January 9, 2005

FIRST TEST? IT's MORE LIKE THE FINAL:

History Is Likely to Link Bush to Mideast Elections (Peter Baker, January 9, 2005, Washington Post)

He fretted about turnout the other day because, as he put it, that is what politicians do. Never mind that his name will not be on the ballot. For President Bush, back-to-back elections in the Middle East starting today represent a milestone that, for better or worse, will help shape the legacy of his presidency.

The vote for a new Palestinian president today and the election of a new National Assembly in Iraq in three weeks add up to the first meaningful test for Bush's vision of spreading democracy to a region ruled almost exclusively by monarchs, despots and theocrats. [...]

"His inauguration is bracketed by two events that are very big, very important for the meaning and success of his presidency," said William Kristol, chief of staff to former vice president Dan Quayle and now editor of the Weekly Standard. "No one thinks everything changes the day after the elections. But what some people thought was a naive Wilsonian democracy may turn out to be his real legacy."


You can hardly do better than this legacy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 9, 2005 1:06 PM
Comments

"The first meaningful test"? Because invading Afghanistan, deposing the Taliban, installing Karzai and holding elections was a no-brainer? (Yes, I understand the geography involved, but talk about a weasel's quibble.)

Here is Peter Baker on Afghanistan before it became meaningless.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 9, 2005 1:40 PM

It'll be funny 20 years from now when all the talking heads try to explain how Bush had nothing to do with the prosperous and free countries conprising the Middle East, that he was just a dunce who happened to be sitting on the chair when the ME spontaneously reconfigured itself.

Posted by: ray at January 9, 2005 4:49 PM

ray:

Ah, you read the obits for Reagan in the MSM too? :)

Posted by: oj at January 9, 2005 5:08 PM
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