There has been a call from liberal commentators for George W. to come and speak out about the Ground Zero Mosque, after all he made it clear our war was against Extemist muslim terrorist and not against peaceloving Muslims.
How badly did Barack Obama fumble the mosque controversy last weekend? No fewer than three media columnists now want Obama rescued by George W. Bush. Byron York reports on the desperate pleas:
“It’s time for W. to weigh in,” writes the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd. Bush, Dowd explains, understands that “you can’t have an effective war against the terrorists if it is a war on Islam.” Dowd finds it “odd” that Obama seems less sure on that matter. But to set things back on the right course, she says, “W. needs to get his bullhorn back out” — a reference to Bush’s famous “the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” speech at Ground Zero on September 14, 2001.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is also looking for an assist from Bush. “I…would love to hear from former President Bush on this issue,” Robinson wrote Tuesday in a Post chat session. “He held Ramadan iftar dinners in the White House as part of a much broader effort to show that our fight against the al-Qaeda murderers who attacked us on 9/11 was not a crusade against Islam. He was absolutely right on this point, and it would be helpful to hear his views.”
And Peter Beinart, a former editor of the New Republic, is also feeling some nostalgia for the former president. “Words I never thought I’d write: I pine for George W. Bush,” Beinart wrote Tuesday in The Daily Beast. “Whatever his flaws, the man respected religion, all religion.” Beinart longs for the days when Bush “used to say that the ‘war on terror’ was a struggle on behalf of Muslims, decent folks who wanted nothing more than to live free like you and me…”
For the moment, with Obama failing to live up to expectations, Bush-bashing is over.
What the left might be missing most of all was W’s civility. Few ever doubted his love and respect for the American people.
It’s certainly a delicious irony to savor. Of course all of those pundits clamoring for Bush’s assistance are careful to point out that he is still an idiotchimp on every other issue but this one, but I have heard similar “I miss Bush” musings from others–those who always hated Bush, those who grew to hate him, those who piled on because the pile was a safe place to be.
One of my husband’s friends–hated Bush, loved Obama and defended him vociferously for the first year, less passionately the second–told him over lunch this week that he’s done with Obama and “I never thought I’d say this but I miss Bush. We knew that he said what he meant, even if we didn’t want to hear it. We knew who he was, even if we didn’t like him. And we never had to wonder whether he liked us. He always did.”
And that is it, in a nutshell. Bush is missable, because we miss having a president whose affection for his country and its people–even the ones who hated him–was never in doubt.