Published January 28, 2010
Last night President Obama gave his first State of the Union address to Congress and the American people, and as always, he repeatedly attacked George W. Bush.
President Obama may be successful at motivating his far-left base, but during the past year he has failed miserably at uniting the country because with every call for bipartisanship is a veiled criticism of Bush.
Whether it is arrogance or ignorance, Obama fails to realize that tens of millions of Americans still support President Bush and consider him to be a living symbol of what we believe in.
But Mr. Obama showed real audacity last night in our State of the Union address when he repeatedly blamed the state of the economy on Bush’s policies; his efforts to liberate Iraq and Afghanistan while fighting a necessary War on Terror in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, all in the wake of asking Bush to accompany President Clinton to stabilize Haiti.
Members of the electorate who did not vote for Obama are still Americans and many of us want to support our nation's leader. He is, after all the president of the United States, and although many of us disagree with some of his policies, we do not want to treat Obama the way Democrats treated Bush.
But when Obama attacks what is most sacred to us -- the last president we voted for, he is dividing the country and stirring up vindictive emotions, which cannot be restrained.
Just as Obama inspired hope and change in his far-left supporter during his campaign, he is inspiring anger and feelings of retaliation from the Bush supporters during his presidency.
You almost has to wonder if Obama’s advisers really want to see him fail. It should be obvious to an intelligent, Harvard Law School-educated man like Mr. Obama that you cannot unite a nation by repeatedly attacking the opposition’s leaders. Despite the many positive comments Obama makes, the ones that stand out most to Bush supporters are the mean spirited ones.
In fact, some Republicans who weren’t very loyal are becoming more and more sympathetic to him. Every time Obama attacks George W. Bush, he is empowering his predecessor and strengthening his legacy. Little by little, Republicans are uniting by coming to Bush’s defense.
Although some Republicans may never support Obama, many Americans who voted against him may support him. Our message to Obama can be found in his own inaugural address delivered from the Capitol steps in Washington on January 20, 2009:
“We say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us…to those who cling to power through… the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
For the sake of uniting America, leave George W. Bush alone, Mr. President. He may not have been perfect, but even in the wake of our many national tragedies, he took responsibility as a leader should and you should do the same. Your presidency depends on it, and so does our success as a united nation.
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a journalist and lawyer who served on Senator John F. Kerry’s legal team during the 2004 presidential election. He is currently organizing a nationwide effort called “Honor Freedom” to correct the historical record about President Bush, which can be reached at www.honorfreedom.com, on Facebook at or Twitter at http://twitter.com/honorfreedom.