I never thought I’d write this, but I’m starting to miss Bill Kristol.
It’s true that Bush didn’t personally formulate the surge, or craft the bailout. But he was, well, the decider, and if he takes the blame — rightly — for what Donald Rumsfeld wrought, then he should get credit for Gen. David Petraeus’s successes in Iraq, and for blessing the sweeping decisions that Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke made in last September’s desperate weeks.
This is not a blueprint that future presidents will want to follow. But the next time an Oval Office occupant sees his popularity dissolve and his ambitions turn to dust, he can take comfort from Bush’s example. It suggests that it’s possible to become a good president even — or especially — when you can no longer hope to be a great one.
Put another way, if I get totally wasted on smack, pass out on the couch with a lit cigarette and set the house on fire, but am shaken out of my drug-induced stupor by the billowing smoke in time for me to pull one of my children out of the conflagration — that makes me a "good" parent not a "great" one.
Some sliding scale! And I thought conservatives opposed affirmative action.
George W. Bush’s last minute extra credit work pulled his GPA up to a solid D-. Pass!
Yeah, OK, so Bush fucked up everything he touched, but at least he had the good sense to scramble around at the very last minute while spending lots of lives and money to avert a complete zombies-roaming-the-streets type of disaster. In conclusion, Bush was a good president.
One wonders how much longer the Times will expose itself to this kind of ridicule.