November 29, 2008

"Obama may do more for George Bush's reputation than anyone thinks."

Says Victor Davis Hanson.

47 comments:

Robert Cook said...

Hanson is a disingenuous fool. He writes as if it's been a great secret that Obama was no lefty or liberal, when those truly looking at him have seen this clearly all along. (It's one reason I didn't vote for him, though I prefer him to McCain.)

Also, he writes "...an array of old 9/11-era experts...screamed that Bush fabricated a war against terror against bogeymen...."

This is false. No one has ever said terrorism by Muslim extremists was not a real and present danger. However, Bush lied in drawing a link between the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 to Saddam Hussein and Iraq, a link that did not exist. Bush lied in leading us to believe that his "war on terror," i.e., his illegal assault against Iraq, was a fight against those who attached us and who wish to do us further harm. He lied further by raising the specter of mushroom clouds raised in America by bombs sent by Hussein. And so on.

Bush's "war on terror" is false insofar as it does not target those who attacked us and it does nothing to safeguard us at home. It is really a war of resource acquisition, fueled by the approval of Americans wishing revenge for 9/11.

AJ Lynch said...

Robert let me remind you. The CIA chief, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, assured Bush that finding WMD was a "slam dunk".

As to the war on terror, I could not count all the times a liberal idiotorial writer or a far left Dem pol called it "the so-called war on terror".

Host with the Most said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Host with the Most said...

The war in Iraq is only "illegal" in the opinion of those who don't like it. It is a completely legal justified war, under American and United Nations approvals.

It is also wishful thinking made for the purpose of fulfilling a narrative to say that Bush in any way lied leading up to Iraq. It is completely and utterly unprovable.
such as Robert Cook from exercising their freedom to act irrationally, and call any one they disagree with anything they want, provable or not.


Victor Davis Hanson is not only completely correct in this case, history has proven him among all living historians to be the most accurate predictor of political behavior. For someone such as a Robert Cook to call Davis a fool, is evidence of someone seriously disconnected from today's reality.


Robert Cook also writes:

No one has ever said terrorism by Muslim extremists was not a real and present danger.

That statement alone is so divorced from reality that nothing further need be said about such seriously deranged Bush haters.

Mark O said...

"a real and present danger."

Well, he's halfway to abridging speech. Let him go.

Michael said...

By ROBERT PEAR
Published: November 29, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Labor Department is racing to complete a new rule, strenuously opposed by President-elect Barack Obama, that would make it much harder for the government to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job.

The rule, which has strong support from business groups, says that in assessing the risk from a particular substance, federal agencies should gather and analyze “industry-by-industry evidence” of employees’ exposure to it during their working lives. The proposal would, in many cases, add a step to the lengthy process of developing standards to protect workers’ health.

Public health officials and labor unions said the rule would delay needed protections for workers, resulting in additional deaths and illnesses.

With the economy tumbling and American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush has promised to cooperate with Mr. Obama to make the transition “as smooth as possible.” But that has not stopped his administration from trying, in its final days, to cement in place a diverse array of new regulations.

The Labor Department proposal is one of about 20 highly contentious rules the Bush administration is planning to issue in its final weeks. The rules deal with issues as diverse as abortion, auto safety and the environment. One rule would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas. Another would reduce the role of federal wildlife scientists in deciding whether dams, highways and other projects pose a threat to endangered species.

Matt Eckert said...

The thing that Robert Cook and Freder Fuckheadson and Michael forget is that the cold fish of reality has hit the President Elect in the face. He will be in charge. So hearing what terrorists have to say sounds like a good idea. He needs someplace to keep them so they can be questioned "vigorously." I am sure he is going to do everything in his power to make sure that there is not a terrorist incident under his watch.

So get you excuses ready as to why he is following the same practices as that devil Bush.

This should be fun.

John Stodder said...

Robert Cook is having a Pavlovian reaction. He didn't read the column. He's never actually read Victor David Hansen, or considered for one moment that his observations might be true. He's impervious to him. His comment is feather-light rhetoric that's already sounding quaint and nostalgic.

Hanson's point is simply that if Obama largely continues Bush's national security policies, as his current appointments strongly suggest he will, then the media perception that Bush "shredded the Constitution" and otherwise destroyed civil rights in the effort to protect the US from further terrorist attacks will have to change. Of course, that's true. It's punditry physics at work.

The idea of some leftist pundits that Obama could appoint a bunch of hawks and then order them to carry out dovish policies is one of the lamest political fantasies I've ever heard. Do I even have to explain why?

Hanson is also a historian, and he draws upon the fact that most unpopular presidents gain popularity or at least respect after their successor has been in office for awhile. It certainly happened to Truman. Within eight years, JFK was openly embracing much of his legacy and winning an election with it. It certainly happened to LBJ, despite Vietnam, because it finally dawned on liberals how much he accomplished on civil rights. It certainly happened to Carter. How many times has the media called him America's greatest ex-president? More sophisticated observers also give him part of the credit for the economic turnaround credited to Reagan. It certainly happened to GHW Bush, whose budget balancing policies and management of the S&L fiasco set the stage for the Clinton-era recovery.

It will happen to this Bush, too, although I agree that left-leaning historians and pundits will try very, very hard to deny him that reassessment. That's why people like Robert Cook and Michael are flooding the web with assured pronouncement that Bush will always, always be seen as one of our worst presidents and never be seen otherwise. You can almost hear them whispering: "Fingers crossed!"

Michael said...

Matt, You're just another wingnut, repeating the standard wingnut bullshit we've been hearing for the last 8 years, and it's hard to believe anyone with a fucking brain would continue to defend him.

Americans know exactly what kind of job Bush can do, which is why he lugs around an approval rating at about 24%.

We have a new President ready to take office, and you, along with other ignorant assholes here, just can't give him a chance to do his job before trashing him.

Why not step back for a few months and at least act like you're an American?

That is, if you really are an American.

Matt Eckert said...

You obviously can’t read Michael. I am supporting what Obama is doing you cretin.

I am giving him a chance. And look what he is doing. Naming Bush officials like Gates to posts left and right. What you have to reconcile is that he is going to do a lot of what Bush is doing. Keeping Guantánamo Bay open because he can not release terrorists to kill more Americans. Torturing terrorists to find out where they are going to strike next. Bugging overseas calls to find out the terrorist chatter without running to court to get a subpoena from some ACLU judge.

You know the stuff that made you wet your panties all these years. Now you will have to defend it to the hilt.

Good luck with that you moronic hypocrite.

John Stodder said...

We have a new President ready to take office, and you, along with other ignorant assholes here, just can't give him a chance to do his job before trashing him.

Michael, you aren't even reading what people are saying. Stop slobbering all over yourself.

The point being made is that Obama is skillfully, intelligently, even bravely, making decisions that comport with a reality he probably didn't fully recognize until after being elected -- because the information wasn't available to him until he became president-elect. In making these decisions, Obama is providing the beginnings of an explanation of the things Bush did that disturbed so many. And that's what freaking you out, Michael. If Obama pursues policies similar to Bush's, does that make him the other worst president in history? Or does it make Bush, in retrospect, not so bad?

And please, for the love of God, stop peddling the use of poll numbers to prove anything! It's fucking mindless!

jdeeripper said...

"Obama may do more for George Bush's reputation than anyone thinks."

Kinda the other way around. Bush's hard earned reputation allowed a non achieving black lawyer from Chicago with questionable social connections to be turned into the second coming of Moses, Jesus, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and MLK.

There is no way Obama gets turned into an obnoxious Global Savior without eight years of this aphasic fuck up artist.

Original George said...

Just as I predicted.

Original George said...
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Host with the Most said...

Matt,

Take no offense at michael; he's deranged - seriously. It's been proven and discussed previously numerous times on Althouse.

With Bush leaving office in less than 60 days, micahel and others, fearful that Obama won't hold up, still can't turn off the irrational hatred of Bush.

Reality has proven his kind wrong already; history will put them in the dustbin of idiots from our time.

Original George said...

I think Obama's done a pretty good job as President so far. Everyone's been shopping real hard. There's a good feeling in America.

Theo Boehm said...

Sir Archy should immediately resume his duties as Surveyor of Lunaticks around here, and leave off his pretty, Spectator-like pieces.

With the coming of an intelligent and reasonable President Obama pursuing rational policies for the common good, the various "Ideots & Lunaticks" who expected him to play the radical Leveller will be so out of their Humours that only Sir Archy's strong Physick will do them and us any good.

A stint in Bedlam for some may be their only hope.

Cedarford said...

Some posts are reminders that there is a stubborn, dogged bnnd of worshippers of "The American Churchill Who Kept Us All Safe From A Few Thousand Evildoers". That other Presidents managed not to screw up so much while facing far more formidable threats is lost on them..
Nor will history bring Dubya up much past the 24% approval rating he is mired in because of his fiscal mismanagement, abysmal relations with every group outside the Neocons and Religious Right, bungled Iraq War, bungled Katrina...he leaves office in a firestorm of economic chaos, with 40% of most American's real estate and stock investment wiped out, and a trillion dollar trade deficit he just watched happen...because he cared NOTHING for any of that...he neglected all his duties to focus on a small band of terrorists, then the Iraq War.

No, VDH, a neocon shill, is wrong. Whatever Obama does will not validate Bush - even if he DOES 2-3 things just like Bush did!!! It the sum of the man and his Presidency voters found wanting in Bush. Just like Carter. He should have been gone in 2004 and was saved only because Dems found a singularly dislikable Massachusetts liberal who may believed had dishonored his uniform and service.

PatCA said...

I do agree it was a great bait-and-switch. The Obamaniacs at Thanksgiving are still in a state of euphoria; most did not even realize he was keeping Gates on or that Bush had signed a SOFA, which essentially ends the war.

If he preserves Iraq and returns our finance industry to private ownership, however, I might fall in love, too. Well, at least vote for him.

Matt Eckert said...

Michael, Robert Cook, Freder and Cedarford. A band of brothers.

Host with the Most said...

I avoid Cedarford's rants, but decided to read this one.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

(Oooops! you mean he was serious?)

How Sad

CarmelaMotto said...

Cook, Cedarford and Michael - you all made knee jerk reactions and start spouting off the ways Bush failed and yet don't answer the question as to why Obama is keeping/supporting FISA, the Patriot Act, not closing Guantanamo, keeping Bush's Defense secretary, etc...again, the question is, if Bush's policies were so bad, why is Obama supporting them OK, but Bush was wrong. How come it's OK for Obama, but not Bush? That's the question.

When Bush's "failed policies" are being followed by Obama, will you become unhinged the same way you do about Bush or will you rationalize?

Kirby Olson said...

I like W., and I like Hanson.

Eventually, everyone will like them as much as I do.

And Obama will sink of his own weight, rather than rise to the pantheon of angels, as predicted by the mush-brained left.

They keep comparing Obama to Lincoln, but Obama doesn't have principles, Lincoln did.

That's where Hanson is right on the money.

Robert Cook said...

Who says it's okay for Obama to maintain Bush's policies? It's not. To the extent Obama maintains Bush's failed and criminal policies, he'll be as much a criminal as Bush.

By the way, the United Nations did not approve our invasion of Iraq.

The "so called war on terror" does not mean those who use the term do not see a threat in the world from Muslim (or other) terrorists, it means that they correctly see that Bush's response to 9/11 has not truly addressed the threat as it exists, and that he has not targeted the people who attacked us. The phrase is a fraud because it is used merely to mask what is really a war of imperialistic expansionism. Moreover, terrorism is a tactic, so a nation cannot really wage a war against it. One can try to root out and apprehend or kill a particular cohort of perpetrators of specific terroristic acts, but terrorism will always be available to any and all who wish to avail themselves of such tactics. It's a feel good and deceptive ad slogan.

PatCA said...

Robert,
It is obvious to me that we call it the War on Terror because it's un-PC to call it by its rightful name. Has a Democrat even said the word "Islamic" yet? I know Obama hasn't. That's a real case of denial.

Matt Eckert said...

Poor Robert hasn't been watching Obama for long. He has no trouble adapting his principals to what will work or at the very least what is popular at the moment. He is a Chicago politician when all is said and done.

It will be about two weeks before Poor Robert will denounce him for waging a War for Oil.

I hope Michael sets him straight.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

Matt, you obviously haven't paid attention to my comments. I am no supporter of Obama and I did not vote for him. (I didn't vote for McCain either.)

As a new President taking office at a time when our country is in dire emergency, I hope, for the sake of our survival as a society, that Obama can be effective in reviving a dying patient, but I have no illusions of him as a "liberal savior" or even as a "liberal." Those who see him that way, either to praise him or excoriate him, are not paying attention.

I never thought Obama was all that, as the saying goes, but I thought he was probably the best of a sorry bunch of mainstream Dems seeking the nomination. I really favored Kucinich, while knowing he had no chance. I was going to reluctantly vote for Obama until he betrayed his own rhetoric and voted to approve the revised FISA bill, which expands the government's power to evesdrop on all of us--something the "small govenment is best,and they
better stay out of my business" right wingers clearly opposed--NOT--and also grants retroactive immunity to the telecoms for their collusion with Bush's illegal wiretapping. That's when I determined I would never vote for Obama.

I've said that if Obama continues Bush's illegal policies he'll be as much a criminal as Bush; what I'm really saying is, Obama will be a criminal, as Bush is.

Matt Eckert said...

I applaud you for being consistent and true to your beliefs Robert. If you denounce Obama for following Bush policies in the War on Terror I will be very impressed.

I do not think you will, I think you will make excuses for him just as you do for murderous Islamic extremist terrorists.

Lets see what happens.

somefeller said...

Ah, more tripe from Victor Davis Hanson, the Pericles of Petticoat Junction. Well, at least with this one he didn't suggest that George W. Bush is "our modern-day Demosthenes". I guess the last few years have been tough on him, too.

somefeller said...

PatCa says: Has a Democrat even said the word "Islamic" yet? I know Obama hasn't. That's a real case of denial.

All you've shown is you don't know much. And there's plenty of other examples out there to choose from regarding the thoughts of Democrats in general and Obama in particular with regard to Islamic extremism, but you can do your own homework from here.

Cedarford said...

Host with the Most said...
I avoid Cedarford's rants, but decided to read this one.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

(Oooops! you mean he was serious?)

How Sad


Enjoy President Obama, and enjoy a robust rock solid-majority Democrat Congress - mainly courtesy of your American Churchill who f*cked up everything he touched, and the Religious Right.

And enjoy your tax increases and fine new court justices.

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!

How funny.

(Of course Crook will be disappointed because no one really cares what that idiot little gnome
Kucinich thinks is illegal or not..)

former law student said...

Some posts are reminders that there is a stubborn, dogged bnnd of worshippers of "The American Churchill Who Kept Us All Safe From A Few Thousand Evildoers". That other Presidents managed not to screw up so much while facing far more formidable threats is lost on them..

Yet these same folks have failed to shower FDR with hosannahs -- not only was there no repeat of Pearl Harbor, we actually defeated the Japanese and called their leadership to account.

Had FDR emulated GWB, we would have ignored Japan and invaded Venezuela.

Bill said...

fls: Had FDR emulated GWB, we would have ignored Japan and invaded Venezuela.

Instead, we ignored Japan and invaded French North Africa.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

You just showed you are a truly dumb fuck by agreeing with Cford and with your own stupyifingly dumb analogy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

By the way, the United Nations did not approve our invasion of Iraq.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh sorry. Hey speaking of the UN how is it doing with it's efforts in the Congo and Darfur?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Had FDR emulated GWB, we would have ignored Japan and invaded Venezuela.

Had GWB emulated FDR he would have arreested every Muslim and Arab in the US and put them in internment camps.

Oh and after Pearl Harbor we invaded North Africa and made Germany the war's top priority.

You might want to crack a history book before you go spouting off historical analogies.

Jon said...

FLS said: "Had FDR emulated GWB, we would have ignored Japan and invaded Venezuela."

Right, just like GWB ignored Afghanistan, that's why the Taliban is still in power over there.

PatCA said...

Ah, he did mention Islamic extremism. Good start!

Seven Machos said...

By the way, the United Nations did not approve our invasion of Iraq.

Just so everybody knows, Robert Cook has been at Althouse for ages bitching and moaning about international law, which he does not understand in the slightest.

Still waiting for that international court to bring some kind of writ against Bush. You let me know when that happens, okay, pal? You be sure to report it all.

In the mean time, perhaps you should consider trying to understand what international law is, and is not. Here's a tip: the resolutions of the United Nations are on the Internet.

Seven Machos said...

FLS -- Lo and behold, it's the guy who counseled patience about whether the crazy Islamists who killed people in India are crazy Islamists.

I guess it wasn't peace-loving Sikhs, was it? It wasn't Lutheran teens or lesbian veterinarians, either. Shocking.

Michael McNeil said...

Bush lied in drawing a link between the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 to Saddam Hussein and Iraq, a link that did not exist.

If Bush had really maintained there was a definite link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda (“the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11”) there would have been no need to seek an additional Congressional authorization for the use of force (declaration of war) in the case of Saddam's Iraq, because the previously obtained one (Sep. 14, 2001) would have governed the situation.

As the 9/14/2001 AUMF states:

“IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

It's precisely because such connection was lacking that it was necessary to obtain the additional authorization.

Crimso said...

"By the way, the United Nations did not approve our invasion of Iraq."

Neither did the Girl Scouts of America. What's your point?

"we actually defeated the Japanese and called their leadership to account."

And how were they called to account? Some of them were even executed (unlike KSM). Did the UN approve of our DOW on Japan (a rhetorical question, don't bother googling it as the UN didn't exist at the time)? Because if they didn't, it was illegal. It must have been.

Michael McNeil said...

By the way, the United Nations did not approve our invasion of Iraq.

In the first place, by 2002 the UN Security Council had passed a large number of binding (Chapter VII) resolutions pertaining to Saddam's Iraq, stripping the country of its sovereignty and making it subject to “serious consequences” if it remained in material breach of its obligations under those resolutions (willing cooperation, for one thing; Iraq was required to explain just what it did with its known stores of WMD, which it steadfastly refused to do).

The ultimate, most serious and severe of these resolutions, Resolution 1441 passed unanimously November 8, 2002 prior to the March 2003 invasion, gave Iraq “a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations,” at which time U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte noted that:

“If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of a further Iraqi violation, this resolution does not constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq, or to enforce relevant UN resolutions and protect world peace and security.”

Given the foregoing, the Iraq war was infinitely better authorized at the UN level than, say, Bill Clinton's 1999 attack on Serbia, undertaken with exactly zero UN cognizance or approval — not to speak of the fact that Clinton sought no prior Congressional authorization prior to the Serbian war either, while the Iraq war was formally authorized by Congress.

Secondly, regardless of how well that Iraq war was authorized by the UN prior to the 2003 invasion, since soon after the invasion all the remaining years of the war — through the present up until the end of this year (at which time the new status of forces agreement negotiated by the U.S. and just ratified by the Iraq Parliament will supersede it) — have been authorized by the UN. Thus, since 2003 the war in Iraq has had international law entirely behind it.

TitusisBackfromhaving Turkey said...

Does Victor David Hanson need to go by the name "Victor David Hanson". It sounds so pretentious.

Can he just go by Vick Hanson.

Trooper York said...

That's his porno name.

Michael said...

More good work from TEAM BUSH:

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed.

It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.

"Expect fallout, expect foreclosures, expect horror stories," California mortgage lender Paris Welch wrote to U.S. regulators in January 2006, about one year before the housing implosion cost her a job.

Bowing to aggressive lobbying _ along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK _ regulators delayed action for nearly one year.

By the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way.

"These mortgages have been considered more safe and sound for portfolio lenders than many fixed rate mortgages," David Schneider, home loan president of Washington Mutual, told federal regulators in early 2006. Two years later, WaMu became the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

The administration's blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of a philosophy that trusted market forces and discounted the need for government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s.

"We're going to be feeling the effects of the regulators' failure to address these mortgages for the next several years," said Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition, who warned regulators to tighten lending rules before it was too late.

Many of the banks that fought to undermine the proposals by some regulators are now either out of business or accepting billions in federal aid to recover from a mortgage crisis they insisted would never come.

Many executives remain in high-paying jobs, even after their assurances were proved false.