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What will be the George Bush legacy?
CBS News ^ | Sept. 3, 2008

Posted on 09/17/2008 8:05:54 AM PDT by meandog

CBS) For as long as he's been asked about it, George Bush has publically professed to not care much about his legacy.

"I'm reading about George Washington, still," President Bush said in 2006. "My attitude is, if they're still analyzing number one, 43 ought not to worry about it."

And why would he want to, given the long list of targets he's presented to his critics, CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod reports.

The tragically weak response to Katrina, which will always overshadow the administration getting it right - like the last few days with Gustav.

No Child Left Behind, the president's education initiative that even some supporters concede is a failure.

An economy in shambles.

"He's in the bottom 10 to five presidents in the history of the United States," James Thurber, an American University historian, said.

But the president could take heart that none of those will be his defining issues.

"I think the assessment of President Bush begins not with Inauguration Day, but with 9/11, and then it goes to Iraq," said Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff for Ronald Reagan.

And there, even Democratic critics like Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institute, say the success of the surge in Iraq will help the President's legacy.

"He went to war in a deliberately cavalier way," O'Hanlon said. "But let's also be fair. Iraq now seems to be a quasi-functioning Democracy without weapons of mass destruction, without genocides against citizens or attacks against its neighbors. So to some extent, we gotta give our president his due."

Still, presidential legacies are by their very nature an exercises in comparison. If you want to understand the signature of this two-term Republican president, compare it to the last one.

"In 1988 with Reagan in the mid-50s in popularity, everybody was clamoring for a third term with Ronald Reagan. And now the only people who are talking about a third term for President Bush are the Democrats," said Duberstein.

It seems indisputable that George Bush will address the convention, greatly diminished from his previous appearances. If the first draft of history is written by reporters, the historians, like James Thurber, are about to get their turn.

"Well all presidents think that history will change perceptions of their activities," Thurber said. "I think history will be unkind to this man."

And it would seem they won't offer the president much comfort.

© MMVIII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bush; bush43; bushlegacy; failure; georgebush; greatestpresident; greatpresident; presidentbush; rino; term2
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George W. Bush is the epitome of the old axiom "Good Guys Finish Last." I have always like the president as a person but, IMHO, he's been a miserable leader and a heckuva disappointment. I'd rather have an irasible old S.O.B.who can lose his temper like George Patton than a "gentleman" like George Bush.
1 posted on 09/17/2008 8:05:54 AM PDT by meandog
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To: meandog

Clearly a political slam, trying to tie McCain to Bush and make Bush look bad. I think the best part of Bush’s legacy might be summed up as, “I don’t give a rat’s butt about the press.” (Of course, there is much more good stuff too.)


2 posted on 09/17/2008 8:08:49 AM PDT by mlocher (america is a sovereign state)
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To: meandog

He increased the size of the federal government. I am disappointed with his 2 terms in office.


3 posted on 09/17/2008 8:10:17 AM PDT by djsherin
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To: meandog
"I think the assessment of President Bush begins not with Inauguration Day, but with 9/11

But we wont mention 9/11 in this article. We wont mention the Supreme Court. What a despicable article from CBS.

W doesn't care about his legacy unlike Clinton who is still running away from his real legacy and trying to fake a different one.

4 posted on 09/17/2008 8:11:11 AM PDT by frogjerk (MSM: We will not question Obama bin Biden...)
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To: rabscuttle385; bamahead

ping


5 posted on 09/17/2008 8:11:11 AM PDT by djsherin
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To: meandog
No further terror attacks on American soil.

50 million people freed in the Middle East, which could have positive impact for hundreds of years.

Agrresive prosecution of the War against Islamic Jihad.

Very postive, conservative Supreme Court nominations and impact.

Terrible immigration policy.

SARAH PALIN's IMPACT

6 posted on 09/17/2008 8:14:06 AM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: mlocher

But where was/is the leadership? There is none, IMO. Reagan was a leader, so was Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and even Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Bush 41 to some degree. Carter, Clinton and Bush 43 have been absymal in leadership roles. They have each allowed the opposition Congress, foreign governments and/or conflicts/crisis to dominate them!


7 posted on 09/17/2008 8:14:57 AM PDT by meandog (please pray for future President McCain, day minus 138-Jan. 20--and counting)))
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To: meandog

that moveon.org, du, nbc, abc, cbs, msnbc, new york slimes, a do nothing congress and others were out to destory every thing you tried to get done and lie about you daily.

Kind of like they are doing to Sarah Palin. It is a shame the culture we are now living in but I hope more than 1/2 of the country see’s the truth.

President Bush, I welcome you and Mrs. Bush back to Texas where you don’t have to put up with the slimes in Washington.


8 posted on 09/17/2008 8:14:58 AM PDT by JFC (The libs fear us Republicans.. wait until JUDGEMENT DAY!!)
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To: meandog
It's really quite simple, and can be summed up in one word ...

SPENDING

9 posted on 09/17/2008 8:16:35 AM PDT by SengirV
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To: meandog

He will be remembered chiefly for being President during a watershed moment in human history - 9/11. He will also be remembered for the subsequent actions taken after September 11, namely the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the defeat of a deadly enemy, alQueda.


10 posted on 09/17/2008 8:18:20 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic ("And how can this be? For I am the Kwisatz Haderach! " - Barack Obama)
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To: meandog

Ramos & Compean?


11 posted on 09/17/2008 8:19:26 AM PDT by VU4G10 (Have You Forgotten?)
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To: meandog

Bush’s legacy?

They have to ask this?

No doubt his presidential library will be build with low wage illegal labor...


12 posted on 09/17/2008 8:20:06 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: reagan_fanatic

No one would confuse him with a conservative.


13 posted on 09/17/2008 8:20:31 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: meandog
But where was/is the leadership?

I have been disappointed that the country did not take a turn to the right under his watch, so your point has some merit. Nonetheless, he gets major kudos in his approach to the war on terror, which includes ousting Sadam. I grant you that he should have let the generals fight the war; that is, the surge should have occurred much earlier. But overall, he has done well on terror.

14 posted on 09/17/2008 8:20:50 AM PDT by mlocher (america is a sovereign state)
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To: djsherin
"He increased the size of the federal government. I am disappointed with his 2 terms in office."

This may be difficult for some to understand but during a recession the revenue for the federal government decreases. This means that even if spending stayed the same, there would be an automatic inherent deficit.

Let me be specific. By personally reviewing the U.S. Treasury's monthly and yearly statements, federal revenue dropped from the years 2001 - 2003. During those years an automatic deficit of $456 billion occurred. Due to the tax cuts, federal revenue rose from year 2004 onward. In total, as an average, excluding the automatic deficit from decreased revenue, the Bush Admin ran a $155 billion dollar deficit each year up to 2007.

$155,000,000,000 deficit / $2,500,000,000,000 yearly revenue = 6.2% yearly deficit of yearly revenue.

You can verify all these numbers yourself by going to the US Treasury website and researching the yearly and monthly statements for on and off budget revenue and outlays.

15 posted on 09/17/2008 8:21:53 AM PDT by avacado
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To: meandog

16 posted on 09/17/2008 8:21:55 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (Somewhere in Illinois, a community is missing its organizer.)
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To: Jeff Head
No further terror attacks on American soil.

You could have said the same thing about the Cold War and presidents from Truman to Reagan (who ended it).

50 million people freed in the Middle East, which could have positive impact for hundreds of years.

Not so fast...true, the Iraqi and Afghani people are free from Sadaam but not from Islamic terror. Meanwhile more THAN A BILLION people were freed from monolithic Soviet communism by Ronald Reagan!

Agrresive prosecution of the War against Islamic Jihad.

And handed off to his successor.

Very postive, conservative Supreme Court nominations and impact.

Only after Harriet Myers was turned down from consideration!

17 posted on 09/17/2008 8:22:19 AM PDT by meandog (please pray for future President McCain, day minus 138-Jan. 20--and counting)))
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To: reagan_fanatic

Agree.


18 posted on 09/17/2008 8:23:46 AM PDT by vietvet67
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To: meandog

We haven’t been attacked.

His credibility on national security and standing up against the terrorists makes him right up there with Harry Truman dropping the bombs on Japan.


19 posted on 09/17/2008 8:23:52 AM PDT by Carley (she's all out of caribou.............)
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To: meandog
Transforming an American capitalist system into hyper-globalism.

Moving our representative republic form of government more toward an oligarchy (a form of government where political power effectively rest with a small elite segment of society).

Running up our national debt to astronomical figures.

Continuing his daddy's policies facilitating the transfer of American wealth to foreign countries.

Allowing corporate America to drive Federal policy.

Mr. Bush, if I were the president of Texas for a day, my first order of business would be to expel you and your hyper-globalist family right on back to the northeast where you originated.

I would then yank your citizenship from the Republic of Texas.

Mr. Bush ,I live among conservatives, I know conservatism, I have many conservatives that are friends of mine.

Mr. President, you're no conservative.

Sorry George.

20 posted on 09/17/2008 8:25:09 AM PDT by servantboy777
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To: meandog

What could have been...


21 posted on 09/17/2008 8:28:34 AM PDT by BGHater (Democracy is the road to socialism.)
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To: servantboy777

Yeah, I could never quite get a handle on his native “Texan” claim either. George Bush is thoroughly yankee New England country club Republican, through and through—just like his Prescott grand-father and old man. The Bushes are carpetbaggers to the South and bear the same resemblance to the “invaders” who soiled our sacred earth after the “Recent Unpleasentness” of 1861-65!


22 posted on 09/17/2008 8:30:56 AM PDT by meandog (please pray for future President McCain, day minus 138-Jan. 20--and counting)))
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To: servantboy777
Oh good gosh, George Bush and that darn little dog Barney slipped down to New Orleans and stole all the keys to those buses and Barney buried them all over the white house lawn.
Ever wonder why no one ever asked for the transcripts of Bush's phone conversations with the Governor of Louisiana?
The lovely governor did not want that cowboy Bush telling HER how to take care of her state. Until everything fell apart then it was HIS fault, just like warts on a frog.
23 posted on 09/17/2008 8:34:13 AM PDT by Lyantana (A Southern View)
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To: meandog
What will be the George Bush legacy?

One word: Heller

If not for his SC appointments, we'd be screwed.

24 posted on 09/17/2008 8:35:44 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: mlocher
Nonetheless, he gets major kudos in his approach to the war on terror

Get real, the war on terror is still here, Osama is still missing, Iraq was fought like a politically correct police action instead of a war, ya got 500 freaking Muslims walking off the job in Nebraska because the can't slap themselves silly in the lunchroom on Ramadama-ding-dong, ya got a conga-line of millions crossing our borders illegally, creating coast to coast violence and chaos...During wartime no less...Now throw in an economy that could scare the hell out those that are already dirt poor.

Kudos?

Gag!

25 posted on 09/17/2008 8:36:14 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: meandog

The vast majority of these comments are very short-sighted. Do you honestly believe that “out of control spending” or “No Child Left Behind” will even rate a mention in history books 50 years from now? That’s very doubtful.

However, the war on terror and the major shift away from the passive “Police Action” response to pre-emptive war will loom huge in history’s eyes. Supreme Court picks are still studied for past presidents to this day.

So, yes, Bush will rise to a high position on list of best presidents.

And BJ Clinton is sure to sink to a good position on the list of mediocre presidents.


26 posted on 09/17/2008 8:36:45 AM PDT by Scourge of God
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To: meandog

Bush will be remembered most for his overall response to 9-11. He secured America from future terrorist attacks and took the fight to the enemy. Bush deserves credit for listening to Gen Petraeus. The surge has worked. The WOT isn’t over, but so far, America is winning.

The Bush tax cuts stimulated spending and investment, enabling the economy to overcome downturns during 9-11 and Katrina and enjoy a fairly steady rate of growth throughout his Presidency.

On the downside. Bush promoted big government Republicanism, spent like a liberal and expanded the federal bureaucracy with a trillion dollar prescription drug program. His huge increases in education spending can’t be called conservatism in action. Bush advanced comprehensive liberal immigration reform and along with it, backdoor amnesty for 30 million illegals.

If Bush had done a better job with public relations, political propaganda and use of the Bully Pulpit more to his advantage, the last eight years could have been much more successful and better for his legacy.


27 posted on 09/17/2008 8:37:59 AM PDT by Reagan Man (McCain Earned My Vote --- With Palin on the ticket, MOST conservatives should be satisfied.)
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To: Puppage
One word: Heller

The interesting part is that of the four dissenters in the Heller case, two, Stephens and Souter, were appointed by Republicans...(Ford and Bush 41).

28 posted on 09/17/2008 8:43:55 AM PDT by meandog (please pray for future President McCain, day minus 138-Jan. 20--and counting)))
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To: avacado

This I realize, but if revenues go down, spending SHOULD go down. And spending is supposed to go down with conservatives in power anyway. Recession aside, he still increased the size of the government. Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind are hardly pieces of conservative legislation yet they were passed and supported by so called conservatives.


29 posted on 09/17/2008 8:51:44 AM PDT by djsherin
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To: meandog

George W. Bush’s legacy will be empty body bags. Those empty body bags were for:

1. The tens of thousands of troops the MSM and the Dim were counting on the US losing in Afghanistan.

2. The tens of thousands of troops the MSM and the Dims were counting on the US losing in Iraq.

3. The ten thousand New Orleanians that Ray Nagan with a MSM and Dim chorus was predicting would be floating in the street after Katrina.

4. The thousands of bodies from the terrorist attacks that the MSM and the Dims were predicting would die in follow up attacks in the US after 9-11-2001. Remember the al Qaeda attacks that would certainly follow in a year or two or three.

Instead we got two countries liberated with very low casualty rates. Instead in New Orleans one of the greatest search and rescue operation in history was conducted. The first and most important thing you do in a disaster is limit death. Instead the US has gone al Qaeda terror attack free since 2001.

In addition Bush lowered taxes and did not bend to a later tax increase the beltway types always demand. The tax rate cut helped lead to a strong economy. Bush appointed solid Supreme Court Justices. All of these reasons are why Bush is the greatest American president in the last 100 years at least.


30 posted on 09/17/2008 8:52:34 AM PDT by JLS (Do you really want changec being two guys from the majority of Congress with a 9% approval rating?)
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To: servantboy777

Not to mention his amnesty sham and calling the minutemen “vigilantes”.


31 posted on 09/17/2008 8:54:28 AM PDT by djsherin
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To: Scourge of God
The vast majority of these comments are very short-sighted. Do you honestly believe that “out of control spending” or “No Child Left Behind” will even rate a mention in history books 50 years from now? That’s very doubtful. However, the war on terror and the major shift away from the passive “Police Action” response to pre-emptive war will loom huge in history’s eyes. Supreme Court picks are still studied for past presidents to this day. So, yes, Bush will rise to a high position on list of best presidents. And BJ Clinton is sure to sink to a good position on the list of mediocre presidents.

Well, IMO, Clinton is already on the list of terrible presidents but, also, Bush will never rise to the top.
Yes, the response for a global war on terror may help but Bush is far from being victorious. Take a look at the other historic presidents during war: Bush 41, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Truman, FDR, Wilson, McKinley, Lincoln, Polk, Madison and Washington. Who stands out to you, who doesn't?

Bush, Carter, Hoover, Fillmore, Cleveland and Harding all served during bad economic times and I cannot believe any will be ever afforded good legacies.

32 posted on 09/17/2008 8:55:53 AM PDT by meandog (please pray for future President McCain, day minus 138-Jan. 20--and counting)))
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To: meandog

Appointed two solid conservatives to the Supreme Court, protected us from a repeat 9-11, removed a dangerous dictator in Iraq, successfully carried off an historic invasion and conquest of Afghanistan, conspired with a foreign power (Mexico) to violate our borders in an effort to foster a flawed agenda of globalism and one-worldism.


33 posted on 09/17/2008 8:57:10 AM PDT by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Carley
Dropping the a-bombs on Japan is something any POTUS would have done at that time in history. The alternative was invading Japan and suffering 250K-500K dead.

As POTUS, Truman was a failure and resigned from running for reelection. His legacy was resurrected by liberal historians and the liberal media. The same liberal establishment that still ranks both JFK and Clinton as great Presidents.

Bush should get some kudos from history for taking the fight to the enemy. But I seriously doubt there is enough success for historians to ever rank Bush much above the level of average. A good man and a decent POTUS.

34 posted on 09/17/2008 8:58:53 AM PDT by Reagan Man (McCain Earned My Vote --- With Palin on the ticket, MOST conservatives should be satisfied.)
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To: meandog
CBS and all the MSM write for themselves......Reality is GWB will be looked at incredibly kindly in history....

The man has been a true leader (in an era where leadership is mostly gone...and polls determine nearly everything).

Premise after premise in this CBS garbage piece are flawed or half-truths....

Go read what the MSM was saying about Reagan when he left. They said the same BS. One of the bottom 10 Presidents, only an actor, Iran-Contra would be his legacy, blah, blah, blah.

GWB has spread freedom around the globe, has taken the fight to our enemies, his leadership won two wars and his continue to win the ongoing WOT, he cut taxes for all Americans, never raised them (like Reagan did, both income and FICA) presided over 7 years of growth in our economy (inherited a number of 20/30 year in the making problems via the economy and immigration).......He appointed great federal judges across the nation.......and all the while take more arrows for standing up for America and the GOP than any man in modern times.......and done so with a class and dignity I dare say 99.9% of people on earth could not.

History will be incredibly kind to this man.

35 posted on 09/17/2008 9:04:46 AM PDT by SevenMinusOne
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To: djsherin

I agree with your post. Spending should go down. But given 9/11, the collapse of corporations, the collpase of the dot coms, Katrina, Rita, and two wars, that’s quite a basket full.


36 posted on 09/17/2008 9:05:14 AM PDT by avacado
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To: meandog

Bush’s Lonely Decision
September 15, 2008; Page A22
http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB122143387192234073-lMyQjAxMDI4MjExNTQxMzUzWj.html

Now that even Barack Obama has acknowledged that President Bush’s surge in Iraq has “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams,” maybe it’s time the Democratic nominee gives some thought to how that success actually came about — not just in Ramadi and Baghdad, but in the bureaucratic Beltway infighting out of which the decision to surge emerged.

That’s one reason to welcome “The War Within,” the fourth installment in Bob Woodward’s account of the Bush Presidency. As is often the case with the Washington Post stalwart, the reporting is better than the analysis, which reflects the Beltway conventional wisdom of a dogmatic and incurious President. But even as a (very) rough draft of history, we read Mr. Woodward’s book as an instructive profile in Presidential decision-making.

Consider what confronted Mr. Bush in 2006. Following a February attack on a Shiite shrine in the city of Samarra, Iraq’s sectarian violence began a steep upward spiral. The U.S. helped engineer the ouster of one Iraqi prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, in favor of Nouri al-Maliki, an untested leader about whom the U.S. knew next to nothing. The “Sunni Awakening” of tribal sheiks against al Qaeda was nowhere in sight. An attempt at a minisurge of U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad failed dismally. George Casey, the American commander in Iraq, believed the only way the U.S. could “win” was to “draw down” — a view shared up the chain of command, including Centcom Commander John Abizaid and then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Politically, the war had become deeply unpopular in an election year that would wipe out Republican majorities in Congress. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, run by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, was gearing up to offer the President the option of a politically graceful defeat, dressed up as a regional “diplomatic offensive.” Democrats united in their demands for immediate withdrawal, while skittish Republicans who had initially supported the war, including Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon, abandoned the Administration.

From the State Department, Condoleezza Rice opposed the surge, arguing, according to Mr. Woodward, that “the U.S. should minimize its role in punishing sectarian violence.” Senior brass at the Pentagon were also against it, on the theory that it was more important to ease the stress on the military and be prepared for any conceivable military contingency than to win the war they were fighting.

Handed this menu of defeat, Mr. Bush played opposite to stereotype by firing Mr. Rumsfeld and seeking advice from a wider cast of advisers, particularly retired Army General Jack Keane and scholar Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. The President also pressed the fundamental question of how the war could actually be won, a consideration that seemed to elude most senior members of his government. “God, what is he talking about?” Mr. Woodward quotes a (typically anonymous) senior aide to Ms. Rice as wondering when Mr. Bush raised the question at one meeting of foreign service officers. “Was the President out of touch?”

No less remarkably, the surge continued to face entrenched Pentagon opposition even after the President had decided on it. Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went out of his way to prevent General Keane from visiting Iraq in order to limit his influence with the White House.

The Pentagon also sought to hamstring General David Petraeus in ways both petty and large, even as it became increasingly apparent that the surge was working.

Following the general’s first report to Congress last September, Mr. Bush dictated a personal message to assure General Petraeus of his complete support: “I do not want to change the strategy until the strategy has succeeded,” Mr. Woodward reports the President as saying. In this respect, Mr. Bush would have been better advised to dictate that message directly to Admiral Mullen.

The success of the surge in pacifying Iraq has been so swift and decisive that it’s easy to forget how difficult it was to find the right general, choose the right strategy, and muster the political will to implement it.

It is also easy to forget how many obstacles the State and Pentagon bureaucracies threw in Mr. Bush’s way, and how much of their bad advice he had to ignore, especially now that their reputations are also benefiting from Iraq’s dramatic turn for the better.

Then again, American history offers plenty of examples of wartime Presidents who faced similar challenges:

Ulysses Grant became Lincoln’s general-in-chief in 1864, barely a year before the surrender at Appomattox.

What matters most is that the President had the fortitude to insist on winning.

That’s a test President Bush passed — something history, if not Bob Woodward, will recognize.


37 posted on 09/17/2008 9:07:18 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (The 'RAT Party "is a poxed whore for whom no condom is thick enough." ~ Vanderleun)
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: All

August 27, 2008
A Brief History of Bush’s Time
http://www.americanthinker.com/printpage/?url=http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/a_brief_history_of_bushs_time.html
By Randall Hoven

The current narrative of the Bush Presidency is that it is a failure (believed by 107 of 109 historians surveyed) and that George W. Bush is the worst President in history (believed by 61% of those surveyed historians). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “The president already has the mark of the American people — he’s the worst president we ever had.”

That’s one narrative. I have another.

Despite being handed one of the worst situations in history from President Clinton, and being fought tooth and nail by his opponents in government and the media, literally from the day of his election, President George W. Bush persevered to restore prosperity at home and to make the US and the world more free and secure.

The 2000 Election and Transition to Office

On November 7, 2000, voters went to the polls and elected George W. Bush to be President of the United States. After initially conceding defeat in a private phone call to Bush, Al Gore decided instead to contest the outcome in Florida. He sued for various recounts and was joined by the Florida Supreme Court, while Bush fought for counting votes per the rules in place prior to the election.

Complaints that Bush “stole” the election boiled down to two: (1) we should use a method of determining the winner other than the one in the Constitution, and (2) we should use a method of determining “voter intent” other than by counting legally cast ballots per the rules in place prior to the election.

Later recounts would show that George W. Bush would have won the election in Florida under any method considered by either Al Gore or the Florida Supreme Court.

“The Miami Herald and USA Today reported George W. Bush would have widened his 537-vote victory to a 1,665-vote margin if the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court would have been allowed to continue.”

Al Gore would not concede in public until December 13, more than a month after the election. But the Clinton administration denied the Bush team the keys to the transition office set up two blocks from the White House and waiting since November 8, until December 15. Normally a newly-elected President is provided a transition office the day after the election. George W. Bush was finally allowed to use his just 36 days before being sworn in as President, or less than half the transition time allowed other Presidents-elect.

The Pre-Bush Situation and His First Eight Months

A year before Bush took office, the stock market peaked and subsequently declined 8% by the end of 2000. The last four fiscal quarters under President Clinton showed steadily declining GDP growth rates of 4.8, 3.5, 2.4, and 1.9 percent, respectively. When Bush took office, the US Government was still operating under the fiscal budget signed by President Clinton, and would remain so for more than another eight months. Within six weeks of Bush being sworn in, the economy was officially in recession.

On the defense front, President Bush was handed a smoldering crisis that had been brewing throughout President Clinton’s two terms.

The World Trade Center was bombed by Islamists in 1993, killing six and injuring 1,042.
We lost 18 US Special Ops forces in Mogadishu while fighting Islamist allies of Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden declared war against the U.S. in his fatwa of 1996.
The Khobar Towers used to house our servicemen in Saudi Arabia were bombed by Islamists in 1996, killing 19 US servicemen.
Our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were bombed in 1998 by bin Laden supported Islamists, killing at least 223 and injuring thousands.
Pakistan and India both successfully tested nuclear warheads in 1998, to the surprise of our CIA.
The USS Cole was bombed in 2000 by Islamists, killing 17 US sailors.
In Israel, the Oslo accords had broken down, the PLO had rejected the most generous “peace for land” deal ever offered, and the intifada was back in business by the end of 2000.
Nations pursuing nuclear weapon capability (beyond Pakistan and India, who had it by 1998) were North Korea, Iran, Iraq and Libya.

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had kicked out the UN weapons inspectors in 1998 and was in defiance of multiple UN resolutions from 1991 through 2000. Saddam’s Iraq had tried to assassinate former President Bush and fired thousands of times at US and coalition forces enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations.

Throughout this time, President Clinton’s administration forbade communications between the CIA and the FBI regarding terrorists or terrorist activities. Clinton withdrew US forces from Somalia shortly after the Mogadishu incident. And he treated the terrorist incidents as crimes to be dealt with by our legal system.

When he did send missiles into Iraq, he made sure it was at night so no one would get hurt. According to the Washington Post,

“Clinton ordered the attack Friday, but the raid was delayed a day so it would not fall on the Muslim sabbath... The missiles struck late at night — between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Baghdad time — because Clinton wished to minimize possible deaths of innocent civilians.”

I’m thinking a strike at 2 am would also minimize possible deaths of guilty Baathists.

On September 11, 2001, or less than eight months after President Bush took office, Islamist terrorists perpetrated the worst attack by foreigners on US soil since the burning of Washington, DC, in 1812, killing almost 3,000 civilians. The attackers had been planning and preparing it for five years.

That was President Bush’s welcome to office. A recession within two months. The 9/11 attacks within eight months. And an Iraq in continual defiance of its terms of surrender, multiple UN resolutions and WMD inspectors. And this after being given only half the transition time as usual.

The Following Seven Years

By November 2001 the recession was officially over, just one month under Bush’s own budget, weeks after 9/11 and just 10 months into a Bush Presidency. It was an historically short and shallow recession. From 2003 through 2006, all under President Bush and a Republican Congress, real GDP grew over 3% per year, considered a healthy and sustainable pace. By early 2008, the real economy had grown about 20% since Bush took office. Since President Bush took office, the economy has grown in every single fiscal quarter; there has been no quarter of negative real growth.

Are you better off now than you were eight years ago? If you are anywhere near average, yes. Personal, disposable, inflation-adjusted income grew 9% in the first six years under Bush. Since Bush has been President, the unemployment rate has remained under 6.3% and averaged 5.2% (In Clinton’s eight years it remained under 7.3% and also averaged 5.2%.)

On the foreign front, President Bush used “aggressive diplomacy” to convince Pakistan to support us in fighting against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban and to allow us insight into the status of its nuclear weapons. India, the other new member of the nuclear club, remained on good terms with us throughout.

President Bush, with Congressional support, our NATO allies and our first-rate military, freed the people of Afghanistan from the Taliban warlords, helped install a democracy there, captured or killed hundreds of al Qaida there and drove those remaining, probably including Osama bin Laden and his top commanders, to remote mountains and caves. By also cutting off funding sources and communications channels, al Qaida appears to have been rendered ineffective as a coordinated network of terrorists under any kind of effective command and control. It’s possible ad hoc “cells” of those sympathetic to al Qaida might still do some damage on US soil, but none have so far.

President Bush, with large and bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress, support from more than 45 countries and our first-rate military, freed the people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein, helped install a democracy there, and captured or killed hundreds of al Qaida, radical Islamists and other terrorists there. Saddam’s WMD capabilities, programs and remaining weapons were removed from an outlaw regime. I have written elsewhere on the justification of the Iraq war, which was supported by both pre-war and post-war intelligence.

President Bush, with diplomacy, the example of Iraq and the assistance of foreign allies, convinced Libya to cease its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

President Bush, using diplomacy and working with China, Japan and South Korea, appears to have reached a breakthrough with North Korea, getting it to dismantle its plutonium creating sites and to allow intrusive inspections. While this all needs to be finalized and verified, such progress illustrates President Bush’s skill at effective diplomacy - one that has real results, not paper promises quickly broken and never verified.

Iran is still a problem, but even there President Bush is waging diplomacy in concert with our allies and the United Nations.

In short, all the new and major WMD proliferation threats were dealt with one way or another: Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya. They are not all put to rest, but about three-and-a-half of the five biggies appear to have been dealt with sufficiently. And terrorists, even those inside Iraq and Afghanistan at this point, seem to be kept at bay for now as well.

I think these are tremendous achievements, and ones that would not have occurred under either a President Gore or President Kerry.

But what have been the costs? In dollars, defense spending has gone from 3% of GDP to 4%. That’s it — a level that is still below where it was for over 50 years, from World War II through 1994.

In US lives, 4,147 servicemen lost their lives due to hostile or non-hostile action in Iraq to date. Each lost life is a tragedy, and I am deeply grateful to our lost troops and their families. From 2001 to 2006, the worst year for active military duty deaths was 2005, with 1,941 deaths due to all causes. In 1980, President Carter’s last year, there were 2,392 such deaths in a larger military establishment. Each year in which we had troops engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan saw fewer US military deaths than any year from 1980 through 1987, all years without major conflicts. The major conflicts of World War II, Korea and Vietnam had 405,399, 36,574, and 58,209 fatalities, respectively.

Judging A President

“However tempting it might be to some, when much trouble lies ahead, to step aside adroitly and put someone else up to take the blows, I do not intend to take that cowardly course, but, on the contrary, to stand to my post and persevere in accordance with my duty as I see it.”

If we use these words of Winston Churchill to judge our presidents, did President Bush “step aside adroitly” or did he stand his post and “persevere”? He has surely taken the blows.

Randall Hoven can be contacted at randall.hoven@gmail.com or via his web site, http://www.kulak.worldbreak.com/
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/a_brief_history_of_bushs_time.html at August 27, 2008 - 02:44:38 PM EDT

One great comment out of many in the thread is here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2069228/posts?page=11#11


39 posted on 09/17/2008 9:10:29 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (The 'RAT Party "is a poxed whore for whom no condom is thick enough." ~ Vanderleun)
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To: VU4G10
Ramos & Compean along with his thing for illegal aliens and open borders. A scandal!
40 posted on 09/17/2008 9:18:14 AM PDT by Jane Austen (Boycott the Bahamas!)
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To: Reagan Man

I remember when the bombs were dropped on Japan.

There was opposition, serious opposition and to this day there are those on the left who decry the dropping of the bombs.

Did you ever hear Peter Jennings insisting that Japan was simply trying to preserve their culture when the bombed Pearl Harbor.


41 posted on 09/17/2008 9:18:51 AM PDT by Carley (she's all out of caribou.............)
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To: meandog
Very postive, conservative Supreme Court nominations and impact. Only after Harriet Myers was turned down from consideration!

Was Chief Justice John Roberts before or after Harriet Myers?

42 posted on 09/17/2008 9:25:08 AM PDT by frogjerk (MSM: We will not question Obama bin Biden...)
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To: Carley

The Manhattan Project was a well kept secret. It was even kept a secret from VP Harry Truman. If you mean there was opposition to the Nakasaki a-bomb being dropped, okay. But by that time, the invasion of Japan was off the table.

I’m not clear exactly what you mean with the reference to Peter Jennings.


43 posted on 09/17/2008 9:32:30 AM PDT by Reagan Man (McCain Earned My Vote --- With Palin on the ticket, MOST conservatives should be satisfied.)
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To: servantboy777
That about sums it up in my opinion also. Though how things turn out in the middle east years from now and it's influence in the region will have a lot to do with his legacy overall, domestically speaking his over emphasis on foreign affairs(just like his father)made me also think...what are these guys priorities?

The media and the other liberals have and always will hate his guts, not so much for his policies but because he is....a Republican(of course thats open for interpretation, in so much that today being "Republican" no longer necessarily represents being a "conservative").

To be fair, especially when dealing with spending, and something the MSM will never admit to, during his Presidency he has had to deal with issues that in my life time no other has had to deal with. Natural disasters, financial institution corruption/meltdowns, terrorists attacks have been around for years, but not at the scale of size/severity we have seen the last 8 years.

Disappointed at how he handled many of these issues? Yes, especially with regard to spending and more government. But to the extent of their severity you have to wonder how anyone else would have handled it, not only with the pressure of having to make hard choices but with a media that constantly tried to marginalize every decision he made for political points. Not any easy task.

So if I had to give my opinion of his presidency, in one word, I'd say "disappointed"...but with an asterisk, in that 9/11 most certainly had redefined whatever his intentions actually were coming into office(good or bad), of that, for the most part, we will never know.

(Heh, then again there is that conspiracy theorist in me that thinks about shadow governments, globalist power broker intervention, black helicopters....nahhhh)

44 posted on 09/17/2008 9:45:35 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (Gov. Granholm=Garbage)
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To: Reagan Man

One year on VJ Day Jennings did a program on the dropping of the bomb. He defended Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and decried our dropping of the bombs.

The second bomb was dropped because the Emperor insisted he was not going to surrender.

Of course, we could have used the Obama plan and talked about the ending of the war.


45 posted on 09/17/2008 9:48:40 AM PDT by Carley (she's all out of caribou.............)
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To: dragnet2
Kudos?

Yes, kudos. There are not a lot of leaders who would have had the courage to fight the war on terror. Look at the number of spineless leaders who voted for war, and then back peddled. I never said the war tactics were the best, but the strategy to go after these insane folks, who if they could, would push one button to make USA the next Atlantis, is top notch.

46 posted on 09/17/2008 9:55:18 AM PDT by mlocher (america is a sovereign state)
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To: mlocher

I’ll agree to that. The leadership in D.C. is just rotten, and all those entrenched career politicians should have been gone many years ago.


47 posted on 09/17/2008 10:00:51 AM PDT by dragnet2
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To: Carley
Thanks for the clarification on Jennings.

I knew why the second a-bomb was dropped. We were discussing opposition at home. Since it was kept a secret from the general public, there was no opposition from the American people. Any internal opposition within the government was very limited. No one wanted to see 250K-500K US troops killed by invading Japan. When the military leaders informed Truman the bomb was ready, old Harry didn't flinch. He handed complete control of the operation over to our military leadership and rest is history.

48 posted on 09/17/2008 10:03:47 AM PDT by Reagan Man (McCain Earned My Vote --- With Palin on the ticket, MOST conservatives should be satisfied.)
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To: dragnet2
The leadership in D.C. is just rotten,

Agreed! Have a great day!

49 posted on 09/17/2008 10:11:54 AM PDT by mlocher (america is a sovereign state)
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To: Reagan Man

I think Pres. Bush will go down in history as a great president who liberated Iraq. I know nice guys finish last but I do think Bush will go down as a great president- I think the Iraq thing will outweigh what he has or hasn’t done with the economy etc.


50 posted on 09/17/2008 10:12:32 AM PDT by LYSandra
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