Saturday, March 21, 2009

That Abomination at SMU

Another voice was heard about the ludicrous aspects of installing a liebury cum 'think' tank for the recent occupier of the White House. Today the NYT featured a column by Gail Collins that deplored making a memorial to some one who came close to destroying everything good about this country.

The center has several different functions, one of which is to showcase a collection of presidential memorabilia. Texas already has a museum for Lyndon Johnson and one for George H.W. Bush. You do have to wonder how many replicas of the Oval Office any one state needs.

The original Bush Presidential Library and Museum is at Texas A&M University, where visitors can see a “stunning replica of Barbara’s wedding gown,” a restored 1947 Studebaker, samples from the museum’s collection of more than 1,200 elephants and the family speedboat, Fidelity. Why can’t George W. just stick his knickknacks in there, too? They wouldn’t even have to change the name.

True, it might be tough to make room for the foundation’s planned “interactive decision theater,” where visitors “will have the opportunity to make their own presidential decisions.” Do you think we could uninvade Iraq?

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is, of course, planning to have a library. That’s a given for these kinds of monuments to ex-presidents, even if the one in question has done more than any chief executive in modern history to keep public records out of the hands of the public.

This is the guy who told federal agencies that whenever a citizen asked to see a document, the government should presume it was secret unless the petitioner could prove otherwise. Really, the best thing you could do for the Bush administration papers would be to put them someplace where George W. cannot get within 10 miles of them.

The final part of the center is going to be a think tank that was originally called the Freedom Institute. However, the Bush White House did such a thorough job in ruining the word “freedom” that the organizers seem to be rethinking that.

Its mission is to “further the domestic and international goals of the Bush administration.”

As James Traub wrote in The Times Magazine, the institute will be somewhat unique in that, while part of the university, it has no obligation whatsoever to report to the S.M.U. president or provost. It will instead report to the president of the Bush foundation, a former hotel executive who Bush once made ambassador to Costa Rica.

Thanks to that tax deduction, money donated to this enterprise is money that will not be going to help balance the federal budget.

Anger channeled yet?

It’s hard to believe that there are rich people, even in Dallas, who think the George W. Bush Presidential Center is the best possible use for excess cash at this particular point in history. We’re going to devote the next couple of months to torturing any employee of a bailed-out financial company who took a bonus. There ought to be a few minutes to spare for people who weigh all the nation’s competing needs, then decide that what the world needs most is a really good repository for W.’s White House treadmill.

Why does the Bush center need donations anyway? His administration believed the profit motive makes everything efficient — derivatives markets, health care, invasions. If he wants a monument, let him build an amusement park. Kids could compete in brush-clearing contests or slam-dunk at the George Tenet Basketball Court.

And rides. There would, of course, be lots of rides. After all, he took us for one.

I suppose she forgot to mention that rendition special, the unidentified aircraft to dark zone prisons. Maybe that would be the Mockingbird Lane 'Skull Island'. Yes, SMU is on Mockingbird, kind of fits. There will be mocking.

She left out, too, the commemorative waterboarding cell that it truly cries out for. But we can be sure that w's memorial to himself will receive lots and lots of shoes.

This memorial to his wars was taken from Ashurbanipal's Palace, long after his reign and kingdom were sand. Makes me think that the bitter legacy of the departed cretin in chief will eventually be silent - as it should be.

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