August 21, 2010

WHILE THE HEADLINE WOULD SUGGEST AN INSIGHT... (via Bryan Francoeur):

The quiet resurgence of George W. Bush?: He's enjoying a mini-moment of grudging acceptance, if not affection (Howard Fineman, 8/20/2010, MSNBC)

Seven years ago, then-President George W. Bush stood beneath a banner on an aircraft carrier and declared that “major combat operations” in Iraq had ended. Wednesday, they actually did — and, by design, Bush was nowhere to be seen.

It was a moment of political closure brought to us not by Bush, but by his successor, who delivered on a campaign promise that was the original seed from which his campaign for president grew.

As a candidate, Barack Obama vowed to end the “war” in Iraq. And though troops will remain, skirmishes will continue, and there’s no guarantee that the age-old sectarian forces in Mesopotamia won’t resume their bloody rivalry — Bush’s war is over. [...]

Bush has been the beneficiary of weeks worth of back-handed compliments from the national punditocracy, which is sharply critical of the Tea Party’s (and other conservatives’ views) on immigration and the construction of an Islamic Community Center two blocks from the Ground Zero site in Manhattan.

It’s been widely noted that Bush was, especially by today’s standards, a moderate and rhetorically benign figure on both issues: pushing for an immigration reform bill that would have offered a “path to citizenship” for many illegals, and stressing from the outset of the “war on terror” that he deeply respected Islam and its message of peaceful submission to God.

Some key figures from the Bush era, including former solicitor Ted Olson and tax lobbyist Grover Norquist, have come out in support of building the Islamic Center at the site.

Several writers — including those who lost no love for Bush when he was president — have used him as a foil for attacking Tea Party activists who support sweeping anti-immigration measures (such as Arizona’s law and a change in the 14th Amendment), and for attacking those who oppose the Islam site.

Bush has remained studiously silent on both matters — and on anything else having directly to do with politics.


...Mr. Fineman can't even acknowledge that the Iraq War is ending on W's terms.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2010 11:00 AM
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