During the years of the George W Bush Presidency (2000-2008) there was a constant outpouring of vitriol and hate from those on the left and in the Democrat party. This was mostly due to the fact that George W Bush was a Republican, but it was always couched in terms of the Anti-War movement. Every day there was a new article about how evil Bush was or how despicable someone in his administration was. Rumsfield was the devil, Cheney was Darth Vader, Bush was Hitler.
These hit pieces came in the form of outbursts from celebrities, such as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam singing “no blood for oil” and pretending to decapitate George W Bush on stage using a Halloween mask depicting the president’s face. These hit pieces came in the form of protests where people would create effigies of President Bush and dress him in Nazi garb. These hit pieces came from journalists who would write articles pretending to be anti-war but really just displaying partisan hackery. These hit pieces even came in the form of presidential candidates making wild claims about George W. Bush such as this gem from Howard Dean:
“I don’t know. There are many theories about it. The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far — which is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved — is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is?“
This constant barrage of attacks from pop culture, journalists, and politicians on the left was summed up by a term that Charles Krauthammer coined: Bush Derangement Syndrome:
the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay — the very existence of George W. Bush.
This is a very accurate description of the vast majority of the outcry against the Iraq War and against George W Bush. It was based on nothing. It was based on no philosophy, no ideology, no principle, only a strict hatred for all things Republican and all things Bush. It was an emotional knee jerk reaction that would cling to the nearest political excuse in order to attack Bush, which was most often the Iraq War.
But Bush Derangement Syndrome didn’t affect only those on the left. Sadly, the principle side effect of Bush Derangement Syndrome was that it caused Republicans to lose their ability to think objectively and rationally and to simply defend George W Bush at all costs. As a result, Republicans en mass defended the TSA, the DHS, the Patriot Act, the nation-building in Afghanistan, and the nation-building in Iraq. Despite being exactly the opposite of George W Bush’s platform in the 2000 election, Republicans twisted reason and rationality to never before seen limits to justify the president’s actions. This even included such left-leaning policies as the No Child Left Behind act and the largest social program in history: Medicare part D. At the end of his presidency, there were even Republicans cheering his multiple stimulus plans where he would simply mail out checks to every American household, and abhorrently, there were even Republicans cheering his TARP plan to funnel money to bankers – the same bankers that caused the economic collapse.