Fred Barnes on "Bush's Achievements"

Here, at the Weekly Standard. Barnes names 10 things:

  1. “He stood athwart mounting global warming hysteria and yelled, ‘Stop!’ . . . Thanks in part to Bush, the supposed consensus of scientists on global warming has now collapsed.”

  2. “Second, enhanced interrogation of terrorists.”

  3. “Bush’s third achievement was the rebuilding of presidential authority, badly degraded in the era of Vietnam, Watergate, and Bill Clinton.” (See here. Of course, all that rebuilt authority passes into Obama’s hands, now. :wink: )

  4. “Achievement number four was Bush’s unswerving support for Israel.” (See here.)

  5. “His fifth success was No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the education reform bill cosponsored by America’s most prominent liberal Democratic senator Edward Kennedy.”

  6. “Sixth, Bush declared in his second inaugural address in 2005 that American foreign policy (at least his) would henceforth focus on promoting democracy
    around the world.”

  7. “The seventh achievement is the Medicare prescription drug benefit, enacted in 2003.”

  8. “Then there were John Roberts and Sam Alito.”

  9. " He strengthened relations with east Asian democracies (Japan, South Korea, Australia) without causing a rift with China."

  10. “Finally, a no-brainer: the surge.”

Thank you, Mr. Barnes, for reminding us all once again that neocons are presumptively wrong until proven right in any specific instance.

He forgot Poland.


I had an athwart one time.

But the doctor lanthed it.

For those who don’t get the “stood athwart . . . yelled, ‘Stop!’” reference, it’s what William F. Buckley wrote when he launched the National Review in 1955:

(quotation grabbed from Wikipedia)
It’s nice to see conservatives still carrying on that tradition of nauseating priggishness.

I knew Bill Buckley. I served with Bill Buckley. Mr. Barnes, you are no Bill Buckley.

#2 is interesting. I wonder what percent of the public are proud of torturing suspects? You can give torture a pretty name, and deny that you do it, but it’s still torture.

Reading over that list, and the article the list came from, I’m still having a hard time figuring out whether the author is being serious or not. Written by a Conservative, it could be taken at face value… but if it had been written by a Liberal, it could easily be viewed as satire.

I would be interested in hearing about this. I did a little reading on him after he died. He lived a remarkably interesting life.

I don’t understand how the first three are even accomplishments. 4 is something that every American politician has to do, 6 is just saying something, and 8 is simply his Constitutional duty. And how is Australia an east Asian democracy?

#3 is a positive achievement only to Nixonite power-worshipers. If there’s one thing we’ve got to do in America in the next few years, it’s scuttle the “Imperial Presidency”, castrate the Vice Presidency, and turn around the dangerous, unconstitutional, and undemocratic growth of executive power.

Well, according to Barnes:

Results of which have been a mixed bag, of course – most of the states in question remain dictatorships and/or kleptocracies, and yet well off compared to Iraq.

Yes, but again:

Too too twoo. :frowning:

In regional terms, I suppose. But what I found most interesting is this:

Great – except that Pakistan and India are always at loggerheads and we need Pakistan as an ally right now . . . so . . .

And what planet is Barnes living on, that he thinks the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change has “collapsed”? :confused:

(Expecting brazil84 in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . .)

Fostering good relations with *Australia *is a Top 10 achievement? Over 8 years?

This *has *to be satire. Are you *sure *there’s not an Onion masthead on it?

Whoa. It was just a political reference — when Bentsen debated Quayle.

The first two made me a little sick, but the fifth one is flat out hilarious. Is there actually anyone who views NCLB as a success?

Okay, I can’t tell. Is that list supposed to be satire or real?

Consider the source and venue.

The “you are no Jack Kennedy” bit I got. But for whatever reason, I took you seriously when you said you knew Buckley instead of placing the quote. Weird.

It’s perhaps unremarkable that the smirky Mr. Barnes failed to include Bush’s actual best achievement: his attention to Africa, particularly countries with AIDS epidemics.