After his two terms as President of the United States, Bill Clinton started The Clinton Foundation with a focus on climate change, global health, economic development, religious and ethnic conflict and empowerment of women around the world by way of education, access to health care and increased economic opportunities. Important and worthy initiatives for a past president.
After his stint in the White House, Jimmy Carter founded the Carter Presidential Center with a focus on democracy and human rights around the world. In addition, Carter has worked closely with Habitat for Humanity International in its work to provide housing for the poor. Again, important stuff.
And then there’s George W. Bush.
Some people think George W Bush did as much as he could to bring about Armageddon with his earlier interventions in the Middle East. But not the man himself, apparently. He has signed up for a fundraising event for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, an organisation which aims to promote the second coming by converting Jews to Christianity, and will speak today at their fundraiser in Irving, Texas.
The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute? Really? I wonder how much he’s getting paid for that gig.
The man was an embarrassment before becoming president, an embarrassment as president and now an embarrassment in his years as a former president. There is no Bush Foundation dealing with the major issues of the day…and there never will be. If George W. Bush didn’t care about the big issues during his eight years in the White House, no one should be expecting him to give a damn now.
Kevin Drum got it right when he wrote about Bush last year.
I found myself wondering what had become of George W. Bush. The answer, of course, is nothing. He lives in Dallas with Laura and…that’s about it. For all practical purposes, he’s disappeared. You’d hardly know that for eight years he was one of the most polarizing presidents in recent memory.
Why? Partly, it’s because Bush himself has chosen to keep such a low profile. He makes motivational speeches now and again, and shows up for the odd dedication or funeral, but otherwise keeps to himself. Even his 2010 memoir barely made a splash.
But the real reason is deeper. Bush may have seemed larger than life for eight years, but he left a surprisingly thin legacy.
[...] neither party wants anything to do with him. It’s not surprising that Democrats still think of him as the Frat Boy President, one of the worst of all time, but what is surprising is that Republicans largely agree. A guy who was hailed in 2000 as the first real conservative since Reagan, and in 2004 as the second coming of Winston Churchill, was all but dead to the GOP by 2008. He was just another big spender who led the economy into a tailspin and then seemed to have no idea what to do about it. By the time his second term finally petered out, his reputation was toxic on both sides of the aisle.
…for all his swagger, he was a mile wide and an inch deep. Once he left the White House, it was as if his entire presidency had just been a bad dream.
And now, that inch deep former president is getting paid, for one night anyway, to convert Jews to Christianity. A bad dream indeed.