W's legacy

'It’s an iron law of politics that these end-of-term numbers will provide confirmation for those bloggers, pundits, and scholars determined to condemn the Bush administration as the worst in American history.

For average Americans, it’s most likely that folks are simply tired of long and costly wars, fearful of economic uncertainty, and hopeful for vigorous leadership in the new Democratic era. Yet for partisans of the hardline left — those implacably opposed to the GOP administration and its ideology — the reasons for joy in the final poll numbers are many: the alleged “stolen” election of 2000; the post-9/11 terrorist “fearmongering” and the “shredding” of constitutional guarantees on civil liberties; the “illegal” war in Iraq, based on “false pretenses” of Iraqi WMD, and evil “neocon” designs for neo-imperial domination of the Middle East; and the “reign of torture” that has allegedly destroyed America’s moral standing around the world.

Amid all of this, it’s naturally difficult to discern a triumphant legacy for the Bush administration, especially with the immediacy and euphoria surrounding the Democratic transition in Washington. But the truth is that the George W. Bush presidency will likely be seen in time as one of the greatest in American history, on par with the what historians call the “near-great” category of presidencies such as Theodore Roosevelt’s or Harry Truman’s.

President Bush is a leader of uncommon moral vision and clarity of national purpose.'

- Donald Kent Douglas, 'George W. Bush’s Legacy: Moral Vision'.


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