While the world slides into a financial sinkhole, George W. Bush wants us to know he’s a good president.
â€œI would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process,â€ Bush said in the interview. â€œI came to Washington with a set of values, and Iâ€™m leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasnâ€™t going to sacrifice those values.â€
â€œIâ€™d like to be a president (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace; that focused on individuals rather than process; that rallied people to serve their neighbor,â€ the president added.
He also called No Child Left Behind (Because We’re Setting Them All Back) one of the â€œsignificant achievements of my administration.â€
Some things snark themselves. I think the line about “the political process” is particularly interesting, however. The “political process” is important. As in “due process of law.” As in “our form of government.” Governing is a process. Preserving the process is important. Chucking the process of government out the window in order to get the result you want is dangerous and foolish.
Matt Yglesias writes,
Part of the effort to pull the wagon of conservatism out of the ditch into which Bush piloted the country is going to be an effort to deny that George W. Bush was a real conservative.
Going to be? They’ve been reciting that line for at least a year.
In reality, Bushism should be understood as the highest form of conservatism. In particular, the High Bushist years of 2001-2006 represent the only time that the post-war conservative movement has had total control over the federal government. If the practical consequences of pre-Bush conservatism were less disastrous, thatâ€™s largely because conservative political power was more constrained in those earlier eras.
Meanwhile, itâ€™s worth recalling that at the peak of his political power, when Bush was making his most disastrous decisions, conservatives not only thought he was a good president, but a great one.
Matt is pulling conservative testimonials to the greatness of Bush out of the memory hole. If you have any tidbits to nominate, let Matt know.