There are not many people I know who think that President Bush has had a flawless Presidency. Then again there is not a President dead or alive who I think has had a flawless Presidency.
I saw the President speak the other night and I was very moved by the speech. Then I saw this great, unapologetic defense of the Bush Presidency. And you know what? I found myself agreeing with almost everything that AJ Strata had to say. Below is a decent excerpt but there is a lot more. Read it ALL:
Strata also points us to this superb retrospective by Andrew Roberts which is a must read. Just a small example:
...this led to something else President Bush did in his 8 years. He destroyed the concept of fringe politics. As much as the far left thinks they won (just as the news media gleefully celebrates a Pyrrhic victory over a retiring President Bush), the fact is the fringes are frowned upon. President Obama won because the nation wanted to hear about some fantasy solutions to hard times. He won on touting moderation and centrist platitudes (where Bush has been pilloried for actually making them happen on various fronts). Apparently America wanted a nice fiction wrapped up in a made for TV media spin. After years of having to minimally sacrifice the nation wants to run back to their fictional existences where all is well. They neglected to note Bush won many of his scars by being able to bridge the partisan gap.
Obama’s fiction won’t last. Our problems are very tough and still growing. Obama and the Dems have very little in their arsenal, and none of their ideas will do anything but makes matters worse. And their fringe will rise up just like the far right did under Bush. It will be interesting to watch them scream “Global Warming!” as we chatter our way through the next four years of cooling (this is predicted even by experts inside the global warming camp).
But for me, I will remember a more poignant image of America. That of George Bush holding a devastated young girl after 9-11. President Bush was not lavishing us with ridiculous promises of ‘no worries!’ He was not promising an easy road. He simply promised we would get through it all and succeed. And we did.
Sadly, most of us our too petty to give the man his due for making good on his promises. If you want to see America succeed, just look back to the Bush years. We took on a world war on two fronts, we rose like a phoenix out of the ashes of 9-11, we changed the world’s view of America from a complacent easy target to an ally that can be as dangerous as it is generous.
We took steps to integrate the private market and federal programs to make our elders’ final years a lot better. We reduced the tax burden on families and businesses so they could afford to go after their vision of the American dream. And we avoided becoming the funding source for the massive industrial murder of human embryos for profits. We succeeded, and we screwed up. But in the end we came out ahead.
Are we better off 8 years later? Is al Qaeda fading as a power in the world? Is Islamo Fascism the future of Islam or the enemy if Islam? Anyone can focus on what was not done. All those zero-sum captains of incompetence can cheer their efforts to destroy even modest progress on the false promise of perfection. But I dare anyone to achieve as much in as short a time as President Bush. Kennedy, Clinton, Carter didn’t. Neither did Reaqan or Nixon.
I have a simple example of how easy it is to destroy verses create. Anyone who thinks they are hot stuff can play along. First, grab a tissue and firmly and with great force tear it up. That is destruction. People spent years perfecting the product, it takes a second to destroy. However, to show superiority requires not destruction - it requires creation. To prove to me they are superior all those who tore up the tissue now need to produce one, from scratch, of the same quality as the one they destroyed. No buying a new one.
That is the difference between true success and false success. All the naysayers have not achieved anything. President Bush has accomplished an incredible amount of tangible change. Naysayers have not produced anything. Obama has not won a thing yet, because he has not done anything of value yet. If his first act is to free the terrorists in GITMO, then that is a sign his administration will be a failure. It will be a failure because the man has no vision, no principles and no backbone. It is a sign Obama acts out of a need to be liked or supported, not out of principles. Bush was just the opposite. He infuriated people because if they were in opposition to his goals they couldn’t deter him. It drove many to madness. Which is not a sign of something wrong with Bush!
President-Elect Obama, if you want to know how to succeed, study President Bush. Study how he was able to rack up an incredible number of challenging changes to a massive bureaucracy which has powerful inherent antibodies to any change. You need to study how he did it. You have incredible clout coming into office, don’t waste it placating the fringes. Bush never did.
And to President Bush, you have my thanks and my admiration. It will take a long time for those massive egos to understand their impotence and your accomplishments. It will take a long time for the Democrats to learn that having power doesn’t mean you know how to use it. You used your time in office well. You enacted long lasting and fundamental changes to our fabric of society. You set examples that will take years to appreciate, before they begin to be used as models to make changes we can be proud of (and believe in). You kept us safe, made us feared and respected, and you kept your word. So few politicians can even come close to making similar claims.
Update: Gateway Pundit has some impressive statistics on how well American fighting forces did under President Bush. Another lesson to be learned by Democrats.
When I am long gone, President Bush will one day be regarded as a decent, steadfast, moral man who, like Churchill and Lincoln had to make extremely difficult choices against the strong but misled (by the partisan media...) tide of public opinion. More importantly: more times than not they turned out to be the right decisions.
When Abu Ghraib is mentioned, history will remind us that it was the Bush Administration that imprisoned those responsible for the horrors. When water-boarding is brought up, we will see that it was only used on three suspects, one of whom was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda's chief of operational planning, who divulged vast amounts of information that saved hundreds of innocent lives. When extraordinary renditions are queried, historians will ask how else the world's most dangerous terrorists should have been transported. On scheduled flights?
The credit crunch, brought on by the Democrats in Congress insisting upon home ownership for credit-unworthy people, will initially be blamed on Bush, but the perspective of time will show that the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started with the deregulation of the Clinton era. Instead Bush's very
un-ideological but vast rescue package of $700 billion (£480 billion) might well be seen as lessening the impact of the squeeze, and putting America in position to be the first country out of recession, helped along by his huge tax-cut packages since 2000.
Sneered at for being "simplistic" in his reaction to 9/11, Bush's visceral responses to the attacks of a fascistic, totalitarian death cult will be seen as having been substantially the right ones.
Mistakes are made in every war, but when virtually the entire military, diplomatic and political establishment in the West opposed it, Bush insisted on the surge in Iraq that has been seen to have brought the war around, and set Iraq on the right path. Today its GDP is 30 per cent higher than under Saddam, and it is free of a brutal dictator and his rapist sons.
The number of American troops killed during the eight years of the War against Terror has been fewer than those slain capturing two islands in the Second World War, and in Britain we have lost fewer soldiers than on a normal weekend on the Western Front. As for civilians, there have been fewer Iraqis killed since the invasion than in 20 conflicts since the Second World War.
Iraq has been a victory for the US-led coalition, a fact that the Bush-haters will have to deal with when perspective finally – perhaps years from now – lends objectivity to this fine man's record.
That's good enough for me; the fact is--and conventional wisdom be damned--there are some big shoes for Barack Obama to fill, beginning at 12:01 ET tomorrow. (Good luck with that one.)
Mr. President: Thank you. Thank you for your service and for your loyalty to our country and what it stands for. Know that there are many, many of us who are grateful for what you have done for us, and who will never forget it.
We'll see you back in Texas.