Ongoing Bush Bubble Robs Him of Chance to See the Damage He’s Done
Originally published on BuzzFlash.com on Fri, 05/29/2009 – 1:45pm
Coverage of the speech from FOX 28, WSJV, Elkhart/South Bend, Indiana.
“George W. Bush” and “Benton Harbor, Michigan” are phrases you would never expect to see in the same sentence. But the media outlets dutifully reported that Bush was in that city, giving a speech — his first major speech on U.S. soil after he left the White House.
Well, Bush likely never visited the city limits of Benton Harbor, not a small significance. The actual speech was out at the local junior college with a mailing address of “Benton Harbor” but nowhere near the actual city. And as you may know, this reporter has a long history with this area, and has written about it several times for BuzzFlash.
If Bush came in from South Bend, Indiana and came up the relatively new US-31 bypass, and if he were paying attention to anything outside his window, he would not have seen any urban blight. And besides giving a speech and being scheduled to take only pre-selected questions, isn’t that what Bush and his team wanted?
Keeping Bush away from blighted areas, especially Benton Harbor, preserves the integrity of the bubble, so that he never can see any clue as to the destruction on his watch.
When Bush gave his first post-presidential speech, he actually traveled in a tunnel from the hotel to the site of the speech as to avoid any sense of protests. And this was in one of the few cities outside of Texas in North America that might have shown him a little bit of love — Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Now news accounts from the event say that Bush took nine questions from the audience, but of course, reporters were not allowed into the event.
One of those nine questions dealt with what he thought about his legacy. And that was likely the toughest of the questions.
You might think that maybe we’re being hasty. Maybe Bush had a tough question to answer, and the MSM was afraid to say what that might be. But here are some notes about the area you might want to consider.
While Michigan has gone blue for the last 20 years in presidential races, Southwestern Michigan — where Benton Harbor is located — is deeply red.
To give you an idea of the fellow speakers that the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan has had in the last few years, here’s a sample list (since 2002): Rudy Giuliani, “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger, Karen Hughes, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Forbes, L. Paul Bremer, George Tenet, Cal Thomas, John Ashcroft, Tom Ridge, Carly Fiorina, John McCain, Bill Frist, Jeb Bush, and Charles Krauthammer. Let’s not forget Bush’s fellow speakers from this past year: Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, and Condoleezza Rice.
One respondent told WSJM-AM’s Christine Sagar that “I really appreciate the fact that he took real questions from the audience.” (Full disclosure: I worked at WSJM from 1987-1991.)
But that doesn’t take into account that the audience was going to be Bush-friendly to start with, regardless of whether he might take questions. And again, reporters weren’t allowed. To say Bush took “real questions” is more than likely imprecise.
The Bush Bubble tour continues — once again — north of the border. Tonight, Bush will headline along with former President Bill Clinton in Toronto. Unlike the Calgary experience, Toronto will be much less friendly to Bush.
The ticket response for this event isn’t as intense as the promoters would like, so there are still tickets available.
The bubble also works in that the effects of the Bush era don’t penetrate either.
“I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, ‘I’ve done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.’ I can tell you that the information we got saved lives,” Bush said in last night’s speech. “I vowed to take whatever steps that were necessary to protect you.”
Whether you think Bush isn’t that bright, he should have been bright enough to know that the Geneva Convention is law, upheld by the Constitution, and that under said convention, torture is illegal, no matter what scrupulous behavior the underlings do. Bush tried to get us to think of him in a Truman-esque light. Yet, Truman’s famous slogan “The Buck Stops Here” is something that Bush still hasn’t understood.
If Bush really thought he was Truman, he would have broken that bubble a long time ago. But the bubble is one of the many reasons why Bush will never come to the level of Truman.
So how does a man living in a bubble see what happened in the last eight years? The answer to the legacy question, one of the “real questions” Bush took last night.
“Well, I hope it is this: The man showed up with a set of principles, and he was unwilling to compromise his soul for the sake of popularity.”
Nothing is going to get through that bubble anytime soon.