Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bush, Worst President in History? Not By A Long Shot.

At this point in almost any modern Presidency, detractors of the Commander In Chief, regardless of his approval rating, have their disdain of the individual who has spent the last seven years in the Oval Office at astronomical levels.

Disregarding any historical context or rational thought, they inevitably label the current President as history's worst. Fire breathing Republicans did it with Clinton and similarly ferocious Democrats did it to Reagan near the end of their terms, even though both left office with approval ratings above 60-percent.

George W. Bush is in a different situation with ratings only in the low 30’s and having to hold the line on the necessary task of finishing the job in Iraq, regardless of how unpopular the war becomes or how much political gain the Democrats decide to squeeze out of it.

Many in the press, predictably on the pages of lefty publications like Newsweek and the editorial page of The New York Times, liberals who never liked George W. Bush are chomping at the bit to proclaim his presidency a failure based on Iraq alone. However one wonders what these same authors would say if you offered up presidencies in which wars of choice cost us more in blood and treasure than Iraq has. Ten times more if you want to get specific about it.

Surely Liberals would not label Harry S. Truman as a failed president. Even with second term approval ratings in the 30’s, a war against a nation that didn’t attack us which cost the lives of more than 50,000 American soldiers and the atomic bombs being dropped on Japan, which ended World War II but still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many in the Dennis Kucinich crowd. But to call Truman a failure? To the contrary, he is regarded by most historians to be one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.

The godfather of modern liberalism Lyndon Johnson, who presided over another war in which nearly 60,000 Americans lost their lives, is not regarded as highly as Truman, but is still not considered a failure or one of the worst of all-time, even when you factor in the credit he deserves for giving us the behemoth bureaucracy that we have today.

Nor, is his predecessor John F. Kennedy considered a failure for bringing us into Vietnam in the first place.

The blemish of the Iraq war on the record of George W. Bush, the conclusion of which is not clear, regardless of what Harry Reid says, can be cleared by history, just as it seems that history has validated Truman and on other policy matters Johnson and Kennedy. The nearly 4,000 American lives which have been lost, sadden even the most ardent supporter of the war, yet do not even come close to the numbers sacrificed in Truman’s war in Korea or the Kennedy/Johnston led debacle in South East Asia.

The rest of George W. Bush’s record is quite positive.
We have experienced four straight years of strong economic growth, coupled with record unemployment and record setting runs on Wall Street.

He put into place the second most popular government program in history giving prescription drugs to senior citizens under Medicare.

The No Child Left Behind act, while not without its flaws, is the most promising piece of education reform in this nation since the creation of the public school system.

His administration has prevented numerous terrorist attacks both large and small since September 11th and despite the recent regrouping of Al-Queda in Pakistan and Iraq, the organization is nowhere near its pre 9/11-strength, it’s leadership having been sent to Gitmo or helplessly huddled in the mountain caves of the Middle East.(Even Hillary thinks we're safer.)

The progress made in Afghanistan to date is nothing short of miraculous.

These successes that I have listed are only those that can be agreed upon by all, simply by looking at the record books. It does not take into account the moves made by his administration, which at this point are only lauded by Conservatives, but which we believe will have overwhelmingly positive effects on our nation’s future, most notably the Bush appointments to the Supreme Court.

His administration’s failings are noteworthy as well, but will pale in comparison in the scope of history.

Bush failed to control spending while president, although my guess is that he will quickly be outspent by the next Democrat to move into the White House.

He failed to get a serious comprehensive immigration reform package passed, and has not done enough to secure our southern border, a failing that has angered more Republicans than Democrats.

His lack of communication skills and his often-slow reaction to verbally addressing problems has also been one of his biggest failings. While not a failure in itself, it has led to the President’s difficulty in defending himself against unfair attacks, which should have been directed towards others. Hurricane Katrina comes to mind here.

Finally, in Iraq he is yet to effectively train the Iraqi’s to fend for themselves and he has not been successful in getting all sides of the Iraqi political spectrum to come together and agree to put aside religious differences and work towards a stable democracy.

If we were to pull out prematurely as some in congress would have us do, and the elected government of Iraq collapses, as it appears, some in congress desire, then that failure will reside with Mr. Bush.

However to rank him among the Buchanan’s, Harding’s, Pierce’s, Hoover’s, Nixon’s and Carter’s is simply unfair and shows a lack of historical comprehension by those advocating such placement. Especially when he has 18 months to go, and is showing no signs of letting Congress steamroll him in to making the wrong decisions.

Caving to political pressure and not standing up for what you believe because you’re afraid of the next election, those are the true hallmarks of a failed presidency.

Pablo Picasso's "Massacre In Korea" depicting U.S soldiers killing Korean civilians.

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Anonymous said...

It's not all "leftys" who think Pesident Bush may go down as the worst President!I myself voted for him twice. However, since taking office, the President has treated our ally Israel horribly! He and Condi are pressuring Israel to give up the land that God brought Israel back in possesion of in 1967. Encourage you to see this post:

Falling Panda said...

I have to disagree with youon that one. The fact that he took out Saddam, as well as fact that he is allowing Israel to defend itself with les US interference than his predecessors makes him the best friend Israel has ever had.

If you are saying that the reality is that there is no point in negotiating with the Palestinians and that giving them land is a futile move, then I agree with you, but that would be a very difficult thing for a US president to say.

JP said...

What a disaster of an editorial.

JP said...

What a disaster of an editorial.

JP said...

What a disaster of an editorial.

JP said...

What a disaster of an editorial.

JP said...

What a disaster of an editorial.