After George W. Bush leaves the White House on January 20, here’s what the narrative’s going to look like:
Yes, he made mistakes — and some real stinkers, too. But the last two years weren’t actually so bad. After all, the nastiest scumbags departed Justice and Defense, didn’t they? He did replace Rumsfeld with Gates, didn’t he? You don’t see Feith or Yoo anywhere, do you? In fact, for the second half of the second term, his was an administration of, well, adults. Right?
Yeah — kind of.
On the other hand, for a wartime president, he sure took his sweet time concluding that his war strategy wasn’t working. He never bothered to figure out how to conduct his “global war on terror” without abusing human rights and U.S. law. He paid no attention to the worsening mess in Afghanistan. He tried to bully the Iraqi government into letting U.S. troops stay on indefinitely. And when that failed, he left the mess to his successor.