Standards (OR What are we applauding?)

Dave ever so nobly attempts to defend his defense of the Bush Administration for acting like grown ups:

At the same time, I do not think that George W. Bush is an evil person.  He is not The Joker, trying to spread chaos and havoc merely because he can’t think of anything better to do.  When he does things that I consider wrong, I believe that he does them for logical reasons, only with a seriously absurd sense of weighting the importance of various factors.


However, at the same time, the Bush Administration has within itself the power to really fuck this country up much worse than it has already – executive powers are broad and deep, even before you get to the point of arguing about Congressional oversight and the question of how far this least-accountable of all administrations is willing to carry its oversteps.  But, at the heart of it, this is a group of people who do not want to destroy the country, and who have acknowledged that the 2008 election was a resounding bitchslap of them and all that they stood for.

What’s interesting here is that I don’t disagree with most of this. What I don’t understand is how President Bush’s decision to act like an adult and assist his successor is to be applauded. Could he have chosen to be more infantile and petty for the last couple months of his term? Absolutely. Still, I’m reasonably sure that he would understand the damage that could do to his all-important legacy. Instead, he’s elected to do the politically expedient thing and act like an adult. And we’re to applaud? Really?

At the same time, as I mentioned before, President Bush has been implementing some midnight regulations. He’s also “burrowing” his political appointees into civil service positions. Matt notes “that for key regulatory positions Bush usually gave his career appointments to folks who were either officially or de facto industry lobbyists. So basically we’ll have the top layer of the civil service filled with industry shills.”

It’s this sort of thing that leads me to disagree with Dave’s contention that the Bush Administration acknowledges that the result of this election was a resounding bitchslap. I would think that if that were true, the least popular President in history would also acknowledge his unpopularity, accept that a vast majority of the country doesn’t agree with his governing philosophy, and sit on his hands for the remainder of his term.

Instead, he’s doing everything he can to benefit his buddies (the same sort of thing that made him so unpopular) and hamstring a President Obama (who just won more votes and electoral votes than he ever did). And all the while, he’s putting on this “I’m a nice helpful guy” facade and getting people like Dave to applaud his behavior.

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