George W. Bush is storming the ivory tower of academia with the founding of a new public policy center, the Bush Institute. It's described as "an independent and non-partisan organization that will strive to achieve progress in four areas: education, global health, human freedom and economic growth." In contrast to Dick Cheney's aggressive return to the limelight, Bush's return will be decidedly "less politicized," his advisers said, but liberals are of course refusing to buy it. Here are the first knee jerk reactions:
- I Never Thought I'd See This, writes Spencer Ackerman: "When you think George W. Bush, you think 'independent, nonpartisan and scholarly,'" he jests. "I can’t wait for this place to open and teach me not to trust my lying eyes and my lying memory."
- A Perfect Tool to Rewrite the Bush Legacy, writes Richard Wolffe at The Daily Beast: "This was the unveiling of what Bush once told author Robert Draper would become his 'fantastic freedom institute.' But it turned out to be less about freedom for the world than the freedom to rewrite his own presidential history."
- It's Focus Is Economic Growth and Producing Results? asks a sarcastic blogger at Fire Dog Lake: "Because if anyone in history is synonymous with economic growth, it’s George W. Bush... [and] if anyone in history is synonymous with producing results, it’s George W. Bush."
- Has He Learned Nothing? asks, Keith Olbermann: "Of course, it`s never too late to return to the same free-market instincts that made a major global depression possible, and Mr. Bush confirmed that is exactly what his institute will try to do with a thinly veiled criticism of President Obama`s handling of the economy -- which has now stabilized, thank you very much."
- Sounds Like a Disguised PAC, says Jonathan Alter: "When he talks about advancing, you know, free-market ideas here in the United States, is he going to get together with the Club for Growth? ...These folks are essentially lobbying with Wall Street to weaken regulations. They`re getting involved in political campaigns to get free-market conservatives elected to Congress. Now, obviously, his institute won`t do that explicitly, but it sounds like they`re going to be on the same page"
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