Ed's talk: Sep 21, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

my Times comment on Ross Douthat's column- 9/21/09

This is just another attempt by Mr. Douthat to salvage something from the ghastly mistake that was Mr. Bush's presidency. Even Ross cannot turn a lemon into lemonade by pointing to the surge, for example, which was another example of "putting lipstick on a pig" and in the long run, did little to mitigate the mishandling of Iraq. That we obviously got into Iraq for no other reason than oil and money is not mentioned.

The reference to the administration's refusal to allow stem cell research is dismissed by saying that Bush was right in the long run. This is left unexplained, except to suggest that it saved embryos. Oh great!!

Katrina is never mentioned and there wasn't even the hint of self-correction in that case. Yes, we didn't attack Iran as Dick Cheney wanted us to do only because, apparently, there was a final rift between Bush and Cheney as shown by Bush's refusal to pardon "Scooter" Libby as Dick badly wanted.

And there was the great financial disaster which Ross admits happened on the Bushies' watch but the feeble attempt at a bailout was too little too late and the disaster was handed down intact to the Obama administration. And attempting to compare Bush with Herbert Hoover and Lyndon Johnson also fails. Hoover, though helpless in the face of the Great Depression subsequently redeemed himself to some extent and he was never the consummate clown that Bush was. Lyndon, boorish though he often was, got much needed legislation passed during his administration through sheer force of personality as well as much arm-twisting. Bush did almost nothing.

Yes, Mr. Douthat admits that the Bush Administration wasn't a great presidency but but he barely admits that it was a disaster nearly down the line. Nice try Ross!