It has been a constant refrain from the president’s supporters that Barack Obama has been subject to levels of criticism that no other president has had to confront. To that end, we refer you to Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky, a usually sensible, middle of the road liberal as it happens, who opined late last year: “To people on the left, Bush was embarrassing. To people on the right, though, Obama is a menace. They are different—and yes, the latter is worse than the former.”
This is laughable, but on a more serious note, we sincerely hope -Tomasky has made a full recovery from that Rip Van Winkle episode he must have suffered from during the George W. Bush years.
Case in point: Last week, a sixth-grade public school teacher in Washington, D.C., sent home this homework assignment:
Directions: Now that we have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways, we will compare and contrast them and their actions. Please refer to your texts, “Fighting Hitler—A Holocaust Story” and “Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD” to compare and contrast former President George W. Bush and Hitler. We will use this in class tomorrow for an activity!
Just in case the comparison wasn’t explicit enough, below the instructions there was a Venn diagram, two overlapping circles, one labeled George W. Bush and the other Hitler. Well, we suppose it’s true that both men were teetotalers and amateur painters, but that’s obviously not the comparison the teacher had in mind.
It’s fair to say that both Obama and Bush have received their share of over-the-top, paranoid criticism. For better and for worse, that comes with the job. But you could also assess that criticism in relation to the astounding levels of unwarranted veneration that Obama has received. To cite one relevant example, Obama has at least 14 public schools already named after him to George W. Bush’s 1. Nor were Bush’s supporters as delusional in their defenses of him. And we’re frankly tired of playing the “If this happened under Bush” game, but the smart money says that now that the teacher and school system have apologized, there will be nothing more heard of this incident. There’s almost no scenario we can conceive of in which a teacher who compared Obama to Hitler this explicitly wouldn’t be sent packing.
We don’t think engaging controversial topical politics is generally a wise strategy for teaching sixth-graders, but we’ll note that a far more interesting comparison would be Bush and Obama. Listing the ways in which Obama decried Bush’s supposed abuses of power, assumed office, and promptly exceeded any of Bush’s supposed abuses of executive authority would be a worthy assignment.
Postscript: The Scrapbook is heartened that the assignment came to light because a parent blew the whistle—even in liberal Washington!
President Barack Obama said last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island that the terrorism from ISIS "doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland." The reason? The security measures taken by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Obama.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece of August 6 about “the surge of poisonous anti-Semitism around the world, particularly in Europe,” Andrew Nagorski had the temerity to note that “the president [Obama] has not prominently addressed the subject of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, much less its pervasiveness in the Muslim world.” This is, of course, an understatement.
As the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) capture territory and establish a caliphate stretching across the now-eradicated Syria-Iraq border, hard-won gains secured with American blood and treasure are being lost. We are watching the rise of potentially the gravest threat to our national security in a generation, one that surpasses even the threat we faced on 9/11.
A favorite saying of liberals not long ago was: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Hillary Clinton, then a senator, said it. It was on bumper stickers. John Kerry, also a senator, said in 2006, as violence engulfed Iraq, that dissent in wartime and support for a war are “two sides of the very same patriotic coin.”
When it became known last year that George W. Bush had taken up painting, The Scrapbook took note of the fact, commenting on a couple of random examples that they were “better than you would expect, show imagination, and are certainly evidence of Bush’s well-developed sense of humor. . . . The paintings—in their awkward simplicity, bright colors, and irregular perspective—strike The Scrapbook as delightful. We would like to see more.”
Criticism comes with the territory and President Obama certainly couldn't expect that he would be spared. Still ... he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was considered by many to be the hope of the world. There would be a fresh start in the affairs of the world. Including a "reset" of relations with Russia.
Presidents Obama and Bush will meet Tuesday at a wreath laying ceremony in Tanzania. Via the pool report:
Air Force One arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania at 2:39 pm local time. POTUS and family are expected to be greeted at the bottom of the steps with an arrival ceremony. Your pooler will send details of the arrival ceremony in a separate email.
Dallas, Texas Former President George W. Bush is in the political wilderness no more. Not only is the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum being dedicated today—with President Barack Obama and ex-Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton in attendance. But Bush’s rehabilitation from years of unpopularity is beginning to take hold.