Author Topic: Why Bush Will Be A Winner  (Read 693 times)

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The_Professor

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Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« on: July 16, 2007, 02:00:46 AM »
Why Bush Will Be A Winner

By William Kristol
Sunday, July 15, 2007; B01
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/13/AR2007071301709_pf.html


I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one.

Let's step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let's look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted. Second, a strong economy -- also something that wasn't inevitable.

And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where -- despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless "benchmark" report last week -- we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome.

The economy first: After the bursting of the dot-com bubble, followed by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, we've had more than five years of steady growth, low unemployment and a stock market recovery. Did this just happen? No. Bush pushed through the tax cuts of 2001 and especially 2003 by arguing that they would produce growth. His opponents predicted dire consequences. But the president was overwhelmingly right. Even the budget deficit, the most universally criticized consequence of the tax cuts, is coming down and is lower than it was when the 2003 supply-side tax cuts were passed.

Bush has also (on the whole) resisted domestic protectionist pressures (remember the Democratic presidential candidates in 2004 complaining about outsourcing?), thereby helping sustain global economic growth.

The year 2003 also featured a close congressional vote on Bush's other major first-term initiative, the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Liberals denounced it as doing nothing for the elderly; conservatives worried that it would bust the budget. Experts of all stripes foresaw great challenges in its implementation. In fact, it has all gone surprisingly smoothly, providing broad and welcome coverage for seniors and coming in under projected costs.

So on the two biggest pieces of domestic legislation the president has gotten passed, he has been vindicated. And with respect to the two second-term proposals that failed -- private Social Security accounts and immigration -- I suspect that something similar to what Bush proposed will end up as law over the next several years.

Meanwhile, 2005-06 saw the confirmation of two Supreme Court nominees, John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. Your judgment of these two appointments will depend on your general view of the courts and the Constitution. But even if you're a judicial progressive, you have to admit that Roberts and Alito are impressive judges (well, you don't have to admit it -- but deep down, you know it). And if you're a conservative constitutionalist, putting Roberts and Alito on the court constitutes a huge accomplishment.

What about terrorism? Apart from Iraq, there has been less of it, here and abroad, than many experts predicted on Sept. 12, 2001. So Bush and Vice President Cheney probably are doing some important things right. The war in Afghanistan has gone reasonably well.

Western Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf's deals with the Taliban are apparently creating something like havens for terrorists, is an increasing problem. That's why our intelligence agencies are worried about a resurgent al-Qaeda -- because al-Qaeda may once again have a place where it can plan, organize and train. These Waziristan havens may well have to be dealt with in the near future. I assume Bush will deal with them, using some combination of air strikes and special operations.

As for foreign policy in general, it has mostly been the usual mixed bag. We've deepened our friendships with Japan and India; we've had better outcomes than expected in the two largest Latin American countries, Mexico and Brazil; and we've gotten friendlier governments than expected in France and Germany. China is stable. There has been slippage in Russia. The situation with North Korea is bad but containable.

But wait, wait, wait: What about Iraq? It's Iraq, stupid -- you (and 65 percent of your fellow Americans) say -- that makes Bush an unsuccessful president.

Not necessarily. First of all, we would have to compare the situation in Iraq now, with all its difficulties and all the administration's mistakes, with what it would be if we hadn't gone in. Saddam Hussein would be alive and in power and, I dare say, victorious, with the United States (and the United Nations) by now having backed off sanctions and the no-fly zone. He might well have restarted his nuclear program, and his connections with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups would be intact or revived and even strengthened.

Still, that's speculative, and the losses and costs of the war are real. Bush is a war president, and war presidents are judged by whether they win or lose their war. So to be a successful president, Bush has to win in Iraq.

Which I now think we can. Indeed, I think we will. In late 2006, I didn't think we would win, as Bush stuck with the failed Rumsfeld-Abizaid-Casey strategy of "standing down" as the Iraqis were able to "stand up," based on the mistaken theory that if we had a "small footprint" in Iraq, we'd be more successful. With the new counterinsurgency strategy announced on Jan. 10, backed up by the troop "surge," I think the odds are finally better than 50-50 that we will prevail. We are routing al-Qaeda in Iraq, we are beginning to curb the Iranian-backed sectarian Shiite militias and we are increasingly able to protect more of the Iraqi population.

If we sustain the surge for a year and continue to train Iraqi troops effectively, we can probably begin to draw down in mid- to late 2008. The fact is that military progress on the ground in Iraq in the past few months has been greater than even surge proponents like me expected, and political progress is beginning to follow. Iran is a problem, and we will have to do more to curb Tehran's meddling -- but we can. So if we keep our nerve here at home, we have a good shot at achieving a real, though messy, victory in Iraq.

But can Bush maintain adequate support at home? Yes. It would help if the administration would make its case more effectively and less apologetically. It would help if Bush had more aides who believed in his policy, who understood that the war is winnable and who didn't desperately want to get back in (or stay in) the good graces of the foreign policy establishment.

But Bush has the good fortune of having finally found his Ulysses S. Grant, or his Creighton Abrams, in Gen. David H. Petraeus. If the president stands with Petraeus and progress continues on the ground, Bush will be able to prevent a sellout in Washington. And then he could leave office with the nation on course to a successful (though painful and difficult) outcome in Iraq. With that, the rest of the Middle East, where so much hangs in the balance, could start to tip in the direction of our friends and away from the jihadists, the mullahs and the dictators.

Following through to secure the victory in Iraq and to extend its benefits to neighboring countries will be the task of the next president. And that brings us to Bush's final test.

The truly successful American presidents tend to find vindication in, and guarantee an extension of their policies through, the election of a successor from their own party. Can Bush hand the presidency off to a Republican who will (broadly) continue along the path of his post-9/11 foreign policy, nominate judges who solidify a Roberts-Alito court, make his tax cuts permanent and the like?

Sure. Even at Bush's current low point in popularity, the leading GOP presidential candidates are competitive in the polls with Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. Furthermore, one great advantage of the current partisan squabbling in Washington is that while it hurts Bush, it also damages the popularity of the Democratic Congress-- where both Clinton and Obama serve. A little mutual assured destruction between the Bush administration and Congress could leave the Republican nominee, who will most likely have no affiliation with either, in decent shape.

And what happens when voters realize in November 2008 that, if they choose a Democrat for president, they'll also get a Democratic Congress and therefore liberal Supreme Court justices? Many Americans will recoil from the prospect of being governed by an unchecked triumvirate of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. So the chances of a Republican winning the presidency in 2008 aren't bad.

What it comes down to is this: If Petraeus succeeds in Iraq, and a Republican wins in 2008, Bush will be viewed as a successful president.

I like the odds.

« Last Edit: July 16, 2007, 02:03:03 AM by The_Professor »
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hnumpah

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2007, 02:51:11 AM »
Quote
First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted.

What, it's January 20, 2009 already?

Quote
And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where -- despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless "benchmark" report last week -- we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome.

'Seem to be' being the operative words, though after the last few months being among the deadliest for American troops in Iraq, I'm not sure how you can come to that conclusion.

Quote
What about terrorism? Apart from Iraq, there has been less of it, here and abroad, than many experts predicted on Sept. 12, 2001.

Maybe less than 'many experts predicted', but let's not forget Madrid, London, and the rest. And Iraq, which had almost no terror attacks before the invasion, well, damn, it's an everyday thing now, innit?

Quote
So Bush and Vice President Cheney probably are doing some important things right.

Like what, breathe, shit and take up space?

Quote
The war in Afghanistan has gone reasonably well.

Um, yeah. Osama still hasn't been captured and brought to justice, the Taliban are back, and I hear this year's opium crop is huge.

Quote
These Waziristan havens may well have to be dealt with in the near future. I assume Bush will deal with them, using some combination of air strikes and special operations.

You know about that word 'assume', right?

Quote
First of all, we would have to compare the situation in Iraq now, with all its difficulties and all the administration's mistakes, with what it would be if we hadn't gone in. Saddam Hussein would be alive and in power and, I dare say, victorious, with the United States (and the United Nations) by now having backed off sanctions and the no-fly zone.

Assumption again.

Quote
He might well have restarted his nuclear program...

Oh, yeah, the one it turned out he didn't have.

Quote
...and his connections with al-Qaeda...

Which he also didn't have.

Quote
Bush is a war president...

Well, he wanted to be one, but so far he hasn't done a very good job of it.

"I love WikiLeaks." - Donald Trump, October 2016

sirs

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2007, 04:48:50 AM »
Quote
So Bush and Vice President Cheney probably are doing some important things right.

Like what, breathe, shit and take up space?

Come on H, don't hold back.....tell us what you really think


Quote
...and his connections with al-Qaeda...

Which he also didn't have.

 ::)

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2007, 11:43:17 AM »
Nothing Juniorbush has done has been done right, He is as close to a total screw-up of any leader this unfortunate country has ever had.

Roberts is the nasty, soul of Bork the Dork, squeezed into the body of a Ken doll.
Alito is a slightly less hairy version of Scalia.

His appointments have been sycophants, thieves, incompetents, fanatics and buffoons. Many have belonged to all four groups.

He will go down in history as the worst president ever, with only the possible exception of Jefferson Davis.

Even most of his own party disagrees with this article.

This is why he will be doing most of his campaigning for fellow Republicans in places like Utah, if anywhere. And not in Utah if Romney gets the nomination.

Cheney will spend the election season in an undisclosed location, perhaps sharing a cave with hibernating bears.
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Richpo64

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 11:46:52 AM »
>>Nothing Juniorbush has done has been done right, He is as close to a total screw-up of any leader this unfortunate country has ever had...
His appointments have been sycophants, thieves, incompetents, fanatics and buffoons. Many have belonged to all four groups. He will go down in history as the worst president ever, with only the possible exception of Jefferson Davis.<<


You can help the poor souls suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. Give until it hurts. These people need your help.

Amianthus

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2007, 12:09:06 PM »
He will go down in history as the worst president ever, with only the possible exception of Jefferson Davis.

And, because you have foreseen it, you have caused it to happen.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

Richpo64

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2007, 03:58:06 PM »
>>And, because you have foreseen it, you have caused it to happen.<<

I recall the leftists/communists in America attacking President Reagan in much the same way they are slandering/libeling President Bush today. Reagan was stupid, a war monger, Hitler, fascist etc. They made the same claims about Reagan?s legacy as they are currently claiming about President Bush (while still working on the ever changing Clinton legacy). This is their template and they simply cannot stray from it. They haven?t the intellectual capacity to do so.  However, looking at current events and the Reagan legacy as people see it today, one can take heart in the love real Americans have for President Reagan and Bush?s future. You really only have to look at President Reagan?s funeral and people?s reaction to it. Then there are historical writings and opinions regarding Reagan and what he meant to people like Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II. You?ll see the same from historical figures in the future when President Bush?s position on liberty in the Middle East will come to fruition and are proven to be correct.

The left has been wrong since McCarthy, and once more, they?re wrong. Since the 1960?s they have taken the side of America enemy?s and history will once again show them for the ignorant children that they are. We face the biggest threat since the Third Reich, and while our enemy?s plot, the left fiddles.


The_Professor

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2007, 01:37:22 PM »
I am not sure what your point is here, Rich. Can you please clarify this?
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                                 -- Jerry Pournelle, Ph.D

Michael Tee

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2007, 02:01:41 PM »
I don't know what Reagan legacy Rich is talking about either.  To me the guy was a fucking idiot, with a record for sponsoring the worst atrocities and human rights violations in the history of Central America, a lying piece of shit who escaped all involvement in the criminal Contragate dope-running and illegal arms trading only by pleading amnesia just as he, "the great communicator," avoided exposing his moronic stupidity by holding the least number of press conferences of any post-War President and feigning deafness when reporters shouted their questions to him as he was entering or leaving his helicopter.

However, Reagan thankfully has departed for the Great Nursing Home in the Sky where he can ply his idiocy to more sympathetic listeners.

I would say that William Kristol, and probably ONLY William Kristol, could paint Bush's disastrous two terms as a "success."  The country has been at war with a nation of 23 million people for longer than it was engaged in WWII, with no clear end in sight and "success" if it comes at all would be the kind of "success" Hitler would have enjoyed in subduing Poland had he not incited and lost a much wider war.  A "success" in Iraq, while possible, would be nothing to be proud of, like the success of any other criminal who gets away with his crime in the end.  More likely though (please God!) the war in Iraq will end in another ignominious defeat for Amerikan fascism and militarism, a permanently damaged international reputation, a huge loss in Amerikan prestige (i.e. in their power to intimidate others without actually resorting to force) and very damaging economic repercussions. 

Bush's other big failure, of course, was New Orleans, an unparalleled disaster that struck one of America's greatest cities and its people and demonstrated a complete lack of leadership and initiative as well as the total incompetence of himself and his appointees.

Why Reagan was dragged into this, I can't say, but the fact is that Bush's "reputation" at the end of his current term will be lower than Reagan's, which in itself is quite an accomplishment.

The_Professor

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2007, 02:14:22 PM »
While MT and I disagree in this forum on, well, almost everything, we DO agree on the idiocy of this conflict.

Part of me wishes, really WISHES, we could fix what we broke and then get out, but, I honestly do not see it happening for many reasons. First, it appears to my feeble mind that the current Iraqi government is not capable in so many areas of wiping tis posterior or even finding it first to do so. I am not sure if we just located the wrong folks or what, but they are obviously incompetent, some of which is not their fault, I supposed. Second, militarily, I do not see a positive conclusion since our forces are Legion forces (we break things!) and not constabulary forces (who guard things). We simply are not set up for this type of warfare and, let us not be mistaken about this, this IS a type of warfare. I am also not convinced that the Surge is working or that another even 100,000 troops will solve this problem. Third, we have lost the supprot of the average Iraqi, that same Iraqi who could help us root out the scumbags and truly get the job done. For these and other reasons then, we need to just vacate and let the bloodbath begin. No, I say this somewhat reluctantly, but I honestly see no positive end in sight. And, finally, let us learn from this (PLEASE!) and not do such foolish, colonial endeavors again. Let's go one step further and look DEEPER and realize we are NOT the world's policeman and people need to start looking after themselves more and us less. We certainly have enough interests closer to home and really IN OUR NATIONAL INTERESTS and let's pursue those.
***************************
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide."
                                 -- Jerry Pournelle, Ph.D

Richpo64

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2007, 03:03:56 PM »
>>I am not sure what your point is here, Rich. Can you please clarify this?<<

My point is that as Ami pointed out, the liberal/communists say things in order to make them true, not because they are true. Saying Bush's legacy will be one thing, and the reality of precedent is another. They said the same thing about Reagan. They say the same thing about every Republican. These lunatics steeped in lies are burying themselves again.

Sit back and watch history unfold. They'll be proven wrong again ... regarding the war and our enemy's.

There are of plenty of things I disagree with regarding this president. I'd be happy to discuss them, but the lunatic left in this country has created it's own reality and continues to lie about any number of things to keep their sheep in line and hating George Bush so they can continue their quest for power and ultimately a "sea change" in American society which will include limits on speech, thought, and gun ownership in order to cement their power and turn America into a police state.

Clear?

Plane

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Re: Why Bush Will Be A Winner
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2007, 04:32:59 PM »

".....Third, we have lost the supprot of the average Iraqi, that same Iraqi who could help us root out the scumbags and truly get the job done. "


This is key , but are you ceartain of it?


We have a large amount of support from the Kurds , enough to bother the Turks. That is nearly a third.

The Sunnis who have two brain cells to rub together do not want us to leave because they do not want to die.

The Shia include some who are very glad that we handed Saddam to them.

These three groups might or might not make a plurality of the popuilation , but they are certainly as large group that we could threaten  , we could threaten to leave early if they do not get themselves together and become effective at self government .