"The question history will ask is whether Bush's presidency was as bad as Richard Nixon's or only as bad as Jimmy Carter's ... If the country seriously intends to prevent terrorism, then spying at home, detaining terror suspects, and conducting tough interrogations are practices that the government will need to engage in for many years to come. Instead of making proper legal provisions for those practices, Bush has run the war against jihadism out of his back pocket, as a permanent state of emergency. He engages in legal ad-hockery and trickery, treats Congress as a nuisance rather than a partner, and circumvents outmoded laws and treaties when he should be creating new ones. Of all Bush's failings, his refusal to build durable underpinnings for what promises to be a long struggle is the most surprising, the most gratuitous, and potentially the most damaging, both to the sustainability of the antiterrorism effort and to the constitutional order," - Jonathan Rauch, the Atlantic.
Jon thinks Bush's failure as president is more like Carter's than Nixon's, i.e. recoverable within the foreseeable future, if the Congress changes hands and a new president can tackle the fiscal disaster and Iraq fiasco. I hope he's right.
(Photo: Chris Gardner/AP.)
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