Wanna Know How Popular Bush Is In Africa?


Read this absolutely fantastic speech Obama gave in Ghana today.
history offers a clear verdict: governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable and more successful than governments that do not.

This is about more than holding elections — it's also about what happens between them. Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers. No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the port authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.

In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success — strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples' lives.

As I read through, cheering, I found myself wishing Obama would give that speech before the House Democrats. Then I asked myself, why is the President speaking like this here when he talks this way nowhere else? Answer: because Bush and his policies are so wildly popular in Africa, it's safe to do so --or maybe he has no choice.

Further proof?

Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS.
I'm fairly certain this is the first time Obama has voluntarily mentioned Bush's name in public since election night, and it's certainly the first time he's said anything good about him. (Remember how b----y his inaugural address was?)

RTWT, it really is worth cheering. Bravo, Mr. President --and Bravo, Mr. Bush for pointing the way --partnership, not patronage-- and creating facts on the ground in Africa that are inarguable.

(Dare I point out that Bush's Africa policy absolutely embodied the principles the new social encyclical sets forth regarding development?)

Curtsy: Vanderleun's Twitter feed. (He follows up w/ this: "Africa's easy. I'm waiting for the O speech on Afghanistan that begins "Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will...")

P.S. Cute story here on the Obamas' visit to a maternity hospital. However, this irked me:

The Obamas' reputation as high-fashion influences are well documented. In Ghana, they're even shaping casualwear.

Along streets in the country's capital, well-wishers sported clothing with the Obamas' likenesses. Students wore T-shirts stamped with Obama's image, vendors sold knit hats with Obama and his wife on them, and street merchants sold posters of the family.

Not that I mind observing that, but it's just what the Africans do when cool visitors come: Bush, Benedict XVI, etc. Where was the AP reporting the absolute adulation of Bush? Remember, Thank you, George Bush?