George W. Bush Library: Memories Are Made Of This

 It’s Like They Never Left  brooksbrosriot

It’s almost Bush Library Eve, and the witches are emerging to cast their spells, trying to persuade a reluctant public that it really wasn’t as bad as all that.  Part of the coven is Stephen F. Knott,  author of “Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror and His Critics.”

Knott is a long time fan of executive action, weeping for presidential powers lost when the Supreme Court pointed out that Bush couldn’t just wing it at Guantanamo. He dismisses criticism of Bush era torture by pointing [pg 125] to the Truman administration’s wholesale mobilization of ex-Nazis to fight the Commies, so Hitler!

He whines about pundits ganging up on poor George in the pages of the Washington Post, whose editorial page is adorned with not one but two former Bush speech writers – Michael Gerson, the nice one, and the unspeakable Mark Theeson, portly torture enthusiast.

Knott goes after  historians sullying themselves as pundits, calling for careful archival research in the long twilight of power. He’s a professor at the U.S. Naval War College,  but he’s more then just an intellectual adornment of the Navy’s White Walkers. Among Knott’s achievements is a stint co-directing the University of Virginia’s Reagan administration oral history project, where the grizzled veterans whiled away the hours not answering toothless questions.  [see bottom graphs]

Knott quotes Sean Wilentz’s claim for Bush’s uniqueness:

“No other U.S. president “failed to embrace the opposing political party” in wartime, Wilentz claimed, despite numerous examples to the contrary, such as when Franklin D. Roosevelt compared his Republican opponents to fascists in 1944.”

Roosevelt had Republican Secretaries of the Navy and of War, and Knott doesn’t specify where FDR made these shameful claims, but I have an idea where he’s coming from.


Not Roosevelt, but his supporters, engaged in a lot of war and election melding, with domestic enemies denouncing “Roosevelt’s War” morphing into Hitler, rooseveltswar and cartoon workingmen called on to ” sidetrack defeatist limited.”


The ’44 Dewey campaign made an early run at what would soon become a Republican perennial, charging that the Democrats were but a front for the Reds.  Dewey elaborated on  the theme in a Boston speech, with the added frisson of Jew baiting in the form of that year’s “You Didn’t Build That.”  Much of the GOP campaign was built around a Roosevelt quote from the smoke filled rooms birthing Harry Truman.  FDR had his minions feel out CIO union leader Sidney Hillman about dumping Vice President Henry Wallace for James F. Brynes,  Hillman wouldn’t go along, and somehow Harry Truman emerged, along with the immortal phrase “Clear It With Sidney” clear it with sidney

Republicans had great fun with “Sidney”, a clear marker for Jews. The comment sections of World Net Daily were sadly not yet available, so their mouth breathing followers entertained themselves  scribbling laughtastic limerick suggestions:


“Political pots have a lid,

Beneath which the cooking is hid.

But it’s easy to tell

From the Bolsehvik smell

Which stew was concocted by Sid.”

Dewey was called out by Roosevelt’s Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, accusing the Governor of toying with red baiting, fascism and  “desperate, contemptible fanning of the flames of religious hatred.


One president did flat out Nazi bait Dewey, that nice Harry Truman in a 1948 episode of “feistiness.”



Housing Allowance: Pride Of Place For Washington’s Hand Maidens To Power


Homes Of Distinction  



You can’t blame the realtor for trying, but why does the Washington Post think we care if the house of someone who was a White House aide almost 50 years ago is for sale? True LBJ obsessives may recall Harry McPherson,  Lyndon Johnson’s speechwriter who famously did not write the  “I Shall Not Seek” speech, but Jesus.

Wiley old Clark Clifford at least had the moxie to actually host Truman and Johnson before going out with a bang, avoiding indictment over fronting for the CIA and worse money launderers BCCI because prosecuters felt sorry for the old man.



McNaughton’s Group

Special thanks to the eagle eyes at Wonkette, who’ve spotted a big one.

Extraordinarily cheezeball artist Jon McNaughton has brought forth a gathering of greats, as the ghosts of presidents past hover around sullen, stand-offish looking Barack Obama, variously annoyed or aghast at his literal TRAMPLING ON THE CONSTITUTION!

McNaughton is the kind of crank who rambles along in incoherent Founderspeak for numbered paragraphs, passive aggressively concluding:

“The information is historical. If it is not familiar to you – Google it.

Cramming all these figures into the frame seems to have skewed McNaughton’s perspective.  Small but perfectly formed James Madison is so upset at Obama’s boot-heel to our liberties that he’s bent over pleading, but appears to be almost Obama’s height.   The Forgotten Man is a giant seated on a toy town bench. Such is the occasion that Franklin Roosevelt walks.

McNaughton’s painting doesn’t leave much to chance, featuring ominous clouds, flags at half staff, and an accompanying video lush with  piano chords of doom.

Bedford Falls: World War Two Done Right?

Quit Your Stalin

Americans like to think of D-Day as a splendid battle which, while tough, prefigured our inevitable sweep to victory over Germany. How it came to be  that most of the German army was elsewhere, or where the slave laborers who built the Germans’ “Atlantic Wall” came from are petty distractions.

So it comes as no surprise that Joseph Stalin is becoming unwelcome at a Virginia war memorial, reminding us that we didn’t beat Hitler all by our lonesome.

   Bedford Virginia’s National D-Day Memorial is a vast crop circle of memorials,

with hideous arches,

and landing beach recreations.

And statues.  There is an Eisenhower statue in its own “Tuscon folly” , but somehow it’s not controversial that the father of Reyonlds Wrap gets to slap his name on the garden.

Among busts of famed war leaders Stalin makes the cut, and the planners have mumbled something about the Russians fighting over yonder contributing to the D-Day victory.

To the world’s outrage.

Skunk At The Picnic 

The creators are making an effort, possibly unique in American public recollection of the war, at remembering the Soviet people’s epic sacrifice in defeating fascism.  No doubt Stalin was guilty of many crimes, but he’s hardly the only problem with the proposed memorial if we are going to get fussy.

Perhaps the trouble stems from the monument’s defference to “great man” history  Why is Harry Truman there?  He wasn’t even Vice President at the time of the landing

A New Deal For Dead Presidents: Everything’s Better After All

No Middle Ground

Having already  incorporated Truman and Kennedy into the conservative pantheon, reactionaries are now critiquing Barack Obama for being just not FDR-ish enough

Portly torture enthusiast,  former Bush speech writer and stain on the Washington Post op/ed page Mark Theeson is out with an exciting new line of pretend argument: that unless Obama mans up and fully enjoys fighting both depression and war  he’ll end up a spent husk like Lyndon Johnson.

For purposes of lamenting Obama’s failure to use his oratorical powers in service of hustling the East, Thiessen assumes the guise of someone excited about expansive federal government, saddened by the stunting of LBJ’s Great Society.

A stance not often seen in the folds of the American Enterprise Institute, where the creator of wistful love notes to safely dead Democrats lies.