George W. Bush has been relatively quiet since leaving office–not a bad thing for those of us who found his presidency to be a disaster (and that’s most Americans–Bush left office with the lowest approval ratings of any modern president other than Nixon). However, as Kevin Drum, Steve Benen, and others have noted, now would be a good time for Bush to speak up.
With Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani, and other Republicans playing to the lowest common denominator in damning the proposed cultural center and Mosque in downtown Manhattan, the question is: where are the Republicans who believe in religious freedom and understand that we are not at war with Muslims as a group?
As Drum and Benen note, whatever else Bush did wrong (and there are many things), he rejected "lunatic bigotry" and demagoguery against Muslims. It takes courage to reject extremism in one’s own political party. Does Bush have that courage? This is an opportunity for a failed president to achieve some measure of redemption by speaking out against incredibly irresponsible and divisive rhetoric on the right.