The great thing about books, the inimitable George W Bush, once said, is the fantastic pictures. But those of us who had hoped for a pictorial memoir of the grandmaster of gaffes are sorely disappointed. It is lamely titled Decision Points and the English is actually grammatically correct, thanks to some killjoy editor who has taken away the real essence of the Dubya we all know and love.
But his insouciance is delightful. 'Dick (Cheney) made me do it' is a constant refrain about the very unpopular decisions Bush made. About the Machiavellian vice president, Dubya is in his element. "Dick was a real rabble-rouser. Had I known that from the git-go, there would have been no Gitmo." Now Barack Obama may be a silver-tongued orator. But Bush kept us entertained during all the years of his presidency with his unique brand of mangled similes and metaphors. Who can match his famous "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't there." Bush singlehandedly kept us hacks in business because not a day passed when his foot was not in his mouth. Obama may think that he is very big on social issues, but Dubya trumped him to it when he said, "I enjoy taking on the issue (social security). I guess it's the mother in me." Let's see Obama top that.
At the rate the memoirs are jumping of the shelves, it is clear that people are yearning for the opaque world according to Bush where wars were launched with the ease of video games. We certainly misunderestimated how much we would miss Bush. All we wish is that we could have read his memoirs in the language that he so loved to mangle. Even though he has taken potshots at many leaders, so incoherent has he been that it is difficult to take offence. So let us enjoy a bit of Bush while interest in his book lasts. Because as he so aptly put it, "I think we agree, the past is over."