unconsciousness.

Posted by: effluvientOne on November 6, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Blame Americans first? I assume he'll stand by President Obama no matter what then...riiiiight.

Posted by: Allen Snyder on November 6, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace.

Indeed. He should have been taken out and shot.

Thankfully, that's no longer necessary.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on November 6, 2008 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

You must be mistaken. Surely this came from the Onion.

Posted by: dennis on November 6, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
-- Berthold Brecht 1953

Posted by: Jim Ramsey on November 6, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

In some religions, God has a right to your prayers. If you don't pray to him, he has a right to bring total devastation to your life.

Posted by: gregor on November 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

If Bush didn't eavesdrop on our conversations, he wouldn't hear such hurtful things.

And Shapiro mentioned an internship in his bio?!? What, no SAT scores?

Posted by: gradysu on November 6, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Repeatedly recite the following in a monotone voice with zero affect -

"Bush is a man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius"

Posted by: _PK_ on November 6, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, it's the peasants fault! The common folk should never question the divine mandate of the Monarch! Pesky Peasants!

The more I read from various right wing sources the more I'm convinced they are really about getting us back to some sort of Feudal Monarchy type of government.

I wandered through some of the blogs of the right (I refuse to dignify them be calling them conservative) yesterday and it was pretty surreal.

Posted by: C-Red on November 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

NOt to trigger godwin's Law or anything but I remember reading about the mood in Hitler's bunker as the war was lost was a deep sense that the German people had betrayed their Fuhrer and that the bombings and invasion being inflicted on them was a just punishment for their failure to live up to the glorious destiny that they were supposed to fulfill... I guess it's a personality type.

Posted by: Diana on November 6, 2008 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Rupert M really had to look through the dregs to find a writer who was willing to sign his name to this drivel.

Posted by: jen f on November 6, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I think at this point, Bush would even admit to failing the country. Even he no longer has the audacity to blame it on us.

Can we assume there is an opening at Fox and the tabloid writer needs some resume padding ?

Off topic, but is anyone else wondering what in the fuck we are going to find once Bush leaves ? I know the shredder is working overtime over at Cheney's, but Bush seems almost comatose lately like he is too depressed to hid the bodies.

Posted by: ScottW on November 6, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

When I read what the column had said, it sounded eerily familiar. Thinking back, I last heard someone say that about 40 years ago in Brazil. It was a German who had fled Germany after the war to escape prosecution for Nazi war crimes, and he maintained that the problem was that the German people had failed Hitler because they weren't strong enough for him. That is the reason that Germany lost the war, and he was very assertive in his defense of Hitler. I wonder if there is some sort of personality disorder that lends itself to this kind of thinking.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on November 6, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

W. Bush's supporters are turning to the Fuhrer Defense to explain their leader's failures. They will be mortified when many in the W. Bush regime testify against their dear leader at his war crimes trial.

Posted by: Brojo on November 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Stacy6 brings up an interesting point. Is there no circumstance under which the American people are allowed to reject their president?

Is it okay to vote out a one-term president, or is that also disloyal? Perhaps by this guy's logic, we must do our patriotic duty to re-elect Obama in 2012. I could live with that.

Regardless, I hope that this guy (and, in fact, the WSJ editorial page which endorsed this opinion) is now going to give our next president his/their full, unwavering support.

Posted by: TG Chicago on November 6, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

It's going to be so confusing to have a president worthy of respect. My 13-year-old son said this morning, "I've never known a president that people respected."

Posted by: tina on November 6, 2008 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

the author is also described as a legal intern on the john kerry 2004 campaign...it's very curious.

Posted by: larrybob on November 6, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, Diana. I hadn't read your message before posting mine. But I guess we are on the same wavelength.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on November 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

You know who was properly loyal to their leader?

Serfs.

The kind that gave their wives to the king for deflowering on their wedding night.

THAT was some proper fealty to one's high commander.

I suspect that was what Cheney had in mind in his unitary executive system.


One can only hope that Obama, as one of the greatest presidents ever, will demonstrate the wisdom of Washington and deny any power of signing statements and perhaps even prosecute violations of law based on them by his predecessor, assuming no blanket self-pardon.

If Bush does self-pardon, and gets away with it, Obama must push through the revocation of the ability to pardon anyone serving in his administration or himself.

There are few demonstrations of

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

FYI, Shapiro covered the JonBenet Ramsey case for the Globe, the supermarket tabloid, and rather notoriously at that. Might tell you something about his own standards of ethics.

Posted by: Robert Marchant on November 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

and a simple google reveals that said author has also written for the washington monthly...who knew? obviously, not the blogger for the washington monthly.

Posted by: larrybob on November 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Texas Aggie -- we both posted simultaneously and I love how we agree it must be a personality type. There's no actual logic which would lead a normal person to that kind of conclusion.

Posted by: Diana on November 6, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

This is hardly a novel notion, that the people failed the leader. In fact, I recall seeing a whole movie a couple of years back in which the failed leader railed against those who had let him down.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363163/

Posted by: godwin on November 6, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

You obviously have forgotten the definitive characterization of George W. Bush.

So, as a reminder, here are the words of John Hinderaker at Powerlineblog.com:

"It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile."

Obviously, we now know of one person who noticed.

Posted by: CMcC on November 6, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Shapiro's argument can be boiled down to this:

"It's not his fault that he beat the crap out of me— I burned his dinner!"

Posted by: bluestatedon on November 6, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Leave George Bush ALLOOONNNNEEE!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Ernest Scribbler on November 6, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

LOL, this is the best editorial The Onion has ever run.

Posted by: Gina on November 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Is it a re-print of WSJ op-ed after the Clinton presidency?

Posted by: Keviin, Fruitport, MI on November 6, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Laugh, if you will at Shapiro, but, he was prescient enough in '06 to write that Lieberman was the Democrats' best chance to win the White House.

Now, will you let him get back to following the Ramseys and defending Kobe Bryant.

Posted by: berttheclock on November 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

ermmm....does this strike anyone as touching on the Messianic? Anyone know the oft reached-for tale of faith, described as two sets of footprints along the shore, Everyman's and Christ's. At the lowest, bleakest points in Everyman's life there are only one set of prints, leading him to point them out and ask Christ where He was during the troubling times. "I carried you" replies Christ. Sounds akin to what Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is offering up in his editorial.

Posted by: Eeyore1351 on November 6, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

With the departure of W, we hopefully will no longer be on the road to becoming a rogue banana republic. In 75 days the "access to evil" (the WH) will not be available to the minority party.

The solicitation for sympathy is falling on deaf ears.

Posted by: Ted76 on November 6, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

The 2008 version of "stabbed in the back".

Movement conservativism has been, and always will be, about re-fighting the VietNam war, and "getting back" at the "dirty hippies".

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on November 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't read all the comments so forgive me if I'm repeating this, but Adolf Hitler said the same thing about the German people in his bunker shortly before he blew his brains out.

Posted by: Paul on November 6, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I, for one, believe the author of this article is right.
As a Republican, I have had many Democrats tell me to just give Obama a chance.
Looking back, did Democrats REALLY give Bush a chance? There was no "honeymoon" for Bush, either.
Dems made up their minds about him from the get-go. They did not give him a chance. They worked to make his job more difficult from the beginning.
That IS a disgrace, and mistreatment.

I applaud the author of this article. As of late, he seems to be one of the few people making sense.

Posted by: Sharon on November 6, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I must admit that I did not stand behind President Bush. I know this because my footprint isn't in his butt.

Posted by: scott_m on November 6, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

FlDem. I think you are on to something. It's not that liberals and conservatives just have different points of view, it's that we also seem to have entirely different experiences because of the media we pay attention to. We are what we eat, and apparently we are what we watch and read, as well. Conservatives who stay within the safe but narrow "informational enclave" of FOX News, the Wall Street Journal and Rush Limbaugh have absolutely no idea whey the rest of us are so angry at what Bush and Cheney have done over the past eight years. So it's easy for them to pass off our anger as some kind of congenitive infirmity called "Bush-bashing." I've also thought that conservatives are just delusional, or in a state of denial, in their inability to see that that the McCain campaign really was hateful for stoking racial and ethnic animosities. So, they naturally think that any criticism of the hateful campaign Republicans ran is itself hateful.

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 6, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Sharon, get a grip. If you REALLY look back, you'll see that yes, particularly after 9/11, Democrats gave Bush a chance. The whole country, Republicans and Democrats alike, rallied behind Bush and looked to him for leadership. They passed his Patriot Act with almost no questions asked and almost no votes against it. They approved his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And his reward to Democrats for this support was to demonize them as the enemy, to question their patriotism for even hinting that he may be wrong about anything, and to use the war in Iraq not as an opportunity to spread democracy and freedom or to crush oppression, but to enrich his friends in the military-industrial complex and as a cudgel to try to build his permanent Republican majority. Nothing Bush did or tried to do as President was geared toward the greater good of the United States; it was all geared toward the enrichment in power and wealth of Republicans. That was the reward for those Democrats who gave Bush a chance.

Posted by: mrgumby2u on November 6, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of comments from an unsuccessful restaurant owner in Portland. Following many financial missteps, as her place closed, she ranted about the lack of support from customers. They didn't buy enough, they didn't repeat enough, etc. They ended up staying away in droves. What next, Shrub crooning, "Don't cry for me, America...I kept my promise, don't keep your distance"?

Posted by: berttheclock on November 6, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

WE LET BUSH DOWN

Actually, I think there's something wrong with that thread title. It must've been garbled in transmission or something; the winds of change will do that to smoke signals. Grant me the opportunity to "fix" that thing for you....

WE KICKED BUSH DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, AND THE OTHER END OPENED UP IN THE SECRET PRISON TORTURE-CHAMBERS OF HELL.

There---looks better to me. You?

Posted by: Steve W. on November 6, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush didn't fail Americans; Americans failed Bush. When his presidency became farcical, and his failures became overwhelming, it was the American people who were 'disloyal.'"

"I've seen some bizarre arguments over the years, but I've never seen anything quite like this."

Mr. Benen, please read Paxton's "The Anatomy of Fascism" or Alice Miller's "For Your Own Good," or any reliable book on fascist/totalitarian authoritarianism. There is nothing "bizarre" about Shapiro's argument when seen through such a lens. It is leader worship, pure and simple, and what we are seeing and will continue to see in America the beautiful is the public emergence of institutionalized fascism. That's what we are seeing, and there is no politely centrist explaining it away. Look up Himmler and Goebbel's (amongst many others') rather creepy panegyrics to their never-wrong, ever-strong and wise father figure, Hitler. This is emotional, not rational, and must be understood as such. The danger, obviously, lies in having such truncated emotional development in otherwise quite accomplished adults. I mean, the Third Reich had arguably the most able armed forces in the history of the world, and the trains always ran on time.
Look, I know that Nazi comparisons can be facile and tired, but Shapiro's words are unimpeachable evidence. He is a fascist, or at the least a thoughtless authoritarian, which amounts to the origins of some form of totalitarianism. My bet, however, is that Shapiro also privileges a nationalist corporate state, as well as some form of nativism. Fascist by any other name.

Posted by: Conrad's Ghost on November 6, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, Rupert Murdoch owns the WSJ now.

Posted by: Heraclitus on November 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

One word: fuehrerprinzip.

Posted by: elmo on November 6, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

These people REALLY DO BELIEVE that if we clap hard enough, Tinkerbell will live. Since their Tinkerbell died, the obvious cause is that we were not clapping hard enough.

Posted by: Remus Shepherd on November 6, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Methinks Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is to George W. Bush as Richard Bachman is to Stephen King.

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on November 6, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

The note says on the WSJ article says that Shapiro worked for John Kerry in 2004. No wonder he lost!

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 6, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

It would seem the new director's job at the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas is going to pay big bucks and the job description is "middle-aged lawyer and reporter that has published items in the Wall Street Journal,". Do we have any takers??

Posted by: Cameron Pohlman on November 6, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think my favorite part about this is the idea that our attacks on Bush would be "proving to the world what little character and resolve we have." I'd like to try and meet the guy halfway on this, but - seriously? The rest of the world is ANNOYED by how MEAN we are to Bush? Try OVERJOYED that we've kicked his party to the curb, and DISGUSTED that we didn't impeach him years ago.

The difference between Bush's administration and Truman's is that Truman was given a difficult situation, for which he was unjustly blamed. Bush was given a safe, prosperous nation, which degenerated on his watch into an economic and military sinkhole. The only thing that "has not gone unnoticed by our enemies" is that 46% of us were willing to give Bush's party another shot.

Posted by: Free Radical on November 6, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Wow!! This guy is a world class boot licker.

Posted by: nonheroicvet on November 6, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I loved the part where Shapiro wants us to believe that Bush tried to extend an olive branch to Democrats in his 2004 victory speech so that he could govern as a bi-partisan president, but was rebuffed by ungrateful liberals. What Shapiro does not mention, of course, was the part where Bush talked about "earning capital" in the election that he intended to spend. And we very quickly found out what Bush meant by that capital when he tried to rip the heart out of the New Deal and the Democratic Party by privitizing Social Security.

Having decided to touch the third rail of American politics, Bush wasn't content to "reform" Social Security by bringing Democratic leaders to the White House to hash out ideas in order to reach consensus on making the program better. No, Bush tried to change Social Security in a highly partisan fashion by engaging in 64 carefully scripted town hall forums across the country with by-invitation-only audiences hand-picked to substitute for "real" America.

This wasn't about policy, this was all politics --destroying Social Security in the vain hope of creating a new and permanent investor-class governing majority.

Shapiro is fooling no one but himself with this rubbish about George Bush being a centrist who was done in by trying to reach beyond the old stale politics. George W. Bush is the most polarizing president since the political polling was developed more than half a century ago, and for good reason.

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 6, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

There the Republicans go again, blaming the American people for their problems.

I've never heard of this guy either but it sounds to me he's one of those fellows on Free Republic who offered daily prayers of worship to Bush II.

It can get ugly when the Gods fail. Evene the Wal Street Journal is not immune.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on November 6, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ted Frier wrote: So it's easy for them to pass off our anger as some kind of congenitive infirmity called "Bush-bashing."

Not to mention, the conservative media maching has been attempting to marginalize the very concept of criticizing Dear Leader -- under the rubric of so-called "Bush Derangement Syndrome" -- since the SOB was sworn in.

Posted by: Gregory on November 6, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

This is currently the most read and most emailed article on the WSJ website. You have to wonder if it is being read and emailed out of total disbelief or if the 9% of the people who think Bush is doing a good job are emailing it to one another.

Maybe Shapiro thinks that there might some legal action taken against Bush after he leaves office and wants to represent him when that happens.

Posted by: Kathie on November 6, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Other people have already made the point I wanted to make in regards to Sharon's stupid comment, so I'll simply point out that Sharon's comment was simply stupid.

I mean, come on. Really? We didn't give Bush a chance? We had no choice but to give him a chance after he was hoisted upon us by a conservative Supreme Court vote. His approval ratings were in the high-80s after 9/11. He told us Iraq was amassing weapons of mass destruction and we pretty much as a nation said "Afghani-what now? We aim our guns over which way now?" Bush told us lie after lie ("we're not spying on Americans...ok we're spying on Americans but only if they're talking on overseas lines...ok we're spying on Americans, but only with just cause...ok, we're indiscriminately spying on Americans, what are you gonna do about it?") and it took until the second year of his second terms for his approval numbers to start going south and not come back up for air. He kept telling us criticism was dissent and dissent was Unamerican. He forbade pictures of coffins with American flags on them. He stalled investigations. He hired inept toadies to front important federal bureaus. It took TWO failed wars, a catastrophic reaction to a disaster, and an economic meltdown before a majority of Americans started wondering if their loyalties were somewhat misplaced.

We didn't give Bush a chance? You ninny. Go sit in the corner and think about what you just did.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 6, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

This is the opening salvo in the Republican attempt to rewrite the sorry history of the Bush Administration. Expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing,

Posted by: Virginia on November 6, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

I still don't think George Bush won in 2004 ... as much as John Kerry just failed miserably.

This Bush apology in G'Day, Wallstreet! by a lawyer who allegedly interned with Kerry may help shed more light on just why Kerry failed.

Maybe if Kerry's legal team had any balls -- if, say, they'd taken the aggressive approach towards the SwiftBoaters that Kay Hagan took against Elizabeth Dole in NC -- who knows what might have happened in 2004?

And now they're floating Kerry's name as Sec'y of State? Pu-leeze!

Posted by: Chainsaw on November 6, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

The concept of loyalty is key to the Bush ideology - it trumps everything - competence, rationality, service, etc. There is nothing in this op-ed that shows me anything other than that.

I like the allusions to 1940s Germany by the other posters - very apt...

Posted by: PonB on November 6, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for reminding me one of the reasons why I canceled my WSJ subscription and am enjoying the much more balanced/moderate and intelligently written Financial Times.

I remember way back when I was in high school I got a gift subscription to the WSJ. This was when they were railing on Jimmy Carter for the $50 billion deficits and backing Reagan. Then in 1984 they were saying on the same editorial page that deficits don't matter and to re-elect Reagan who was running $200-$300 billion deficits.

I resubscribed while just completing a mid-life MBA; but canceled soon after Rupert Murdoch purchased the paper and as soon as I completed my MBA.

May the WSJ rot until it gains a bit more balance. Reading its editorial page made me feel like I was reading a treatise by Mussolini.

Posted by: BrianInMKE on November 6, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

So we're supposed to feel sorry for the guy when his staff and political appointees don't even show up for congressional subpoenas? yeah, right

Posted by: Marko on November 6, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

During that same period the WSJ was flip flopping on deficits, they were first, before '80, saying tht rising oil prices had nothing to do with inflation - They blamed it, primarily, on run away Congressional spending - However, following Volker's tough policies, and inflation rates dropping dramatically, they were adding the lowering of gas prices to helping that drop.

They were also, very quiet about Stockman adding so much government spending to military buildups. Never said much about Phil Gramm and the Southern "Boll Weevil" Democrats joining with the Repubs to pass Reagan's high spending budgets, either.

Posted by: berttheclock on November 6, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Now that we're not talking about whether Bill Ayres wrote Obama's autobiography (not that I ever was), I'd like to start a rumor that Hinderaker wrote Shapiro's WSJ op-ed. I think it's got a certain more-than-surface plausibility to it.

Posted by: noncarborundum on November 6, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

scott_m wins this thread.

And yeah, I am also looking forward to all the editorials in which conservatives urge their brethren to stand behind President Barack Obama. (Man, I just can't stop saying it and smiling.)

Posted by: Gaia on November 6, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like the writer has taken to heart the idea that it is far more important that we value the child's sense of self-esteem than his or her performance.

Shame on the rest of us for not realizing that performance is irrelevant.

Posted by: catherineD on November 6, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Shapiro's WSJ op-ed / temper tantrum reminded me of an infamous 1954 quote from Mrs. Betty Farrington, Hawaii's then-territorial delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, who in the face of that year's Democratic tsunami, which signaled the end of GOP hegemony in the islands, publicly lamented to local reporters that "Hawaii's voters let the Republican Party down."

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 6, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

The German people failed Adolf.

Posted by: Al Peck on November 6, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

shapiro is spreading putrefying shmaltz. to be most kind.

Posted by: albertchampion on November 6, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Shapiro used to write for The Globe, a "Face Of Elvis Found On Tortilla" rag, and spent three years writing breathless prose about the Jonbenet Ramsey case. Check it: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/1999/9906.shapiro.tabloid.html.

The real story here? We now know where the Wall Street Journal gets their editorials.

Posted by: Flannalf on November 6, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

I found the Shapiro piece idiotic, judging by the comments here and at the WSJ, I wasn't alone.
One take here:
http://worldwide-sawdust.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2939

Posted by: Bob Higgins on November 7, 2008 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

Got that? Bush didn't fail Americans; Americans failed Bush. When his presidency became farcical, and his failures became overwhelming, it was the American people who were "disloyal." Presumably, the electorate was supposed to stand proudly behind the president, regardless of his actual job performance.

To hear Shapiro tell it, we should not only be ashamed of ourselves for noting Bush's countless failures, but we should also begin to realize that Bush is better than us. Indeed, our failures -- not Bush's -- have literally made us less safe, because our enemies have noticed the president's low approval ratings.

I've seen some bizarre arguments over the years, but I've never seen anything quite like this.

Actually, we have. Hate to be invoking Godwin's Law, but this was kinda the stuff ("the people have failed ME") Hitler was ranting about in the bunker.

Posted by: PaulW on November 7, 2008 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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