Why Bush Will Be A Winner He demonstrates that he is just as divorced from reality as George Bush himself.
I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one.It's fairly obvious that Bill Kristol only talks to the neocon millionaires who read his propaganda rag. How else could he be talking about a "great economy" that has passed over 95% of the US population.
Let's step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let's look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy -- also something that wasn't inevitable.
And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where -- despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless "benchmark" report last week -- we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome.
The economy first: After the bursting of the dot-com bubble, followed by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we've had more than five years of steady growth, low unemployment and a stock market recovery. Did this just happen? No. Bush pushed through the tax cuts of 2001 and especially 2003 by arguing that they would produce growth. His opponents predicted dire consequences. But the president was overwhelmingly right. Even the budget deficit, the most universally criticized consequence of the tax cuts, is coming down and is lower than it was when the 2003 supply-side tax cuts were passed.And I seriously doubt that anyone outside Kristol's circle of friends is still excited about Roberts and Alito.
Meanwhile, 2005-06 saw the confirmation of two Supreme Court nominees, John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. Your judgment of these two appointments will depend on your general view of the courts and the Constitution. But even if you're a judicial progressive, you have to admit that Roberts and Alito are impressive judges (well, you don't have to admit it -- but deep down, you know it). And if you're a conservative constitutionalist, putting Roberts and Alito on the court constitutes a huge accomplishment.And then we have Iraq. Bill must be smoking some pretty strong stuff.
But wait, wait, wait: What about Iraq? It's Iraq, stupid -- you (and 65 percent of your fellow Americans) say -- that makes Bush an unsuccessful president.Military progress has been hit and miss and the Iraqis are no closer to a functioning government than they were three years ago. And as for Petraeus, he may or may not be a great General but he doesen't have the tools for success if we even knew what success was.
The fact is that military progress on the ground in Iraq in the past few months has been greater than even surge proponents like me expected, and political progress is beginning to follow.
But Bush has the good fortune of having finally found his Ulysses S. Grant, or his Creighton Abrams, in Gen. David H. Petraeus. If the president stands with Petraeus and progress continues on the ground, Bush will be able to prevent a sellout in Washington. And then he could leave office with the nation on course to a successful (though painful and difficult) outcome in Iraq.
Of course this is brought to us by the same man who brought us this four years ago:
"There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."And who gave us this just this morning:
~Willaim Kristol, April 4th, 2003
We’re not in a civil war. This is just not true. American troops are attacking al Qaeda. They’re attacking some elements of the Shi’a militias. They’re doing other things, helping with reconciliation. They are not in the middle of a civil war. It’s not true.Now why would anyone listen to this delusional fool who has been wrong about everything.