Mar 252009
Authors: Claire Taylor Baylor University

(U-WIRE) – With a nickname like “Dubyah,” how could he be taken seriously? Former President George W. Bush has endured a lot during his two terms as president. Not only did he lead the country through some of the most devastating times, but he was also unscrupulously mocked and mimicked along the way.

Now he is ready to write about it.

Bush announced at his first speaking engagement since leaving office in January that he is planning to write a book.

The book, tentatively titled “Decision Points,” will be published in 2010.

It will cover 12 personal and presidential decisions the former president faced while in office.

Topics include his decision to run for president, the Sept. 11 attacks, the response to Hurricane Katrina and his decision to stop drinking.

Like many decisions Bush made during his presidency, the announcement has elicited a strong response from online newsreaders.

Comments left on a Waco Tribune-Herald article about the book echoed the same degree of mockery Bush faced while in office.

“Will it be a picture book?” read one post. “Will crayons cost extra?” another reader commented.

“I heard that it will be written like a choose-your-own adventure book,” one poster wrote. “(It) will have many fun scratch-and-sniff photos.”

Granted, someone who asks the question “Is our children learning?” like Bush infamously did, does ask for some type of criticism.

But the fact is that Bush led this country for two terms and he was elected by the American public to do so.

With Bush out of office, hurling insults isn’t going to change anything, so why do it?

To some, Bush’s years in office can be summed up with war, pretzels, a Texas ranch, Hurricane Katrina and, of course, Sept. 11.

His approval ratings soared to 90 percent in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and dove to a record low of about 30 percent in the final months of his presidency.

But one thing separates Bush from all the rest: He has to be the most disrespected president in history.

Not only was he the butt of many jokes during his eight years, but still continues to be the punch line even though he isn’t in office anymore.

He is writing a book, not going back into office. It’s time for America to move on from the Bush years.

He follows in the footsteps of several presidents before him in writing a book, so why is it such a big deal?

If Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus can write books without catching flak, then why can’t Bush?

The book may provide some insight into the tough role of being the president. Bush seems to be opening up about his time and is willing to share with the public insight to some of his toughest times.

Whether he should be writing a book shouldn’t be a debate. The fact is that Bush is sharing a huge part of his life and that, at the very least, deserves respect.

Anyone can point the finger and place the blame, but only 43 (although Grover Cleveland is both the 22nd and 24th president, he is only one person) people truly know what it’s like to be the president of the United States.

Bush has stories to tell and maybe they will provide a better understanding of why he did the things he did.

Despite what some people think, the book will be read and ridiculing someone incessantly isn’t going to change the past.

Phoenix Mourning-Star’s column will return next Thursday.

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