The Republican party is engaged in a massive campaign of Revanchism. They hope to rescue their wrecked political brand by hiding/disavowing their Still President and rewriting recent Presidential history + motivations. Forget for a moment that Still President Bush in his 2000 campaign promised a)to a be “a uniter and not a divider”, b) not “to engage in foreign adventurism” and c)bring fiscal responsibility and restraint to the Federal government. And then the Still President proceeded to turn all of these Presidential oaths into their diametric opposites – blights and body blows onto US Politics which will take many years to recover from.
So it was so with some degree of surprise that I saw in MacLeans, Canada’s National News Magazine, a story on “the shockingly liberal legacy of [Still] President George W. Bush”. This story is bipolar. On one hand Luiza Savage does that to the foreign adventurism and fiscal irresponsibility by Still President Bush. On the other hand she finds that the Still President managed to do some things of import in Education (think Laura), supplying AIDs relief, and in supporting economic aid to Africa but little on political stability there with Darfur, Nigeria, the Congo, Kenya, Somalia and Zimbabwe all rife with debilitating wars or attacks on political stability. So the pluses, which are largely expediences, are credited somewhat dubiously as being at least not illusory.
However, Newsweek tops this with its story by head correspondent Fareed Zakaria on What Bush Got Right. Again the storyline is remarkably the same as that done by MacLeans magazine. Here the major thesis is that after 6 years, Still President Bush slowly morphed and started to change polices that had proved so disastrous. As well, the story cites the same “liberal” successes – Africa, No Child Left Behind, etc seen by MacLeans. However, even though these are flawed and even-shortsighted; they are trumpeted as major efforts rather than small, expedient gestures used to mollify the otherwise harsh image of the Still President. And just to add quixotic to the mix, there is a mollified legacy editorial from US News and World Report. My question is how could these remarkably similar stories arise at this time ? What is the nature of the timing and intent ? Its a glimpse into the real power levers in the US.
In the meantime as the premature and ulterior motivated rush to define Bush’s Legacy continues – here is the neo-conservative viewpoint(it is ironic that at the American Power blog, the Neocons revel in the fact that only 41% of Americans believe that George Bush will be accorded the title of the worst President in US history) and the always incisive British viewpoint summarized in the Guardian(which has effectively pegged Still President Bush as deficient as of 2005). But the bottom line is this –any expedience for political power, the so called wedge politics, has become the Bush Presidential election and administrative legacy, surely not a welcome turn of events on the American political scene. It is becoming apparent that, the Bush status quo of highly divisive partisan politics and the politics of Fear are becoming not the exception but the US Rulers.