Woody Allen has an amusing short story about a man who goes to the theater and accidentally falls out of the balcony into the Orchestra seats below. He therefore goes back to the same theater every night for a month and deliberately throws himself out of the balcony, just to prove the first time wasn’t a mistake.
George Bush is now raising money to spend the rest of his useless, failed life doing the same thing in the Middle East.
In a desperate bid to make his Iraq fiasco look less like a completely incompetent blunder, Bush’s babysitters are designing an “institute” – carefully staffed with hand-picked sycophants and devoid of scholarly expertise – to promote similar policies in the region after he leaves office. The idea is apparently that if he keeps yammering about the situation he created, and something eventually goes right there, he wasn’t wrong to cause the problem in the first place.
Bush and his handlers are mapping out this phase of the president’s post-White House years. Plans are well under way for a “Freedom Institute” that will aim to promote democracies abroad.
The institute, where Bush is expected to play a significant role, is expected to be unaffiliated with an academic institution. Its members are expected to be analysts whose views are in line with the neoconservative outlook that shaped the president’s approach to foreign policy.
“This is going to be Bush vision.” Brinkley said of the institute. “Bush has never liked the academics, and this is a nonacademic institute aimed at cutting to the core of things: only pro-democracy foot soldiers who are green-lit by George and Laura Bush are in the mix.”
It’s under the auspices of this think tank that the president might try to improve his legacy, in hopes that Freedom Institute might reveal virtues in the foreign policy vision that led to the most defining decision of his presidency, the invasion of Iraq.
“This president’s low approval rating is overwhelmingly connected to Iraq. It will rise and fall depending what turns out to be the history of that country and that part of the world,” said Stephen Hess, a former Eisenhower aide and a scholar at the conservative Brookings Institution. “That really is what his legacy for future historians is all about.
For God’s sake, can’t he just leave? Take his oil-company-and-mercenary-contractor payoff, retire to his fake ranch, fuck off and die quietly? He and Jeb can sit on the porch together and whine “I coulda been a contendah!” to each other to the end of their days. But please, spare us – and the more misfortunate who have to live in the hell-holes he creates in his toy sandbox world – any more of his stupid meddling and self-pitying justifications.