Will George W. Bush Become a Four-Term President?

It seemed impossible after the U.S. Congress passed the Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution back in 1947… Never again was a president supposed to be able to serve more than two terms in office. Yet, miraculously, George W. Bush is just about to wrap up term number three.

How did he manage this feat? It’s hard to say, really. But somehow, from his home in Texas over the past four years, he’s managed to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention camp open, keep the Patriot Act alive, keep the Bush tax cuts in place, and have his anti-terror intelligence-gathering policies lead to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The fact that the guy currently sitting in the Oval Office has been an outspoken opponent of all of these initiatives makes Bush’s continued authority all the more impressive.

Above all though, it’s Bush’s knack for keeping the economy in a perpetual state of ruin over the past four years that I find the most awe-inspiring. That takes some real talent! At least Barack Obama, and most of the American people (if the polls are right), actually give Bush his due credit when it comes to the economy.

Yes, three terms is a real achievement. From what I’ve gathered, the method for accomplishing such a conquest is to leave your successor with a really bad situation for him to have to deal with. I’m talking about a real challenge, perhaps even with global implications. That way, it’s apparently reasonable for the successor not to be held accountable for anything that happens in the country and around the world, at least during his own first term.

This should dispel, once and for all, the myth that Bush is stupid. He’s clearly brilliant!

There’s one thing that I’m confused about, however. If that’s the criteria for maintaining accountability beyond the end of one’s official term(s), how is it that Bill Clinton wasn’t a three-term president? It seems to me that he should have been a shoe-in after leaving Bush with a thriving al-Qaeda network that was emboldened by Clinton’s refusal to answer the group’s attacks against our country and bases. Bush was left with a powerful Osama Bin Laden who Clinton failed to accept as a peace-offering from the Sudanese government. Bush inherited a 9/11 plot that was already well underway when he took office. Such neglect should have surely given Clinton some extra time as the leader of the free world, but it didn’t.

Why not?

After pondering this for a bit, I think I’ve figured out the answer. You see, Bush did something that we haven’t seen much of lately. He took ownership of his presidency. After the 9/11 attacks, Bush foiled any chance Clinton had of extending his time at the helm by wisely deciding not to cast blame or whine about the rough hand he was dealt. Bush took consequential measures to deal with the problem and let the electorate judge his performance.

It was just crazy enough to work!

Sure, there were risks that came with the strategy. It let the American public hold him accountable for how he reacted to a crisis, rather than by how well they think he could have performed during less complicated times. Yet, it paid off. Twelve years and counting!

Now, onto the all important question… Can Bush complete a historical fourth term in office?

Personally, I think he can. All he has to do is continue screwing up the economy for the next four years. You know, he could explode the national debt up over $20 trillion, keep the unemployment rate high, and maybe even start a second recession. That way, he’ll achieve two historical victories: First of all, he will deny Barack Obama from ever becoming the real, accountable President of the United States, despite being elected twice. Secondly, he’ll become the longest sitting president in United States history.

I think he’s got a really good shot at it, especially since Barack Obama apparently hasn’t realized that all he has to do is take ownership of his own presidency in order to start taking credit for the state of the country. The Bush era would be brought to a close overnight. Thankfully for Bush, Obama hasn’t figured that out.

Or has he?

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • http://twitter.com/wallyworkswell williamwalter

    For years Democrats prompt Republicans for their political program ideas cause they really don’t have any good ones of their own?

  • http://twitter.com/PhilSilverman7 Phil Silverman

    JOHN, What garbage. Tom Kean explained to Bernie’s Fox buddy, Sean Hannity, that BL was NOT “handed to Clinton a silver platter”. Bush and Cheney slept thru the 08-06-01 specific warning of 09-11 and e got two unfunded waers, one manufactured for Cheney’s ex-employer. Wasn’t he, like, the CEO there?

    • John Daly

      Phil, the point of contention has never been whether or not the offer was made. It’s over how seriously the Clinton administration found the offer to be. You’re missing my point. I don’t blame Clinton for 9/11. I blame Bin Laden. But there’s no doubt that he didn’t take the Al Qaeda threat seriously and emboldened Bin Laden with his inaction to Al Qaeda attacks. The rise of the terror network took place under Clinton, and that’s the world Bush inherited. If Obama can blame Bush for a thirty year mortgage bubble bursting, Bush surely could have blamed Clinton for the mess HE inherited. Yet, he didn’t. He took ownership of his presidency which is something Obama refuses to do.

  • John Daly

    I agree. The president has set many poor examples for Americans throughout his presidency. He has not owned up to the responsibilities that come with holding that office.

  • John Daly

    Dear ‘Joe Sixpack’ who went through the trouble of finding my email address to send me a scathing message about how I’m unfairly criticizing Bush in this column,

    IT’S A SATIRE! The column is a rip on President Obama for not taking accountability for his own presidency.

    Ugh.

    • http://twitter.com/PhilSilverman7 Phil Silverman

      why should he “take accountability” for programs, for bills, he promised and delivered and obviously believes in? Are you upset that we got out of Iraq ahead of time? Got BL after W. officially gave up in ’06?; created a decent # of jobs despite the GOP-House War on the Bluecollar Workforce (aka known as never lend credence to anything Obama believes in; note the mockery of his good jobs and infrastructure bills and the tacit encouragement of Red State governors to send back stimulus $$$$). Yu hate the Dream Act? Did you hate Reagan’s amnesty program? Obama’s spending? He’s spent at about half the pace of your presumptive political idol – RR – and he has had to pay off the annual interest on the debt left to him – about 600 billion per. yr. You hate credit card, student loan, and wall street reform? I think you got out your Roger Ailes memo cards and John Birch newsletters and wrote an impulsive and bizarro piece here

  • moronpolitics3

    The BIGGEST mistake the GOP made in the last two elections was running away from GWB. He WON twice, REMEMBER???? OK, McCain was an idiot and he was beaten by Bush, so him running away from Bush was understandable, BUT … the continuing avoidance of Bush is A. DUMBER THAN DUMB and B. NO EXCUSE. The Bush-Hatred was sold to the GOP by the old guard media and they SWALLOWED it. DUH.. It’s hard to say who was the worst offender but my pick is Laura IN-GRA-HAM. What a LOSER Yes, she was good for some laughs on the radio when — for example — her hero Judge Bork came on and ridiculed her opposition of Harriet Myers — which went right over her head. I THINK she might have figured it out when Arlen Specter rubbed her face in it, but Bork was funnier, saying that “if something really complicated came up like a big monopoly case I would need help from an expert.” YEAH, like uh

  • Lame

    Political humor = oxymoron.

    And what’s a ‘forth term’?

    • John Daly

      A type-o. ;)

  • sonnyboy1

    Bush lost me when he signed the Patriot Act.

    • http://twitter.com/PhilSilverman7 Phil Silverman

      He completely lost me when he did not drop Cheney in 2004; initially protested the “slam-dunkers” report on Iraq – but then delivered two unfunded wars. Plus, listening to Karl Rove, the guy who created a story about McCain having a “Black child” from an affair, just so W. could win South Carolina.

  • GailWehling

    Oh, I would be so thrilled. As long as he keet the spending down and worked on the debt,

    • b l

      Good point there. In my opinion, Bush started running off the rails when he lost focus on the debt, and let the revenue vs spending curve go pffffft. Of course, this happens to be the modus operandi of his successor, which leaves me to wonder… maybe instead of Bush’s fourth term, we are seeing the start of Obama’s third?

      • GailWehling

        A third term of Obama and I will leave this earth. That should do me in. I just can not believe the old Dems liking Obama. He never works and is always gone. He is no help to them at all. They must like dictatorship. He leaves orders for them then he is off on a trip.

  • Wheels55

    John,
    Nicely done.
    I think history will surprise people when it shows that GWB was an honorable and respectful President. One that respected the ways of Washington and let Congress act. He showed restraint at the use of Executive Privilege. The only dysfunction while President was the left crying over losses by Gore and Kerry.

  • artlouis

    I like this. Enjoyed the irony.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Great column, John.
    The Bush anti-terror policies are now fashionable. I was channel surfing the other day and caught an interview Matt Lauer was conducting with some actors from the new Bin Laden take down movie. Lauer asked one of the actors how he was able to deal with some of those big bad interrogation techniques the CIA used during the big bad Bush era and if it was difficult to reenact all that big bad Bush era stuff. The actor (don’t know the guy’s name) replied something along the lines that he wanted to capture the essence of the work the intelligence professionals used at the time or something like that. RIGHT! The Hollywood Left and the media elites like Lauer and co. wanted to hang the Bush admnistration not too many years ago…but shooting Bin Laden is OK as long as your guy can take the credit. Oh, but if Bush’s forces had taken out UBL..the horror and moral outrage at shooting the poor misunderstood soul in cold blood without due process.
    (I won’t be seeing the movie by the way.)

    • John Daly

      Thanks Kathie, and your absolutely right. The double-standard when it comes to fighting terrorists has been nothing short of astounding.

      • John Daly

        By the way, Kathie. From a review I read, I don’t think the movie is as pro-Obama as everyone thought. It sounds pretty non-partisan, just like her other movie – The Hurt Locker – which was fantastic.

        • Kathie Ampela

          I read a review too that said the movie is not a partisan hit piece. It seems to be a new trend in Hollywood…it’s OK to praise the intelligence community now because they helped out their (Hollywood’s) guy. I saw the movie “Argo” a couple of months ago. On the one hand the movie was exciting and compelling..I lived through the part of history as a 12 year old kid. And the intelligence professionals are protrayed heroically in the movie. But the movie is framed in a “it’s America’s fault” way…U.S. foreign policy is the reason the Ayatollah Khoemini took over and put radical Islamic regime in place. I’ve read that the Bin Laden movie portrays the Bush terror policies as evil…in other words…we’re the bad guys even though it was OK to take out Bin Laden because Obama was in office by then. I’ll save my 12 bucks and take my son to Chuck E Cheese instead.

      • http://twitter.com/PhilSilverman7 Phil Silverman

        yeah, the usual GOP literary manuever: because Democrats are hypocrites, never criticize a Republican.

        • John Daly

          Phil, Bush has been blamed for FOUR YEARS for everything bad that is still going on in the country. That goes way beyond merely being ‘critical’ of a Republican.

    • http://twitter.com/PhilSilverman7 Phil Silverman

      Bush’s terorist policy? Really? Thought he and the CIA gave up the hunt for Bin Laden in 2006? (and, no, water-boarding did not lead to BL).

      • John Daly

        You thought that only because you get your news from MSNBC, Phil. And yes, water-boarding absolutely led to BL. Honestly man, show some thirst for the facts every once in a while. Just repeating everything that Chris Matthews says doesn’t let anyone take you seriously.

        • Kathie Ampela

          John, don’t waste your time responding to this. I don’t understand those who go to conservative opinion sites and have nothing better to do than starting school yard pissing matches, the mindset escapes me. The last thing I would do is read an op ed on a liberal website let alone go on a search and destroy mission in the comments forum. I have a life.

          Liberals won’t be happy until Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are supplied with free healthcare including psychotherapy for their unresolved issues with America, food stamps, housing, driver’s licenses, unemployment benefits and free bomb making materials at the border where they can easily sneak across unimpeded. I’m sure it’s happening as we speak. Can someone spell unintended consequences?

          The major difference between President Bush and President Obama is Bush took responsibility for his actions, Obama does nothing but play an endless blame game.