The president’s address last night was appropriate and dignified — as good as it gets for summarizing the end of a seven-year mistake. How else do you button up the end of a successful fix to a phenomenal blunder? We should never have been there in the first place, but we managed to get out of it. Okay, then, let’s move forward.
In terms of the Bush/Cheney legacy on this thing, they still deserve nothing but our collective scorn and shame. Why should they get any sort of kudos for this? The Bush administration’s last moves on the war (the surge, the troop drawdown, etc.) had everything to do with cleaning up their own serious fuck ups. Do we suddenly applaud people who lied and cheated and were responsible for countless deaths — just because they snapped to attention at the very end? I hope not.
And regarding these points, I don’t understand why we expect President Obama to enumerate all of that Bush history every time he talks about Iraq. The president took the high road last night, and it fit the “turn the page” theme of the address. It was dignified and historic. Time to move on.
There are different roles for different levels of the political discourse. I’m fairly certain the president understands the dynamics of a movement and he personally doesn’t have to break out the red meat in every speech, mainly because there are people like you, me and thousands of others who have it covered. What’s appropriate for us to cover might not be appropriate for the president to cover. As disjointed as the modern progressive movement might seem, we’re all part of a team with roles to play.
So, no, the president didn’t bitch about the Bush administration the way we might talk about it on Twitter or on various blogs. And thank goodness for that.
Meanwhile, don’t worry, history will take note of the Bush blunders. Likewise, history will take note of the countless other times the president has discussed the mistakes of the Iraq War.