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Norm Blackburn
Some conservative thoughts about President Bush
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        I have been asked for my thoughts on President George W. Bush's eight years.
        First a few disclaimers. I am a life long conservative Republican. I live in a liberal area of northern California but surround myself with friends who are like minded.
        I get my news from a mix of media including a liberal local newspaper owned by the New York Times; conservative radio and Fox News and some liberal TV news programs. I look at the Drudge Report as well as listen to the BBC and read various national newspapers on line.
        So I may not see the President through the same lens as others. I try to be objective but with all the commentary about how he is the worst President ever and the letters to the editors asking for his impeachment, I feel compelled to speak up for his actions.
        I have never met Mr. Bush, nor have I been in meetings with him. I've seen the cruel cartoons and avoided Hollywood's bash films. So I speak from a Republican influenced by liberal media.
        I wish he had done better.
        I wish he had been a better communicator of his ideas and decisions.
        I wish he didn't have to deal with 9/11 or Katrina or the economic meltdown.
        I believe there is no more patriotic American.
        I believe he made the decisions that were in America's interests and in an effort to protect us against those who wanted to harm us.
        Looking at the world today we have at least neutralized North Korea.
        We have a trading partner in China.
        The country is more "green".
        We have kept our economic dominance among first world nations despite the organization of the Economic Community and other alliances and threats from Venezuela and other socialist countries.
        We are the first to send aid to tsunami areas and other natural disasters.
        We are still the country where most people in the world want to live.
        Although it's been said many times, it is a fact that we haven't been attacked by terrorists since 9/11. The Iraq war is winding down and Afghanistan, while a hot spot, is not a waging war zone.
        The world leaders still come to Washington DC for advice, protection and our money.
        We have slowed our consumption of foreign oil and we want a "Green" environment.
        Our general health is good and our health care system while flawed is the best in the world.
       In the last four month of 2008 the country experienced a serious financial meltdown involving the world's banking and credit system.
        The government has made billions of dollars available to bail out banks and other companies that are in the brink of financial collapse.
        So, who is responsible for all these plusses and minuses?
        It depends on who you ask.
        Most blame Bush.
        Some blame Congress.
        Some blame bad corporate decisions.
        Some blame the regulators.
        There is enough blame to go around.
        So where does George W. Bush fit into all this?
        He can be held accountable for some of it but not all.
        I have always felt that before one is critical of a decision, one must have been there when the decision was made. Or at least have credible information on what went on.
        I have read several books on the run up to World War I and WWII. Each reference private minutes of meetings and records of phone calls and intelligence reports. You had to be there to experience all the input and advice to see why decisions were made by FDR and Truman and Nixon and all the presidents in the Oval office.
        After 9/11 the intelligence showed that Iraq was arming with weapons that could to attack Americans. While later proven faulty, all of our allies came to the same conclusion. Saddam Hussein was a clear threat.
        I don't excuse Bush's bad decisions or failures to communicate to the public.
But I do argue that he has made many good decisions and in total kept America a safer and more prosperous nation.
        He leaves office a better place than it was when he arrived.
        Believe it or not.
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