George Bush vs Real Presidents

Written on September 11th, 2003 and originally appearing as a Buzzflash reader satire. Now modified and expanded by the author...

1 George Washington (1789-97)
Washington: I cannot tell a lie.
Bush: I cannot spell lie.

Washington: Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
Bush: Halliburton was the highest bidder.

Washington: It is better to be alone than in bad company.
Bush: My advisors keep me company.

2 John Adams, 1797-1801 (Federalist)
Adams: Facts are stubborn things.
Bush: I am more stubborn than facts.

3 Thomas Jefferson, 1801-9 (Democratic-Republican)
Jefferson: Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.
Bush: Where the press is FOX, and no one reads, I feel safe.

Jefferson: Our principles are founded on the immovable basis of equal right and reason.
Bush: Our principles are founded on the immoral basis of invented reasons.

4 James Madison, 1809-17 (Democratic-Republican)
Madison: Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.
Bush: Look at me!

5 James Monroe, 1817-25 (Democratic-Republican)
Monroe: Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will.
Bush: Let us give actual war a try.

6 John Quincy Adams, 1825-29 (Democratic-Republican)
Adams: Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
Bush: If votes are lost, we know which ones to find.

7 Andrew Jackson, 1829-37 (Democrat)
Jackson: Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.
Bush: Give me some salt with those freedom fries.

8 Martin Van Buren, 1837-41 (Democrat)
Van Buren: I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men... in receiving from the people the sacred trust confided to my illustrious predecessor.
Bush: I stumble in the footsteps of photo-opping men... in pilfering from the people the sacred trust confided to my illustrious opponent.

9 William Henry Harrison, 1841 (Whig)
Harrison: Sir, I wish to understand the true principles of the Government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more.
Bush: Sir, I cannot understand the true principles of Government. I wish them carried out of here.

10 John Tyler, 1841-45 (Whig)
Tyler: I can never consent to being dictated to.
Bush: I have no problem with dictating.

11 James Knox Polk, 1845-49 (Democrat)
Polk: No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure.
Bush: No president can perform his duties faithfully and conscientiously without every other week off.

12 Zachary Taylor, 1849-50 (Whig)
Taylor: My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me.
Bush: I will leave no friend behind.

13 Millard Fillmore, 1850-53 (Whig)
Fillmore: May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.
Bush: May God save the country, for I evidently cannot.

14 Franklin Pierce, 1853-57 (Democrat)
Pierce : Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.
Bush: What shall we give the people to talk about today?

15 James Buchanan, 1857-61 (Democrat)
Buchanan: The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.
Bush: Electronic ballot boxes are a good idea.

16 Abraham Lincoln, 1861-65 (Republican)
Lincoln: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Bush: I will not comment on that.

Lincoln: Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
Bush: Government of Bush, by Cheney, for Halliburton, although the Earth may perish.

Lincoln: Four score and seven years ago…
Bush: I can't count, either.

17 Andrew Johnson, 1865-69 (Democrat/National Union)
Johnson: The life of a republic lies certainly in the energy, virtue, and intelligence of its citizens.
Bush: The death of the Iraqi republic was by virtue of its oil and my lack of intelligence.

18 Ulysses Simpson Grant, 1869-77 (Republican)
Grant: Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.
Bush: God spoke to me.

Grant: It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.
Bush: To everyone's misfortune, I was called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous ability.

Grant: I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
Bush: I know of no method so effective in enforcing the law as immediate execution.

Grant: I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.
Bush: I have never advocated peace as a means of staying in office.

19 Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 1877-81 (Republican)
Hayes: It is the desire of the good people of the whole country that sectionalism as a factor in our politics should disappear...
Bush: It is the desire of my good friends that votes as a factor in our elections should disappear…

20 James Abram Garfield, 1881 (Republican)
Garfield: Ideas control the world.
Bush: I have no ideas.

21 Chester Alan Arthur, 1881-85 (Republican)
Arthur: Since I came here I have learned that Chester A. Arthur is one man and the President of the United States is another.
Bush: Since I came here I have learned that George W. Bush is one man and the President of the United States is someone else.

22 / 24 Grover Cleveland, 1885-89 / 1893-97 (Democrat)
Cleveland: He mocks the people who proposes that the government shall protect the rich and that they in turn will care for the laboring poor.
Bush: I would never openly mock the people.

Cleveland: Minds do not act together in public; they simply stick together; and when their private activities are resumed, they fly apart again.
Bush: Without my advisors, I have no mind.

23 Benjamin Harrison, 1889-93 (Republican)
Harrison: We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.
Bush: Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson say I'm right.

25 William McKinley, 1897-1901 (Republican)
McKinley: Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war.
Bush: Remember what?

26 Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-9 (Republican)
Roosevelt: Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Bush: Speak loudly and blindly thrash a stick.

27 William Howard Taft, 1909-13 (Republican)
Taft: Don't worry over what the newspapers say.
Bush: One phone call takes care of the newspapers.

28 Woodrow Wilson, 1913-21 (Democrat)
Wilson: I would rather lose in a cause that will some day win, than win in a cause that will some day lose.
Bush: I don't care how I win.

29 Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1921-23 (Republican)
Harding: I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election.
Bush: I don't know much about patriotism, but it's a damn good word with which to rig an election.

30 Calvin Coolidge, 1923-29 (Republican)
Coolidge: Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.
Bush: Patriotism is easy to manipulate in America. It means you look out for terrorists while I am looting the country.

31 Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-33 (Republican)
Hoover: What this country needs is a great poem.
Bush: What this country needs is more bombs.

32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-45 (Democrat)
Roosevelt: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Bush: We have to fear.

33 Harry S Truman, 1945-53 (Democrat)
Truman: The buck stops here.
Bush: Spin the buck.

34 Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-61 (Republican)
Eisenhower: In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
Bush: In the councils of unwarranted government, we must militantly guard against sanity.

35 John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-63 (Democrat)
Kennedy: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
Bush: Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for Halliburton.

36 Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-69 (Democrat)
Johnson: Our purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest, it is not empire, it is not foreign bases, it is not domination.
Bush: Iraq is not Vietnam.

37 Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-74 (Republican)
Nixon: I am not a crook.
Bush: I can't read a book.

38 Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr , 1974-77 (Republican)
Ford: When a man is asked to make a speech, the first thing he has to decide is what to say.
Bush: When I am asked to make a speech, the first thing I do is ask what I'm supposed to say.

Ford: My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.
Bush: My fellow Americans, the national nightmare is just beginning.

Ford: I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, so I ask you to confirm me with your prayers.
- and -
Ford: The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election.
Bush: Take those quotes off the White House site.

39 James Earl Carter, 1977-81 (Democrat)
Carter: I look forward to these confrontations with the press to kind of balance up the nice and pleasant things that come to me as president.
Bush: I look forward to these confrontations with the press like FOX that is fair and balanced and writes pleasant things about me as president.

Carter: I've looked on many women with lust.
Bush: I've looked on Iraqi oil with lust.

Carter: America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense ... human rights invented America.
Bush: I did not invent human rights, but I can sure as hell invert them.

40 Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-89 (Republican)
Reagan: Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall.
Bush: Mr. Rumsfeld, bomb this wall.

41 George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993 (Republican)
Bush Sr.: Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.
Bush Jr: I never could understand what my father was trying to say to me.

42 William Jefferson Clinton, 1993- 2001(Democrat)
Clinton: There is no relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Bush: There is now a relationship between Iraq and Al Quaida.

Clinton: There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America.
Bush: There is nothing wrong with my administration that cannot be cured by taking away more rights.

Clinton: You can put wings on a pig, but you don't make it an eagle.
Bush: Karl! Why isn't the flight uniform working?

43 Albert Gore, 2001- (Democrat)
Gore: When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, holler.
Bush: Let's hear it for Operation Iraqi Freedom!

Gore: I took the initiative in creating the Internet.
Bush: If terrorists start to use the Internet I will take the initiative in bombing it.

Gore: George Bush taking credit for the wall coming down is like the rooster taking credit for the sun rising.
Bush: I can make the lights go out.

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