Bush’s Progress Everywhere But the Polls
The Washington Post has a piece today on how things are looking up for George W. Bush: The war in Iraq seems to have taken a turn for the better and the opposition at home has failed in all efforts … Read More
The Washington Post has a piece today on how things are looking up for George W. Bush:
The war in Iraq seems to have taken a turn for the better and the opposition at home has failed in all efforts to impose its own strategy. North Korea is dismantling its nuclear program. The budget deficit is falling. A new attorney general has been confirmed despite objections from the left.
However, his poll numbers remain dismal:
Yet none of this has particularly impressed the public at large, which remains skeptical that anything meaningful has changed and still gives Bush record-low approval ratings.
Polls are a tricky thing. I too would respond with disapproval of Bush's performance if polled. He simply has not been conservative enough for me. His immigration plan, the spending, the too-few vetoes, our weak fighting of this war, all of it has soured me on the man. I had many problems with him in his first term too. I despised giving a new entitlement program to the richest segment of the population in the form of his Medicare plan, hated his signing of McCain's ridiculous Campaign Finance bill, and nearly cried when he confirmed that despite his belief in freedom for all, Taiwan is part of one China.
Despite all this, I am someone who worked to re-elect George W. Bush in 2004, and would do it again tomorrow in a repeat Bush-Kerry race. While I'd like someone fiscally conservative, who is an international badass that can maybe pronounce nuclear, the reality of the situation is that Bush was better than either of his opponents by a mile.
Bush's legacy won't be decided by his poll numbers today or tomorrow, or even the day he leaves office. Whatever he has done in his 8 presidential years, all of it will come down to Iraq in the end. It will be noted in history books that we had no further attacks on U.S. soil in the 6 years following 9/11. But if Iraq is still a disaster, that fact will only be an afterthought. As someone who supported the Iraq war when it began, and still supports it today, Bush's legacy matters to me only in so far as I want what is best for both America and Iraq. Rooting for failure in Iraq to show up Bush is unconscionable, and should be rejected by anybody with any sense of humanity.
Ultimately, current polls of the president's approval are meaningless. Only time will really tell us if the Iraq war will have been a success. For a president whose reputation rests on that result, his current legacy projection matters not at all.