June 14, 2013

GET THE POLICIES RIGHT AND HISTORY TAKES CARE OF ITSELF:

George W. Bush's legacy is on the mend (Julian Zelizer, 6/13/13, CNN)

Much of the controversy that surrounded Bush had to do with his national security policies. The war in Iraq caused a huge controversy with many Americans feeling the president had gone into an unnecessary war based on false evidence. By the second term, many Americans were also upset with some of the tactics the administration had used to pursue terrorists, such as interrogation.

But President Barack Obama, who campaigned as a critic of these policies, ended up leaving many of the programs in place and actually becoming more aggressive on certain fronts, such as the use of drone strikes. Obama has given these controversial policies a certain bipartisan imprimatur that has dulled the anger that existed toward Bush.

The ways in which a president's policies unfold over time is also essential. In some ways, Obama did Bush a favor. By bringing Iraq and Afghanistan to an end, he took these issues off the public radar. Without any kind of mass chaos in those countries, as some critics had warned would occur, the issues that caused Bush so much problems faded from the public mind.

The flip side is that some policies look better in perspective. Although the TARP program still has many critics, the fact that it stabilized the financial markets and ended up not costing the federal government any money makes one of Bush's most controversial decisions look better in hindsight.
Posted by at June 14, 2013 5:29 AM
  
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