Monday, January 19, 2009

On President Bush's Last Full Day In Office

I'm sure there's a big part of the President that is happy to be relieved of all the burden and responsibility tomorrow.

He was not the best President of all time, but he was nowhere near the worst--and I have no doubt his reputation in popular culture will improve very rapidly except among the most rabid zealots.

So on his last day in office let me toss out three dissimilar links:

To trash Bush was to belong

Peter Beinart is all over the map on this one. Here's just a sampler:

Younger liberals, by contrast, have had no such chastening experiences. Watching the Bush administration flit from disaster to disaster, they have grown increasingly dismissive of conservatives in the process. They consume partisan media, where Republican malevolence is taken for granted. They laugh along with the "Colbert Report," the whole premise of which is that conservatives are bombastic, chauvinistic and dumb. They have never had the ideologically humbling experience of watching the people whose politics they loathe be proven right.

In this way, they are a little like the Bushies themselves. One reason the Bush administration fell prey to such monumental hubris was that it didn't take its critics seriously. Convinced that the Reagan years had forever vindicated deregulated capitalism and unfettered American might, the Bushies blithely dismissed liberals who warned about deregulation, or Europeans who warned about military force, on the grounds that history had consistently proved those critics wrong.


Looking forward, here's a web site devoted to keeping track of how a President Obama does on his campaign promises.

This President did damage the Republican reputation--but not in the way the lefties think he did. He was absolutely right in the need to go to war with Afghanistan and Iraq, and I'd have supported war in a couple other countries, too, if he'd have sent our men and women there. He was right in how he handled the War on Terror on the domestic front (except, as is usual for him, his "selling" of it to the public), and I support his actions on the international front. He was absolutely wrong in being a Democrat-lite on domestic matters; his actions weren't very Republican, and when given a choice between a fake Democrat and a real one, the public will always vote for the real one.

1,462 days from today I hope we'll be inaugurating a new president. Tomorrow, though, I'll thank one President for all he's done and welcome another one to the position and wish him well.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Under Bush:
-terrorist attack
-2 wars (both ongoing after 8 years)
-failed emergency response (Katrina)
-numerous despicable acts (illegal wiretapping, lying about WMD, releasing name of Valerie Plame)
-huge economic decline/recession

And probably more.
How is he NOT the worst we've had so far?

If you don't post this, I still hope you address the points I made.

Darren said...

Terrorist attack that had been planned for 5 years. He had been president 8 months.

2 wars--good!

Katrina was not a "failed emergency response". Notice that only New Orleans, under the control of a Democrat governor and Democrat mayor, screamed. Mississippi, with a Republican governor, was able to respond just fine. The fault with Katrina lies with New Orleans, not with the federal response to it.

There has been no *illegal* wiretapping. He may have been *wrong* about wmd but there's no evidence he *lied* about it; the Duelfer Report to Congress addresses that in detail (feel free to read about it here). The President's people didn't release Valerie Plame's name, Richard Armitage did--and Novak describes Armitage as someone who's not a "political gunslinger". The recession started last year--what, it took him 7 years to get a good recession going? What about the stock market peak during his tenure, are you going to give Bush credit for that? Isn't it odd that this happened shortly after *Democrats* took control of Congress? :-)

If you want to talk about failing to privatize Social Security, failing to secure our borders (especially our Southern one), failing to make progress on illegal immigration, creating another entitlement we can't afford with Medicare prescription drugs--I'm with you. But the points you made above are, IMNSHO, idiotic at best. That you don't sign your name to them speaks to that.

Jake S said...

Darren, I wanted to express my opinion on Bush leaving office. Let me preface this by saying I never voted for Bush (nor did I vote for Gore or Kerry - I vote third party). I personally don't believe Bush II belongs in pantheon with greats like Reagan or... well, we have to go back a ways to have another great president (maybe Nixon). But in no way do I believe Bush II was the worst, Carter and F.D.R. both come to mind, and Clinton was no picnic.

The main reason I wanted to comment was to ask you, as author of a blog I regularly peruse, to please stay above the level I have witnessed from critics(sore losers) of Bush. The hate, anger and vicious nature which has been spewed from the left, liberals and their mouthpiece mainstream media, has made it impossible for me to even consider any substance hidden in their messages (not that any self respecting individualist could stomach the idea of the nanny state they propose).

So far you seem to have stayed above the fray, in wishing Obama well. Remain critical, maintain decorum and avoid hiding behind slander and name-calling. Be the respectful critic of Obama (a luxury presidents have not had for many years). I am confident you will be such a man, and I thank you in advance,
Jake Summers

Anonymous said...

Bush really IS going to go down as the worst president in a generation. You can argue all you want, but you're only convincing the convinced. Reality speaks volumes and with a volume greater than your irrational rationalizations. History will not bronze him into the Harry Truman he imagines he'll become.

He will be remembered for being uninformed, lacking the intelligence and curiosity needed for the job, for his "my-way-or-the-highway," go-it-alone divisiveness, his anti-intellectualism, his War on Science, for reading My Pet Goat during the attacks, for his disastrous mishandling of Iraq and Katrina, not finding Osama, and the list goes on. And on.

You don't have to agree, and you don't have to like it. But that's reality.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Kind of makes you wonder what the rabid Bush-haters will turn to after Dubya leaves office.....

I'm going to guess that they'll continue to work the same, old route since hatred, especially hatred which carries no penalty, dies hard.

PeggyU said...

Allen: I think you are right. They will continue to take shots at President Bush for at least the next eight years. The Obama faithful will pin his failures on Bush. In no way, shape, or form can these people be rational and objective.

Darren said...

From the White House web site:
"President Obama will keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. He and Vice President Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/additional/

I can feel the hopenchange.

Ellen K said...

He's going to rebuild NOLA? With WHAT? Frankly, the Ninth Ward should never be rebuilt because it is built on a swamp. And as for the process, ask locals why places like Bayou Tech MS can rebuild and Baton Rough can rebuild with less money and people, but NOLA can't get their act together. The graft that created the lack of oversight of the pump stations and levees is what is now scooping up all the money for rebuilding. And that, my dears, is handled by the Democrats elected to run NOLA. Why do you think the rest of the state voted in Republican Bobby Jindal to governor? I have relatives there. They've seen this nonsense from NOLA for decades now. The tail has always wagged the dog in Louisiana. Get a clue. This wasn't a Bush problem, this was a bad gumbo made in NOLA of criminal misuse of funds for the levee system.