Today, July 6, is the birthday of our former President, George W. Bush.
I was struck by the total lack of fanfare about one of the more notable birthday boys on this Independence Day plus 2, and you’d think there was an NSA blackout on it.
Have we really gotten to the place where we think this guy is irrelevant, and that his policies – and their global impacts – are so forgettable?
As I look around today, I see a global economy still in turmoil, teetering on the brink of a double dip. This was spawned by a financial meltdown directly connected to the fiscal policies of the Bush administration, as well as the slash-and-burn approach to regulatory downsizing.
I see one and a half wars consuming blood and treasure, leftovers from the Bush banquet for contractors and warmongers.
I see the Gulf of Mexico awash in fossil fuels the Bush family embraced, along with the Saudi princes they adopted as “family”.
I hear a nation whose confidence in the future is lower than at just about any point since the Great Depression.
So I think it’s worthwhile noting the anniversary of George W Bush’s birth. Because when we forget history, we lose our access to that history and the lessons to be learned from it.
Speaking of history, here’s a bio from History Central on George W Bush, Candidate for President. If you look at the predictive descriptions compared to the outcome, you’ll laugh. Or vomit.
“George W. Bush
Republican Candidate for the 2000 Presidential Election 43rd President of the United States
“George W. Bush is the 46th Governor of the State of Texas and the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Now in his second term as Governor, Mr. Bush has earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative who shapes policy based on the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, strong families, and local control. On March 14, 2000, Governor Bush earned enough delegates to become the Republican nominee for President.
“During three Texas Legislative sessions, Governor Bush has worked in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation with statewide leaders and members of the Texas Legislature to enact historic reforms to improve public schools, put welfare recipients to work, curb frivolous lawsuits and strengthen criminal justice laws. In his five years in office, Gov. Bush has delivered the two largest tax cuts in state history, totaling nearly $3 billion, to Texas taxpayers.
“Governor Bush’s first priority is the education of our children. He has worked with the Legislature to increase the state’s share of funding for schools, to restore local control, to strengthen the state’s accountability system, to give parents and students greater choice of schools, and to foster competition and creativity through charter schools and an expanded menu of educational opportunity. His most profound goal for Texas is that every child will learn to read by third grade and will continue to read at grade level or better throughout public school.
“As President, Governor Bush will pursue the same common sense agenda in the same bipartisan way that he has in Texas. Governor Bush has proposed bold initiatives to ensure that AmericaÕs prosperity has a purpose. He has propose plans for improving our nationÕs public schools by strengthening local control and insisting on accountability; reducing taxes on all taxpayers, especially those on the outskirts of poverty; strengthening the military with better pay, better planning, and better equipment; saving and strengthening Social Security and Medicare by providing seniors with more options; and ushering in the responsibility era in America.
“George W. Bush was born July 6th, 1946 and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelors degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard. He began his career in the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975 and worked in the energy industry until 1986. After working on his fatherÕs 1988 presidential campaign he assembled the group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989 and which later built the Ranger’s new home, the Ballpark at Arlington.
“He served as managing general partner of the Texas Rangers until he was elected Governor on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. In a historic re-election victory, he became the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms on November 3, 1998 winning 68.6 percent of the vote.
“In 1998 Governor Bush won 49 percent of the Hispanic vote, 27 percent of the African-American vote, 27 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of women. He won more Texas counties, 240 of 254, than any modern Republican other that Richard Nixon in 1972 and is the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the heavily Hispanic and Democratic border counties of El Paso, Cameron and Hidalgo.
“Governor Bush and his wife, Laura, a former teacher and librarian who grew up in Midland, reside in the historic Governor’s mansion in Austin with their 18-year-old twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, their dog, Spot, and their two cats, India and Ernie.
“Governor Bush is a Methodist and has served on the boards of various charitable, business, and civic organizations. “