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November 05, 2008

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Brendan might be correct to compare Bush to Carter and Clinton in political terms. The Bush Presidency has indeed been followed by Democratic victories at all levels.

However, in policy terms, they're quite different. Despite Bush's low public popularity, he was able to gain Congressional support for many significant items:

-- No Child Left Behind
-- Cuts in income tax rates
-- "War on Terror", that is, changing the battle against al Qaeda from a law enforcement matter to a war.
-- Homeland Security Dept and various steps which prevented further al Qaeda attacks here after 9/11
-- Reoganization of intelligence agencies
-- Adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare
-- Overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan
-- Establishment of a (feeble) democracy in Afghanistan
-- Overthrow of Saddam
-- Building a possibly successful democracy in Iraq. In particular, implementing the Surge against the wishes of most Americans and with a hostile Congress.
-- the $700 billion financial bailout
-- Senate approval for 2 capable, conservative Supreme Court justices.

I don't approve of all of these steps, but they're all significant. It's an impressive list.

Brendan seems to minimize the accomplishments when he says, "9/11 made it possible..." Certainly 9/11 did make it easier to obtain Congressional approval for some of these steps. However, I think history will eventually give Bush personal credit (or blame) for doing what was necessary to get Congress to approve these major changes.

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