Friday, January 16, 2009

Krauthammer 1/16/09

Who Will Vindicate Bush?

My take on Charles Krauthammer's latest. His column was published in the Washington Post.

Summary: Obama. He will vindicate Bush by his deeds rather than by his words. Bush's most controversial policies are already being tacitly accepted by the new President. Items:

  • Withdrawal from Iraq

  • Bush's Anti-terrorism infrastructure

  • The Economic Bailout

He leaves behind the sinews of war, for the creation of which he has been so vilified but which will serve his successor -- and his country -- well over the coming years. The very continuation by Democrats of Bush's policies will be grudging, if silent, acknowledgment of how much he got right.

My Views: Well, Iraq did draw the most animus from the left but they vilified him even before any of that. The thing is that in the end the vilification of Bush was based more upon political prejudice than upon policy differences. When people rise above that then his policies and his presidency will receive a more favorable view.

Still, he got a lot wrong. The Bailout is still bad. Immigration is likely to grow as a national problem, particularly if the Mexican Drug War spills over the border. The victims of political persecution (Libby, the two border guards) ought to have been pardoned - and long before now. These things may be why Bush is unpopular in the country; they are not why he is unpopular with the Democrats.

When people can compare the Bush years to the Obama years, then we'll see.

Charles Krauthammer is a more establishment columnist. He came to punditry by way of psychiatry (at Massachusetts General Hospital) via the New Republic Magazine. He appears on TV where you never see his wheelchair. Here's his Wiki bio.

He wrote a book which is pictured at the right. I am drawn by the substance and the thinking than any particular writing flair.