Another War of Jenkins' Ear

Resist The Pointless

Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush

Obama versus Bush in Conducting War

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Donald Rumsfeld:

Barack Obama:

You think Gaddafi is more likely to be influenced thinking about Saddam Hussein or the President of the United States saying they have the tools to target him if they so choose?

Just a thought.It does underscore 1) how desperate Rumsfeld is to salvage his reputation and 2) how bad at diplomacy the Bush Administration was.


Written by John Whitehouse

March 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Obama Ad Infinitum?

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Eugene Volokh thinks it is too early for a campaign to repeal the 22nd Amendment:

I have no informed opinion on the subject of term limits for Presidents, and can see good arguments in either direction. Perhaps the voters should be entitled to choose Obama for a third time in 2016 (if of course they choose him a second time in 2012). Or perhaps the political power of an incumbent President can be made so great, especially if the incumbent knows that he may legally be reelected indefinitely, that the people will in reality have more choice if term limits are imposed.

But I am pretty sure that it’s a bit early to get the public excited about “making Obama’s third term possible,” though maybe that’s the slogan that’s needed to get donations from the base. And more broadly, it seems to me that this is the sort of amendment that — like the Twenty-Second Amendment itself — should be drafted not to apply to the person who is in office when the amendment is proposed. Both as a matter of policy and politics, any such change should be focused on the principle, and not on allowing the reelection of any particular person.

I agree with all of that.

On a practical matter, amending the Constitution requires two thirds of both houses and legislative approval by 75% of states. Obama may be a political dynamo right now, but he doesn’t have near the type of support to make that happen. There’s a reason why, most of the time, amendments based upon the political power of one person fail in this country – most don’t have that power.

On an additional level, I don’t think nowadays – with the near constant scrutiny and short political lives, that anyone could physically pr politically be President for three full terms. Even before the financial crisis, Republicans were running away from Bush. Clinton was an anchor tied to Gore in 2000. Now, partisans on both sides might take issue, but that’s the point: only partisans feel that way.

The 22nd Amendment may not have been intended for these reasons – it may have been intended for the reasons Volokh mentions. But in practice, it reflects political norms and becomes a convenient excuse. And circumstances should drastically change and a time should happen where we need to eliminate it, we should weigh all these factors then – even if the change would apply the man in office. Hopefully we’ll have the foresight and vision to do so in a sober manner.

Written by John Whitehouse

July 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Great Moments in Cognitive Dissonance: George W. Bush Decent Enough to Take Money From Commoners

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Do We Really Need a Caption?

Do We Really Need a Caption?

A small town is excited that George W. Bush has decided to take their money:

When the middle-of-nowhere town of Woodward, Oklahoma invited George W Bush to its Fourth of July celebration, no one really expected the former president to accept. But he did.

Now this community of 12,000 is scurrying to get ready for what some locals are calling the biggest thing ever to happen to Woodward, a place where cattle outnumber people.

“To actually come to a small community like this, that shows his character,” said Kelle Robinson, co-owner of the Sweet Surprises store, which has been turning out US flag cookies. “He’s not too good for the common people.”

Bush’s paid speaking engagement at Woodward’s Let Freedom Ring 2009 celebration will be his first Fourth of July since he left the Oval Office, and the latest in a series of small, under-the-radar events that he has dropped in on as ex-president.

My emphasis.

I’m not sure how much courage it takes for Bush to appear in a county where McCain beat Obama 83-17. This would be like Bill Clinton appearing at a celebration in the Bronx. In fact, Obama did not even win Chicago by that margin.

It’s nice that Bush is going there. But this doesn’t mean he’s a man of the people. It means he’s happy to take money from his kind of people.

Great subplot: It’s possible (per Wikipedia) the last presidential candidate to appear in Woodward was William Jennings Bryan!

Written by John Whitehouse

July 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Politics

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