Coward Old Universe…

by Jeremy G.

Archive for the ‘George W. Bush’ Category

Bush’s Lost Gamble

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on December 4, 2008

Many are already drawing the lessons from the Bush Era. In my opinion, history, only, will provide the best assessment of the Bush presidency. In the short run, though, odds are against Bush because of the situation in Afghanistan and the failure to manage the Iraqi issue, but also because he opted, at the very beginning, for a strategy that would have never allowed him to emerge as a popular or be perceived as a responsible leader.

Historian Niall Ferguson, discussing the “problem of conjecture,” puts it best:

… preemption is doomed to be unpopular. Its success can never be proven. And its failure is far more costly than the consequences of mere negligence. Were another major terrorist attack to happen now – which can never be ruled out – President Bush would surely overtake Richard Nixon, and perhaps all other previous occupants in the White House, in the unpopularity stakes. With one voice, the world’s media would declare that administration’s policy had worsened the very disease it purported to cure.

Thankfully, no terrorist attack on U.S. soil has occurred since 9-11 or since Ferguson wrote those lines. Paradoxically, it seems though that, “with one voice,” most analysts have already declared that Bush will go down as the worse president in history. That might be true, but the fact of the matter is that only history will make the final call.

P.S.: If you do acquire the book, do read Kagan and Ikenberry’s pieces. More on that later.


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Eight years is a long time

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on September 11, 2008

Jon Stewart recently made a parallel, on his show Friday, between George W. Bush’s acceptance speech in 2000 and John McCain’s acceptance speech last week. Beyond the legitimate debate regarding the similarities between the two candidates that I mentioned here, I was struck by the extent to which eight years in the White House can physically change a man.

This was Bush in 2000:

This is him today:

Denial is one thing. And inexcusable policy mistakes have been committed. But I still have a hard time believing those who depict Bush as an unaffected, cold man.

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