WE LET BUSH DOWN…. A friend emailed me last night, telling me that this op-ed from the Wall Street Journal may very well be the single most foolish op-ed ever published in a major American newspaper. That’s obviously a difficult standard to live up to, so I was skeptical.
And then I read it. I think my friend was on to something.
The piece was written by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, whose work I’m unfamiliar with, but who the WSJ identifies as an “investigative reporter and lawyer.” His argument is fairly straightforward: the disgrace of the last eight years wasn’t Bush’s presidency, but rather, how mean we’ve all been to him.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty — a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Got that? Bush didn’t fail Americans; Americans failed Bush. When his presidency became farcical, and his failures became overwhelming, it was the American people who were “disloyal.” Presumably, the electorate was supposed to stand proudly behind the president, regardless of his actual job performance.
To hear Shapiro tell it, we should not only be ashamed of ourselves for noting Bush’s countless failures, but we should also begin to realize that Bush is better than us. Indeed, our failures — not Bush’s — have literally made us less safe, because our enemies have noticed the president’s low approval ratings.
I’ve seen some bizarre arguments over the years, but I’ve never seen anything quite like this.