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Defending George W. Bush against harsh judgments of his presidency

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In keeping with this blog’s well-deserved reputation for balance and fairness (heh, heh), I’m passing along THIS LITTLE ESSAY by Stephen F. Knott, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College:

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated Thursday at Southern Methodist University, an event that will draw all of the nation’s living presidents to Dallas. Despite the coming fanfare, many Americans consider Bush’s presidency a failure. There is little evidence that scholars, including the influential historians who pronounce the success or failure of an administration, are having second thoughts about their assessment of Bush as a failed chief executive. Unfortunately, far too many scholars revealed partisan bias and abandoned any pretense of objectivity in their rush to condemn the Bush presidency.

Many academics branded Bush a failure long before his presidency ended — and not just fringe elements of the academy, such as Ward Churchill or Howard Zinn, but also scholars from the nation’s most prestigious universities. In April 2006, Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz published an essay in Rolling Stone titled “The Worst President in History?” Wilentz argued that “George W. Bush’s presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace” in part because he had “demonized the Democrats,” hurting the nation’s ability to wage war.

(Snip)

The animus that scholars have directed toward Bush has at times made a mockery of the principle of academic objectivity. At the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in January 2009, a panel on the Bush-Cheney years organized by a group called Historians Against the War featured scholars from Columbia, Yale, Trinity College, New York University and Yeshiva University. They compared the Bush “regime’s” security practices to those of Joseph McCarthy and various “war criminals.” The cover illustration of the roundtable’s report showed Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, seated on a pile of human skulls.

All of this overheated rhetoric and fear-mongering has come from academics who profess to live the life of the mind. In their hasty, partisan-tinged assessments of Bush, far too many scholars breached their professional obligations, engaging in a form of scholarly malpractice, by failing to do what historians are trained to do before pronouncing judgment on a presidency: conduct tedious archival research, undertake oral history interviews, plow through memoirs, interview foreign leaders and wait for the release of classified information.

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43 Comments

  1. I can imagine the wrath your going to incur from this entry. I look forward to the responses from the right.

  2. Robert: Folks on the right likely will appreciate this post. They’ll just wonder why I published it.

    The reason, of course, is to promote debate on the Bush presidency. Even I don’t think it was all bad.

  3. Ultimately Bush and Cheney will have to answer for lives lost and money wasted either in this life or the one before their maker.

  4. Neftali

    Steverino – So Democrats bear no responsibility? How convienient, or perhaps just ignorant, of you.

  5. Brian Opsahl

    Nef,Bush was President the artical is about him and your head in the sand approch is such a joke.

  6. Neftali – Misleading mission accompished break out the flowers and candy!

  7. Brian Opsahl

    Nef, if your reasoning is correct..(and we no its not) I want to blame the Benghazi thing you all complain about so much,on the Republicans…!! yea sinse they wouldn’t fund the security that was asked for months earlier it is there fault…(according to your logic) now.

  8. Neftali

    You two are the morons with your heads in the sand.

    Here are a list of positives that came about because of the Iraq war:

    - Three peripheral nations, in the dead of night, contacted the United States and agreed to dispose of their WMD programs. The components of those programs were then transported to the United States to demonstrate their sincerity.

    - Iraq now has a government represented by all three major cultural/religious groups ensuring they no longer attempt to destroy one another and ensuring an equitable distribution of oil income.

    - Iraq is no longer a threat to her neighbors.

    - We no longer have the UN sanction in position in Iraq which led to Saddam stealing money meant to feed children. Rather than feed children he chose to build palaces.

    - We were also able to finally remove our forces from Saudi Arabia which was always a point of contention with Muslims as Saudi Arabia has the Holy Points of that religion.

    - we also removed 350 tons of yellow cake uranium from Iraq and thousands of chemical artillery rounds

    Yes, I would call that “Mission Accomplished”

  9. Neftali

    Brian Opsahl – Your reasoning, as always, makes zero sense. There was more than enough security funds available to protect American citizens in Benghazi. It was an issue of failed leadership of properly allocating the funds and resources at the start, and then initial denial of responsibility after the incident occurred. Even more sad is that the left wants the person responsible for this mess as our next President. Republicans had nothing to do with it.

    On the other hand, 60% of Democrats voted for the Iraq war. Don’t make me paste again the list of quotes from the highest ranking Democrats of the time who all were in favor of it.

  10. Brian Opsahl

    First of all Nef, Bush lied to get those votes as is comming out from his cabinet now.

    One thing you forgot to mention about all your delusional great things that Bushs war accomplished….The un-employment went down in Iraq because we killed so many of there innocent people ….yea don’t forget that good stuff he did like that..100,000 thousand innocent lives, yea ask those relatives about the loved ons gone what they think of Bush.

  11. Neftali: Let me remind you again that the Iraq War resolution would never have been approved by Congress if it had been up to Democratic lawmakers.

    Fifty-seven percent of the Democrats in the two houses of Congress voted against it, while 97 percent of the Republicans voted for it.

    It was a Republican war.

  12. Brian Opsahl

    Mission accomplised,was announced only 6 weeks in Nef, how many years after the brillant young President said that did it end…..? let me help you….It was a differant President that had to finish it….is this true,Nef….hhmm ?

  13. Thanks Pat. The lawmakers were intimidated into supporting that war. The old “you either with us or with them” ruse worked quite well. It was never really about Saddam (although GW did have a grudge against Saddam regarding GW’s father), it was about the last remaining, easily harvested, sweet crude oil fields in the world and who would have control of them and how that resource was allocated.

    The right never realized how much the Project for the New American Century drove the goals of that administration and the current Obama one. Many on the right believe the Neocon agenda went away with GW and Cheney, but its intact and Obama is providing for those same goals only without the familiar Neocon faces. I bet most of the right have no idea what the Project for the New American Century was/is. I haven’t read it lately, so I’m sure its been edited but back in the day, it was the guiding principles for the total remake and modernization of the Middle East into a more modern, capitalism free market based economy. An economy that would be the hallmark of what corporate America would love, no regulations per se. It’s not by mistake or random occurrences that Libya, Egypt, Syria, et al to date are going through major remakes of leadership and cultural norms.

  14. Neftali

    Brian Opsahl – For the millionth +1 time, Bush didn’t lie to get the votes. You really need treatment for your Bush derangement syndrome. Seriously. Further, the Iraq War ended when the Status of Forces agreement was signed, which was during Bush’s watch. Obama simply followed the plans already in place.

    Robert – So you’re saying Democrats were intimidated in making the following quotes? That your Democratic heroes lack the courage to say what it truly on their minds?

    One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
    –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

    “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
    –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
    –Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

    “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
    –Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
    – Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

    “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
    -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

    “Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
    – Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

    “There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
    – Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

    “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them.”
    – Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

    “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
    – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
    – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
    – Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
    – Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

    “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
    – Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

    “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
    – Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

    “He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do”
    – Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
    – Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

    “We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”
    – Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

    “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…” — Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

  15. Nef – According to your ilk we’re actually morans.

  16. Neftali, Iraq was not behind 911! That ruse was used to do what you noted in all those quotes, do what the military wanted to do but couldn’t justify until 911. And not all Dems were intimidated, some participated in the ruse to get the backing of the American people to go after Saddam for revenge for 911. The lie was when GW said Saddam wouldn’t let in the inspectors in, when all the while Hans Blix was in there looking for these so called weapons that were never found… Blix and his team had to rush out of Iraq before we bombed a country that had nothing to do with 911. Then Bush with Kofi Annan sitting beside him got up on national tv and stated to Kofi’s amazement, that Saddam was given a chance to let the inspectors in and he didn’t so we had no choice but to bomb them….we were lied to and you and your ilk continue to defend those lies. Shame on you for legitimizing those lies! The war against Irag was based on lies, just like the war on Viet Nam was.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOV78w2MPT0

  17. Nef: So what you’re saying is the Democrats got us into the Iraq war, and your hero Bush got us out of that war?

    I think you are the one who is deranged.

  18. Brian Opsahl

    All that adds up to one fact Nef,

    Mr.Bush made the decision to go after a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 911 and the smoke screen that became known as WMDs was, is and, always will be a big Hugh ugly black spot on our Nation that cost in blood over 100,000 thousand lives of innocent Iraq’s that you wont even mention….Sir. That’s a lot of blood on his hands for still looking for waldo WMDs.

    I understand you want to hang this black spot on everybody else so as to limit Bush’s idiocy but the essential buck stops with the Commander in Chief…..does it NOT…Sir..!!

  19. Neftali

    Robert – Our intelligence sources had a higher degree of confidence about WMD’s still being Iraq than they did later about Osama Bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad. The Democrats had access to the same intelligence information. Several of our allies also had their suspicions based upon their own intelligence information. It wasn’t a deception, or “lie” as you suggest. If you believe something to be true, then its not a lie.

    Call the Bush administration negligent, or perhaps call them overly anxious. Those statements are probably true. Calling their suggestions a lie is not.

    http://armscontrolnow.org/2013/03/05/the-cost-of-ignoring-un-inspectors-an-unnecessary-war-with-iraq/

    Tex – No, the War was started with overwhelming Republican support, and a significant chunk of Democratic support, including the majority of Senate Democrats, who had the option of postponing the vote until after the elections, but decided to proceed. The War’s end was signed under Republican administration, and carried out under a Democratic one.

  20. Neftali your beating a dead horse. There’s absolutely no excuse or for that matter justification for what Bush/Cheney and the rest of their crime syndicate did in Iraq. What’s really sad is what we could have achieved right here at home with that 3 trillion dollar price tag. Looking for WMD’s or Mr. Al Qaeda was a joke, heck they couldn’t find a pressure cooker in a department store.

  21. Orlando Clay

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.” — George W. Bush

    “Is our children learning?” — George W. Bush

    And they’re actually naming a library in his honor?

    The irony is indeed rich.

  22. Neftali

    Steverino – I’m sorry to hear you like denying women the right to vote, and that you have no issues with a dictatorial regime terrorizing its neighbors, killing thousands of it own citizens, and using money intended to feed children to be used on palaces, and only allowing certain religious groups to control all power.

    I don’t like any of those things. So I guess we just have to disagree. Each to their own.

  23. Bush admits Iraq had nothing to do with 911. Its been so long now, I forgot how he could mangle the English language. It’s kind of funny now in an odd way, but then it was embarrassing. He was the President of the United States. I recognize that we all can misspeak, but I’m not so sure he realized he was creating new words when other legitimate words were available. Much of the world was wondering, what were the American people thinking when they elected him twice?

    PS – I’m preparing my mind for the real possibility we will elect a Republican in 2016 for the President. I suspect it will be Jeb Bush. I’ve listened to him speak, and he doesn’t scare me. It’s the pandering to the far right that is frightening. Will he have to do that or is he going to ignore them and appeal to the center from the beginning of his potential campaign?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_A77N5WKWM

  24. GWB says: I useta couldn’t even say libary. Now I has one.

    I useta couldn’t even say grampa. Now I is one.

    Free ‘My Pet Goat’ book will be given to the first 100 patrons of the GWB library, on Thursday. Laura will pass out free comic books to the next 100.

  25. Brian Opsahl

    Oh that’s good Tex,thanks for the laugh…lol

    How quickly they forget just how incompatent he was.

  26. Neftali – Please don’t embarrass yourself. It was oil, oil and more oil and when that failed it was protecting the right of citizens to vote which is something the GOP certainly has trouble with in this country.

  27. Brian Opsahl

    Nef,is struggling to let go of his President that he voted for twice,getting a bad case of Romnehsia will do that to you Nef…

  28. This is an interesting piece.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/go-ahead-admit-it-george-w-bush-is-a-good-man-20130422

    For as much time as we spend understanding our presidents’ policies and politics, relatively little effort is spent trying to understand them as people. We mythologize them as candidates and demonize them as presidents, denying our leaders the balm that soothes mere mortals: benefit of the doubt.

    Disclosure: I am the worst offender. I get paid to hold leaders accountable, not to walk in their shoes. Conversely, I am also a bit biased. Presidents Bush and Clinton agreed last year to meet privately with my autistic son for a project on the presidency. But that is the point: Neither man had anything to gain by agreeing to meet Tyler. They’re not running for office. I don’t cover them anymore.

    Fact is that both Bush and Clinton do small acts of kindness every day, with little or no public notice.

    Why? Because, like past presidents, they realize the office is bigger than they are. Because they are deeply grateful for the job we gave them, and they feel obliged to return the favor.

    Our presidents and ex-presidents are not perfect. You won’t always agree with them. You might not even think they’re worthy of the office. But try to remember what Clinton told me a few days before he left Arkansas for Washington (and a few years before the Lewinsky affair made it sadly ironic): “You don’t check your humanity at the Oval Office door.”

    Remembering that is to respect the office. And it’s the decent thing to do.

  29. Brian Opsahl

    You can be a good man and yet a terrible President, I believe Bush to be a good decent man,but on the flip side he was a very bad Commander in Chief,and those 100,000 dead folks will way heavy on him someday…

  30. expdoc, Do you think the right would be as accommodating to President Obama if he had the same poor language skills as GWB exhibited during his presidency?

    I can pretty much guarantee you, if any one of us on this board exhibited those kind of communication skills, in anticipation of consideration for the lowest ranking management position in a company, I doubt we’d get past the first interview, but yet fully half of the country thought it was good enough. I fully expected to hear him refer to Laura as my old lady.

    I think many who voted for him thought, “he speaks just like us do, that’s good enough for my vote? Scary.

  31. Robert,

    Even Joe Biden knows that without his silky speaking style the President would have been a less attractive candidate.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/31/biden.obama/

    In the article published Wednesday, Biden is quoted evaluating presidential rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois. His remarks about Obama, the only African-American serving in the Senate, drew the most scrutiny.

    “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

  32. expdoc, I will admit, sometimes I wish he believed what he was saying. In my way of thinking, he gives in way to easy as if it was always the plan. I wanted an FDR type, someone who stood up to the aristocracy and welcomed their hatred, as FDR stated.

    “For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.

    We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

    They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

    Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.

    I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.”

    Buy “Franklin D. Roosevelt “We Have Only Just Begun to Fight”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjSTQwamo8M

  33. Brian Opsahl

    Robert, Your correct, very well said and good point..!!

  34. Neftali

    Brian Opsahl – War is ugly business. In WWII 22 million people died. In the Korean war, 1.5 million. In Vietnam, there was about a 1/2 million casualties.

    Bush has just a heavy conscience as FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, LBJ, and Nixon.

  35. Why would W have a heavy conscience, Nef? You are clearly trying to humanize this simpleton to suit your revisionist memories.

    He is on record as saying he used our military to invade Iraq because God told him to, so any casualties are God’s will to him, no?

    Unless he was lying, this dimwit’s conscience is likely (and sadly) clean.

  36. Brian Opsahl

    Luke is right Nef,why are you trying so hard to downplay Bushs roll, Clearly you realize that those other wars were from a completly differant time and place as where we are now.
    !00,000 thousand innocent lives is a tremendis amount of blood directly on his hands.

    You can’t even compare them…why are you trying so hard to exonerated Bush…of his Commander in Chief dutys…?

  37. Neftali

    Luke – I never said actually has a “heavy” conscience, I said its just as heavy as those other people. Its your own interpretation as to how heavy it is.

    Brian – “A completely different time and place” ?? As usual, you make absolutely zero sense. If you were to put the number of deaths per major war, you would see a steady decline. 100K compared to 500K only 40 years ago is quite the drop. I’m not trying to exonerate anyone, just pointing out the facts, which is something you consistently have a problem with.

  38. Thanks for your last few comments. This is why I believe religion is mankind’s worst creation. Look what it enables?

    How many times has God’s name been invoked as the justification for deploying the most destructive weapons known to mankind? How many lives throughout history have been killed or destroyed by these supposedly redemptive belief systems.

    If war is a racket, religion is a travesty.

  39. Religion isn’t a travesty.

    Misuse of religious principles by evil men is certainly a travesty. Not only for the evil they cause but for the damage it does to all of the good that religion can bring.

  40. There sure is lots of evil men out there. Many are even in powerful world leader positions. . If someones going to make a decision to use the worlds most lethal weapons on the citizenry, should it be done in the name of Satan? Wouldn’t that be more appropriate? How come we never hear that name invoked when such actions occur? How many innocent lives have been lost because of some world leader invoking God’s name as the justification and supporter of such actions?

    trav·es·ty
    /ˈtravistē/
    Noun
    A false, absurd, or distorted representation of something.
    Verb
    Represent in such a way.

  41. Robert,

    Hundreds of millions of lives have been lost in such actions. But that doesn’t make God evil or religion bad, it makes those men misusing the name of God and misrepresenting the teaching of the religion evil.

    An exponentially larger number of people have been positively impacted by religion either because they believe in the religious principles themselves or because they have been aided in their health, education and welfare by those who do believe.

  42. Here is another article to add to this commentary. This one must really irk the liberals in the audience.

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-bush-distinct-men-policy-overlaps-073045083–politics.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CdPu3dR3S4AfDPQtDMD

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite vast differences with President George W. Bush on ideology, style and temperament, President Barack Obama has stuck with Bush policies or aspirations on a number of fronts, from counterterrorism to immigration, from war strategy to the global fight against AIDS.

    Even on tax policy, where Bush advocated lower tax rates for all and Obama pushed for higher rates on the rich, Bush’s tax cuts for the middle class not only have survived under Obama, they have become permanent.

    Obama inherited from his predecessor two military conflicts, a war on terror and a financial crisis. He also inherited, and in time embraced, the means with which to confront them.

    On Thursday, Obama will attend the dedication of Bush’s presidential library in Texas, a tableau that will draw attention to two distinct men — a Republican and a Democrat from different ends of the political spectrum, political foils with polarized constituencies.

    Indeed, Obama ran for president in 2008 as the anti-Bush, critical of the war against Iraq and of the economic policies of the preceding eight years.

    But in his more than four years of governing, Obama has also adopted or let stand a series of Bush initiatives, illustrating how the policies of one administration can take hold and how the realities of governing often limit solutions.

    Bush’s signature education plan, No Child Left Behind, remains the law of the land, though the Obama administration has granted states waivers to give them flexibility in meeting performance targets. A Bush Medicare prescription drug plan, criticized for its cost, is now popular with beneficiaries, and Obama has sought to improve it by providing relief for seniors with high bills. Obama continued the unpopular bank bailouts and expanded the auto industry rescue that Bush initiated in 2008.

    Bush authorized a military surge in Iraq in an effort to tame the conflict there. Obama completed the withdrawal of troops from Iraq but also authorized a military surge in Afghanistan before beginning a drawdown of troops that is expected to be completed at the end of 2014.

    “The responsibilities of office drive presidents toward pragmatism,” said Joshua Bolten, a former Bush chief of staff. Where those policies are effective, he added, “the successor has good reason to adopt them.”

    Obama, like Bush during his presidency, is seeking an overhaul of immigration laws that give 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally a chance to get on a path toward citizenship. Bush came up short in 2007, but Bolten believes that six years later the nation and its politicians are in a different place.

    “President Bush was just ahead of his time and his party in recognizing both the importance of reaching some sort of bipartisan accommodation and on what the elements of that might reasonably be,” he said.

  43. Brian Opsahl

    Doc,you sure leave out alot don’t you…?

    Bush got everything he wanted as President esecially after 911 happened ..on his watch..did he not..!! Mr.Obama has to fight for anything and everything even stuff the republicans used to support…true..!!

    That 100,000 thousand dead innocent Iraqs….yea thats him also and where did they find those WMDs anyway…LIAR…!!

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