The Chris Matthews Show: Does Anyone Give Bush Credit For Making "Tough Decisions"?

[media id=7127] (h/t Heather) One of the more laughably adolescent and petulant aspect of Bush's Farewell Legacy Tour is the refusal to examine any a

(h/t Heather)

One of the more laughably adolescent and petulant aspect of Bush's Farewell Legacy Tour is the refusal to examine any aspect of his presidency, brushing it off with a "Well, you may not agree with me, but you have to agree that I made tough decisions."

Maybe it's not so surprising that the guy who got to Harvard and Yale on legacy and who needed to be bailed out by Daddy and friends on every business he attempted thinks that he deserves credit for merely sticking it out and not pushing off "hard" decisions to others. Certainly, that has been his modus operandi before public office. But clearly, that excuse isn't flying with the media any longer, as exemplified from this segment of The Chris Matthews Show, which highlight the fatal flaw of Bush's reasoning: you don't get credit for making the tough decisions, you get credit for making the right decisions.

KAY: Of course he had to face tough decisions. Because that’s the job of the American president, you have to face tough decisions. And you have to face them well and make the right decisions. I think the trouble is in all the interviews he’s given—these farewell interviews—he still really hasn’t answered satisfactorily the central question of his presidency: Why did he invade Iraq? It’s not enough to say it was a tough decision, so I made it, you have to say it was the right decision. [..]

RATHER: As far as it goes, it’s a fair estimate that great presidencies are made out of crises. If you come up with the right answers. The business of tough decisions, every president has tough decisions to make. Herbert Hoover had tough decisions to make. He made some of the wrong ones. Gen. Grant, for all his generalship when he was president, made tough decisions, but made the wrong decisions. This is the way history goes, fairly or unfairly. It seems to me, you make the wrong decisions, you pay the price. [..]

WHITAKER: Chris, you know, Bush likes to think of himself as the Great Decider, but I think one of the things that history is going to record is how indecisive he was at key moments. You think about Katrina, and handling that crisis. You think about the current economic crisis, that he’s leaving and how he was sort of asleep at the switch as that all happened. And even on Iraq, even though he was decisive on going to war, he was incredibly indecisive about the aftermath of the war. And I think that that’s the root of a lot of the problems we’ve had there.

Wow, you know, these Media Elite types are actually starting to sound like us DFHs, aren't they? Too bad their honesty only kicked in as Bush got kicked out.

Transcripts below the fold

MATTHEWS: Welcome back. When he resigned the presidency, Richard Nixon, the granddaddy of unpopular presidents, said he had the right intentions. [video] Harry Truman actually had an even lower final job approval than Richard Nixon, but he thought history would take notice of the tough time in which he governed. Quote: “When history says that my term of office saw the beginning of the cold war, it will also say that we have set the course that can win it.” Well, he was right on that one.

When George Bush gave his final speech Thursday night, he talked aobut good intentions as Nixon did, and tough decisions as Truman did. [video]

Is it fair to say that he just was right? That he had to face tough decisions?

KAY: Of course he had to face tough decisions. Because that’s the job of the American president, you have to face tough decisions. And you have to face them well and make the right decisions. I think the trouble is in all the interviews he’s given—these farewell interviews—he still really hasn’t answered satisfactorily the central question of his presidency: Why did he invade Iraq? It’s not enough to say it was a tough decision, so I made it, you have to say it was the right decision.

MATTHEWS: When Bill Clinton said it, at one point, that he felt he missed the chance to be a great president because he missed a great crisis, there wasn’t one on his watch. Is that a fair estimate, given the…

RATHER: As far as it goes, it’s a fair estimate that great presidencies are made out of crises. If you come up with the right answers. The business of tough decisions, every president has tough decisions to make. Herbert Hoover had tough decisions to make. He made some of the wrong ones. Gen. Grant, for all his generalship when he was president, made tough decisions, but made the wrong decisions. This is the way history goes, fairly or unfairly. It seems to me, you make the wrong decisions, you pay the price. And one problem that President Bush is going to have—that I don’t think enough attention is being paid to it—his is going to be a Bush/Cheney presidency. No other presidency we’ve had has a president been that attached…You know, it’s the Clinton presidency, it’s the FDR presidency. With President Bush, he is, for the moment, he is saddled with not only what he did, but also what Vice President Cheney did and what he is perceived to have done. I don’t say that he can’t overcome it, but I do say it makes the hill higher to climb.

MATTHEWS: Do you accept this sort of William and Mary notion of this presidency, that it was a dual presidency?

COOPER: I think there definitely was a dual presidency. I mean, I think Dick Cheney redefined the vice presidency. But the Bush administration, their argument has been, in looking at their record has been to say, ‘don’t judge us now, judge us in fifty years.’ Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, says that time and time again. She references the Czech military in WWII, and she says in the past, presidents made these very tough decisions and people got criticized for them and 50 years later, look, see where we are and that’s sort of the argument that the Bush administration has made…

MATTHEWS: How does she feel? You covered Condoleezza Rice. How does Condoleeza Rice feel about all this?

COOPER: She feels happy about her record, very sanguine about going into the history books and believes in 20 years, people will look back and say they made the right decisions. Which comes back to what you’re talking about.

WHITAKER: Chris, you know, Bush likes to think of himself as the Great Decider, but I think one of the things that history is going to record is how indecisive he was at key moments. You think about Katrina, and handling that crisis. You think about the current economic crisis, that he’s leaving and how he was sort of asleep at the switch as that all happened. And even on Iraq, even though he was decisive on going to war, he was incredibly indecisive about the aftermath of the war. And I think that that’s the root of a lot of the problems we’ve had there.

MATTHEWS: Where was he every day?

WHITAKER: The American people don’t know that he spent vast stretches of his presidency working out, now mountain biking since he can’t run any more. You know, he really was disengaged, and this is one reason why Cheney was able to fill the vaccuum.

MATTHEWS: The super-bureaucrat…

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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