A new Gallup poll released on Monday found more Americans approve of former President George W. Bush than disapprove, for the first time since 2005. MSNBC’s weekday lunchtime anchor Alex Wagner just couldn’t stand the news.
The left-wing host expressed her dismay with the new poll on Wednesday’s Now, huffing that the “46 percent of Americans [who disapprove of Bush] apparently still have their memory intact.” Wagner has made it a tradition on her show to berate President Bush, even five years after he left office. Just two weeks ago, you may recall, she used a report on Bush’s bike ride with wounded veterans to mock the former president’s intelligence and decision-making – with barely a mention of the bike ride itself.
But Wagner wasn’t the only one getting in on the fun. The Nation’s Katrina Vanden Heuvel sneered:
Gore Vidal – the writer Gore Vidal once described this country as the United States of Amnesia. And I think there’s an element of that but I also – and I say this seriously. I think it was Dick Cheney who was the president.
Now these jokes from liberals certainly aren’t new – nor is the media’s assault on the former vice president, as NewsBusters has documented. But if any group should be accused of having amnesia, it’s the liberal media.
Even more ridiculous was Jonathan Capehart’s claim that the “tradition of ex-presidents” is to “stay silent” after they’ve left the Oval Office. Now certainly, President Bush has done so – with the occasional story popping up about his post-presidential endeavors of painting or working with veterans.
But former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have done the exact opposite, making it their business to needle their Republican successors mercilessly and without exception.
Expect to hear even more from the left-wing media, especially the folks at the Lean Forward network, about Bush’s rising popularity in the coming weeks. The news is already making their blood boil.
See the relevant transcript below:
Now with Alex Wagner
12:54 p.m. Eastern
ALEX WAGNER: According to Gallup, for the first time since 2005 former President George W. Bush is viewed more favorably than unfavorably. A new Gallup poll shows Dubya with a 49 percent favorable rating while 46 percent of Americans apparently still have their memory intact. Kurt, does this surprise you?
KURT ANDERSEN: Not a bit. Hate has a half-life. And once you're no longer president, who has the energy to keep disliking or disapproving?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL: Gore Vidal – the writer Gore Vidal once described this country as the United States of Amnesia. And I think there’s an element of that but I also – and I say this seriously. I think it was Dick Cheney who was the president.
WAGNER [laughing]: Yes!
VANDEN HEUVEL: I would like to see favorability ratings on Dick Cheney. I don't think they're high. He is still out on the huckster stand touting torture.
WAGNER: And George [W.] Bush has kept it fairly low.
VANDEN HEUVEL: He’s kept it with the – paintings.
WAGNER: Well, other than the Barney paintings. Do we have those?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Right. That's the point I was going to make, is that this is a president who has adhered to the tradition of ex-presidents. Which is – when you leave the White House gates, you're gone. You stay silent. You don't talk about your successor. You stay out of the spotlight – unlike Vice President Cheney, or President Cheney as you call him Katrina. He has stayed out of the spotlight. He has not talked about anything of any kind of substance since he's left. The most substance he's done are those paintings.
WAGNER: Which were pretty amazing, I have to say, Ryan. Setting aside the policies and the wars – well, everything he did as president. The Barney paintings are good.
GRIM: One of the only interviews he's given was to HuffPost’s Jon Ward.
WAGNER: Jon Ward.
GRIM: And that was while he was biking with wounded veterans. You can criticize him for the decision that led to them getting wounded – but now that it's happened, that's the thing that he's thrown himself into. Good for him for that. He's stayed – he hasn't really shared his opinions. It's helped him become more popular.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But we're living with a Dubya world. We were just talking about the tool kit that George W. Bush and Cheney have given us.
WAGNER: It’s true. It’s true. Living in a Dubya world is enough to make my spine shudder. And on that, we have to go. Thank you to Curt, Katrina, Jonathan and Ryan. That's all the for now.