FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Left Begins the Long Process of Rewriting Official History
Big surprise here: The guy staying in office gets what he wants at the expense of the guy leaving office
Update: Courtesy of reader HerbC, the National Portrait Gallery’s telephone number is 202-633-8276. Though I doubt they’ll respond to demands from hoi polloi over those of a sitting Senator (these folks know where their funding comes from, after all), some public pushback on this issue will at least have the benefit of making known the fact that we’re paying attention and don’t approve of the Left’s attempts to blatantly rewrite history to suit their own version of “reality.” -JE
In this case, the Leftist is “Democratic Socialist” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and the victim — for what certainly will not be the last time — George W. Bush, 43rd president of the U.S. and soon to be civilian retiree.
The issue, as covered here by myself and by Moe Lane, is that Sanders is highly offended at a pair of words (“led to”) that made it onto the plaque next to Bush’s portrait in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
The plaque originally included acknowledgment that events taking place during Bush’s tenure included the “the attacks on September 11, 2001, that led to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Sanders immediately objected to this phrasing, as it could possibly lead Americans who are clearly less intelligent and well-informed than himself to (gasp!) assume that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks themselves. Why that assumption, if made, would even matter in this post-9/11, post-Saddam world in which there is a free and democratic Iraq is only understandable if viewed through the lens of Bush Derangement Syndrome so severe that any credit given the soon-to-be-former president for having gotten anything right whatsoever, even if that credit is given by wholly insignificant people in wholly incorrect and insignificant assumptions, is absolutely unacceptable.
Unsurprisingly, National Portrait Gallery director Martin Sullivan caved on the issue almost immediately, a decision that only makes good business sense — after all, in less than a week Bush will be a private citizen once again, while Sanders will still be a voting member of the Senate, capable of increasing or slashing the taxpayer-funded museum’s budget.
Sullivan wrote Sanders the following humbly apologetic letter:
Dear Senator Sanders,
Thank you for your letter of January 7, 2009, regarding the label which accompanies the National Portrait Gallery’s recently acquired portrait of George W. Bush.
Our label was not intended to imply that there was a causal connection between the attacks that occurred on 9/11 and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Iraq. Our intention was to remind viewers of the portrait that the listed events were defining episodes in the Bush presidency, within the limited space of an object label. I appreciate your concern, however, about the words “led to.” We will revise the label to delete the words “led to.” I would welcome the opportunity to escort you on a personal tour of the National Portrait Gallery, and will call your office in hopes that we can arrange that.
Thank you for your interest in the Smithsonian Institution.
Martin E. Sullivan, director
So begins the process by those still in power of scrubbing the Bush legacy of anything that could possibly be construed (or misconstrued) as a positive or a correct decision. Though many of my colleagues believe that Bush will be rehabilitated sooner rather than later — and though I agree with the suggestion that the next Republican president will cause Bush to be remembered in a more favorable light by Lefties if only due to an effort to negatively contrast the GOP successor to Bush against the man they spent eight years calling “illegitimate” and “the worst president in American history” — I think we’re witnessing a fate that will continue to befall not only Bush, but his Republican successors: a scrubbing of the history, the record books, and the monuments (as well as the textbooks) to reflect not true history, but that “reality” which the extreme left decides should be remembered as correct.