So our future most recent ex-president has decided to go to Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
He is quoted in numerous news articles as saying that if he were to miss the opening ceremony, it “would be an affront to the Chinese people.”
I want to point out that according to both Jaime‘s and my research, Bush did not attend the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Likewise, Bush did not attend the opening ceremony for the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy.
Was his lack of attendance at either the 2004 or 2006 Olympics an affront to the Greek or Italian people?
No. It was not.
Earth to President Bush: Nobody freaking cares where you go. Barring one final executive power grab– which I wouldn’t rule out just yet, alleged war on terror and all– President Bush has less than 200 days left before he, as I said earlier, becomes our most recent ex-president.
Likewise, numerous sources quote Bush as saying that his absence at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games would make it “more difficult to be able to speak frankly with the Chinese leadership.” I fully understand that Bush needs as much help as he can get in his attempts to speak frankly with anyone, let alone the Chinese government.
I am yet to see, however, any evidence that Bush will attempt to conduct anything that resembles open and/or direct discussions with the Chinese government. He’s had seven years to initiate these frank discussions, and hasn’t acted. What are the odds he’ll initiate these frank discussions with the Chinese government before he declares “let’s roll” to the Texas-bound parade of moving vans parked in security zone in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
My bet? Slim to none.
I wish he would just be frank with us, the American people, for once. It would be amazing if he came out and said he wants to go to the Olympics because he knows his term is coming to its close, he won’t have free access to his own taxpayer-funded jet come 2009, and, once he leaves office, he won’t be able to launch a war against China if they decided to ban him from China.