Friday, January 23, 2009

Thoughts on Bush

Now that Obama has taken office, I thought we'd reflect on Bush's eight years in office. Out of full disclosure, I'm a registered Republican. However, I'm a fairly middle of the road one who voted for Obama.

Bush left for Texas leaving two wars, a monster budget deficit, a poor environmental record, a lack luster energy policy and one of the worst economic disasters since the Great Depression. I've been as hard on Bush as anyone (alright maybe not everyone) on his energy policy. I subscribe to Thomas Friedman's idea of starting a "Race to the Moon" like initiative for energy sources. If you're not familiar with Friedman's idea, he says the government should start a program, similar to what Kennedy did for getting to the moon, for sustainable energy. I agree.

Bush also spent like a Democrat, no offence to Democrats. He failed to bring in the government budget and cut taxes, making the budget problems worse. I'm usually a fan of lower taxes, but if you do so, you'll probably have to cut spending as well. With two wars going on, cutting was nearly impossible.

I could go on and on about Bush and how he let me down in some ways. But I won't. There are plenty of liberals who can do that for me. Beat on Bush as much as you'd like for he deserves most of it. However, there is one thing that Bush will never get credit for.

On 9-11-2001 we suffered a catastrophic attack. I remember sitting with my buddies the following weekend saying that we should expect more attacks - some smaller, some maybe larger - in the coming years. But as I sit here today, we've yet to suffer a large scale domestic attack.

Whether Bush had anything to do with preventing another attack, we'll never know. Some people will disagree with me, and they have every right. But I'm of the mind that by him increasing the pressure on potential terrorists, we've possibly prevented at least one major attack on domestic soil. We'll never know if I'm right or not.


t-snide said...

I'm a shade "left" of you, and I don't see much to disagree with here. My only problem with giving Bush credit for no attacks since 9/11 is that many on "the Right" are using that as their meme, but many on "the Right" will also blame Clinton for 9/11, even though it was Bush who had received the warning on his watch, and there were no attacks on US soil after the WTC bombing in 1993 on Clinton's watch. It also comes from many of the same folks who don't want to give Clinton credit for his budget surplusses. Not that I'm a big Clinton guy; it's just that too many people want to have it both ways. Many on the left are guilty of it, too.

David said...

I voted for Bush because I like his ideas on policy regarding south and central America. His ideas never materialized due to 9/11.

I think he likely deserves some credit... However, at what cost? The Iraq war, the fiasco in Cuba, and other scandals has cost the US its "moral authority" that comes with being a leader in democracy, human rights, free trade, and meritocracy.

Even when trying to keep our country save from terrorists we have to hold to our ideals, or they are lost..

Mac Noland said...

I tend to agree with both of you. He probably deserves some credit, but there have been some large costs along the way.