“The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

October 21, 2008 at 6:23 pm | Posted in Nonfiction | 3 Comments

I found myself with The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder without being able to remember exactly how I’d heard about it.  This isn’t so surprising, because my TBR list comes from an amalgam of personal recommendations, reviews, blogs, award lists, Amazon.com, bookstore browsing, and things I see someone carrying around somewhere.  What is surprising is that such an inherently controversial book by such a well-known author and public figure wouldn’t have caught my attention from more than one source.  Finally I figured out that the only place I’d seen it mentioned was in Citizen Reader’s blog back in early August.  (I follow in your footsteps, dear, gleaning what I can and trying my best to keep up).

Now, I’ll read anything.  I make a particular point of reading political commentary from different perspectives.  I’ve read Rush Limbaugh’s books, and I’ve read George Gilder, and I’ve read Dinesh D’Souza, among others.  My motivation is partly to make sure I stay informed and limit my personal bias, but mostly to stay on top of what people are buzzing about.  As an historian my primary interest is to say that I understood what people were on about during a particular period.  Whether I agree or not is beside the point.

Vincent Bugliosi has indeed written a buzz-worthy book.  He sets out grounds for prosecuting a world leader for the deaths of soldiers during wartime.  Interesting idea, huh?  To my mind this is right up there with challenging the divine right of kings in terms of revolutionary historical ideas.  So, um, why isn’t anyone talking about this book?  I don’t mean we actually need to go out and prosecute President Bush, I just wonder why nobody is tossing the ball around about the core idea.

I’ll answer my own question.  This is a “Bush-bashing” book, and everybody is already done with W. because he’s a lame duck.  Come January 20, he’ll go back to Crawford, but he might as well go now as far as the nation is concerned.  Why would anyone want to get sucked into what Bush did or did not do over the last decade?

It’s always been considered poor taste to bring up politics in polite conversation.  But we seem to have reached the point at which people are so beaten down that they don’t even want to follow politics in private.  This is a dangerous state of affairs.  Dangerous, because the same nation that prosecuted a sitting president for inappropriate sexual behavior* didn’t bat an eye when a different sitting president declared war on the wrong country based on deliberate misinformation.  Where do we go from here?

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder ranked #838 on Amazon.com at the time of this post.  Sadly, the majority who read it didn’t need it to be convinced that Bush… how do I say this tactfully… will not rank as one of the greatest presidents in history.  The minority, the conspiracy theorists, would not find an anti-Bush book to be convincing no matter who wrote it, what it said, or whether the voice of God Almighty boomed down from Heaven and substantiated it point by point.  So I’ll sneak in here at the end that if you’re a little tired of the whole Bush White House, you might really enjoy Bugliosi’s over-the-top, inflammatory, vitriolic, exhilarating rhetoric like I did.

* A separate issue from the impeachment, and a poor ruling by the Supreme Court, as the Federalist Papers clearly indicate that a president must be impeached and removed from office before any kind of criminal proceedings.

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