More Class, More Unity, Less International Crisis

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George W. Bush is a class act.  I truly admire the choice he has made to voluntarily restrain from making comments about decisions the current President is making.  Perhaps Bush is just as unhappy as his Republican colleagues with some or, maybe, all of the decisions Obama has made; still, no public statements are uttered to say as much.

Bush is not second guessing.  He knows he is no longer President and all the facts that used to be available to him are just not there anymore.  I am sure President Bush didn’t appreciate it when people second guessed him.  So, the former President has decided, instead, to honor the Golden Rule, to do unto others as he would have liked others to do unto him.

Mr. Bush knows what a tough job being President is.  When the Democrats criticized his every move, second guessed his every intention and questioned his motives, in the face of adversity, Bush went forward with what he thought was best for the country.  I always felt the President needed a better Public Relations manager and I had secretly hoped he would get one too.  But there also needed to be less knee-jerk reaction from his opponents.  President Bush received a lot of criticism that was unfair and unhelpful in my opinion.

I have to admit, I am guilty of cringing every time President Bush made a public address or gave a press conference.  But, if Mr. Bush will forgive me for that slight and, putting that aside, I think that history will judge his administration in an overall positive light.  I did not agree with everything the President did.  But, I also know that Mr. Bush really wasn’t all that bad of a President either.

Regardless, President Bush’s decision to employ a classy, respectful Post-Presidency is in stark contrast to the Post-Vice-Presidency we are witnessing.  Dick Cheney is quick to comment how bad Obama’s decisions have been and how they are most responsible for Russia’s invasion of Crimea.  Take, for example, Cheney’s appearance on “Face the Nation” a few Sundays ago.  Of course, if you ask any expert they will tell you that however bad Obama’s performance may be regarding other recent international events, it probably didn’t contribute much to the crisis occurring in Crimea.

It is interesting how Chaney is conveniently glossing over the Georgia invasion of 2008 when Russia annexed portions of that country’s sovereign territory.  How much was done about that particular crisis and what international foul-ups should we blame on Cheney for allowing Russia to get away with that particular theft? Mr. Cheney should be the last one to criticize anything Obama is doing with regards to Crimea when considering what happen to Georgia while Mr. Cheney was Vice President.

In a time when we should be showing unity, some, actually, most, Republicans still don’t get it.  It’s ironic that Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, who was also on the same “Face the Nation” program, when asked about bipartisanship, blamed that failure entirely on the President.  Huh? Right away, with that type of response, it tells me that there is no real effort on the part of the Republicans to take bipartisanship seriously.

There are appropriate times to criticize and inappropriate times to criticize.  More common sense needs to be used.  It is almost certain that part of the reason Putin went ahead with his plans to invade is exactly because of this polarized three ringed circus show that Republicans and Democrats (but, mostly, Republicans) insist on performing for extended engagements.

Too distracted by the abrasive, unproductive partisan politics they are practicing, Congress and the President were caught unaware and surprised.  Putin must have said to himself:  “I’ll invade and those crazy Americans will just continue on, busily spewing rhetoric and blaming each other for the first invasion that they won’t see my next move coming either.”

Divide and conquer.  That has always been a good strategy.  But, how sad it is when it is so self-inflicted?

Congress and President Obama have been so ineffective in the past, unable to do much of anything of real significance, why should this event in Crimea make things any different?  For example, last year Congress was willing to even risk damaging their own economy by failing to pass a budget due to the severity of their polarized factions and unwillingness to compromise.  Why wouldn’t Putin take advantage of this opportunity when he notices such seemingly self-destructive behavior?

It’s too bad Mr. Chaney doesn’t have the same discipline or motivation to follow his former boss’s lead.  Mr. Chaney does have a lot of good advice to offer President Obama absent his criticism.  But, we truly need leaders who can unite a people rather than seeking to continue to fuel the fires of a grand schism.

It’s time to wake up.  This is no time to be bickering among ourselves, trying to place blame.  Save that for later if you must.  But, now is not the time.  Now is the time to come together, to show a unified front without any hint of division, let Russia know what we think about their total disregard for international law, why we think it is unacceptable and, by George, what we intend to do about it.

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