Mar 23, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 27 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Readers are no doubt aware that, on the Sunday after the 50th anniversary reenactment of the march on Selma, Alabama, the New York Times published a front-page photograph of the marchers. There’s President Obama, front and center in shirtsleeves, alongside his wife and two daughters; and there’s Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), whose skull was fractured by a state trooper’s nightstick on that memorable day in 1965.
What Times readers did not see, however, was former President George W. Bush, also in shirtsleeves, marching beside Laura Bush. They’re in the same front row as President Obama, but several feet to the president’s left. They do not appear in the Times photograph.
As might be expected, there was immediate suspicion—at least among conservatives—that the Times had deliberately excluded the Bushes from the picture. (One of the left-wing talking points for the day was the presence or absence of Republicans in the march.) But the Times was quick to defend itself. According to its ombudsman, Margaret Sullivan, “there was no politics in the handling or presentation of the photo.” President Obama, as our first black president, would be the natural focus of any commemorative picture, she explained; and in any case, the Bushes were too far from the center of the lineup.
Well, far be it from The Scrapbook to second-guess the professional judgment of the New York Times, especially on critical questions of graphic design. And of course, we gladly take the Times at its word that it would never depict or exclude an image of George W. Bush in its pages for political purposes. No doubt, it was with genuine regret that the editors examined photographs of the march and concluded sorrowfully that the wide-angle shot including George W. Bush was “a bad picture,” in the words of photo editor Michele McNally.
On the subject of that front-page photograph, however, The Scrapbook’s attention was directed elsewhere. One recurring theme of the anniversary march was the degree to which America has changed in the past half-century—and changed for the better, as the presence of an African-American president dramatized.
But there is another way of looking at things. In March 1965, the presence of the clergy in Selma was more than conspicuous: The crusade was led, after all, by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and a young Unitarian minister, the Rev. James Reeb, died of his injuries a few days after being beaten by racists. By contrast, last weekend, the most conspicuous member of the clergy to be seen in the march was the Rev. Al Sharpton, the racial provocateur, tax cheat, and MSNBC talk-show host, just behind President Obama’s left shoulder.
Whether this is a commentary on the present state of the clergy in America, or the troubling prominence of someone like Al Sharpton in the councils of the Democratic party and the White House, The Scrapbook cannot say. Perhaps the editors of the New York Times can shed some light on what it all means.
6:56 AM, Mar 10, 2015 • By ADAM J. WHITE
According to Miles's Law, "where you stand depends on where you sit." And so when Vice President Joe Biden hyperventilates over Republican senators' criticism of the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran, we must take him with a grain of salt. He used to have a seat in the Senate; now he stands behind President Obama.
4:26 PM, Mar 7, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama and his family were there. President George W. Bush and his wife Laura attended. But missing from the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama? President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, as well as Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.
All former presidents were invited to the anniversary, according to news reports.
7:00 AM, Feb 18, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who is considering seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, will deliver a foreign policy address in Chicago Wednesday morning. Bush is expected to speak about his vision for how the United States can "regain its leadership in the world" and to "shape events and build alliances of free people."
4:22 PM, Dec 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Jeb Bush is considering running for president in 2016, but he might have run in 2008 if not for the reasonable belief the country wouldn't elect brothers to the White House successively.
In 2006, Fred Barnes wrote about Jeb as America's "governor in chief"—a popular, conservative reformer who could lay claim to the title of best governor in the country. Here's an excerpt:
11:31 AM, Dec 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
CNN’s lame duck, Candy Crowley, asked former President George W. Bush one of those questions. How did he feel about something in the New York Times. Namely, a review that:
Oct 27, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 07 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Baseball heals. That’s the only way The Scrapbook can explain Keith Olbermann’s transformation. How else did Bush Derangement Syndrome’s patient zero wind up complimenting the 43rd president? After nearly a decade of insulting George W. Bush, Olbermann now says he’s a fan. Actually his praise was more specific. The onetime MSNBC commentator wasn’t recanting all his nastiness—he was just saying, as a baseball guy, that Bush knows his baseball, too.
11:31 AM, Oct 3, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
If Mitt Romney had said in 2012 that a second Obama term would bring not just continued economic uncertainty, but also the re-emergence of international terrorist forces, Russia's invasion of the Ukraine, an illegal immigration crisis, a knife-wielding madman in the White House, a beheading in Oklahoma, and the Ebola virus in Texas, even the president's most paranoid critics would have told him to
Sep 22, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 02 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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.”
9:16 AM, Aug 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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.
2:32 PM, Aug 14, 2014 • By EDWARD ALEXANDER
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.
And why it mattersJul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By DICK CHENEY and LIZ CHENEY
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.
The illiberal left.May 12, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 33 • By FRED BARNES
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.”
Apr 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 30 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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.”