A Niebuhr award to George W. Bush for his silence

George W. Bush said a year ago, in his first speech after leaving the Presidency, “I’m not going to spend my time criticizing him [President Obama]. There are plenty of critics in the arena. He deserves my silence…I love my country a lot more than I love politics. I think it is essential that he be helped in office.”

For this major contribution to civility in our public discourse, President Bush earns a (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award.*

With all the criticism—much of it unfair and quite ugly–of Bush and his administration coming from the left, and with all the criticism—much of it unfair and quite ugly–of Obama and his administration coming from the right, Bush could have made things quite worse. And he would have been forgiven, even justified, because he was only defending his record. But in spite of the provocation, Bush stuck to his conviction and gave President Obama the great gift of his silence. All Americans owe George W. Bush a debt of gratitude.

______

*Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”

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4 Responses to “A Niebuhr award to George W. Bush for his silence”

  1. James Haynes Says:

    I completely agree. GWB’s biggest problem, the people that surrounded him. I, although a liberal, feel that his real intentions were very balanced. He just got some very bad advice from people with another agenda. It appeared that he really wanted to be an effective President.
    But, the partisan politics of Washington and the reckless advice of Dick Cheney assisted in tossing him into the abyss.
    Karl Rove has not aided in reestablishing credibility in his new book. He specifically sets out to deny any proven discretion of the past administration. No matter how outlandish his claim, he was not responsible.
    President Bush should have stuck to his guns, loaded them himself and not let anyone else supply the ammunition.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    I’m not ready to exonerate GWB for the countless mistakes and incompetencies of his Presidency, but his post-Presidency has been beyond exemplary.

  3. Judith Ellis Says:

    I agree with Bob’s comment completely.

  4. Judith Ellis Says:

    Plus, for me, President Bush has always been likable.

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