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NO MORE BUSH TO KICK AROUND….James Fallows on the Bush press conference earlier today:

I think even people who oppose the Bush Administrations policies would find it somewhat harder to dislike him viscerally after this performance — rather than getting angrier the more they see him, as with most of his appearances over these last eight years….Everything in his posture, expression, and body language — even his emphasis on the word defeat in talking about the 2008 results — indicated that he has taken in the fact that things have not gone well.

I haven’t yet watched the press conference myself, so all I can say is: I sure hope Fallows is wrong. It’s human nature, of course, for anger over a botched job to recede with time, and perhaps it’s also true that anger naturally morphs into other, more complex emotions anyway. How many people today are really angry at Herbert Hoover?

Still, I sure hope that the public doesn’t forgive Bush for a very, very long time. To this day I don’t understand how such a manifestly unqualified candidate got either nominated or elected in the first place, and the damage this man-child has done to the country during his eight years in office is hard to even put into words. If Barack Obama is lucky, he might — might — by 2016 be able to get us back to where we were in 2000. The last eight years have taken us backward by almost every metric that matters, and as he heads off to Texas, hopefully never to be heard from again, Bush will go down in history as one of the very few presidents to have left the country in demonstrably worse shape than when he got it. It’s an elite group indeed.

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