Earlier this year, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened on the campus of Southern Methodist University. But if visitors to the stunning $250 million complex traveled a few hundred miles southeast, they would find a much different legacy for the nation’s 43rd President. With the eighth anniversary of the Bush administration’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina near, it serves as a stark reminder that the real history of President George W. Bush is much different than the sterilized version found in the halls of the Bush library.
As was expected, supporters of the former president chose to depict his administration’s choices and actions in a favorable light. But the American people deserve a more accurate view of history than the one Bush’s supporters have attempted to rewrite. That is why the Bridge Project has launched a new website, www.BushRewrite.org, to rectify the falsehoods and omissions of the Bush library.
“Historians have reevaluated certain presidents over time, but never before has there been such a blatant and aggressive attempt to distort the memory of a tenure that we all lived through,” said Bridge Project Vice President Eddie Vale. “With Republicans eager to revive the policies of the Bush administration, it’s important to have an objective view of the consequences and outcomes of those policies.”
The Bush administration was bookended by tragedies in the September 11th terrorist attacks and the financial crisis. The Bush library portrays a misleading interpretation of the intervening events, from the War on Terror to the weak economy, including the inept response to Hurricane Katrina, the attempted privatization of Social Security, debt-inducing tax cuts, and Supreme Court appointees who have skewed the ideological composition of the court. Additionally, the website addresses key figures like Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove who are not given attention commensurate with the influence they exerted on the Bush White House, and infamous failures like the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, the politically charged U.S. Attorney firings, and the revelation of Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA agent that are conspicuously absent.