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Feeling Sorry for Bush (he was Treasury Secretary's Bitch)

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:23 PM
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Feeling Sorry for Bush (he was Treasury Secretary's Bitch)
This is from a new tell-all book by one of Bush's speech writers.

I don't know about the rest of you, but Hank Paulson blackmailing Congress for nearly a trillion dollars in the waning days of the Bush administration made everything that came before look like shoplifting.

The financial elite came into the open and acknowledged they could pick us up by our ankles and shake the money out of our pockets any time they pleased and we were powerless to stop them.

What really sickens me about this is I haven't seem much evidence that Obama has any more control over his Wall Street advisers than this portrays Bush as having.

We wrote speeches nearly every time the stock market flipped. Meanwhile, the White House seemed to have ceded all of its authority on economic matters to the secretive secretary of the treasury. The president was clearly frustrated with this. I was told that at one Oval Office meeting, he got very animated and exclaimed to Paulson, "You've got to tell me what you're doing!" (In the weeks that followed, Paulson changed his spending priorities two or three times. Incredibly, he'd been given the power to do with that money virtually anything he pleased. All thanks to a president who didn't understand his proposal and a Congress that didn't stop to think.)


OK, much as it pains me, I can forgive the president for not understanding what Paulson was doing. No one understood what Paulson was doing, including the secretary himself, as was clear from his testimony to Congress. But at least Paulson was doing something. The global economy was crashing and he felt a responsibility to act. But the White House, in general, was helpless: An imminent depression simply did not fit into the ideological parameters of an administration that had hitherto determined economic policy according to Karl Rove's political calculations. The brutal fact is that an administration that prided itself on not being reality-based had no idea what to do when reality could not be ignored.

At one point, Bush, faced with Congressional resistance to the TARP bailout plan, cries out in rage to his assembled aides, "Then why the hell did I support it if I didn't believe it would pass?" But no one had an answer for the president, because there was no good answer.

Perhaps Matt Latimer's most astounding achievement is to make one feel a little sorry for Bush. The poor man was so clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and history will never let him or us forget it.

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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:33 PM
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1. It does hurt when thinking of his suffering.
Its not for me to judge, but he probably made alot of mistakes and listened to alot of things he should not have, we all make mistakes. Only God in heaven is perfect. I try to hope he finds peace in knowing that even with whatever failings he had or has, he is also loved by God, and it is for us to love him also. If he did right we should love him, if we think of him as an enemy, that is one of the least, we should also love him. Some people have it tougher then others.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:40 PM
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2. even the original meant the feeling sorry part tongue-in-cheek. I feel sorry for damage it's caused
Letting Paulson (or Geithner, Rubin, or Larry Summers) fix Wall Street's problems is like letting John Wayne Gacy run a home for troubled teenage boys.
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mant_a_tangi Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:01 PM
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3. Bush was very obviously a haunted man
by the end of his second term - he'd realised how bad he screwed up, I imagine, and how many people's lives and livelihoods had been lost, and that he wasn't going to have the reputation of Reagan just by being a cocky asshole for 8 years and hoping for the best.

Haunted man for him, though, just means being basically human and understanding the concept of self-reflection. While not the callow ex-frat-boy asshole he was in 2000, he was still pretty unapologetic; he replied to criticisms instead of ignoring them, but with all those euphemisms of "disappointments" instead of "mistakes" and "I made the tough decisions" instead of "I realise now I was way in over my head, and I'm sorry".

The more stories come out about how clueless he was during the financial collapse will hopefully inspire him to live a life of obscurity and shut the fuck up. The best thing he can do for his reputation is to not add any more quotes to the W saga and await inevitable (if obscure) bullshit historical revisionism.
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