Flipping through channels last Saturday night I came across this show on HBO and was immediately intrigued. First, I have always liked Will Ferrell. Call it a weakness or a guilty pleasure, or whatever. Second, I think George W. Bush was the right man for the presidency for what happened on 9/11/2001, and the aftermath that followed. Third, I wondered how badly of a Bush-bash this thing would turn into.
A couple of qualifications. Number one, I only caught about the last half hour of the show. And number two, I only meant to leave it on for a few minutes because I figured it was only going to infuriate me. One other note: we only have HBO because the cable company gave it to us free as part of our special pricing. We have all R-rated content blocked from viewing unless a pin number is entered. I will not pay for HBO because I really don't want it in my house, though the HBO Family channel does have some decent content.
As it turns out I ended up watching the rest of the show. I was actually impressed by one part of the show, disappointed in many aspects, and in the end it was exactly what I expected it would be.
First, for the part that impressed me. When Ferrell went into the war on Iraq, he actually did it seriously and gave President Bush credit for the gravity of the decision to go into Iraq. He showed the emotion Bush must feel in thinking about the men and women of the armed services that gave their lives in the war. He asked for a moment of silence for them as well as the "hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians" killed in the war. (This number I take issue with but Ferrell is a Hollywood actor so it was to be expected.)
That Ferrell didn't just bash Bush on the war and realized that Bush, like any other president, wouldn't send our troops into harm's way without realizing the danger they would face, and the sacrifices they would make impressed me. Ferrell, at least in the small part of the show I saw, never got into the politics of Iraq and whether or not it was the right thing to do, just that Bush took the decision seriously. For that I give Ferrell credit.
This was then immediately followed by a bit where Bush receives a call from former Bush appointee and head of FEMA Michael Brown. During the call, where we only hear Bush's side of the conversation, the two engage in reminiscing about Hurricane Katrina and FEMA's bungling in the aftermath of that natural disaster. The point seemed obvious: while Bush took using military force seriously, he was less concerned with the nation's poor in the south that were affected by Katrina. While it infuriated me that Ferrell would try to make this comparison, it was to be expected when you think about it in context.
Throughout the part of the show that I watched it seemed that the overall theme was that George W. Bush was a well meaning buffoon that stumbled and bumbled his way through eight years in office. Again, this is to be expected obviously, but Ferrell chose to ignore the fact that Bush was improperly maligned by the extreme left-wing media, and liberals in Hollywood, for his entire time in office. And that, in actuality, Bush was a very good president.
Like him or not, you knew where Bush stood and he didn't shy away from tough problems. He stayed true to his personal beliefs, even sometimes to the chagrin of conservatives. (Read: prescription drug Medicare benefit.) To see him treated in such a cavalier manner is disappointing.
What really galls me is that we will never see this kind of thing for Obama. Obama's first 60 days have been a disaster of epic proportions. The left-wing media continues to give him a pass by blaming everything on Bush, and making LUDICROUS parallels between 9/11 and an economic recession. The late-night shows and political comedy shows won't even joke about Obama. And that isn't from lack of material, he has provided them plenty. It just another sign of the bias in the media today.
The sad reality is that I already miss President Bush. And I think the number of people that miss him grows everyday and will continue to grow as Obama continues to ruin the nation we love.