Not Missing Him
Stanley Fish uses one billboard and a Newsweek article to claim Bush is being rehabilitated:
Bush’s policies came to seem less obviously reprehensible as the Obama administration drifted into embracing watered-down versions of many of them. Guantanamo hasn’t been closed. No Child Left Behind is being revised and perhaps improved, but not repealed. The banks are still engaging in their bad practices. Partisanship is worse than ever. Obama seems about to back away from the decision to try 9/11 defendants in civilian courts, a prospect that led the ACLU to run an ad in Sunday’s Times with the subheading “Change or more of the same?” Above that question is a series of photographs that shows Obama morphing into guess who yes, that’s right, George W. Bush.
Oy. James Joyner's two cents:
This all strikes me as reasonable up to a point. Frankly, given how low the opinion of Bush was when he left office with many proclaiming him The Worst President Ever he has nowhere to go but up.
Will Bush ever be regarded as a great president in the tradition of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, and Reagan? Nope. But he wasn’t an awful president, either. And, depending on how Iraq shakes out, he might even be thought of as a pretty good one.
My three cents: no president in the twentieth century did as much damage to this country as Bush: in terms of unfathomable debt, unwinnable wars, political cynicism, the dangerous fusion of politics and religion, the integration of torture into the DNA of America, the squandering of American soft and hard power, the lost years on non-carbon energy, the trashing of constitutional balance, and the immiseration of most ordinary Americans, he was a disaster. The only way in which Fish is correct is that the damage was so deep and so intractable that Obama, perforce, cannot undo it overnight and so cannot help but be tarred with its consequences, including a brutal recession.
But for Fish, there is no actual reality, remember, just post-modern illusions. Which is why the pomo-left and the shameless-right were made for each other.
If we only create reality, what is, after all, wrong with Fox News? They do it rather well, don't they?