The Spectacle Blog

The Bush Legacy

By on 12.16.08 | 2:35PM

This isn't the best way to start a post but let me first concede: Someone more intelligent than me should probably write about this. I welcome those who believe they are to comment (really, I'm not being sardonic).

This op-ed in the Buffalo News takes on the task of trying to describe the Bush Legacy by basically saying: There have been ups and downs. Some people like him, some don't.  But it'll take years for 'historians/us' to decide what the Legacy really is.

The piece describes those ups and downs in detail but what stuck out to me is his repetition on what historians. scholars and intellectuals think of the President and the rush to figure out what they think.

While it is way too soon to make a final judgment on his presidency, at this early writing we can say that he had some minor domestic successes, two major domestic mistakes and an ambiguous legacy on foreign policy that will likely take decades to play out. Bush is leaving a mixed record that will likely be very complicated for historians to sort out.

I suppose, at the end of eight years, it's normal to do that, to sum up two terms in a paragraph fit for history books. Especially with a Presidency like Bush's that is mixed.

But what exactly is the rush? History is still unfolding. Iraq is still blooming/failing depending on who you ask. Whose deadline are these guys on anyway?

And what, can someone please explain to me, is the obsession with what all the scholars think? (Especially the one who said Bush was the 'worst President ever.'). The reflexive Republican in me wants to say, "Really, you try it," but that sounds as defensive as it is.

Still: I tend to agree with Col Carl von Clausewitz'--the Prussian soldier and historian himself:

There is danger in theoretical speculation of battle, in prejudice, in false reasoning, in pride, in braggadicio. There is one safe resource, the return to nature.

Bush, for better or worse, has never failed to do that.

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