Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Those who study his presidency, then, won’t find a huge amount in the man himself. They’ll try to reach out and touch Bush the man, the thinker, the politician—and accidentally punch through a cardboard cutout. Behind the cutout? People who had been wanting to invade Iraq forever and got their way. People who had wanted to cut taxes for the rich forever and got their way. People who had been waiting forever for lucrative Pentagon contracts and got their way. The list goes on and on. The story of Bush will be much more about the myriad ambitious thinkers, ideologues, charlatans, and capitalists who threw themselves gleefully into the president’s orbit than it will be about the man himself.
This confirms what I have been saying since the 2000 presidential campaign: that Bush was a nothing -- simply a placeholder for the Republican establishment whose positions had been repudiated by the success of the Clinton Administration. We traded the Clinton success -- both foreign and domestic -- for eight years of the Republican/Bush chaos that ensued. Is it any wonder that we are where we are?