Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Bush, reconsidered


Now that Bush is safely in the rear view, it's easier to dispassionately reassess him. For one thing, my hatred of him was exhausted a long time ago, and as far as I could tell it wasn't actually accomplishing anything. In fact I'm pretty sure it was somehow feeding him.

But you know, you can call George W. Bush a failure all you want, but I think he succeeded by the yardstick that really mattered to him. I think that all that Bush Jr. ever wanted was to overshadow his dad's legacy. Remember, he was going to succeed where his Dad failed. His Dad invaded Iraq, but he didn't get Saddam Hussein. If you think about it, Bush Sr.'s lasting legacy was really just a PR achievement: he only succeeded in making the name Hussein synonymous with Hitler in the minds of the public. By contrast, Bush Jr's legacy was to get someone named Hussein elected President of the United States.

Bush Sr. is remembered for having won an election by painting his opponent as somebody who might be in favor of letting black guys out of jail. Bush Jr. got a black guy elected President of the United States.

So when you look again at the record, I think you'll see that George W. Bush could really be treating himself to a victory lap around the rose garden right about now.

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