Friday, December 15, 2006

Presidential parallels

The news that our OPEC masters are planning to lower oil production took me back to my youth in the early 70's, to bad haircuts, mediocre rock and roll, and gas lines around the corner.

Ahh, the good old days.

It also brought to mind the political situation back then and its present-day parallels.

President Bush is, apparently, fond of comparing himself to another president, Harry S Truman, which, given Bush's penchant for wishful thinking (e.g. his entire foreign and domestic policy), is hardly surprising.

From the Washington Post:

He led the United States into war and saw his popularity plummet, yet some 60 years later his reputation has never been higher: It's small wonder Harry S. Truman seems to hold a special fascination for President Bush these days.

I'll leave it to others to discuss why that comparison is a load of horses**t, but I would like to put forward my own, and I believe original presidential comparison.

The modern presidency which most closely parallels that of George W. Bush is that of


wait for it...

Gerald R. Ford.


Let me explain.

Gerald Ford took over the presidency after Nixon resigned in disgrace.

At that point in time Viet Nam was lost, Democrats controlled congress, and US and Republican credibility was at an all time low.

Ford himself was, by all accounts, a likeable guy, totally out of his depth, and totally ineffectual as president.

He was much more comfortable on a golf course than in the oval office.

Substitute the ranch for the links and he was, essentially, George W. Bush.

At least as Bush might have been had 9/11 not happened.

But 9/11 did happen. And Bush mislead us into war in LB Johnsonian fashion, and gathered the reigns of the imperial presidency in a manner that no doubt had Nixon smiling even as he burns in hell.

As I view it George W (though he might question the possibility) has evolved, albeit involuntarily, and has now become, after the last election, Gerald R. Ford: a (to some even still) likeable, ineffectual non-entity, marking time until he has to vacate the whitehouse in a few years.

How's that for a legacy?

No comments: