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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Longhorns: Hail to the Chief 

The University of Texas system has formally announced its intention to pursue President George W. Bush's presidential library.

James Huffines, chairman on the system's board of regents, established a special committee to put together a proposal.

Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Baylor University in Waco already have offered to host Bush's library. UT-Austin offered two possible sites in 2001.

Huffines said it might be possible for the library to include elements at more than one campus in the UT System
How great would this be?

Of the listed suitors, UT-Austin makes a logical choice. It's the flagship of the state's university system, for one thing, and it's located in the state's capital, no more than a few blocks from where President Bush served as Governor for six years.

How could Waco or Dallas top that? Waco is an armpit that should stick to things like the Dr. Pepper museum. Dallas isn't a bad selection, but in a city that large an honor like housing a presidential library is apt to get lost in the shuffle, thus diminishing its importance.

There are other reasons as well:

- President Bush has been UT's most famous supporter in recent years. He used to work out regularly at UT facilities when he occupied the governor's mansion, and he's known to flash the "Hook'Em Horns" sign both on the campaign trail and in other public settings.

- Texas already claims the LBJ Library, and adding the Bush Library would provide a political balance. Besides, UT has a reputation as a liberal institution, which gets overhyped due to a small-but-vocal contingent of left-wing radicals on campus. The less outspoken majority of centrists and conservative deserve something like this.

- As far as I know, no school has two presidential libraries. This would serve as another notch in the belt for UT's "We're Texas" ad campaign and the general arrogance, for which the school has earned a reputation. Besides, it would fit in well with all of the other research facilities and museums that the school currently boasts.

- Come on... Baylor? Name one reason that school deserves a presidential library? Here's who goes to Baylor: hardcore Southern Baptists, and kids who either didn't have the grades to get into Rice, or kids who didn't have the money to get into SMU.

- Chief in-state rival Texas A&M is home to President George H.W. Bush's library. Getting his son's library would provide another of example of UT sticking it to the Aggies. And because Texas is such a red state, it would be worth any hair-brained subsequent Aggie boycotts of GOP politics.

SMU will provide a formidable challenger for this honor, and if they get it I wouldn't be too upset. After all, I think First Lady Laura Bush attended SMU. Still, the best choice is, and always will be, the Univeristy of Texas at Austin. The UT System needs to make this happen, and in the process, give a big "F You" to liberals and Aggies alike.

Hook'Em W!


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