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George Who?

05.09.2006 07:56 | DISPATCHES

In November of last year, Freezerbox founder Alex Zaitchik wrote a Dispatch about Bush's post-presidential years called "The Lamest Duck Ever":

"Never will there have been less use for a two-term president so otherwise available for use. . . . A legacy of disastrous policies is one thing, but when you aren't even accorded the respect of having developed or understood them, who could possibly care about you? Nixon and Kissinger both lived to see themselves vilified, but at least they were still respected as minds by quarters within their own party.

"And what will Bush be good for in 10, 20, 30 years? . . . Seriously, try to imagine a single issue that the president will leave office having any authority on whatsoever. Or an institution that will want anything to do with him."

It turns out, in fact, that three Texas universities (the University of Dallas, Baylor, and SMU) are courting Bush for a presidential library. In "His Legacy and His Library Dwell on Bush's Thoughts" in The New York Times on May 8, Elisabeth Bumiller's reports on a dinner for President Bush hosted by former secretary of state and Bush guru George Schultz at his home on the campus of Stanford University.

It seems Bush, who wants to create a presidential library and policy center, is considering the pluses and minuses of locating at a college, like the Hoover Institution at Stanford.

"I would like to leave behind a legacy or a think tank, a place for people to talk about freedom and liberty [apparently based on] what de Tocqueville saw in America."

I know. Your first reaction is how dare he bring up de Tocqueville. Meanwhile, Bush's first reaction after he leaves office -- never mind taking up a university on its offer -- should be to absquatulate* from the country to avoid the long arm of the lawsuits liable to follow him into retirement.

Bush can take heart, however, from the knowledge that Dubai, in the midst of its Hong Kong-like construction frenzy, would be glad to build him a presidential library.

*To make off, decamp, or abscond (archaic).


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