Gosh, it seems like only yesterday that we saw George W. Bush on TV reading The Pet Goat to some second graders. Now he’s all grown up and has an entire , super-duper, king-sized library filled with big books and other neat stuff — all dedicated to him.

Bush’s pharaonic “Presidential Center” is now open, allowing us commoners to dig deep into the shallowness of his achievements.

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The enormous building itself sets the tone: sharp edges, high brick walls, and the welcoming feel of a fortress. Yet the ex-prez insists that it’s a place for public contemplation of his legacy, “a place to lay out facts.”

How ironic is that? After all, the Bush-Cheney regime was infamous for its disregard of facts, as well as its constant hiding, twisting, and wholesale manufacturing of facts to fool the people.

On everything the regime pushed — from going to war over Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction to its plan to gut and privatize Social Security — “facts” were whatever Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rove, and Condi imperiously declared them to be.

More ironic (and even insulting) is the centerpiece of the library’s attempt to whitewash George’s eight awful years. There’s even an interactive exhibit called “Decision Points Theater.” This make-believe exercise portrays George heroically as “The Decider” on such Big Moments as Hurricane Katrina and the Wall Street collapse.

What a piece of work Bush has erected. The $250-million, 226,000-square-foot edifice sprawls across 15 acres. Never has something so large been built to contain something so small, namely the thoughts and record of achievements of this two-term president.

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Jim Hightower

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. OtherWords.org

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