Frank Bruni has a problem: essentially, he sees the need to tell all the other people on his side to lay off the political heroin that is Bush hatred, but he just needs one more fix himself, man. Just one more small hit to take the edge off. That’s it, man:
Obama can rise far above Bush and still fall short.
…Whoa, whoa, whoa there, Tex! What makes you think Obama’s better than Bush?
Seriously: dial it back a notch there, Sparky. This ain’t Gamechanger Salon. In the real world there’s a reason why Bush’s numbers are ticking ever upward:
- Domestically: many people – including, in fact, President GW Bush – have had legitimate problems with the TARP bailout of 2008. But the fact of it is that before Bush intervened we were hearing mutterings about bank holidays and absolute financial panic. It was a very, very bad time, and the government’s intervention turned it into a bad time. In contrast, Barack Obama has taken the bad financial situation that he was given and done precisely zip about it since. We can’t even get him to sign off on a jobs-and-economy-boosting pipeline.
- Foreign policy: pretty much everybody hates us, nobody fears us, and our allies are visibly counting the days until 2017. Geez, we even managed to tick off Canada.
- Iraq: When George W Bush took office, Iraq was a fractured mess. The Kurds were an armed camp in one corner of the country, protected largely by American air power; and the Shi’ites were constantly being threatened by a Sunni dictatorship with a taste for rape rooms and a habit of using poison gas on their enemies. When George W Bush left office, Iraq was… stable, in the medical sense. Things weren’t great, but they weren’t getting worse. When Barack Obama took office, Iraq was… stable, in the medical sense. Things weren’t great, but they weren’t getting worse. And, five and half years later? …Iraq is a fractured mess. The Kurds are an armed camp in one corner of the country, protected largely by American air power; and the Shi’ites are constantly being threatened by a Sunni dictatorship with a taste for rape rooms and a habit of using poison gas on their enemies. The only real difference is that Baghdad isn’t being occupied by the Islamic State, which is by the way what the Baathist Party would look like if the latter was theocratic-themed.
I’m not saying that George W Bush was the Platonic Ideal of a good President. I’m just saying that Obama has to seriously up his game if he wants to rise to Bush’s level, let alone rise far above.
Anyway, articles like this is why we call enthusiasts in my line of work ‘junkies.’ Which, when you think about it, is kind of… uncomplimentary, yes? Brutally accurate, of course; but uncomplimentary.
Via Hot Air Headlines.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: On the subject of Katrina: I find it darkly amusing that the people who actually had to deal with Katrina and its aftermath responded to it* by going sharply Republican. I mean, seriously: it was like the Louisiana Democratic party had suddenly had a cholera epidemic, or something.
PPS: Yeah, so I’m mixing my drug metaphors. Chill out, man.
*In apparently a swifter fashion than Northeastern Democrats seem to be able to manage when it comes to Hurricane Sandy.