In the newly commissioned George W. Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a peculiar display has the political world buzzing.
In this display, called “Decision Points,” participants play a game where they’re forced to make the same decisions President Bush did. On the issue of Iraq, there’s even a wholly new video message from the former president, who comes out when participants choose not to invade the country.
Just imagine if President Bill Clinton set up a whole interactive display at his presidential library designed to convince viewers that his biggest scandal wasn’t that bad either, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said Wednesday night. Or President Richard Nixon basing his library around an exhibit illustrating how he really, really wasn’t a crook.
“There have been all kinds of vague print press descriptions about this game,” Maddow said. “That it lets you decide. It sensitively handles the various controversies of the Bush presidency by letting you decide. No.”
On the first day the library was opened to the public, Maddow’s camera crew was ready and waiting to play the “Decision Points” game and put it on film. “It’s amazing,” she said.
Video of the exhibit shows what Maddow called “contemporary George W. Bush, recently, still making the case for invading Iraq.” He even cites “the weight of evidence” that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and the “consensus of the world” to depose him — both of which were and still are fabrications.
The video of Bush saying these things plays if a group of participants opts against invading Iraq during the “Decision Points” game, with Bush concluding “a new democracy in Iraq can be a valuable ally in the Middle East and a beacon of hope to reformers around the world.”
After picking apart the former president’s defense of Iraq point for point, Maddow shifted to footage of elementary school students taking part in the Bush library’s game. “This is how kids, right now, today, are being taught about that part of our nation’s history,” Maddow concluded. “I kind of think this is a national scandal.”
This video is from MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” aired Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.