George Bush has a 20-something approval rating. So there are millions of Americans who believe he has been a good President. While his failings as a President are widely known, here is concise article by David Frum that makes the case that George Bush will go down in history as a good President. Read the full article by Frum if you want the details, but here are the eight points he makes:
- India – “Bush’s strategic entente with India may well prove the most important geopolitical fact of the 21st.”
- Iraq – “The Iraq war is ending in political reconciliation within Iraq — and with hope of an ongoing alliance between Iraq and the United States.”
- Middle East – “Libya has ended its nuclear program… Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states (ended) their old double game on terrorist financing… Hamas fundraising operations in North America have been rolled up…the second Palestinian intifada has been crushed.”
- Terrorism – “No new international terrorist attack inside the United States since 9/11.”
- Latin America – “Colombian insurgency has been weakened if not broken…Mexico has completed its second multiparty presidential election…the United States has resisted Hugo Chavez’s attempts to make himself a Castro.”
- National Prescription Drug Program
- Nuclear Power – “Bush encouraged the nuclear-power industry.”
- Championed Law Abiding Muslims – “Bush passionately championed America’s vast majority of law-abiding Muslims – and perhaps due to his leadership, the much-feared wave of hate crimes never occurred.”
Yes, that is it. I will admit there are a few notable contributions.
The U.S. relations with India may be an important alliance in this century. Still, this is not like Nixon going to China.
Iraq is hopeful, but the President who is going to be there when this is resolved goes by the name Obama.
Middle East — is that it? In the meantime, Iran edges towards becoming a nuclear power.
Latin America – is that it too? In the meantime, anti-American leaders proliferate all over South America.
No terrorist attacks by internatonal terrorists is a major accomplishment. Bush can hang his hat on that one.
The national prescription drug program? Yes, that is a Bush accomplishment.
Nuclear Power? That all depends on one’s perspective, but encouraging is hardly being proactive.
The last point is like reaching into the top hat and finding no rabbit so something has to be pulled out. Please, championing Muslims is a bit hard to take. George Bush cannot take credit for Americans being able to tell the difference between an al-Qaeda terrorist flying an airplane into a building, and a Muslim storekeeper working the American dream in a 12-hour shift at a 7-Eleven.
So Frum would like us to think that the above makes up for the Iraq War’s cost, Osama Bin Laden still roaming the landscape, an official policy of torture, the worst economic meltdown in 80 years, trillions of dollars in additional public debt, and the deterioration of American international respect.
Weigh those two sides on the scales of history and tell me if Bush comes out closer to James Buchanan and Warren Harding or Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt?