Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bush: The New Truman?

I don't think so. President Truman had a sign that said "The Buck Stops Here" on his desk, and contemporary reports and his actions dictated that indeed was the case.

President Bush has cast blame on Michael Brown, CIA officers, the media, liberals, and pretty much anyone else he can point to for as long as possible.

President Truman didn't care what people thought of him. He certainly didn't seem to care what future generations thought of him: "Some presidents were great and some weren't. I can say that because I wasn't one of the great ones, but I had a heck of a time trying."

President Bush compared himself to one of the Great Presidents (One Harry S Truman) at a recent academy graduation.

President Truman said "We're going to lick 'em as soon as you stand there."

President Bush said "Mission Accomplished" several years ago, yet we're still there.

President Truman was no friend of big business.

President Bush gave large tax cuts to Oil companies during their period of record profits.

President Truman told you what he meant and he meant it.

President Bush says one thing and then when it turns out to be untrue, explains what he meant by what he said.

There are similarities, to be sure. President Truman was wildly unpopular at the end of his presidency, and president Bush is rather unpopular right now. President Truman got us involved in a war with no real end in sight, as did president Bush. But I don't recall reading or hearing anywhere where president Truman did anything merely because he thought it might earn him points.

For another perspective on this comparison, I point you toward The Moderate Voice's take.


Gramma said...

Truman may have been the last honest politician in DC. Seems to me he owned a men's haberdashery.
He was never involved with Big Business and wasn't born rich. He had nothing in common with our vegetable president.

Steve said...

Truman wasn't quite the last honest politician, but it seems like it sometimes, with Bush's double-speak, where you have to parse every syllable that comes out of his mouth for any alternate meaning, Clinton's "it depends on what the definition of 'is' is," Bush 1's "Read my lips," Reagan's "I don't recall at this time," Nixon, Johnson's Gulf of Tonkin, Kennedy's - well, pretty much anything Kennedy...

At least Reagan and Clinton were charming. And Bush 1 seems to be doing rather well as an ex-president, which is probably where he's better suited.

But Goldwater might have been the last old-fashioned honest politian (In your heart, you know he's right, "I'd rather be right than be President"). I think he and Truman would cringe at the America they see today.

Gramma said...

I've been thinking about this today, and I think Jimmy Carter was an honest man, also. I think that's why his presidency was such a disaster. I think he really walked his talk.