Wednesday, 3 November 2010

There's no 'me' in mea culpa

So, that's the midterms out of the way then. Not so good for the Democratic party, but then again, midterms are never easy. And at least the tea-partiers didn't notch up too many seats. 

Nonetheless, Obama will be drowning his sorrows today, and perhaps even wondering how his predecessors dealt with the disappointment. But it's important that he not lose too much of that hope that he talked up on his route to the White House. Because as underwhelming as his first couple of years have been, he's still not quite the flaming-schoolbus-full-of-screaming-orphans level of disaster that George W Bush was. 

Although, it's funny - the rest of the world might remember Dubya as the worst president the world has ever known, but his own reflections on his time in Washington are decidedly more favourable. 

This week W was interviewed by Matt Lauer in order to plug his forthcoming book 'Decision Points', and he finally admitted the lowest point of his eight years in office. Despite having 96 months of gaffes, cock-ups and blunders to choose from, Bush cited Kanye West's post-Katrina attack on him as the nadir of his presidency

So not the illegal war on Iraq. Or the deception around the weapons of mass destruction. Or giving his tacit approval to torture as an interrogation technique. Or declaring 'Mission: Accomplished' about seven years too early. Or promising to leave 'No Child Behind', then doing precisely that for an entire generation. Or turning his back on the Kyoto Protocol. Or choosing not to get his hands dirty in New Orleans. Or blocking stem cell research. Or approving wiretapping tactics. Or giving all those lucrative reconstruction contracts to his friends at Halliburton. 

When it comes to reflecting on his presidency, George Bush's darkest memory is of the moment that he felt like Taylor Swift, standing in the spotlight as Kanye West shot his mouth off.  

Cast your mind back to the moment when Mike Myers rocked uncomfortably on his heels during the 2005 Concert for Hurricane Relief, as Kanye declared that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

1,836 people may have lost their lives in the hurricane and the floods which followed, and $81 billion of damage was caused. But it's George who's still bearing the scars: “Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust... the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low.”

Doesn't your heart just bleed? 

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