Name one thing…
I write this on a day I’ve awaited for eight years: the final day of the George W. Bush presidency (also known as the Dick Cheney Vice Presidency). It’s hard to fathom how much has transformed over the past eight years, and thus I believe that Bush’s tenure will be regarded as one of the most important presidencies in American history. For all the wrong reasons, of course, but still important.
However, I struggle to find one thing I could point to as a clear success story. Every major accomplishment, legislation, appointment, or unilateral action undertaken by his administration seems like a mistake to me. I don’t write this to pile on, but rather as a sincere attempt to salvage one facet of the Bush presidency that I can point to as positive – I can certainly think of similar strengths of every other president in my lifetime, but I honestly cannot come up with anything that Bush has done that could be affirmed across the political spectrum. The closest I can get requires comparison with his successive neighbors:
- He did not have an affair with an intern in the Oval Office. (Or at least he didn’t get caught.)
- Per The Onion, he screwed things up bad enough to enable the election of a black President.
So I turn to my readers with a sincere request: can you name one thing emerging from the Presidency over the last 8 years that we can call a truly positive accomplishment, regardless of our politics?
Update: In looking over the first 4 suggestions, I’m struck by the need for a new metric – per the nature of the job, over the course of 8 years a president is bound to sign something that does some good, if only from necessity or accident. So let’s borrow a concept from baseball stats: VORP stands for Value Over Replacement Player, which assumes that an average player will generate some stats simply by accumulating at-bats or innings pitched. Hence you judge any player not on raw stats, but on how much above the performance that a random AAA player inserted into the lineup would yield.
So, let’s judge Bush for his Value Over Replacement President…
Filed under: Media Politics, Not Quite TV | 14 Comments
Tags: bush, presidency