For the entirety of his two terms in office, the typical reactions of progressives to George W. Bush were belittling and lampooning. He was a buffoon, a cowboy, and an idiot, and as they would have us also believe, an evil genius. Bush was a maverick, willing to start wars and carry out missions from previous administrations (invading Iraq was to finish his father’s war, many on the left claimed).
It seemed like Bush’s mere existence was enough to make some progressives apoplectic, or to send them into angry, profanity-laden rants. Many people who did not self-identify as “progressive” may have seen this behavior, and wondered what on earth Bush had done to engender such hatred and vitriol.
When shocked people asked the raving anti-Bush crowds for proof of Bush’s misdoings, the progressives were more than happy to consistently bring up three favorite points:
- They suggested Bush led the United States into war under false premises in Iraq (never mind that he cited repeated instances where Saddam Hussein violated and ignored United Nations resolutions, and that Bush received bi-partisan votes in Congress to go to war). The “progressives” invented a father-son narrative, where the son would complete his father’s business in the Middle East. George W. was merely closing the door on a highly successful, but as yet, unfinished war in Iraq. Obama has made a habit of violating the sovereignty and airspace of places like Pakistan, Yemen, Qatar, and Libya (without the approval of Congress) to strike down various enemies of America and those who would strike our allies in the countries.
- They claimed that Bush used “secret detention facilities” (that we somehow know about) to extract information from prisoners. Obama and other administration officials thought the solution was to bring many of the accused terrorists into the United States, and try them in places like New York City. That is despite the security nightmare it would create and the massive costs in both time and money to do so. President Obama has also kept Guantanamo Bay and its detention center open and operational for his full first term, after campaigning on closing it as president.
- Finally, the left frequently says that Bush passing the Patriot Act was a means to spy on Americans, and that the powers that the Act employs are unconstitutional. Just ignore that Barack Obama re-signed the Patriot Act, expanded its powers, and also passed the NDAA for the year 2013, which would allow indefinite detention of American citizens. So over-the-top was this measure, that even led the Voice of Russia to compare it to “edicts of the ‘Third Reich’ or ‘Muslim tyrannies’.”
Now, the issues and double standards are plain to see here. The problem lies not with the extent of the differences, but with the lack of media interest regarding these double standards. While aggressively seeking out and killing terrorists during the Bush administration ‘only bred more terrorists,’ when Obama carries out the same actions, they are apparently without the same consequences.
Despite the crowds who felt Obama would be different, and would usher in a period where Bush might be held accountable for actions they felt were criminal, Obama refused to prosecute any Bush administration officials early in his first term. Lefty media were happy to tilt at windmills during the Bush years; but partly because they wanted to retain access to President Obama, these once anti-war media suddenly developed the attitude “nothing to see here” when it came to matters like 72% of all troop deaths in Afghanistan coming on Obama’s watch.
The ironic thing is that Bush at least sought Congressional authorization for war, which the Democrats gave him, while Obama is an actual war criminal. That’s right, President Obama is the only modern president to violate the War Powers Act with his unilateral invasion of Libya. Oh, he did justify it by appeal to NATO and some “international community,” presumably meaning the authoritarian and Islamist regimes that make up the majority of countries in the UN. But it was by President Obama’s sole executive authority as commander-in-chief that he committed U.S. troops to war.
The media seem to want us to believe that everything this president does is for our own good, and that we should not question anything. But until the latest scuttlebutt coming from people like Vice President Joe Biden or the half-stories spread by the press begin to make more sense, we ought to question everything. Do not trust, and certainly, verify.