JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

ObamaRage

I have a sorta-friend who is an arch-conservative. He says he hates all politicians, but he only slams Democrats, and he slams them hard. He takes special pleasure in ripping Obama—typical fare: “The Chosen One,” “Socialist agenda,” etc … etc. I always took his takes at face value. The conservative rants of a conservative guy.

Then it hit me.

My sorta-friend, and people like him, don’t just hate Obama because he’s Obama. They hate him because of George W. Bush.

Being serious: Bush was a failed president. Most people admit this, including those who voted for him (twice). In the history of American presidents, he’ll go down as one of the five least-successful. In the history of two-term American presidents, he’ll go down as the worst. Probably without much debate. Republicans know this was their man. They remember, embarrassingly, wearing the W pins and waving flags and screaming his name. It’s like having loved A Walk to Remember. At the time, it seemed terrific. In hindsight, not so much.

Unlike Bush, Obama has served two years. Two. That’s nothing—especially considering what he walked into (and that does need to be considered, despite the cries of his detractors). Yet my sorta-friend, as well as ton of eager Republicans, are already labeling him an unambiguous failure; someone unworthy of being president; etc … etc. It took them eight years to tire of Bush, but in Obama’s case, he’s a failure. Pretty much was after a month.

Maybe Obama will be a failed president, maybe he won’t. But this Bush-caused insecurity is pathetic.

You screwed up. You brought the nation shame by bringing the nation W.

It’s OK. We all make mistakes.

Move on.