Wednesday, January 14, 2009


From Fred Barnes' Weekly Standard editorial:
The postmortems on the presidency of George W. Bush are all wrong. The liberal line is that Bush dangerously weakened America's position in the world and rushed to the aid of the rich and powerful as income inequality worsened. That is twaddle. Conservatives--okay, not all of them--have only been a little bit kinder. They give Bush credit for the surge that saved Iraq, but not for much else.

He deserves better. His presidency was far more successful than not. And there's an aspect of his decision-making that merits special recognition: his courage. Time and time again, Bush did what other presidents, even Ronald Reagan, would not have done and for which he was vilified and abused. That--defiantly doing the right thing--is what distinguished his presidency.

Bush had ten great achievements (and maybe more) in his eight years in the White House, starting with his decision in 2001 to jettison the Kyoto global warming treaty so loved by Al Gore, the environmental lobby, elite opinion, and Europeans. The treaty was a disaster, with India and China exempted and economic decline the certain result. Everyone knew it. But only Bush said so and acted accordingly.

He stood athwart mounting global warming hysteria and yelled, "Stop!" He slowed the movement toward a policy blunder of worldwide impact, providing time for facts to catch up with the dubious claims of alarmists. Thanks in part to Bush, the supposed consensus of scientists on global warming has now collapsed. The skeptics, who point to global cooling over the past decade, are now heard loud and clear. And a rational approach to the theory of manmade global warming is possible.

Second, enhanced interrogation of terrorists. Along with use of secret prisons and wireless eavesdropping, this saved American lives. How many thousands of lives? We'll never know. But, as Charles Krauthammer said recently, "Those are precisely the elements which kept us safe and which have prevented a second attack."
More depressing is Jay Nordlinger at National Review:
It seems to me that the Left has won: utterly and decisively. What I mean is, the Saturday Night Live, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher mentality has prevailed. They decide what a person’s image is, and those images stick. They are the ones who say that Cheney’s a monster, W.’s stupid, and Palin’s a bimbo. And the country, apparently, follows.


OBloodyHell said...

They said the same crap about Reagan in the late 80s. History has shown him right. I predict deja vu.

LOL. Word verification is "pasts".

Carl said...

Had I known, as I walked home about noon on September 11th--aware of two friends killed--that there would be no mass terrorism attacks in the United States for 7+ years, I would have said George Bush would be among the most successful President in history. That's a "past" people forget--unless there's a new attack.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I'm glad you brought this up. I'll have to do a post on my grades for Bush. I suspect my inclination to grade his first term higher than his second will hold up even after research.

OBloodyHell said...

AVI, on the whole, I think you may be correct, although he has managed to finish in Iraq, unless the Dems brilliantly throw it away (as is quite possible, just look at South Vietnam, which was fairly stable when we began pulling out and went to absolute crap after the Dems refused to provide them with even basic kinds of support), which I think balances out his first-term accomplishments.

His second term continued and even enhanced support for big government policies is probably the most detracting issue, but that has to at least partly be blamed on the GOP leadership, too, who have supported this idiotic move towards left of center as the Left has abandoned it. The net result, of course, is that no one is happy with them, and they've lost pretty much everything they'd won under Newt & Co., as they alienate their base and fail to have anything, really, to appeal to the middle, enough of whom hear the blathering lies of the mediaas though they had any validity.