Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Andrew Roberts, The Australian, Right Wing Cheerleaders, the virtues of Bush and the turkey stuffing of America

Over at The Australian, that venerable, proudly nationalistic rag owned by an American, you can always get a gig by being a cheerleader for George Bush and the Republicans.

As a choice, prime cut example, take a look at History fairer to Bush, by Andrew Roberts. After a long interminable read, it's clear that the only thing Roberts forgot to mention is the way the sun shines out of Bush's arse and illuminates the dreary lives of poor Americans.

Roberts presents himself as a historian, so he should remember that historians who write of current affairs usually make prime sources for later historians on the follies of contemporary views - since the one sure truth about history (and historians) is that it (and they) are lamentable guides to the future.

To read Roberts, it seems Bush did nothing wrong - his response to September 11 impeccable, his security measures excellent, his wars top notch (talk of Haliburton and oil a ruse), musings on missing WMD irrelevant, any problems in Iraq the fault of Europeans, his verbal fumblings an amiable Ronnie Reagan ploy (like Will Rogers, only funnier), torture a very effective life saving policy, and when it's all said and done, Iraq a total victory. Mission accomplished. (Oh and did I mention that the economy is all the fault of the Clintons and Oliver Stone sucks).

Throw in some standard labels - Bush haters being the most favored and most flavorsome - and you have to wonder if Bush has actually succeeded in brainwashing the right wing in America, since the hagiography is of the kind the Russians used to have to write about Stalin while he was alive.

Reality check for Andrew Roberts. If America has done so well under Bush, why do many (most) Americans think the country is fucked? And if Bush has done so well why is there so much near Messiah hysteria about the arrival of Obama, who is in reality a mere mortal and prone to all the sins and omissions of a man?

You don't have to hate the Shrub to see a mediocre man out of his depth. Who can forget the bemused look that fatal day in school when he was whispered the fatal news, and appeared like a man who'd been hit across the head by a flounder? Well flounder he did, and the world is the worse for it. 

I don't expect much from Obama, but to go back into the garden and pretend all was rosy there when much was blighted by a wintery chill ... it's too much Andrew Roberts, way too much. You've scrubbed the apple so hard, no sensible history teacher would recommend eating it. If only we had an Olbermann award for worst columnists in the world with which to time waste a day, Roberts would be high in the top ten. All fructose corn syrup and no oats.

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