The verdict(s) on George W. Bush

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Presidents face two juries: one composed of their peers, the other of historians.

One verdict is already in. The other will require years of deliberations.

On balance, however, even with the benefit of the distance of time, we believe George W. Bush's tenure will be regarded as a disaster.

We think both juries will find that -- but for vastly different reasons.

Many observers today, particularly in the "mainstream media," will look only at Iraq, and no further, and conclude that Bush failed. Some are even pushing for his indictment for war crimes.

That's just irrational.

If their problem is with the outcome of the war, they're just being delusional. Despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's long-ago assertion that the war was lost -- how should history judge the declaration of surrender by the Senate's leader in the midst of war? -- it's clear that the titanic work and dogged perseverance of our volunteer Armed Services have paid off.

George W. Bush has successfully protected Americans and liberated two countries in the worst of the world's neighborhoods -- countries that have been besieged and beleaguered for decades if not centuries.

If critics want to fault Bush for invading Iraq, they do so only in a narrow hindsight eagerly oblivious to the facts: The war began as a result of Saddam Hussein's intransigence and his flouting of the first Gulf War treaty, as well as rare international will to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. The military action was permissible under United Nations resolutions, it was prompted by intelligence upon which the civilized world agreed, and it was directly authorized by Congress. Democrats, notably, are on record as far back as the Clinton administration (and including Clinton himself) saying Saddam was an imminent threat and needed to be deposed.

DISPASSIONATE HISTORIANS will see this. They also will likely brand as hysteria the hatred of the president and the over-the-top claims that he somehow trampled on the Constitution. Judging from the hysterical criticism of the president, we'd say that portion of the Constitution is quite intact.

Moreover, as Islamic terror continues long after Jan. 20, 2009, historians will understand who truly caused the Recent (and ongoing) Unpleasantness.

We think, rather, historians will find the most fault with George W. Bush's domestic policies.

On that point he has been an unmitigated disaster.

Contemporaries and historians alike should find Bush's handling of Katrina reprehensible. While we thought then, and continue to believe, that state and local officials share much if not most of the blame for conditions in New Orleans (why, for example, was the rest of the Katrina-affected area so much less of a logistics disaster?), Bush's FEMA was its own catastrophe. Bush's mistake goes back to considering the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be a political appointment, which he filled with a buffoon with no relevant experience.

Of course, the bigger mistake is for Americans to depend on the federal government to begin with.

But Bush's biggest mistake?

He may have thrown the last bit of dirt on American constitutional principles and the individual freedoms they stood for.

George W. Bush is a good man, a devout Christian, from a well-heeled family. He rode his family name and wealth and fundraising abilities to the White House, and seems to believe he's a staunch conservative.

He's nowhere near it.

HE IS THE biggest-spending president in history. Under Bush came the biggest expansion of the welfare state since Johnson: the Medicare prescription entitlement, which experts say is going to help bankrupt the federal government -- and which will only expand the Entitlement Plantation.

Nor did he veto anything for years. And seven years after 9-11, our border is still not secure.

George W. Bush wanted the presidency more than he knew what he wanted to do with it -- other than cut taxes, which is fine, but which only takes you a few months into a four-year term. After the tax cuts pass, then what?

In short, he had a policy (cut taxes) when he thought he had an ideology (conservatism).

As a result, while his name normally precedes the term "tax cuts," future generations burdened by the trillions in debt he has left them may refer instead to the "Bush tax increases" on them.

It is sad and telling that George W. Bush's greatest act of leadership was to lead his party into the wildnerness. He helped them lose control of both houses of Congress, and now the White House.

Speaking of the Republican "brand" under Bush, former GOP House leader Tom Davis said, "If we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf."

Well, the label was misleading. Fiscally, George W. Bush turned out to be the most liberal president in U.S. history.

His party won't recover for a very long time.

The country won't even be that fortunate.

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TechLover
15
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TechLover 01/18/09 - 02:14 am
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Don't insult liberals by

Don't insult liberals by claiming that W is one.While I agree that W is probably a good man,or at least I thought he was he was in way over his head.His "my way or the highway" approach to every problem has harmed our nation,hopefully not irreparably.His refusal to listen to opposing positions is his major downfall.It got us in to the mess in Iraq.He was swept into office in the pockets of big business (as are most Republicans) as evidenced by his allowing the secret Cheney meetings with the energy industry to formulate energy policy.Coincidentally, this occurred at the same time Cal was having major energy shortages and at the same time Enron(W's buddies)were pulling their scam and jacking up the prices.With his prescription drug plan, he listened to no one about bargaining with the pharm industry to control prices.He pushed it through so the taxpayers can pay full retail price.He's put the fox to guard the chicken house in all regulatory agencies.He's now pushing through last minute laws catering to industry that will destroy the environment.He authorized torture,rendition, warrantless searches and wiretaps.He should be tried but I imagine Obama will pull a Ford and let him slide

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/18/09 - 03:27 am
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Wait, so NOW the Chronicle

Wait, so NOW the Chronicle asserts that we invaded Iraq because of Saddam's "intransigence" and "flouting of the first Gulf War treaty?" When did G.W. Bush give THAT speech? I only recall "weapons of mass destruction" and inferences to Iraq being an imminent threat to the lives of Americans. I don't recall the American public being sold on this war over catch-phrases like "intransigence" and "flouting." The re-writing of Bush's legacy is already beginning by our compatriots from the right...

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/18/09 - 03:29 am
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"Why, for example, was the

"Why, for example, was the rest of the Katrina-affected area so much less of a logistics disaster?"

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/18/09 - 03:34 am
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Having lived in Louisiana

Having lived in Louisiana before, during and after 'Katrina,' I'll be glad to tell you "why." Key video teleconferences (VTC's) held before the storm made landfall were held without the participation, invitation or knowledge of the Louisiana Governor's office, first off. Second, the DAY the storm hit (White House phone records bear this out), Governor Blanco called to brief the President personally, and to press for more National Guard assistance from neighboring states (about 40% of hers being in the Middle East quagmires) and for swift FEMA insurgence. She tried that call THREE times and got noone of any authority within the administration. That SAME day, REPUBLICAN Hayley Barbour of neighboring Mississippi was called BY President Bush for updates and information. Odd, eh?

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/18/09 - 03:40 am
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Folks are quick to try and

Folks are quick to try and bury Governor Blanco for as much as is possible, but people neglect to remember the woman had been in office less than a year, was working from the state's prior guidelines, and made all the necessary precautions to evacuate Katrina-targeted areas. The fact that nearly 2 million people WERE able to evacuate the New Orleans area in less than 38 STILL - to this day - astounds those who study these events. Louisiana did that; nearly a month later, as Hurricane Rita came storming towards the TX/LA border, the much larger metropolitan Houston area couldn't replicate New Orleans' feat. Cars clogged half the interstates (because unlike Louisiana, Texas didn't use BOTH sides of the interstate to let people evacuate) many of those vehicles lacking enough fuel for a long trip or a slow chug out of the metro area. Had Rita directly hit Houston, THOUSANDS would have been stranded.

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/18/09 - 03:44 am
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For THREE DAYS after Katrina

For THREE DAYS after Katrina made landfall, Governor Blanco asked "Brownie" from FEMA for buses to remove those left stranded in New Orleans; for three days she was told those buses were coming and never did. On that third day, after being shut out by the White House (again, wing-nuts, this is ON RECORD) and three days of FEMA incompetence by the show-horse lawyer, she corralled (pardon the pun) her own state's school system buses from central and northern Louisiana. By the time her buses arrived, alllllllllofasudden FEMA and the military seem to get their act together and folks are being collected and moved out of harm's way. But for this paper (with it's OBVIOUS lean to the right) to snidely ask "why other affected areas were less of a logistics disaster" is an insult to the intelligence of those of us who were there and know what went down.

RonRoberts
66
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RonRoberts 01/18/09 - 03:46 am
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Oh, and estimates that 75-80%

Oh, and estimates that 75-80% of the damage was done IN Louisiana; where 75% of the affected population resides or resided, but Mississippi recieved 45% of the federal recovery dollars. That doesn't add up.

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 04:43 am
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"Fiscally, George W. Bush

"Fiscally, George W. Bush turned out to be the most liberal president in U.S. history." ----- Yes, and too many so-called conservatives favored his money spending spree, too (as they were profiting over it). No one was wanting to keep an eye on the "missing" billions spent in Iraq; nor the contracts without bids; nor having civilians basically protect our interests, instead of our own troops (who we're paying to do just that). W-a-y too many business interests looking for a welfare payout. Now look at our economy due to all the gluttony. The next 4 years will just extend what Bush and Company did, all because everyone is STILL looking for handouts. FDR introduced welfare, and everyone involved loves it, and will continue spending money they don't have, too. SHAME!

dolomite808
0
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dolomite808 01/18/09 - 05:03 am
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Worst president ever!

Worst president ever!

elliottness
2
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elliottness 01/18/09 - 06:08 am
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very good posts ronroberts,

very good posts ronroberts, unfortunately this is bush country, the paper, and it's stupid readers.they will respond by attacking you and calling you silly names.they are sheeple who follow each others lead,they're scared to buck others in the clique, because if all the idiots are on the same page,then no ones wrong.i am shocked to see this paper say anything negative about it's president, it hasn't in 8 years.everyone has their theory about iraq, but it has nothing to with weapons or aircraft being shot at. it's about oil, or as rummy and woolfowitz said "our vital interests" the chronicle won't tell you about the horrible conditions in iraq, and what do 130,000 soldiers do all day? why no more footage from there?who made the us the weapons cops? who are we to tell a soverign nation you can or can't have weapons?too bad the paper won't tell who supplied most of those weapons,yes the good ole usa.that's when we played iraq against iran and vice versa.too bad no one can produce any photos of the progress in iraq. i guess the contractors stole all the cameras like they did the loot before leaving there with nothing finished.bush is a loser, and will make pappy cry many more tears!

justus4
113
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justus4 01/18/09 - 06:10 am
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Republicans always talk about
Unpublished

Republicans always talk about competition being something great because the best will always win. Wrong. Bush is a perfect example of that ideology being flawed. He was never exceptional at anything, but he was a child of wealth. And because of his father's conservative appointments to the Court, he was SELECTED president. Not America's best & brightest, but an inflated ego, arrogant approach to dipolmacy, an all-around wannabe tough guy individual that has caused great harm to the country. He surrounded himself with "yes" men (probably due to a lack of confidence) and fired those who told him the truth. (Gen. Shinseki is an example) But Bush said, "I will listen to the commanders" so again, he was dishonest. A politican being dishonest is kinda expected, but when it cost American's sons and daughters their lives and billions of dollars wasted, this guy will rank up there with the likes of Nixon.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 01/18/09 - 06:10 am
0
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RonRoberts may not be a

RonRoberts may not be a crackhead Dem, but he acts just like those that are. This hit piece on Bush is part of leaving office and a variation on the Dem stance that Bush sent Katrina to New Orleans because it was a black welfare city. The fact is that Bush wasn't as good of a president as we wanted nor was he as bad as this article makes him out to be. Historians will decide what kind of president he was in the decades to come. He'll definitely be known as having one of the most contentious administrations.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 01/18/09 - 06:14 am
0
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Bush is the most far-right

Bush is the most far-right president we have ever had -- nowhere close to liberal. If Bush was liberal, then he wouldn't have trampled on the Constitution in the last five years of his presidency. If Bush was liberal, then he wouldn't have attacked a country that had NOTHING to do with the Attack on America. If Bush was liberal, then he would have nominated judges that interpret the Constitution like Ginsburg and not legislate from the bench like Alito and Roberts have done. If Bush was liberal, then he would not have tortured prisoners at Gitmo. If Bush was liberal, then he would have had every serviceperson that was torturing detainees at Abu Ghraib court-martialed to the fullest extent. If Bush was liberal, he would have left us with a balanced budget. If Bush was liberal, then he would NOT have requested a $682,500,000,000.00 bailout of the crooks at Wall Street. If Bush was liberal, then he would have pushed for the Equal Rights Amendment's ratification. If Bush was liberal, he would have sent help to every part of the country after a major disaster. If Bush was liberal, he would have signed, instead of vetoing (twice), the State CHIP bill. Stop lying, ACES.

elliottness
2
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elliottness 01/18/09 - 06:25 am
0
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pat maybe bush will send some

pat maybe bush will send some of these historians some birthday cake like he was eating with mccain the day the levees breached.after partying with mccain he flew to calif to watch a baseball game,cheney was in wyoming fishing.the folks in the gulf were catching hell from all sides.i give him an f in all 8 years, and if they need someone to handcuff him when he heads to prison, i'm your guy!manson, and scott peterson will hear him screaming all the way from texas.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 01/18/09 - 06:34 am
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elliottness - I'm surprised

elliottness - I'm surprised that you haven't concluded that W. was on the ground scaring up those birds to take down the plane in the Hudson in a vast government conspiracy to make us think we were under a terrorist attack again.

HTN007
19
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HTN007 01/18/09 - 07:02 am
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This editorial failed to

This editorial failed to mention Bush's most important failure ........... his failure to find Bin Laden. Not finding Bin Laden was even worse than not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 01/18/09 - 07:13 am
0
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Great post justus4! Let

Great post justus4! Let history be the judge, but remember that history starts NOW. This country will not be able to move forward until it investigates & deals with the actions taken by the Bush/Cheney war regime over the last 8 years. Violations of the law must be brought into the sunshine (which is the best disinfectant) and the nation (its citizens & its elected leaders) must admit their complicity in allowing these acts to happen. Attorney General designate Eric Holder's testimony that waterboarding is torture is a good start. So is President-elect Barack Obama's declared intention to reach out to the Islamic world, seeking a rapprochement with Muslim opinion alienated by the Bush administration. President George W. Bush did not work to settle the Israeli/Palestinian conflict which is the sine qua non for peace in the Middle East & for peace between the west & the Arab/Muslim world. Bush actively aided Israel with intelligence, satellite guided bombs, laser guided missiles & jet fuel during Israeli's 34 day assault on Lebanon in summer 2006. Israel invaded & now occupies Gaza because they knew Bush would sit on his hands winking & nodding again like the bobblehead idiot he is.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
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overburdened_taxpayer 01/18/09 - 07:20 am
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Yes let's just reach out to

Yes let's just reach out to the Islamic world JRHC. Especially since their own Holy Book tells them that they can lie to unbelievers to protect themselves and their true intentions.

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/18/09 - 07:35 am
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0
"Bush is the most far-right

"Bush is the most far-right president we have ever had" ----- No, Far-Left, as what he did was a violation of the Constitution he swore to defend. When even conservatives called Bush on the mat, you know something wasn't RIGHT!

owensjef2
0
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owensjef2 01/18/09 - 08:07 am
0
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patriciathomas please grow

patriciathomas please grow up, and stop with your race obsessed opinions . Everything is race in your comments, I can imagine what was said at the kitchen table when you were a child.

jgdarling
3
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jgdarling 01/18/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
The editorial writer must

The editorial writer must have been born on September 12th. George W. Bush has not "successfully protected Americans."

dashiel
176
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dashiel 01/18/09 - 08:11 am
0
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Turning into belated Bush

Turning into belated Bush bashers does not absolve the Republicans who enabled him. Instead, these "responsible" folks perpetuate their passive-aggressive cluelessness by returning Lindsey and Saxby to the Senate. Historians (unless they too are bought) will be casting a wider net.

soldout
1283
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soldout 01/18/09 - 08:38 am
0
0
I predict he will be

I predict he will be remembered as a good president and maybe some folks who hate him now may wish they had him back. He was pro-life and not anti-God which was worth a lot. Our relationship with Christ has a lot more to do with the success of our life than who is president.

tommyt66
0
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tommyt66 01/18/09 - 08:45 am
0
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once again the president can

once again the president can only spend what the congress allows.since 2006 under dem. control look at the spending and the dedt incurred.Also people need to remember the country and the dems. as well were overwellmingly in favor of the Iraq invasion so much so the dems. demanded a vote on the invasion so they could show americans they are tough too. Talking about rewriting history

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/18/09 - 08:49 am
0
0
I love how the Bush Bash team

I love how the Bush Bash team on here talk about the economy but fail to acknowledge that people like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are in large part responsible for the collapse of the Subprime Mortgage mess. Repubs wanted oversight but the dems took it as a racist move by repubs. Do a little research in our low income neighborhoods and you will see where the majority of forclosures are taking place. The majority (NOT ALL) of these foreclosures are happening in minority neighborhoods. People who really didnt have the funds to afford to purchase a home. Fannie and Freddie made it possible, thanks to people like Frank and Dodd! Good job you ignorant Dems! Willistown, Pres. Bush was exactly like a liberal when it came to spending! Don't you know anything about your party? Dems spend, spend, spend on countless programs. But good luck with a real liberal in the WH.

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/18/09 - 09:00 am
0
0
You dems are really setting

You dems are really setting your messiah up for the same kind of Bashing you gave Bush. We dont live under a dictatorship. From reading some of these ridiculous posts, you'd think that the POTUS calls all of the shots by himself. For the idiots that do not realize this, your President cant take care of everything! I hate to break it to you but there are ELECTED OFFICIALS who have and will continue to make decisions for our country on BOTH sides of the aisle. But if thats how you morons want it, we'll hold President Obama to the same standard. Dumbazzzes

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 01/18/09 - 09:06 am
0
0
I was against DUHbya from the
Unpublished

I was against DUHbya from the start... obviously for good reasons!!!!!!!!! Some of us knew he was a loser from the start!

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/18/09 - 09:11 am
0
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A question for all the people

A question for all the people on here that are against Waterboarding: If we had a taliban fighter or a known terrorist in custody with vital information about a plot to harm innocent people (maybe at a school where your kids go or at your church where your family is currently worshipping), would you not want to use any means possible to save your family? As much as LIBS wish, we're not excuting these people. The information they have may save your sons and daughters lives. But your right, we need to be nice to these killers and make sure their pillow is compfy! Hey Mr. Taliban, can I get you a warm glass milk before lights out?

tommyt66
0
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tommyt66 01/18/09 - 09:15 am
0
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Everything people are

Everything people are accusing Bush of Obama will double or triple except him and the dems. will try to talk to our enemies to see why they hate us and go back to fighting a war as a law enforcement situation.

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
Points
_SisterAbdullahX_ 01/18/09 - 09:16 am
0
0
Let's go ahead and blame Bush

Let's go ahead and blame Bush for everything that Obama MIGHT or MIGHT NOT do wrong.

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