We haven't always agreed with his positions--immigration, Harriet Miers, early steel protectionism, signing McCain/Feingold--but we understand as well as anyone the difficulties he has faced.
Regarding Iraq, we only wish he had promoted General Petraeus sooner. The ongoing success of the surge and the future viability of Iraq will ultimately decide Bush's legacy and reputation among American presidents.
Ultimately, we must measure his performance against our highest order political priorities:
- the War on Terror (including Iraq)
- courts (Supreme Court nominees, etc.)
During his second term, President Bush successfully nominated Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito. Roberts is a judicial minimalist and Alito is described as a justice similar to Scalia and Thomas. The important point is that they are not judicial activists, overturning laws and precedent based on their own or the latest popular morality or opinion. They understand that the role of the courts is not to legislate from the bench. With these two nominees, President Bush knocked the ball out of the park. Now if we could just get one more conservative justice.
On taxes, Bush has done very well. His tax cuts helped America recover from the "dot-com bubble" and the 9/11 attacks. The only failure was his inability to persuade Congress to make the tax cuts permanent. If a Democrat wins the Presidency, allowing those tax cuts to expire plus increasing taxes (as they have all proposed) would amount to the largest tax increase in history. And this is part of their plan to help the American economy.
Democrats, the MSM echo chamber have been bashing Bush for so long it's been considered a foregone conclusion that Bush will be remembered as one of the worst Presidents in history. Well, folks, history will have the final say. With any luck, it will be a fair review by a fair-minded academic historian.
Harry Truman, another of our heroes, received some of the lowest approval ratings on record. Opinion of Truman's presidency seems to rise every year. It helps that he was a Democratic president being reviewed by liberal academics, but we have faith in the historical discipline--faith that good historians will be able to get past their personal distaste for President Bush and tell the tale the evidence supports.
(At least, that's our idealized vision of history)
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