Bush says farewell

President Bush said good-bye to the nation as he prepared to leave office after eight years. Here is his farewell address. He has been extraordinarily hated and derided. And yet Barack Obama is apparently going to continue many of his policies. So what do you think future historians will say about him?

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  • James

    Sounds SO much like the TR/Wilson transition….Amazing. (Though TR may not have been as hated.)

  • James,

    Nice comparison to TR/Wilson, however if Obama is anywhere near as bad for the country as Wilson was I can’t imagine the country being around for too much longer.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Charles Krauthammer has an excellent piece
    today at Real Clear Politics including:

    Absorbing that [shoe throwing] insult was Bush’s final service on Iraq. Whatever venom the war generated is concentrated on Bush himself. By having personalized the responsibility for the awfulness of the war, Bush has done his successor a favor. Obama enters office with a strategic success on his hands — while Bush leaves the scene taking a shoe for his country.
    Which is why I suspect Bush showed such equanimity during a private farewell interview at the White House a few weeks ago. He leaves behind the sinews of war, for the creation of which he has been so vilified but which will serve his successor — and his country — well over the coming years. The very continuation by Democrats of Bush’s policies will be grudging, if silent, acknowledgement of how much he got right.

    Assuming Iraq develops a thriving Arab democracy, Pres. Bush will in time be recognized as an able president who had the courage to make some hard decisions in the interests of the nation. Ruth Wisse in a WSJ piece yesterday made the point that Bush removed a vicious tyrant, while Clinton installed one. [Arafat]

  • Matt Jamison

    Exactly right, Peter.

    I think President Bush can take comfort in the immense respect and affection he recieves from most of his staff. In time, the country will come to understand the value of his hard decisions. I think that Katrina and the handling of the financial crisis will be black marks.

    I am encouraged that Obama appears to be far more sensible than many of his admirers on the Left. I am optimistic that America’s standing in the world might ultimately benefit from the bad cop/good cop dynamic; now that Bush has dealt with some of the world’s thorniest issues, it has created space for Obama to win friends.

    But we’ll see. I pray that our new president is sensible and moderate, even as I look forward to replacing him in four years with someone whos values I can support.

  • CRB

    Does anyone know if Obama commented on the shoe throwing incident?

  • John Drake

    It seems that actually Bush was the unrealistic utopian Wilsonian in our era. *Some* of us conservatives see it more this way — http://www.takimag.com/blogs/article/the_end_of_an_error/
    Jack Hunter says, “What conservatism has the Bush era produced? Exploding government, enhanced state power, reckless spending, increased federal programs, open borders, starting a needless and costly war – the list is endless – and yet most self-described mainstream conservatives have little criticism for this catastrophe of a president.” My only disagreement is that I’d say “an unjust war” instead of “a needless war.”

    In my opinion, it has devastated evangelicalism and eclipsed the gospel that evangelicals sold their souls to the Republican party.

  • Bob

    I second what John Drake said.

    Conservative Christians sold their souls long ago to the Republican Party.

    You’ve been played, Satchmo.

  • FW

    bush was a sincere man who sincerely did what he thought was best for the country and his ideas of what was best were heavily marked by what happened on september 11.

    what actually resulted however, was that bush did everything in his power to create precidents and a constitutional understanding that will do as much as possible to pave the way for an eventual dictator.

    he did the exact opposite of honor and reinforce the system of checks and balances.

    cheney summarized bush´s view on the reach of executive power by noting the following fact: the president is followed always by someone holding the button that would launch nuclear weapons. the president can push that button at any time without consulting anyone at all. what logically follows from that (in the minds of bush and cheney) is that short of pushing that button, the president has the same unchecked power and authority on all other issues.

    I can provide cheneys exact quote if you dont believe he said as much. If cheney DID say this in so many words, what would you all here think of that theory?