Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodbye, Mr. Bush, and good riddance

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It's over, at long last. Eight years of a disastrous presidency, one of the worst in history.

I've thought about writing a post about it all, some sort of summation, but what more is there to say? What more can I add to what others have written?

Although this blog hasn't solely been about Bush, I have written a great deal about him over the years, and it has beeen very much my record of, my thoughts on, his presidency, along with so many contributions from my many co-bloggers.

And it feels like the Bush presidency ended with a shrug. It was time, long past time, and everyone knew it. Even his hardcore supporters, or many of them, knew it. It hasn't even felt like Bush has been president for some time. 2008 was all about Obama and Hillary, McCain and Palin, and Bush has been the lamest of lame ducks, with no one beyond his bubble paying much attention to him, with the world no longer bothering to take him seriously, as some never did, and, since the November election, with the president-elect being far more relevant, and for more presidential, than the president himself.

It will be weird, I suppose, without Bush in the White House, without Bush to write about on a near-daily basis -- without such a massive target -- but it is now Obama's time, time for change, for a new beginning. It's almost like history passed Bush by while he was still in office, and I thought of that often today as I watched the Inauguration. There was Bush, a man rejected by a large majority of the American people, a man who lost the support of much of his own party, a man whom his own party's nominee ran against, a man at whom Obama directed much of his speech today, if only indirectly. The country voted for change, and that change means both Obama and not Bush. It was the end of his presidency, but did anyone care?

Bush carried himself well today, I'll give him that, and he and Laura seemed genuinely friendly with the Obamas, but there was still something sad and pathetic about it all, about how small Bush has become, about how utterly irrelevant. History had passed him by, the world had passed him by, the country had passed him by, and it's like he was just hanging around waiting for it all to be over, waiting for the helicopter to come pick him up and whisk him away to some faraway place where he no longer has to be anyone important.

And then -- poof -- it was over. Just like that.

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