Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let's Admit It: Bush Was a Failure

For the past eight years, conservatives have been fairly easy on President George W. Bush. They’ve complained a bit about his massive budgets, and have occasionally pointed out examples of his poor communication skills, but overall, the conservative movement and George Bush have gotten along. Bush has received more criticism than any president since Nixon—but the conservative movement has always been there to defend his record.

In less than two months, Bush will no longer be president. It’s time to take a realistic look at Bush’s presidency. There is no longer anything to be gained by denying that it has been anything but a failure.

The Iraq War will probably be remembered as the defining event of Bush’s presidency. The wisdom of going into Iraq is doubtful in hindsight. (Saddam Hussien had no WMDs, and no—or few—connections to terrorism) When one looks at the information Bush had at the time (which is, really, the only way to judge the decision), Bush looks a little better—but not much. Even the most worrisome pre-war intelligence did not show any immediate threat from Iraq—Iraq’s WMD program, if it had one, could only have been in the planning stages.

Many liberals have charged Bush with falsely linking Al-Qaeda and Saddam. He didn’t. But there can be little doubt that Bush used 9/11 as a reminder of what could happen should we not invade Iraq. And Iraq had nowhere near the capabilities to inflict another 9/11 on America.

The intelligence failure was excusable—it’s difficult to judge future threats. Bush’s handling of Iraq was not. Our initial strike was a clear victory. Things went downhill from there as Iraqi insurgents mastered guerrilla tactics. America spent a far-too-large amount of blood and treasure in Iraq, futilely attempting to destroy an enemy who could not—at least using the strategies we were using—be destroyed. It took Bush three years to realize that a change in strategy was needed. That amount of time was much too long.

Possibly even worse than Bush’s handling of Iraq has been his management of economic matters. When Bush took office, the national debt was around five trillion. Now, it’s nearly ten trillion. Bush’s domestic policies represented the greatest expansion of government since the Great Society. That is simply inexcusable, especially for a president who claims to support fiscal responsibility.

It isn’t fair to lay responsibility for the current financial crisis solely on Bush’s shoulders. But then, Jimmy Carter wasn’t wholly responsible for stagflation—but that hasn’t stopped people from blaming him. Bush deserves blame for our situation today, as his policies are largely responsible for it.

His administration (and the Republican-controlled Congress) pressured Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to accept risky mortgages. Under his watch, the Fed lowered interest rates far below market rates. (Granted, the Fed operates outside the executive branch—but it’s hard to imagine that Bush didn’t have influence). When Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial situation became obvious earlier this year, Bush’s Treasury Department did nothing productive.

Even if we assume that some sort of bailout was necessary to protect the lending markets, Bush still mishandled the issue (although to be fair, he had plenty of help from Congress). The bailout put far too much money in the hands of Henry Paulson, and Paulson’s allocation of it doesn’t seem to have helped the situation much. Paulson has spent about half of the $700 billion he got from Congress. It’s hard to see where spending another $350 billion will help. Bush tried to spend his way out of a crisis he helped cause. He failed.

Voters were right to reject Bush’s Republican party (although they probably jumped straight into the fire). There is nothing to be gained from defending Bush, or looking to his administration for guidance (unless, perhaps, as a guide of what not to do). As conservatives seek a new direction in which to take the party, they should simply admit Bush’s failure and look for a new national GOP leader.

8 Comments:

At November 19, 2008 at 12:25 PM , Blogger road warrior said...

I agree, Bush has been a failure. the sad thing is that this is what has won the election for Obama. The liberal illuminati have used Bush's failure to turn McCain into just another Bush and with that kinda of ammo he never had a chance.

 
At November 19, 2008 at 3:12 PM , Blogger An American Girl said...

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At November 19, 2008 at 3:24 PM , Blogger An American that cares! said...

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At November 21, 2008 at 5:03 AM , Blogger David said...

To say that Bush was a failure is ridiculous.
With the proper support of Congress the Iraqi War could've been dealt with many years ago, instead the Congress votes to sent our soliders to fight the terrorists with one hand tied behind their backs.. and then they claim that they were fooled and undercut the mission. I think that Congress has been very weak and misguided and it was their fault more than Bush's.

Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ted kennedy, Joe Biden voted for the war. So did John Kerry. The power behind the Democrats however put the kabosh on it immediately before the invasion. The money went against them and Bush.

That power is hollywood moguls like billionaire Geffen and hedge fund insider crook George Soros who hates Bush. Once the Democrats got a whiff of the hitjobs on them by DailyKos - another tool of Soros anti-Americanism - to condemn anyone supporting the Iraq war, they all turned on President Bush and began to stab him in the back.
So I resent you calling Bush a failure!

 
At November 21, 2008 at 9:08 AM , Blogger road warrior said...

Resent calling Bush a failure. Just ask the american people. What do the popularity polls say? We can even ignore what the liberal illuminati are saying because of course they are biased but what are the people saying? Bush failed! that is what they are saying.

 
At November 21, 2008 at 12:41 PM , Blogger ZmudasExpress said...

A failure? No I wouldn't say that. Is he doing a great job? Hardly. Is he doing an “average” job? This is likely more accurate.

Lets give him credit where credit is due - taking the handoff of a crashing economy from Clinton, weathering the worst foreign attack on US soil, and turning both of these situations around is/was no small task.

It’s easy to criticize from the sidelines, as politicos and the media are wont to do. They wouldn’t trade their quarterback armchairs for GW’s chair for anything. Sadly, both are driven by the ideological arm of whatever political party they pay homage too, which means that they will only paint the negative, and conveniently white wash the positive.
In my opinion, Bush’s real fault was allowing his enemies to define him, and not responding forcefully to a media out of control, and failing to confront his critics with facts. Always taking the high road. Relying upon his cozy, “by the fireside” charm, instead of the loudest bully pulpit on the planet (the Presidency of the US),
Bush knew where he wanted to go and didn't allow anyone to side track him.
I for one am proud and thankful we have had President Bush on our side.
Although I don't agree with some things Pres. Bush has/has not done( no protection from the illegal immigration invasion, for example), I will say I agree Pres. Bush gets no credit for his efforts against the terrorists. There's so many of our fellow Americans(mainly Democrats) with their heads in the sand pretending we're not in a war. They truly are fools, shown by people who have no logical arguments, only saying Pres. Bush is a liar.

 
At November 28, 2008 at 8:39 PM , Blogger road warrior said...

Zmudas, your being to kind, no really, your being to kind! I do think your right, Bush hasn't been a total failure and he has been dealt a really shitty hand of cards! NO doubt he has had it rough. But from my opinion you rate the president who is on his way out by what the people are saying and on this scale bush has failed! If the rating scale is different and we can do away with what the illuminati are saying maybe bush didn't completely faith. But according to the people... failure!

 
At November 29, 2008 at 1:24 PM , Blogger knowitall said...

It wasn't that he failed as much as people think he did, it's the fact that the liberal illuminati in Congress played a major role in the passed few years and aren't owning up to it.

 

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