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George W. Bush Reconsidered (Some perspective on the much-derided 43rd president)
National Review ^ | 01/02/2013 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 01/02/2013 7:10:28 AM PST by SeekAndFind

George W. Bush left office in January 2009 with one of the lowest job-approval ratings for a president (34 percent) since Gallup started compiling them — as compared to Harry Truman’s low of 32 percent, Richard Nixon’s of 24 percent, and Jimmy Carter’s of 34 percent — and to the general derision of the media.

At times the venom accorded Bush in popular culture reached absurd — and even sick — levels. Alfred A. Knopf, for example, infamously published Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint, a pathetic riff on shooting Bush. Gabriel Range’s unhinged 2006 “docudrama,” The Death of a President, focused on an imagined assassination of President Bush (imagine the outcry should any filmmaker today update that topos). A sick Charlie Brooker op-ed in the Guardian called for another John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald to kill Bush. Jonathan Chait of The New Republic more or less permanently ruined his reputation by writing an adolescent rant on “the case for Bush hatred,” one that began creepily with “I hate President George W. Bush.” Try substituting another president’s name for Bush’s and see what the reaction of The New Republic would be.

All that hysteria once led to Charles Krauthammer’s identification of “Bush Derangement Syndrome” — a pathology in which the unbalanced seemed to channel all their anxieties, frustrations, and paranoias onto George W. Bush. And yet, following 9/11, Bush had calmly led the nation and enjoyed one of the highest positive appraisals of any president since the advent of modern polling, when for months he registered a 90 percent approval rating; indeed, he averaged a 62 percent approval rating over his first four years.

Yet, as with all presidents, with time and a successor come perspective. So it is not hard to see why the out-of-office Bush’s likability ratings are slowly inching back up — most recently to 46 percent. For reflection on Bush’s eight years in office, take a look back at the six aspects of his presidency that harmed his popularity most — Iraq and its attendant controversies, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, the so-called Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols, the September 2008 financial meltdown, the chronic budget deficits, and the general impression that Bush was singularly inarticulate and prone to embarrassing gaffes.

“Bush lied, thousands died,” was a popular mantra that followed from the absence of stockpiles of WMD in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq — the chief casus belli of the Iraq War. But looking back, quite apart from the politics of the moment, we now remember that Congress had approved 23 writs authorizing the removal of Saddam Hussein. The pro-war speeches of John Kerry and Hillary Clinton were simply amplifications of President Clinton’s signing into law of the 1998 “Iraq Liberation Act,” in which were outlined in graphic detail the dangers of the Hussein WMD arsenal. We do not know what exactly happened to those weapons, but perhaps the end sometime soon of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria — amid rampant rumors of a sizable WMD depot — could shed some light on prior cross-border traffic between Assad and Hussein. More important, Saddam Hussein’s oil-rich Iraq never became another North Korea or Iran. His removal also had a salutary effect in convincing Moammar Qaddafi to dismantle his own WMD program, and may have helped to convince Assad to leave Lebanon. In any case, Saddam was the first of many Middle Eastern strongmen to fall.

The 2007 Bush decision, opposed by most in Congress and many in his own party, to implement the surge proposed by David Petraeus and his advisers saved Iraq — at least in the sense that at the time of the abrupt departure of U.S. troops at the end of 2011, Iraq was a mostly quiet country, with a burgeoning rate of GDP growth, and that it escaped the violence of the Arab Spring. For all the conspiracy talk of “No blood for oil,” the United States seems to have ensured both that Iraqi petroleum bidding was transparent and that American oil companies were not much involved.

Barack Obama in 2008 ran on Iraq as the “bad” Bush war (he had called for all U.S. troops out by late 2008), while supporting Afghanistan as the necessary UN/NATO–sanctioned conflict. Yet Obama’s tenure coincided with an enormous upswing in American deaths in Afghanistan (630 total fatalities during Bush’s eight years; 1,543 during Obama’s first four), with relatively light fatalities in Iraq (264 deaths) from 2009 through 2012. Indeed, Americans were to die in Afghanistan during the Obama administration at over five times the monthly rate during the Bush years — for a variety of reasons still poorly understood.

Such data are not to suggest that the occupation of Iraq between 2003 and 2009 was not flawed, or that Afghanistan could not have been better managed from 2001 to 2009 — only that challenges as diverse as intelligence about WMD (whether in Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Iran) and putting ground troops anywhere in the Middle East plague any president confronted with them. The Obama “lead from behind” strategy in Libya, for example, did not result in a more stable, more democratic nation, but began a chaotic trajectory that led to the murder of an American ambassador and three others in Benghazi, amid mayhem in a country overrun by Islamic insurgents.

Few cared to hear the arguments that there was more to the Hurricane Katrina fiasco than Bush-administration incompetence, despite the fact that next-door Mississippi, for example, seemed to employ state and local services far more effectively than did the largely incompetent New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco. Both botched the evacuation and the recovery, well apart from the inexcusable and chronic lapses of FEMA. The recent Hurricane Sandy response reminds us both how much an effective governor, like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, can do in a natural disaster — and, again, how sluggish and unresponsive are federal agencies, whether overseen by Bush or Obama.

Little more need be said about the hysteria over the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols, other than that most of their critics went silent when the former critic President Obama, quite mysteriously, embraced or even expanded almost all of them — apparently on the post-election realization that something that had prevented another 9/11 for a subsequent seven years should not be summarily ended. Guantanamo is still open. Renditions and tribunals remain in effect. Predator-drone missions vastly increased under Obama, and are such a part of the current landscape that the president can joke about siccing drones on any potential suitors of his two daughters. The Patriot Act and its subsidiaries have become institutionalized. Meanwhile, early grand talk by the Obama administration of trying arch-terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court, indicting CIA officials for enhanced interrogations, and moving detained terrorists from Guantanamo to the Midwest all have come to nothing. Perhaps the chief anti-terrorism difference between the Bush and Obama administrations, at least as it has pertained to the vast majority of suspected terrorists, is that the former sought to capture and interrogate them, while the latter prefers blowing them up — along with anyone else caught in the general vicinity of a strike — through remote-control Hellfire missiles.

Over four years after the September 2008 financial meltdown, we are beginning to sense just how Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae empowered Wall Street greed, by guaranteeing profitable but risky subprime loans in an inflated housing market. The cast of culpable characters involved in that tragedy is now well known, including, on the congressional end, Representatives Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, and Senator Chris Dodd, who not merely demanded more federal guarantees, but also berated any who doubted the viability of such massive borrowing. Dodd is now gone from office and Frank soon will be, and Waters remains under suspicion of influence peddling. Their careers are bookends to those of parasitic hacks and cronies like the Carter and Clinton retreads Franklin Raines, James Johnson, and Jamie Gorelick, who occupied the top jobs at Fannie Mae. None of the three had much if any banking experience, but all three walked away with millions of dollars in bonuses after all but destroying their agency.

The Bush administration was not culpable for creating the mess, though it may have been for not more resolutely trying to stop it — an effort, however, that would have been caricatured in the liberal Congress as an insensitive attempt to deny the poor their God-given rights to buy a house. We also forget that Barack Obama did not take office on September 21, 2008, but four months later, when the stock market was calming and the panic mostly over, while the federal TARP mechanisms for stabilization were in place and found useful by the incoming Obama administration.

What helped to sink Bush’s ratings among conservatives, however, was the chronic budget deficits that over two terms added more than $4 trillion to the national debt. Barack Obama seized on that profligacy, calling Bush “unpatriotic” for it and promising to halve the Bush annual deficit by the end of his first term, while blasting the “Bush tax cuts” that supposedly were the source of fiscal shortfalls and had only benefited the rich.

But Obama more than equaled Bush’s eight-year borrowing in just four. Apparently, he also conceded that the once-derided Bush tax cuts had actually increased federal revenue while spurring the economy, since he soon insisted upon retaining them for all but those making over $250,000.

A comparative analysis of the Bush and Obama deficits between 2001 and 2012 proves disadvantageous to the latter: George Bush averaged a 2.7 percent ratio of deficits to GDP (less than those of Reagan or George H. W. Bush), Barack Obama so far 8.9 percent. Under Bush, quite excessive federal spending reached about 20 percent of GDP, but under Obama it has already grown to 24 percent. Such comparisons are controversial, given that budgetary responsibility for presidents includes incoming and outgoing years, in which they are not fully in charge of spending. Yet whether we count Bush’s responsibility from 2001 to 2008 or 2002 to 2009, and Obama’s from 2009 to 2012 or 2010 to 20012, we are nevertheless arguing whether the latter doubled or nearly tripled the Bush rate of borrowing. As far as unemployment goes, every month of the Obama administration has seen jobless rates higher than they were in any one month of Bush’s eight years.

All this is not to defend the irresponsible Bush deficits, which grew federal spending astronomically and diminished the reputation of his tax cuts, which had raised greater revenue. The cataclysm of, and reaction to, 9/11 and the 2008 meltdown accounted for some of the expanding debt, as well as the Democratic Congress after 2006, but in the end the Bush administration devalued the reputation of conservatives as fiscal hawks and enabled Obama to borrow as never before.

Bush was often awkward in public expression, but his “nucular” seems no worse than Obama’s “corpse-men.” He mangled sentences and aphorisms, but Obama has more than trumped that with his bows to foreign monarchs and strange pronouncements, from referring to 57 states to mocking the Special Olympics. An Internet search of Bush and Obama gaffes yields comparable results to a search for those committed by Bush I, Reagan, Carter, and Ford. Bush’s time-off chain-sawing on his arid Texas ranch was a far cry from the Obamas’ vacations in chic Costa del Sol or Martha’s Vineyard, and Bush ceased playing golf in 2003 in deference to American soldiers fighting and dying abroad. In contrast to Bush’s 24 rounds of golf in eight years, wartime president Barack Obama has now played 110 rounds in four years.

What is different is not the degree to which the two Harvard alumni at times seemed confused in the limelight, but that the partisan media were determined to suggest that the similarly accruing lapses were incidental to Obama’s genius, but a window into Bush’s imbecility. Scandal-wise, Bush experienced no Watergate, Iran-Contra, or impeachment. The Scooter Libby media circus — a trial for a crime that was not a crime, and to which someone else had earlier confessed — seems minor in comparison to the secretary of the Treasury’s avoiding his taxes, the HHS director’s being mired in several controversies, the EPA director’s using an alias to hide official communications, and assorted lethal scandals like Fast and Furious and Benghazi, along with the tawdry GSA and Secret Service disclosures.

Bush’s aid to Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic saved millions of lives. He was a strong proponent of increasing gas and oil development, and he made good appointments to the Supreme Court. The work of Justices Roberts and Alito so far is more impressive than that of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan.

Obama’s “millions of green jobs” has led to boondoggles like Solyndra, the cancelation of the Keystone pipeline, and inane administration quips about wishing for American gas prices to match European ones and for skyrocketing rates for coal-produced electricity. In his debates with Mitt Romney, Obama did not refer to his wind- and solar-power subsidies, but instead took credit for increased U.S. fossil-fuel production — although oil and gas companies had found huge new finds on private land despite, rather than because of, the Obama administration.

George W. Bush was not as dismal a president as the popular culture and media once assumed — a fact that will grow clearer as the age of Obama continues.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bush; bush43; dubya; fakeconservatives; fakelibertarians; fff; skinheadsonfr; vdh
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1 posted on 01/02/2013 7:10:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

BOTH Bush “Presidencies” can be summerized by the phrase “Missed and/or Squandered Opportunities”, sad but true.


2 posted on 01/02/2013 7:14:43 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: SeekAndFind

GWB is a saint compared to what we’re stuck with now.


3 posted on 01/02/2013 7:16:16 AM PST by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: SeekAndFind
"The work of Justices Roberts and Alito so far is more impressive "

Roberts? Impressive?

4 posted on 01/02/2013 7:19:54 AM PST by eCSMaster (2012 elections: American Coup d'etat!)
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

Have to disagree. Bush laid the groundwork for what we have now. The Bush family has done so much to destroy the Republican Party and the conservative movement, that I begin to think they have been sent from the Democrats for that purpose.


5 posted on 01/02/2013 7:20:07 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: SeekAndFind
George W. Bush was not as dismal a president as the popular culture and media once assumed

Thank you VDH!

As he points out, however, the things that Bush was criticized for are completely ignored in the case of Obama. Can you imagine what would have happened if Bush had made a joke about siccing drones on his daughters' suitors?

Also, even the very highly manipulated statistics are now being ignored. There is no logical reason for the press to ignore the fact that unemployment has been higher every month of Obama's terms than it was in any one month under Bush. But the press doesn't care, because it's all about covering Obama's posterior.

I think Bush's biggest failure was in not confronting the media and confronting his critics; he always thought it was more gentlemanly and contributed more to domestic harmony to just ignore it. But the problem is that so many unanswered challenges left the impression of guilt in the minds of the masses, and it was very easy for the Dems and the press to go on to demonize him (even here on FR, I have seen people refer to Bush as practically a horned monster).

6 posted on 01/02/2013 7:24:27 AM PST by livius
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To: SeekAndFind

The issues that hurt Bush with the mainstream are not those that hurt him with conservatives. While the mainstream certainly has a voice, it is when a person loses the protection afforded by one’s supporters that true vulnerability peaks. The following is my prioritized list of Bush’s actions that crippled his standing with conservatives.

1. The amnesty plan
2. spending
3. new drug benefit
4. refusal to defend wartime record
5. scooter libby sacrifice
6. Dubai port authority
7. harriet miers


7 posted on 01/02/2013 7:25:00 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Democat Lite, would be the term I would use to describe them....


8 posted on 01/02/2013 7:26:41 AM PST by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: Pining_4_TX; Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
President GW Bush makes Obama look like an utter joke. It is difficult to even compare the two. However, if GW was a Democrat he'd still be the second most liberal president ever (third if you adjust FDR's spending to current Dollar figures).
9 posted on 01/02/2013 7:28:11 AM PST by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: SeekAndFind

Bush lost the ‘House’ in 2006 because of his mismanagement of the war, and he ‘checked-out’ in 2007 with the start of the financial crisis, and gave a start to ‘Bailout Mania’ in Sep 2008 that made it ‘acceptable’ to be fiscally irresponsible amongst the ‘ruling class’ and which easily gave ‘birth’ to Obama’s election.


10 posted on 01/02/2013 7:33:15 AM PST by LibFreeUSA
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To: Pining_4_TX

I disagree. I think history will treat GWB better than the public opinion polls. GWB can be compared Truman, never very popular while in office. But someone who made the really tough decisions in time of war. GWB laid the groundwork for taking out Bin-Laden. There is more....much more....It was Bill Clinton who dropped the ball on not taking terrorism seriously and letting Bin-Laden escape when he had im in our crosshairs. Bill Clinton was preoccupied with more important matters in the Oral Office with the young intern nestled beneath his desk.


11 posted on 01/02/2013 7:33:26 AM PST by Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
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To: xzins
1. The amnesty plan
2. spending
3. new drug benefit
4. refusal to defend wartime record
5. scooter libby sacrifice
6. Dubai port authority
7. harriet miers

All that and the piece de resistance of signing TARP legislation on his way out the door, giving Obama the big spending corporate welfare gift that keeps on giving.

This article is just another 'hero Bush' puff piece inserted as a soft trial balloon to ease Jeb into a 2016 POTUS run. FR gets a couple of these posted very day. Bushbots love their royal family. Libs aren't the only ones who get caught up in Camelot.

12 posted on 01/02/2013 7:38:45 AM PST by TADSLOS (I took extra credit at the School of Hard Knocks)
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To: SeekAndFind
President Bush did fairly well until '06 when dems took over the Senate and the House. It's been a race downhill since then. Bronco Bama is now being praised by the left and the media for accelorating that slide into the abyss.

American politics and journalism is now broken beyond reasonable repair.


13 posted on 01/02/2013 7:41:47 AM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: SeekAndFind
The biggest problem I have with Bush is his determination to remain a punching bag for the left. Gawd it drives me insane. Just a couple of speeches every once in a while comparing the economy then and now would be nice.

This Bush family doctrine of post presidential politeness is handing Dems the keys to the revisionist bulldozer.

14 posted on 01/02/2013 7:48:43 AM PST by Tex-Con-Man (<-------currently working through post-election anger issues.)
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To: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines
GWB can be compared Truman, never very popular while in office

On the contrary, Bush was popular for much of his tenure as the article points out.

It was only when the Democrats targeted the "worst economy since the Great Depression" (which it wasn't but both dems and conservatives believed it) that his popularity faltered.

We had both prosperity and security for most of Bush's terms.

15 posted on 01/02/2013 7:50:56 AM PST by what's up
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To: SeekAndFind

W got a bad rap. His ratings will improve with time.


16 posted on 01/02/2013 7:52:35 AM PST by Tau Food (Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hate to be accused of recycling one of my earlier comments, but this is the truth about GWB:

“Yes I do blame GWB. But I understand what his fault TRULY was.

He squandered the greatest opportunity since Pearl Harbor!

From his famous scene standing on top of a burned out fire truck, till his famous quote of “you are either with us or against us” he had it right. But then, like his father’s entire term, and Reagan’s second term, he committed the unpardonable sin - he began listening to and acting in accordance with the advice of “advisers”.

Soon words like “inclusiveness” and “consensus” replaced direct action. And the laser like focus that should have been there was replaced with muddled group speak. This nonsense ruined GHWB’s term in office in its entirety. It really made Reagan’s second term nowhere equal to his first. And once GWB stopped listening to his own heart and started following the advice of the nitwits around him, his presidency was lost as well.

To bring this country together, even for a few months, takes a Pearl Harbor type event. They don’t happen often. And to have been President during one and squandered the opportunity, it a failure of the highest order.”


17 posted on 01/02/2013 7:52:44 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: Pining_4_TX
During his presidency I supported him completely. I still think he is a good and decent man with a lovely family. That being said, looking back on it he opened ALL kinds of Pandora's boxes. I completely agree with you that he is actually to blame for a lot of the mess we find ourselves in today. What do they say? The road to hell is paved in good intentions? Bush 43 sure paved some seriously nasty road!

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Transportation and Security Administration (TSA)
Patriot Act
No Child Left Behind
$44 billion to Climate Change Programs
$67 billion to Department of Energy for green Programs
Renewable Fuels Mandate
Vehicle Fuel Economy Mandate
Lighting Efficiency Mandate
Chief Justice John Roberts
Spending Spending Spending

(from georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov)

18 posted on 01/02/2013 7:56:16 AM PST by Casie (Chuck Norris 2016)
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To: Tex-Con-Man
A President can't do everything. The Bush's were executives...they weren't lawyers or journalists which is what the left largely is made up of.

The Clintons engaged the press constantly because both of them are lawyers. But in using their time this way they neglected to run the country (which IMO is what led to 9/11).

Bush decided to use his energy to keep us safe and keep the economy moving and he did those job well. Should he have done the "engagement thing" too? Not if it meant that the other jobs would have been neglected IMO.

19 posted on 01/02/2013 7:57:05 AM PST by what's up
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To: TADSLOS; wagglebee; P-Marlowe; wmfights

I should add to the list in 8th place (see post #7) — Terry Schiavo.

Whether a fiscal conservative saw that as a negative isn’t really the issue. Pro-life conservatives were totally turned off by both Bush’s washing their hands of this young woman’s life.

It would have been better for them to say to pro-lifers “I don’t believe in her parent’s argument.” than to say “my hands are tied.”

A president or governor who thinks someone’s unjustly having their life taken but doesn’t take extraordinary measures is viewed as a milquetoast or a compromiser.


20 posted on 01/02/2013 8:03:00 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! True supporters of our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: livius

I agree 100% with everything you say.


21 posted on 01/02/2013 8:06:23 AM PST by Old Grumpy
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To: xzins

If Terri Schiavo had been Terri Bush Schiavo, she would still be living. The Bushes are respecters of persons.


22 posted on 01/02/2013 8:07:06 AM PST by Theodore R. ("Hey, the American people must all be crazy out there!")
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To: what's up

The HST record was really bad too, but Goldwater did a lot to resurrect the image of HST. We might have been better off with Thurmond, as Trent Lott once said but apologized and still got the GOP boot.


23 posted on 01/02/2013 8:09:23 AM PST by Theodore R. ("Hey, the American people must all be crazy out there!")
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To: I cannot think of a name
“He squandered the greatest opportunity since Pearl Harbor!”

I agree completely. After Pearl Harbor, FDR had three immediate, critical tasks:

1. Protect the homeland.
2. Win the war in Europe, and in the Pacific.
3. Eliminate German and Japanese imperialism as a threat to the world.

Sure, FDR was weak in many areas, but he completed all three of the above, in less than four years!

Now consider Bush II after 9/11. He had to:

1. Protect the homeland.
2. Win the war in Afghanistan.
3. Eliminate radical islam as a threat to the world.

Bush had seven years, and he failed in numbers 2 and 3, failed miserably.

I'm sure Bush is a good person, and he'd make a great next-door neighbor. But his failures will haunt this country for generations. Like Vietnam, only much worse.

24 posted on 01/02/2013 8:11:40 AM PST by Leaning Right
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To: SeekAndFind
W was certainly an imperfect President.But then,so was Reagan.But he was 1000 light years better than algore and John Friggin Kerry would have been and 100,000 light years better than the Community Organizer-In-Chief has been...and ever will be.
25 posted on 01/02/2013 8:12:40 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (When Robbing Peter To Pay Paul,One Can Always Count On Paul's Cooperation)
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To: SeekAndFind

I met W once here in Texas when he was Gov.

He seemed like a really nice persona and was personable.

He just let the media win...

We wanted Regean and were sick of Clinton.


26 posted on 01/02/2013 8:15:49 AM PST by Rightly Biased (Avenge me Girls AVENEGE ME!!!! ( I don't have any son's))
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To: SeekAndFind
Forgot to mention one vitally important fact about W's presidency....it's recently become obvious where Sadaam’s WMDs went.They went to Syria,just like Colon Bowel told the UN General Assembly a few weeks before the invasion.
27 posted on 01/02/2013 8:15:57 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (When Robbing Peter To Pay Paul,One Can Always Count On Paul's Cooperation)
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To: Leaning Right

” Now consider Bush II after 9/11. He had to:

1. Protect the homeland.
2. Win the war in Afghanistan.
3. Eliminate radical islam as a threat to the world.”

And perhaps the worst of these:

1. Would anyone have argued on 9/12 with the need to properly secure the boarders?

2. Would anyone have argued with a program to make us not dependent on Middle East oil (drill baby drill).

3. And to recover from the financial disruption caused by 9/11, roll back the Clinton tax hikes PERMANENTLY.


28 posted on 01/02/2013 8:22:29 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: SeekAndFind

I reconsidered him. He still sucked.


29 posted on 01/02/2013 8:29:24 AM PST by montag813
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To: SeekAndFind

Bush was a disaster that the Republicans and America in general are a long ways from recovering from. His failure to stop illegal immigration alone should be the end of the discussion, all but assuring the death of the GOP and really all hope for restoring republican government by demographics. He destroyed any credibility the GOP might aspire to have on deficits.

His signature on the TARP bailout renders Republican claims to standing for free market accountability as just irrelevant prattle, not to mention that he should’ve stepped in to reign in Fannie and Freddie years earlier. Though I certainly shed no tears for Mullah Omar and Saddam, he committed the U.S. to exactly the kind of foolish nation-building that he campaigned against, and that inevitably results in failure amid massive losses of blood and treasure, especially when attempted in any past of the world under the sway of Mohammad. He never met a freedom he wasn’t willing to sacrifice for “security”.

The best that can be said for him is that he kept Gore and Kerry out of the Oval Office, which I suppose is no small thing.


30 posted on 01/02/2013 8:29:57 AM PST by Behind the Blue Wall
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To: Leaning Right
I'm sure Bush is a good person, and he'd make a great next-door neighbor. But his failures will haunt this country for generations. Like Vietnam, only much worse.

When comparing W to FDR regarding war it's **essential** to point out that under FDR no Republican sided with Hitler or Tojo whereas,under W,a good percentage of the opposition party sided with our enemies...as was seen in Vietnam as well.

31 posted on 01/02/2013 8:32:06 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (When Robbing Peter To Pay Paul,One Can Always Count On Paul's Cooperation)
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To: Gay State Conservative
Forgot to mention one vitally important fact about W's presidency....it's recently become obvious where Sadaam’s WMDs went.They went to Syria,just like Colon Bowel told the UN General Assembly a few weeks before the invasion.

...and yet Bush's own 'bi-partisan' Iraq Intelligence commission deemed that the intelligence community had it wrong about Saddam's WMD program leading up to OIF, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary that had dems and republicans alike warning of it for over a decade prior.

32 posted on 01/02/2013 8:34:10 AM PST by TADSLOS (I took extra credit at the School of Hard Knocks)
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To: what's up
Read carefully...

This Bush family doctrine of post presidential politeness is handing Dems the keys to the revisionist bulldozer.

Think about the last Republican presidencies...Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Bush. No one wanted to defend the Nixon/Ford presidencies. At the end of his second term, Reagan was done with politics and GHWB was a reluctant defender of Reagan's policies. Clinton quickly learned he could say anything about his predecessor, and nothing would happen. The press will repeat any accusation a Dem makes, and as long as the Bushes maintain their family policy of remaining "above the fray", Obama's absurd claims about the economy, and the Pelosi budget he inherited, are morphing into revised history.

33 posted on 01/02/2013 8:37:39 AM PST by Tex-Con-Man (<-------currently working through post-election anger issues.)
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To: Gay State Conservative
under W, a good percentage of the opposition party sided with our enemies

True, but there was also sizable pro-German "America-first" movement back in 1941. FDR solved that problem by declaring war. Opposition to the war became treason.

Bush should have made it clear how serious he was after 9/11. As you said, 9/11 was another Pearl Harbor. Bush should have declared war.

34 posted on 01/02/2013 8:44:22 AM PST by Leaning Right
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To: Pining_4_TX
The Bush family has done so much to destroy the Republican Party and the conservative movement

So totally disagree with that. You haven't been enjoying the tax cuts?

I blame the GOP for the problems with conservative movement.

35 posted on 01/02/2013 8:51:26 AM PST by beachn4fun (Lost: sense of humor. If found please return.)
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To: Leaning Right

“Bush should have made it clear how serious he was after 9/11. As you said, 9/11 was another Pearl Harbor. Bush should have declared war.”

Bush went to ground zero against the advice of his advisers.

Bush got on top of a burned out fire truck - against the advice of his advisers - and spoke the only words of his that will be reprinted in history books.

Without asking his advisers, during impromptu questions Bush responded, “you are either with us or against us.”

Thus endith the actual GWB.

From that point on, he ‘listened’ to advisers.

And the rest is history (rather depressing history).


36 posted on 01/02/2013 8:52:37 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: Leaning Right

” Now consider Bush II after 9/11. He had to:

1. Protect the homeland.
2. Win the war in Afghanistan.
3. Eliminate radical islam as a threat to the world.”

on #1 - we now have DHS. It should go without saying but it is the most invasive freedom-crushing bureaucracy ever conceived, and is now in the hands of a communist wannabe dictator.

on #2 - he stated that “Victory would not be like our fathers or grandfathers.....” (WTF?) in Afghanistan - setting the stage for the disaster it is.

on #3 - he repeatedly defended “Religion of Peace” mantra that diluted his stated goal, and made it impossible to achieve.

What else ya got?


37 posted on 01/02/2013 8:54:34 AM PST by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer
Excellent points in your last post. As much as I despise LBJ for what he did regarding Vietnam, LBJ had no prior history to guide him. I suppose LBJ thought that, at worst, Vietnam would end in stalemate like Korea.

But Bush II had the Vietnam experience as a guide in what not to do. But Bush ignored it. LBJ's “win the hearts and minds” campaign became Bush's “nation-building.”

So, yes, I rate Bush II as a worse president than LBJ for that fact alone. Unlike Vietnam, Afghanistan simply had to be won decisively. Radical islam is MUCH more dangerous than Vietnamese communism.

I will now shut down my Bush-bashing machine for the day.

38 posted on 01/02/2013 9:19:18 AM PST by Leaning Right
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To: SeekAndFind

W and his father were both poor presidents and not actual believers in the conservative cause. Their damage to the GOP and the country has been substantial.


39 posted on 01/02/2013 9:40:47 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Leaning Right
Bush should have declared war.

He couldn't, he was president.

40 posted on 01/02/2013 9:42:39 AM PST by Darth Reardon
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To: Casie

All this and you still think he was a good president. A good man with a lovely family? You mean the pro-choice Laura?

I give him credit for 2 things: Fighting the loose lending at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and cutting taxes.


41 posted on 01/02/2013 9:43:59 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: SeekAndFind

I said it at the end of Bush’s presidency and I’ll say it again now, GW Bush was one of the finest men to ever serve as president.


42 posted on 01/02/2013 9:44:00 AM PST by upsdriver
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To: beachn4fun

I give him credit for warning about the loose lending at Fannie and Freddie and for the tax cuts.

Almost everything else he did was a disaster. He did not veto any spending, he gave us a more powerful and intrusive federal government (that the libs are enjoying thoroughly), and he invaded 2 countries to go after a loose-knit band of terrorists that slip away to other countries when the heat is on. What have we gotten for our years in Afghanistan and Iraq? The two countries are now more hard-core Islamic than they were, thousands of our people are maimed or dead, and billions were spent and/or stolen by the enemy. Yeah, I would say that’s a pretty crappy record.


43 posted on 01/02/2013 9:54:43 AM PST by Pining_4_TX (All those who were appointed to eternal life believed. Acts 13:48)
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To: Darth Reardon
Bush should have declared war... He couldn't, he was president.

Ugh, you're right. Let me amend my comment: Bush should have went before the Senate and asked for a declaration of war.

I believe that he would have gotten it.

44 posted on 01/02/2013 10:17:58 AM PST by Leaning Right
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To: upsdriver
“I said it at the end of Bush’s presidency and I’ll say it again now, GW Bush was one of the finest men to ever serve as president.”

I would not disagree with the comment at all. And though a business associate who was a major contributor to both, I believe that GWB and his father WERE two of the finest men to ever serve as president.

- But -

When as President you ignore your own core values and beliefs and allow advisers to lead you into all kinds of silly nonsense and bad ideas,

you cannot be considered a great President.

I feel this slightly more in the case of GWB. He was thrust into a rare and unusual occurrence (9/11). And for a few brief shining moments, he showed us what was inside him and that he could rise to the occasion. But just as quickly, he put his own beliefs aside and decided to follow the ‘advice’ given to him by others.

And that was the beginning of a fine man/weak ineffective President.

45 posted on 01/02/2013 10:19:12 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: 9YearLurker
W and his father were both poor presidents and not actual believers in the conservative cause. Their damage to the GOP and the country has been substantial.

So can you imagine what Jebbie will do? He may be nominated but never elected.

46 posted on 01/02/2013 10:23:10 AM PST by Theodore R. ("Hey, the American people must all be crazy out there!")
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To: Pining_4_TX
I was agreeing with you that he ended up not being a good president. I totally supported him while he was in office but so many of the things he started with good intentions have turned into uncontrollable, ineffective, wasteful, and liberty infringing disasters. I mean seriously, how can anyone defend Chief Justice Roberts or the TSA. Yikes!

He is a good and decent man with a classy wife and two beautiful girls... I just wish he had also possessed a little of Reagan's clear vision and commitment to conservatism.

But of course, hindsight is 20/20.

47 posted on 01/02/2013 10:25:49 AM PST by Casie (Chuck Norris 2016)
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To: Leaning Right

I think LBJ was worse than GWB; the long-term failed ramifications of both will be forever with us. It’s amazing that TX is the most Republican state in the Union based on elections since 1994, when GWB was first elected governor. I shudder to think what the future holds.


48 posted on 01/02/2013 10:26:56 AM PST by Theodore R. ("Hey, the American people must all be crazy out there!")
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To: SeekAndFind
"Bush’s aid to Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic saved millions of lives."

Even Bono praised the president for this...

49 posted on 01/02/2013 10:28:33 AM PST by hummingbird (Support Hummingbird Migration!)
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To: Theodore R.

“I shudder to think what the future holds.”

Well I can tell you one thing it holds. Texas is sending up a new senator that the Republican Rino establishment tried to paint as a “Tea Party Candidate.” Well Mr. Cruz didn’t run away from that tag - he in fact embraced it. And he won!!

Don’t know how long he’ll be able to hang onto them in that Washington slime pit, but Texas is sending up a new Senator with a spine and ‘attachments.’

And we are retiring a worthless Rino.

That’s at least a double, and maybe an inside the park home run.


50 posted on 01/02/2013 10:33:07 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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