General Question

forestGeek's avatar

What is the best thing George W. Bush has done during his presidency?

Asked by forestGeek (8572 points ) December 17th, 2008

Like me, I’m sure everyone can name many things that they feel GW has has screwed-up or done wrong in his 8 years, but what if anything, has he done that is good? Maybe it’s because I really dislike him and am an extreme liberal, but I seriously cannot think of anything, except him leaving in January. There’s got to be something…

Oh, and I apologize in advance if this starts a political fight, I definitely have not intended for it to!

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66 Answers

jessturtle23's avatar

I remember something he did on Mexican immigrants that I liked.

jessturtle23's avatar

I meant something he spoke about doing.

Trustinglife's avatar

Didn’t he extend daylight savings time two weeks?

And he gave me many, many moments of laughter. Tragic laughter, but laughter all the same.

augustlan's avatar

Well he, umm, you know, er…I’m stumped.

Mtl_zack's avatar

He opened a wildlife sanctuary, one of the biggest in the Americas.

hypeserver's avatar

“So then all the OBGYNs can practice their love freely and openly together.”-George W. Bush
That quote still makes me laugh to this day. Besides the many moments of laughter there’s one thing that Bush did good. He inspired rock and alternative musicians to make some great songs. Songs from bands like Greenday, Yellowcard, Disturbed, System of a Down, Serj Tankien were all inspired by Bush.

tybalt's avatar

Ducking two shoes…
He’s made lots of mistakes – enough that will serve as lessons for the next several administrations.

Trustinglife's avatar

Oh, and I think he helped wake up millions of people that the path we were headed down simply doesn’t work.

Shhhh, here comes Dale…

dalepetrie's avatar

He showed up to a press conference shortly after he took office with a band aid on his forehead, you know, Nelly style? Turned out he choked on a pretzel, passed out and hit his head on a table. That made my year.

jessturtle23's avatar

It kind of pissed me off when he ducked those shoes so fast. It shows that he does have a brain and just chose not to use it for 8+ years.

KatawaGrey's avatar

He got through 9/11. I am not a big Bush fan, and I am the first to poo-poo all the attention 9/11 is still getting, but it was a national crisis and he got us through it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

(And according to my mother he’s been an even worse president than Linden B. Johnson)

hypeserver's avatar

KatawaGrey Remind me exactly what Bush did again? How was his response rate to Hurricane Katrina?

skfinkel's avatar

I liked when that guy threw the shoe at him a couple of days ago, that Bush said that’s what you get in a democracy. People are free to express their hatred of him. But—he was right. I hope that guy lives to see the light of day again.

andrew's avatar

Get Barack Hussein Obama elected.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@hyper: I’m not saying he did anything that anyone else couldn’t have done and I’m not saying what he did after was good or that he handled anything else well. But being the president during that time must have been hard and would have been hard for anyone. We have to give him props for that. And note I said “9/11” not “9/11 and all other major crises that arose during his two terms.”

dalepetrie's avatar

Andrew gets the prize. If there were no W, Obama would probably still be a State Senator. That ALMOST makes it all worth it.

hypeserver's avatar

KatawaGrey It may have been hard, but all he did was create a new U.S. department. I have no respect for the man. Since he’s our current president I’d be proud to shake his hand, but for what he’s done I have no respect.

jessturtle23's avatar

@ Katawa- What is even harder than dealing with 9/11 and Katrina is going on and running for president to try to clean up after that mess. Imagine the balls and patriotism that took. I’m not trying to dog you because I understand what it feels like to have hope in a politician as stupid as that may sound.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@hyper: You’re completely missing my point. I would have said the same thing if Kerry or Gore or Obama had been our president. An attack on any part of the country by another country is hard to deal with. Whether he made a new US department or reincarnated everyone who died, he still did something.

@jess: I don’t have any hope in the man, I’m just playing devil’s advocate. Had I been old enough to vote either time he was elected, i most certainly would not have voted for him.

hypeserver's avatar

Alright KatawaGrey since I do get your point it seems you want me to agree with you. I have a different opinion so can we agree to disagree and leave it at that? I don’t want to start arguing because I can see where this is going.

steve6's avatar

Using Rice as NSA and Sec. of State. Contrary to popular opinion, there was nothing contrived in her appointment.

forestGeek's avatar

Seems to me when I look back, so many things he did, if not everything, were to benefit to Corporate America. I just don’t really see what he’s done for the rest of us. I guess that’s kind of what the Republican party is about. Maybe if I were say a Haliburton shareholder, I might feel differently about him and his administration.

funkdaddy's avatar

I’ve been wondering how the president will be remembered by history, which is typically very kind. Also I wanted to find something where I thought there were real strides taken as I honestly believe he has been doing what he thinks is right, and I just happen to disagree in many ways.

So I did a quick internet search – this article just covers the first term, but it’s amazing – and written in very supportive language… so I’m assuming these are good things that maybe didn’t turn out quite as expected…

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1096125/posts

Just WOW, this reads like a laundry list of topics Republican candidates were dogged by during the elections. I’m honestly astounded.

I’ll just copy the first from each section -

Abortion & Traditional Values – Banned Partial Birth Abortion — by far the most significant roll-back of abortion on demand since Roe v. Wade.

Budget, Taxes & Economy – Signed two income tax cuts, one of which was the largest dollar-value tax cut in world history.

Character & Conduct as President – Changed the tone in the White House, restoring HONOR and DIGNITY to the presidency.

Education & Employment Training – Signed the No Child Left Behind Act, delivering the most dramatic education reforms in a generation (challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations). The very liberal California Teachers union is currently running radio ads against the accountability provisions of this Act.

Environment & Energy – Killed the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty.

Defense & Foreign Policy – Successfully executed two wars in the aftermath of 9/11/01: Afghanistan and Iraq. 50 million people who had lived under tyrannical regimes now live in freedom.

Globalization & Internationalism – Challenged the United Nations to live up to their responsibilities and not become another League of Nations (in other words, showed the UN to be completely irrelevant).

Government Reform – Improved government efficiency by putting hundreds of thousands of jobs put up for bid. This weakens public-sector unions and cuts undeserved pay raises.

Health – Strengthen the National Health Service Corps to put more physicians in the neediest areas, and make its scholarship funds tax-free.

Homeland Security, Border Enforcement & Immigration – Has CONSTRUCTION in process on the first 10 ABM silos in Alaska so that America will have a defense against North Korean nukes. Has ordered national and theater ballistic missile defenses to be deployed by 2004. (actually #2, #1 referred to another section already given)

Judiciary & Tort Reform – Is urging federal liability reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits.

Politics – His leadership resulted in Republican gains in the House and Senate, solidifying Republican control of both houses of Congress and the presidency.

Second Amendment – Ordered Attorney General Ashcroft to formally notify the Supreme Court that the OFFICIAL U.S. government position on the 2nd Amendment is that it supports INDIVIDUAL rights to own firearms

Also, if you’ve made it this far, here’s the official word on the second term -

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050803–1.html

augustlan's avatar

@funkdaddy: Your second link says “file not found”.

funkdaddy's avatar

hmmm same link here with a word in quotes… seems to work…

looks like we got ourselves a flutherbug o’ sum kind

Or, I just don’t know how to link, thanks for the heads up.

dalepetrie's avatar

Two points – re Mexican immigrants. He tried to create temporary work visas which would have allowed people to stay here for 7 years…it seemed like a good deal for Dems and against the Republican agenda, until you looked under the surface and realized he was doing this so he could get the benefit of cheap labor until the people were used up, then he could force the to go home and saddle them with fees that they couldn’t afford to pay if they wanted to come back.

Second, re: 9/11, BULLSHIT I say. I was one fo the 10% who never supported the man not even after 9/11. I had a slightly different perspective on 9/11…my mind was on other things. My son was born on 9/6 and had a problem w/ low blood sugar and was admitted to the NICU. It really felt like they were treating far more than they needed to and being WAY too intrusive, but there was nothing we could do, and we felt like they’d essentially kidnapped him (so they could subsequently bill our insurance 45 grand). My wife was also having a hard time w/ the recovery, and she was discharged on the 10th…on the morning of the 11th, I thought we’d be taking him home FINALLY, but nope, not for 2 more days. We were at our wits end just trying to figure out if they had ANY intention of fixing the problem. So, we’re having breakfast in the hospital cafeteria when we heard. It was just surreal.

Then I still hated Bush, and I started to hear people talk about his speech (which I’d heard part of and to me it sounded like, “dad gum, we’re gonna get them what dun this to us”) and even though the world was falling down around us, the gas stations were jacking the prices up to $10 a gallon with no reason whatsoever, and we still couldn’t get our kid out of intensive care even though he really didn’t belong there, I hadn’t been to work in a week and had barely slept in that time. I almost bitch slapped a person who told me that Bush “sounded so Presidential.” It was like the whole fucking world gave him a pass for being coherent in the face of tragedy. Meanwhile he was telling Rumsfeld to find a link between 9/11 and Iraq, because he’d already decided before ever taking office that he was going to get Saddam for having tried to kill his daddy. I saw it coming, and I’m convinced that the August 6 memo “Bin Laden determined to strike inside US” was pretty much ignored…at best because they didn’t know what the hell to do about it, or at worse because they WANTED an excuse. Fuck Bush. I hope he gets hit by a shoe.

augustlan's avatar

@Funk: Just gotta’ love the first bullet point from your second link:

Economic Growth:

The American Economy Is Growing And Creating Jobs. The economy is growing faster than any other major industrialized economy. Unemployment has declined to five percent, the lowest it has been since September 11th and lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Consumer confidence is high. Inflation remains low. The economy has already created over 2 million jobs in the last 12 months, and more Americans are working today than ever before.

The Deficit Is Decreasing. Thanks to spending restraint and tax relief, the Federal deficit is projected to be $94 billion less than previously expected, and the government is ahead of pace to reach President Bush’s goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009.

shilolo's avatar

He proposed and passed the Pepfar legislation for AIDS relief worldwide. This will likely be his greatest legacy.

steve6's avatar

@dalepetrie: What are you trying to say? Are you blaming Bush for something? If so I didn’t get it. Why do you have to curse a man in public as if you know him or know anything about what goes on in high places. Any problems you encountered in 2001 were more than likely a product of the previous administration, or the one before that. You could at least try to explain rationally.

purephase's avatar

He requested 30 billion to help fight global AIDS.

akmcg's avatar

He supported Peace Corps….but doesn’t everyone?

Shilolo- Pepfar is considered by many int’l NGO employees to be just another problem that agenices like to throw money at so it’ll go away…I thought it was a good thing too, til I discussed it w/ some overseas folks

shilolo's avatar

@akmcg. I don’t know. I’ve heard different. I’m an HIV doctor working on tuberculosis research. Even if the program is imperfect (I don’t agree with spending so much money on abstinance teaching, for example), all I can say is that the alternative would have been to do nothing (which wouldn’t have surprised me given the ultra-conservative slant of the Bush Administration). Many individuals have received life-saving treatment on the US dime owing to Pepfar. I can’t argue with that.

akmcg's avatar

I agree, it’s a good program concept at least. This was just a few peoples’ opinions and frankly I was surprised to hear it. Perhaps the quality of the program delivery varies in each recipient country and it’s based on the performance of the program manager it lands on….

Jeruba's avatar

Not being sarcastic at all, I think one good thing (consider this as lemonade) is that he pushed certain things as far as they could go or allowed them to go to extremes. Sometimes you just have to see a worst case played out because if it’s averted nobody will really believe that it could have been serious. Honestly, now: isn’t it going to be a hell of a long time before somebody suggests we try some of those stunts again?

Best I could do with that lemon.

dalepetrie's avatar

@steve6

I’ll make myself perfectly clear.

I NEVER said the problems I had in 2001 had anything to do with Bush.

I NEVER liked Bush, and 9/11 was only a small part of it, all I’m saying is it didn’t redeem him in my eyes. I believe he has screwed over the poor and the middle class, the education system, the environment, basically everything I believe strongly in, he has gone the exact opposite way of where I believe we should have gone, and he did it all out of personal agenda and ideology without regard to any dissenting opinions….Bush governed in a complete my way or the highway fashion and if you didn’t agree with him, tough titty. So, I hated him for that and I won’t apologize for saying fuck him.

In regards to what I’m “accusing” him of, as you will note I said it could be incompetence or something more sinister. But, here’s what I know (you know, from actually reading news):

1) Bush had no political aspirations until just before Rove and the neocons in the PNAC convinced him to run for Governor of Texas as a stepping stone for the Presidency.
2) He vowed to finish the job his father did not and to avenge him for Saddam’s attempt to assassinate his father.
3) Bush appointed pretty much the entire PNAC to his cabinet.
4) Bush received a National Intelligence briefing which said “BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO ATTACK INSIDE U.S” while on his first 5 week vacation to his Crawford Ranch on August 6, 2001, and not only did he not take any action on it, he and his staff BARELY remembered it when it saw the light of day years later.
5) Before 9/11 in a National Security meeting when Saddam’s name was mentioned, Bush is quoted as having said, “Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out.”
6) It was reported that the reason it was reported (incorrectly) a few days after 9/11 that one of the hijackers had gone to Baghdad in May to meet with Saddam was because Rumsfeld, under the direction of Bush basically ordered intelligence to find a link between Iraq and 9/11 a couple days after 9/11 when Rumsfeld was told that no such link existed.
7) Such was their desire to attack Iraq that they were willing to lie to the American people by using discredited intelligence about Iraq buying yellowcake uranium from Nigeria as the basis to sell the story that the smoking gun of Iraq’s WMDs “could come in the form of a mushroom cloud”, and when they couldn’t suppress her husband, who had been sent as an ambassador to check out the yellowcake document, from reporting to the public that it was bullshit, they simply retaliated against him by outing his wife as a CIA agent, endangering her safety and destroying her career.

Bush was going to attack Iraq if he became the President, most people on the left were just looking for how he was going to do it. The signs were all there, and he did exactly what I knew he would do all along. Again, fuck Bush sideways with a rusty knife.

I could list the things I hate about the man, from outright election theft in 2000, to staffing every agency set up to regulate industry with heads of those industries, to outrageous tax cuts to people who didn’t need them at the expense of aid to the most vulnerable members of our society, to using Medicare as a tool to give away billions to drug companies, to making it next to impossible for people to sue their employers, to using Orwellian phrases like Clean Air and Healthy Forest Initiatives which actually allowed more air pollution and deforestation, to any million other things that would take me 4 solid days to put down, which you would probably dismiss because I don’t personally know Bush.

Well, I don’t NEED to know him, I know what he’s done to my country, and to be honest, I think it’s not just a misuse of his power, he’s committed outright treason and should not only be impeached, but hanged. You want to know why I hate him, really, and are sincere about not just dismissing me out of hat, check this out: 1,594 Reasons to hate Bush

I’m liberal and damn proud of it, and I have every right to dislike Bush, and it ain’t like I’m the only one!

dalepetrie's avatar

And FYI, I agree he did give a lot of money to fight AIDS in Africa, and though I appreciate that as perhaps the actual best thing he did, I have two big problems with even THAT.

1) He won’t allow funding to go towards birth control education which could save MANY more lives, only for abstinence based programs
2) That’s all well and good in Africa, if he’d only dedicated this much effort to the health of the citizens of his own damn country, maybe I’d look more kindly on him.

shilolo's avatar

@dale. I agree 100%, but, since the question asked for “the best thing”, this is all I could come up with.

steve6's avatar

If the U.S. did not control Iraqi oil, we would not have enough strategic oil reserves to fend off radical Islam, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea. All your paragraphs mean nothing in the face of cold reality. That is why we are in Iraq and that is why Obama will stay in Iraq. This is the truth.

shilolo's avatar

@steve6. So, basically, what you are saying is that we have a President playing a giant game of Risk, and losing? Also, that it was ok for him to approve of and orchestrate a giant charade in order to gain control of said reserves? Terrific…

steve6's avatar

I didn’t say I agreed with it, merely stating the real reason for the war. No one else seems to mention it on the news. Don’t you find that strange? I answered the question at top of page earlier (Rice appointment).

shilolo's avatar

If you are invoking “conspiracies”, then I think a number of people would say he did it so as to enrich all of the oil companies and Halliburtons of the world, rather than to “protect” America from the so-called Axis of Evil.

steve6's avatar

If the Middle Eastern oil producing countries wanted to cut us off they could sell their wares to China and Russia among others and our strategic reserves would dwindle rapidly leaving us very vulnerable. If we are in Iraq they can’t cut us off because we can use Iraqi oil. It is really simple.

shilolo's avatar

@steve6. You forget one critical thing. We already had army and air force bases in Saudi Arabia and UAE and the US-Saudi connection (for good and bad) is strong. This is one of the main reasons Al Qaida hate us, because of the idea that the infidels (us) have bases on the soil of the holiest land in Islam (Saudi Arabia). If I had to choose between control of the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia or Iraq, I would choose the former.

steve6's avatar

I don’t see the US-Saudi connection as concrete as you may, but the US-Iraqi connection is as insoluble as our government sees fit.

steve6's avatar

At one time we thought the US-Iranian connection was strong. That lesson taught me that Islam is powerful and shouldn’t be viewed as constrained by national (geographical) borders.

shilolo's avatar

@steve6. Your thesis about Iraq makes no sense. We are borrowing trillions of dollars from China to pay for our budgets (and our wars). They already hold the pursestrings to our economy, so it is naive to think that by sitting on Iraqi oil we somehow have gained an advantage over China (and all of those other countries you listed). Likewise, Russia, for example, doesn’t need Iraqi oil.

steve6's avatar

We aren’t taking over Iraq’s oil right now. But we are sending a message to the rest of the world that we can if things get dicey. If you are right, Obama will begin to pull out by Feb. or March. If I am right, he will have second thoughts, thoughts he has already had, and the news will announce some reason why we have to stay in Iraq. Please folks, no wagering.

Maverick's avatar

Ok. I’ve thought about this long and hard, and read a good portion of the responses here and I’m absolutely positive about two things:

1) It would be impossible to list all the things he and his Administration has f*cked up over the past 8 years, because the known list would be un-fathomably long and the list of things we don’t even know about is likely many multiples of that.
2) It is easy to list all the things he and his Administration did right because it amounts to NOT ONE GAWD-DAMNED THING

The man has been a complete disaster from day one. Absolutely everything that he’s had anything to do with has been a major-major f*ck-up. He is the mastermind of the end of the American “empire” (killed it before it really began). If, eight years ago, someone had asked me if I thought it was possible for everything that America has ever stood for to be dismantled in eight short years, I would have laughed. Well, I’m not laughing now.

Well over 100,000 people are dead directly because of his complete lack of leadership and incompetence and a fair percentage of those are American citizens. Not to mention American citizens, those of allies, and other innocent people born in the wrong country that were rounded up, shipped to secret shitholes around the world and tortured in the name of every (other) American citizen. It is an absolute disgrace. His buddies and those of his Administration have made off like bandits (and are still madly cashing cheques before the party ends) while average Americans have had everything they’ve worked their entire lives cut up and divided among the richest of the rich. It is undoubtably the greatest fleecing of a population. Ever. I could go on and on and on, but seriously I just want this nightmare to end.

The absolute best thing that pr*ck can do is leave early, at least I’d offer him a slim shadow of decency for that but you know that’s never gonna happen… he’s just gonna keep kicking America and the entire world while its down until the very last second.

SuperMouse's avatar

Didn’t he pardon a turkey each year around Thanksgiving, that’s a nice thing to do.

dalepetrie's avatar

I don’t see that we exactly control Iraqi oil today. I see you side with the PNAC on this one. But you know what, if since 1997 when the PNAC started on this campaign of launching pre-emptive war, starting in Iraq philosophy, they instead focused on energy independence as every President since I believe Nixon has promised to do, we’d probably have been able to reduce our dependence on foreign oil to historic lows by now and we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. I don’t buy the argument that we have to control Middle Eastern oil reserves to defend ourselves, I think that’s a far right fantasy that has more to do with empire building than sane, forward thinking energy policy. We have several sources of free energy from the sun, the air, the water and the land which we have figured out how to harness, but which:

a) we haven’t gotten efficient enough about doing
b) we haven’t invested in enough to bring the costs down to a level consumers can afford
c) we haven’t figured out how to store efficiently, and
d) we haven’t figured out how to distribute efficiently.

If we’d spent the Bush administration working on these problems (instead of investing hundreds of billions of dollars we don’t have and thousands of human lives to essentially destabilize a stable region), we’d be in much better shape now.

And getting out of Iraq won’t be easy, but I think Obama will be able to have all combat troops out within 2 years. Time will tell, and I’m sure it will tell the Neocons they were dead wrong.

Mizuki's avatar

George W Bush helped evicerate the “conservative movement” and his head-strong pig-headedness, and arrogence have proved that conservativism is wrong, resulting in destroying America….but he did help kill the conservative movement, so that was good.

susanc's avatar

“Conservatism” SHOULD mean balancing a budget, looking for ways to make more happen with fewer resources, providing a decent social safety net in an efficient way, providing incentives for business to be long-run efficient (e.g. build cars that run well for many years on less fuel, build kitchen appliances that last more than 4 years).

“Conservatives” didn’t screw us up. Fiscal imperialists did.

Mizuki's avatar

Conservatives were complicit enablers. Did Bush not just national banking, auto, finance, housing——nice conservative.

susanc's avatar

Actually, if you read Naomi Klein (recommended) The Shock Doctrine, you will easily see that nationalization of industry is a typical move of juntas striving to create monarchies. Go figure – Bush was on his way out anyway.

JohnRobert's avatar

I find him very inspiring.

I now know that anyone…. yes, anyone can be president.

Maverick's avatar

Inspiring?! Do you see how ridiculously sad it is to think that any person with the least possible qualifications can hold the highest office in the land? Do you even see how completely f*cked up that is?! Personally, I’d rather have qualified, intelligent people leading the country.

JohnRobert's avatar

Maverick, I was being 100% sarcastic. The joke goes over a lot better in person.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@John: I’m gonna be 35 in 16 years. Since anyone can be president, will you be my running mate?

JohnRobert's avatar

Anything is possible.

Maverick's avatar

@john Haha, ok. Yes, sarcasm doesn’t really work in text without the obligatory ;)

Trustinglife's avatar

Or the tilde, as we always use here.~

Mizuki's avatar

He’s not given up power yet, but if he does give up power on the 21st of January, that will be the bright spot—that we did not have to revolt to be rid of the chimp.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@maverick: you can be the secretary of state. :D

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