Thursday, May 01, 2008

Our Dear, Departing Prez


A couple weeks ago, a focus group facilitator visited my political reporting class and did a sample focus group session with a small group of us. She asked us how we felt about how the country is going and our attitudes toward various political messages, like the American Dream and middle class values. Not surprisingly, we all had pretty negative attitudes toward Bush, which she said is typical of all the focus groups she has conducted in the past few months.

But then she asked us an interesting question: is there anything we like about Bush? There was an awkward moment of silence while we tried to come up with things. I said I thought he had tried to make some effort with immigration; someone else mentioned he has increased aid to Africa to combat AIDS. It was an interesting thought experiment because it's something I rarely do. So I would like to invite Betty and Bimbo readers to come forward with the things they appreciate, admire, or don't utterly detest about Bush or his policies. Think of it as a farewell party for our sitting duck prez. I'm not being facetious here; I really would like to hear if there's anything good this anti-Bush crowd has to say about our cowboy leader.

12 comments:

Jasen said...

uhhh, it should be noted that his increase in aid to Africa is largly put towards groups that only promote absintence only education...there are serious strings attacted to that aid $

See this horrifying Boston Globe article: "For decades, US policy has sought to avoid intermingling government programs and religious proselytizing. The aim is both to abide by the Constitution's prohibition against a state religion and to ensure that aid recipients don't forgo assistance because they don't share the religion of the provider.

Since medical programs are aimed at the most serious illnesses -- AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis -- the decision whether to seek treatment can determine life or death.

But many of those restrictions were removed by Bush in a little-noticed series of executive orders -- a policy change that cleared the way for religious groups to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in additional government funding. It also helped change the message American aid workers bring to many corners of the world, from emphasizing religious neutrality to touting the healing powers of the Christian God."
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/10/08/bush_brings_faith_to_foreign_aid/

Keep searching, Nancy...

Koko the Clown said...

I admire Bush for not caving to the populist politics of the gas tax holiday.

But for little else...

Betty & Bimbo said...

I think he gave me like $200 more in tax refunds to spend on clothing for my dog.

This is really hard to do!

Jasen said...

I admire him for trading Sammy Sosa when he was owner of the Rangers.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Going through this mental exercise reminds me of this article:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/bush_reaches_out_to_hispanic

Jasen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jasen said...

i think we should make this post into "favorite onion article." Here is mine:
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/37471

Betty & Bimbo said...

Did we totally fail at this task?

Betty & Bimbo said...

Not from the Onion, but summed it up for me today:

http://wonkette.com/385246

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

I've got one, a good one:

In Medellin v. Texas, the Bush administration argued before the Supreme Court that the murder conviction of a Mexican national should be overturned because the accused was not allowed to consult with the Mexican consulate, in violation of international treaty.

You may argue this doesn't count, since Bush apparently did this against his personal convictions, but I say anytime the Bush administration stands up for international treaties it's a good thing.

Betty & Bimbo said...

I remember one State of the Union address in which he praised both Dikembe Mutumbo (basketball player who now does good international peace work) and Wesley Autrey (NYC subway hero!). That was cool.

Montserrat Nicolás said...

uh oh uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...ehem.
I know! He is getting older. That counts as 'positive', right???