Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Goodbye, George Bush

Posted by sanityinjection on January 20, 2009

Today is also the day that America says good bye to President George Bush. Some have been waiting for this day breathlessly for eight years.

It is hard to know how history will judge Bush’s Presidency. It seems unlikely that he will ever be considered a great President. But perhaps the passage of time will allow some of the positive aspects of his Presidency to be considered along with the negatives.

Much may depend on the future of Iraq. Should Iraq develop into a stable democracy, Bush’s legacy will surely reap the credit. If it sinks into a quagmire of ethnic and sectarian conflict, he will just as surely bear the brunt of the blame.

Bush’s strong leadership in the aftermath of 9/11 is perhaps balanced by his failure of leadership during Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps his biggest failure, though, has been his philosophy that admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness. On multiple occasions this has prevented him from switching course when needed, until much damage had already been done.

I did not vote for George Bush in 2000; I did vote for him in 2004, mainly on the war issue. But I think that it is time for him to pass from the world stage, and that it will be healthy for Bush’s supporters, detractors, and middle-ground folks like me to turn the page and enter a new era, which if not free of partisan polarization, at least will find some other focus for it.

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4 Responses to “Goodbye, George Bush”

  1. sanityinjection said

    Here is Christopher Hitchens’ take:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2209133/

  2. sanityinjection said

    And here is Cathy Young’s:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/the_paradox_of_george_w_bush.html

  3. sanityinjection said

    And for the trifecta, J.R. Dunn:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/bush_and_the_bushhaters.html

  4. sanityinjection said

    The WSJ has a nice graphic up charting Presidential approval ratings over time going back to Harry Truman:

    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/info-presapp0605-31.html

    A couple of things that leap out at me: Every President’s ratings declined over time except Bill Clinton’s. No President since Kennedy has been able to avoid dropping below 45% at some point. Reagan never broke 65% and Clinton barely did. Both Bushes enjoyed wartime spikes to astronomical levels, but those spikes only lasted about a year. Finally, it seems clear that what really torpedoed George W. Bush’s approval ratings was not the war in Iraq but Hurricane Katrina. I don’t think there’s any question that if Katrina had happened 1 year earlier, Bush would never have been re-elected.

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