May 2016: Former President George W. Bush, primarily remembered for ....

Bush will be remembered for Iraq.

Washington = Revolutionary War
Lincoln = Civil War
Nixon = Watergate
Johnson = Vietnam
Bush = Iraq

History has a way of sifting out the “noise” and getting to the Big Things (usually the wars).

Not wanting to sound entirely cynical, but the guy has almost two years to go. He may yet have a Great Fuckup in him that will dwarf all that has gone before. Scary thought, he?

Liberal American Prospect writer Matthew Yglesias, not usually any kind of a fan of George W. Bush, recently had an interesting take on his possible legacy. Bush, says Yglesias, may be enshrined as the pioneering anti-government conservative who abandoned anti-government conservatism as no longer feasible:

I really don’t think Bush went down this road because of an ideological commitment to bigger government. I think he’s just too weak to make the tough decisions that real fiscal responsibility would require.

I do agree that he has pretty much demolished the Republicans’ “small government is better” talking point. Strangely enough, most Republicans seem to be in complete denial about this … .

No, not a chance. His handlers are like us. They realise the disaster they’ve let loose and the failure of GWB means he is a contained power. No more initiatives from this administration.

He will be remembered as being in office on 9/11, and with being the first president of the great long struggle between the West and Islam. His successor will deal with this also, as will at least the next four presidents. I think he’ll avoid being the one in office when we lose a city.

Even stranger, I don’t understand why the democrats haven’t grabbed this issue as their own. I’d be ranting about the “big-government borrow and spend republicans” on all the sunday talk shows.

Certainly that is what his supporters hope. That while completely wrong in all the details, deliberately and maliciously deceitful, he was in fact a man ahead of his time, bitterly misunderstood. A titan who perceieved the grand sweep of history while pygmies chattered and griped at his footfall.

In other words, not a chance.

How about the manned mission to Mars on…Alternative Energy! :smiley:

At least anyone sufficiently wealthy, a former President for a Dad and a well connected, powerful political family.

So, basically he’ll be remembered for being unprincipled?

Other than New Orleans, you mean.

Could that mean that he’s responsible for killing off the political viability of the “drown it in the bathtub” view of government? That there’s no way that contingent can come back into positions of strong influence for another generation? If Bush’s “success” in making the privatization of Social Security politically impossible is an indicator of that, perhaps so.

But of course his administration has been defined by 9/11 and Iraq, and especially the results of the latter, and I don’t see any way for that to change.

According to the man himself, he hopes to be remembered as an “agent for peace.” (last line of the article)

Pardon me while I stop rolling on the floor laughing.


Or he may just as easily be remembered as the guy who mismanaged the first stages of the conflict and made it even longer or worse than it otherwise would have been. History will judge.

But to state the obvious, the conflict with Islam did not orginate with Bush, nor will it end when he leaves. He was in office when it zoomed to a whole new level of violence and urgency, which I expect it to stay at for at least a decade or two, no matter who’s in office.

New Orleans is nowhere near “lost.” I was referring to the nuclear destruction of a US city.

Only if we’re lucky, rjung, only if we’re lucky.

:confused: “Conflict with Islam”? The US and much of the rest of the world (including some Muslim regimes) are certainly having a conflict with particular politicized, violent forms of Muslim fundamentalism. But is it meaningful to broad-brush that as a “conflict with Islam” as an entire religion?

Are, say, Palestinians in the occupied territories having a “conflict with Judaism”?

Implicit in comments like that, I think, are predictions that this conflict with fundamentalist Islam will spread beyond, and that at some point in the future it may be characterized more legitimately as a “conflict with Islam.” Think of it what you will, I don’t agree (and I sure hope it’s not the case).

Pat Buchanan disagrees, FWIW. And apparently he is not the only one.

That, and for putting the last nail in the coffin of small-government conservatism, the way Clinton did for big-government liberalism.