The Hightower Report
The irony in Bush's dandy new library
Gosh, it seems like only yesterday that we saw George W. on TV reading The Pet Goat to some second graders – but now he's all grown up and has an entire, super-duper, king-sized library filled with big books and other neat stuff – all dedicated to him.
Bush's pharaonic "Presidential Center" is now open, allowing us commoners to dig deep into the shallowness of his achievements. The enormous building itself sets the tone: sharp edges, high brick walls, and the welcoming feel of a fortress. Yet the ex-prez insists that it's a place for public contemplation of his legacy, "a place to lay out facts."
How ironic is that? After all, the Bush-Cheney regime was infamous for its disregard of facts, as well as its constant hiding, twisting, and wholesale manufacturing of facts to fool the people. On everything the regime pushed – from going to war over Iraq's nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to its plan to gut and privatize Social Security – "facts" were whatever Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rove, and Condi imperiously declared them to be.
More ironic (and even insulting) is the centerpiece of the library's attempt to whitewash George's eight awful years: an interactive exhibit called "Decision Points Theater." And theatre it is, portraying George heroically as "The Decider" on such Big Moments as Hurricane Katrina and the Wall Street collapse. Visitors to this rigged exhibit can use touch-screens to see Bush getting contradictory advice, then taking a bold stand. The whole show is meant to make you feel sympathy for him, then you're asked to "vote" on whether he did the right thing. Again, irony: We the People got no vote on these issues back when it would've mattered.
The only honesty in George's library is that it's as big a fraud as his presidency was.
For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, "The Hightower Lowdown" – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.