[QUOTE]Earlier this week -- as he was barnstorming the country for Barack Obama -- former President Bill Clinton subbed in for the president as Obama flew back to Washington to oversee the country's response to a major hurricane.
That would seem an appropriate context to ask the question, why hasn't the most recent Republican President, George Bush, been barnstorming the country for Mitt Romney?
It says a lot that for most Americans this sounds like an absurd question.
Clinton was a major featured speaker at the Democratic Convention. Bush wasn't even invited to Tampa.
Bush is not campaigning for Romney because he and the policies he implemented are politically radioactive to most American voters.
George Bush is off in political Siberia because the Romney campaign is doing everything humanly possible to prevent voters from realizing that Romney intends to return precisely those same failed Bush policies to the White House if he is elected president next week.
Let's start with the matter that is uppermost in the country's attention -- the hurricane.
It's fair to say that his response to Hurricane Katrina was not Bush's finest hour. But Bush's failure to respond quickly and effectively to Katrina was not simply a reflection of his administration's incompetence. It was a reflection of the fact that his administration didn't believe in government.
Natural disasters make people remember why it is so important that we have a society where we have each other's back. They make us remember that government is the name we give to the things we choose to do together.
Natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy make us remember why the law of the jungle -- why a self-centered, irresponsible, unbridled focus on you and you alone -- isn't what we learned in Sunday School.
Even far right New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reprimanded New Jersey citizens who refused to evacuate low-lying areas because they would put the lives of first responders at risk -- because they had a responsibility to each other.
Bush -- and his response to Katrina -- exemplified the right wing's failure to understand that most Americans believe in a society where we are all in this together, not all in this alone.
And Mitt Romney completely shares Bush's view. Romney actually proposed eliminating the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and hand over responsibility for response to disasters to the states. Romney ignores that when disaster strikes, we are Americans first. We have each other's back whether we are from Mississippi or New Jersey. We do that because it's right. We also do it because while disaster may strike our neighbors in New Jersey today, it could strike those of us who live in Illinois tomorrow.
But of course there are many other reasons why the Republicans have failed to ask George Bush to campaign for their presidential ticket. Two stand out.[QUOTE]