Monday, January 12, 2009

Beating around the Bush

The Bush Presidency is in its last days and I imagine there will be much reflection on GW’s legacy and where he stands historically. It’ll be interesting to see what the perception of Bush will be a decade or two from now. Will he still be as reviled? Or will he be vindicated? I imagine that time will most likely soften the anti-Bush sentiment. But the blunders of war and fraying of international relations will probably keep his presidency from being viewed as a successful one.

Perhaps it’s too soon to come to any conclusions, but NPR’s latest Intelligence Squared segment tries to tackle the legacy of Bush and where he stands in comparison to the accomplishments and perceptions of other presidents in the modern era of the U.S. I’m not sure if the debate ended up altering my thoughts on the man, but it’s an interesting session nonetheless.

I have to question the decision to include Karl Rove on the panel. I would’ve preferred a more objective expert rather than someone who is so close and biased to the subject of the debate. It didn’t help that Rove’s debate style grated on me immensely. He was very defensive, condescending and aggressive towards the other panelists. If there’s any personality type that pushes my buttons, it’s probably one like Rove’s.

It seems like most of the country (and the world) is itching for the transfer of power to Obama, which hopefully leads to a period of healing and upward progress for this country. The debate raised an interesting question of whether Obama has a tougher or easier time because of what Bush has left in his wake. It’s hard for me to view Bush in any positive light, but I can’t deny that his stubbornness on the troop surge probably left Iraq in a better state for Obama than if he’d consented to the strategy of an early draw-down as Obama had called for. Of course if he hadn’t invaded Iraq in the first place...

Check out the debate

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