September 16, 2010


Rethinking George Bush?: The American people are warming to Bush and cooling to his successor. (Victor Davis Hanson, 9/16/10, National Review)

Iraq seems to be on the road to success, with a growing economy and a stabilizing government. Don’t take my word on that; ask Vice President Biden. He recently claimed that the way Iraq is going, it could become one of the Obama administration’s “greatest achievements.” Obama himself seconded that when the former war critic called the American effort in Iraq “a remarkable chapter” in the history of the two countries.

Then there are the growing comparisons with Bush’s supposed past transgressions. Compared with Obama’s, they’re starting to look like traffic tickets. Take the economy and the War on Terror. Americans were angry about the Bush-era deficits. But they look small now, after Obama trumped them in less than two years.

For six years of the Bush administration, Americans enjoyed a strong economy. So far, there hasn’t been a similar month under Obama. Bush had a one-time Wall Street meltdown, but Obama’s permanent big-government medicine for it seems far worse than the original disease.

If Hurricane Katrina showed government ineptness, so did the recent BP oil spill. Maybe such problems in the Gulf were neither Bush’s nor Obama’s fault alone, but are better attributed to the inept federal bureaucracy itself — or to freak weather and human laxity.

On the War on Terror, Obama has dropped all the old campaign venom. Bush’s Guantanamo Bay detention facility, renditions, tribunals, intercepts, wiretaps, predator-drone attacks, and policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are no longer dubbed a shredding of the Constitution. All are now seen as national-security tools that must be kept, if not expanded, under Obama.

...W's consistent moral compass would have had him out in front of the nativism and Islamophobia that are currently disfiguring American society, whereas Mr. Obama is too afraid to try and lead on issues of race and religion.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 16, 2010 4:58 PM
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