Last Day of Bush

Today will be the last day we’ll be saying “President Bush”, and it’s been a long eight years.  While I am not happy with the result of the election of 2008, in a lot of ways, I’m happy to put George W. Bush behind us.  Not having voted for him in 2000 (or Al Gore for that matter), I was never his biggest fan.  But I always supported him on the decision to invade Iraq, and I still support it.  The future success of Iraq and the Arab world will be the yard stick by which his administration’s success is measured.

For a coalition that deserves a lot of credit for getting him elected twice, Bush never treated the gun rights community with the respect I think we deserved.  Nonetheless, I think the state of gun rights over the eight years of Bush is one of continued improvement.  Bush came into office arguing for renewing the Assault Weapons Ban.   It never happened.  We passed or expanded right-to-carry in several states.  We got the National Park rule on concealed carry changed (for how long remains to be seen).  We ended the continual threat of lawsuits that threatened to bankrupt gun makers.  We got Heller, despite Bush’s Solicitor General’s best effort to scuttle it.  And despite noise on our side that Heller is worthless, it’s already toppled more gun bans in the few months that it’s been in effect than we could ever have hoped to accomplish legislatively in a decades long campaign.

While Bush was no great friend to gun rights, nor was he a great enemy.  By not using the bully pulpit to beat the drum for greater gun control, he allowed us to make some cultural progress on the topic of guns.  Both 9/11 and Katrina probably helped facilitate that a great deal.  But I don’t think it can be denied that it’s far better to have a half-hearted friend in the White House than an avowed enemy.

It remains to be seen yet how much political capital Barack Obama is going to be willing to gamble on the topic of guns.  Clinton gambled a great deal on it over his entire presidency.  I’m both comforted and terrified that Barack Obama seems a good deal politically smarter than Clinton.  Comforted that he probably understands he would burn signficant political capital fighting a contentious culture war issue, but terrified because in his heart he is an avowed enemy of civilian gun ownership.  Bill Clinton, when it came to gun control, was a backgammon player.  Obama will be a chess player.  The latter has the potential to be more dangerous played over the long run.

7 thoughts on “Last Day of Bush”

  1. While I have lots of complaints about Bush, I’m sorry to see him go in favor of a neo-Marxist career pol that has made his entire career by lying.

    That said, and though I too supported the war in Iraq, in hindsight that was a mistake. But not for the reasons the left would want us to believe.

    The mistake Bush made was by NOT nation-building, at least not nation building a REAL democracy. We did help a repressive fundamentalist Islamic state come into existence. To that extent, Iraq, and the world are not particularly better off than under Saddam. In Iraq today, women and religious minorities are being persecuted and our tax dollars are helping to enforce that since we “let” them “choose” a constitution that enshrines “sharia” law. Better to have forced them to accept the 1932 secular constitution. We force Japan and Germany to become peacefull after WWII and should have done the same in Iraq.

    Iraq will not be our friend in the future, nor evolve into a true democracy. It will devolve into another hate-filled Muslim cesspool of misogyny, anti-semitism, violence and terrorist exporting “moderate” Muslims. That is what our trillion dollars and 4,000 dead have gotten us.

    But thats what willfull blindness does, and both the Dems and the Repubs are guilty of that.

  2. Bush can be remembered for keeping the country from terror attacks after 9/11, but he should also be remembered for backing the losing side in DC versus Heller.

    The same can be said for Eric Holder regarding DC versus Heller. Obama just tried to dodge the whole issue, and McCain never called him on it during the 2008 presidential race.

  3. I’m sure this has already been mentioned on your blog, Sebastian, but Obama is on record as lamenting that the (very liberal, activist) Warren Supreme Court did nothing to “break free of Constitutional restraints” in order to achieve a “more equitable” redistribution of wealth.

    So what sort of judges do you think Obama and the Democrats will appoint to staff the federal courts?

    And hasn’t a President-elect who, by his own admission, wants to “break free” of the Constitution already forsworn his sacred oath of office?

    Give Obama four years to prepare the legal battlespace, and we’ll be lucky if the Second Amendment is all we lose…

  4. We’re actually just two states away from another constitutional convention. The Bill of Rights would be heavily revised if that were to occur. The following would be a likely left-winger rewrite of the Second Amendment:

    “A well regulated POPULATION, being necessary to the security of a SOCIALIST NANNY state, the POWER of the GOVERNMENT to REGISTER and BAN arms shall not be OPPOSED.”

  5. Actually, he’ll always be “President Bush”, just like that will always be the proper title for his father, Clinton, and any other surviving President.

    Granted, most of the media refused to call him “President Bush” the last 8 years. So I doubt anything will change for them.

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