Friday, July 22, 2011

Decision Points (2010), George W. Bush

Reviewer: Spudbabe

Rating: 4 Smokin' Hot Pierogies

Review: Decision Points is a sexy memoir of George W. Bush’s time in office, and major decisions leading up to his election. For those of you thinking “he wasn’t elected” right now can stop reading here. This review is politically neutral and sexually charged, so if you can’t get past your hatred of George W. Bush, move along please. The first few chapters talk about his decision to quit drinking, join the National Guard, and to run for Governor and President. They were all interesting, but the best part was when he talked about meeting Laura Bush—a beautiful angel from heaven (my words not his)—and how it was love at first site. It was heartfelt and sweet, and definitely humanized him. This section made me cry like a baby, partly because of his sincerity, and partly because of jealousy. He doesn’t talk about his personal life in great detail, but it is very clear how much he loves and respects his parents, wife, and children. The parts when he spoke of them were very charming.

He spoke a lot about the actual day of 911 and the direction his presidency took after that. All of the decisions that were made in the days and weeks following, and what information he had at the time he made the decisions. He also describes the mistakes he felt he made in hindsight. He says not finding WMD’s in Iraq was a huge embarrassment but maintains that all the international evidence led him and everyone else to believe they did have them. He still thinks the war in Iraq was necessary, but conceded that mistakes were made along the way. He strongly believes that history will be kind to him. He spoke of 911 and the wars with earnestness and sadness that I believe was genuine. You may not agree with the wars, but I don’t know that you can argue that he believes he was doing what was right and felt a great deal of responsibility for his choices. He also describes how seemingly little decisions that he didn’t even make, like the famous “Mission Accomplished” banner hanging behind him, had such huge impacts on the public’s perception of him. Things that we, as spectators, like to make a huge deal about. When you hear the person actually explain the context, you realize how stupid it is, and how difficult it must be to live under that kind of scrutiny.

He also spoke of the financial crisis and claims that he warned Congress this was inevitable back in the beginning of his presidency, and several times afterward. I don’t know how true that is because I don’t fact check, but it’s interesting. I disagree completely with the bailout, but I liked to hear the information he had that led him to that decision. He also described Katrina and it was clear that everyone in power in Louisiana at that time were clueless morons. He described them in a very tactful and diplomatic way, but it was obvious they were incompetent and he took the heat for it.

I think this memoir was very fascinating. Partially because of the content, but mostly because George W. Bush has a sexy voice and I was listening to the audiotape. We get caught up in criticizing everything the president does and we lose sight of just how difficult the position is every single day. He says at one point that no easy decisions get to the President. All the easy decisions are made at lower levels, so once something gets to the President there are no clear answers and most decisions need to be made quickly. It’s why everyone (except GW) ages so horribly during their presidency. President Bush was faced with an extremely difficult Presidency with lots of disasters and huge decisions to be made. So we should all keep that in mind when we are so quick to judge everything he (and every other President) chose to do while in office. Except President Obama, who I think might be retarded. The end.

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