Nothing In The Middle? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Nothing In The Middle?

Jonathan Rauch says that:

Now is therefore as good a time as any to jump to a conclusion: the question history will ask is whether Bush’s presidency was as bad as Richard Nixon’s or only as bad as Jimmy Carter’s.


For the disenchanted–again, including me–the relevant points of reference now are not Churchill or Truman but Nixon and Carter.

Is there no middle ground between Truman and Carter? Maybe an Eisenhower or Woodrow Wilson?

Rauch says there are four things that will lead to Bush being compared to Carter and Nixon: the fiscal mess, the Iraq mess, international opprobrium (i.e., the international community doesn’t like us), and the extralegal terrorism war (i.e., wiretapping).

I’ll largely concede the fiscal mess, although Bush might still get some relief on that one if the deficit keeps heading in the direction it currently is.

As for the other things, Rauch overlooks other possible interpretations. Is it really international opprobrium or that Bush’s actions have exposed the international community for the paper tiger that it is? Iraq is messy, but a thuggish totalitarian was removed and elections have since been held, not to mention much the same in Afghanistan. As for wiretapping, has Rauch not noticed that we have not had another attack in five years? And if we have no more attacks by the time Bush leaves office, that would seem to be a pretty big plus in his column.

Sure, Bush is no Churchill, but he didn’t cover up a third-rate burglary, he didn’t dither in the face of an international crisis, and he didn’t go on TV and tell America that it faced a crisis of confidence.

Uncritical comparisons of Bush to the greatest leaders of all time aren’t very helpful. Neither are ones comparing him to the worst.

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