In the ten years since George W. Bush came on the national scene I've tried hard to figure him out. Though he proclaimed himself to be a "compassionate conservative" I've always wondered what he really is.
Let me make it clear; I don't believe that Bush was responsible for the recession following 9/11. If anyone is responsible I would place more blame on Clinton for9/11 occurring. Clinton's complacency in dealing with two huge terrorist elements that were strengthened and grew bolder under Clinton's watch are borderline criminal. Doing little of nothing for the 94 WTC attack, not retaliating after the USS Cole was bombed and failing to authorize the CIA strike of the Al Quaida and Osama Bin Laden camp only emboldened the terrorists.
I also don't blame Bush for the financial collapse in 2008; it was Chris Dodd and Barney Frank on the House Banking committee who ignored Bush's warnings to clamp down on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and stop the bad loans to unqualified buyers. And most Democrats refuse to talk about what brought about the banking crisis; it was Clinton's, and the Dem's cancellation of the Glass-Seagul Act which allowed banks and financial institutions to merge business interests and strike down a banking law that had protected us from financial calamity since the Great Depression of the 30's.\
What I do blame Bush for is the hard-headedness which took us into two extended major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and despite state department council that warned against trying to "democratize" Muslim countries who are capable of a benign theocracy at best. In fighting these two wars for a decade now we have expended trillions of dollars that we don't have and have sacrificed countless American lives in the process.
If Bush had wanted to "avenge" his father's failure to drive into Baghdad during the first Gulf War, why in hell didn't he just go in, take out Sadaam and his sons, and get the hell out? What was the purpose of staying? Democracy? Aint' gonna happen in countries where religion is the overriding influence in every phase of their lives.
With respect to Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Quaida are in Pakistan, not Afghanistan! They fled! Now what? Do we continue to spend $2 billion dollars a week to fight a war where the enemy has "left the building"? Afghanistan's government is ripe with corruption and the enemy have fled! By all means, let's fight terrorists, but let's do it on our terms! We don't have to have our troops tromping all over the desert, being blown up, injured and killed by terrorist guerrillas! Didn't we learn anything from Vietnam?
Should we now invade a nuclear-armed Pakistan for god's sake? Enough. Bring our troops and all the equipment home. Use the money saved to beef up our harbor security, put our troops on the border and stop this massive invasion of illegal immigrants and spend that trillion dollars here! Hell, it might even pull us out of recession! And if or when we are ever attacked on our soil we have the means to know where that attack originated from and we can do what's necessary to take the threat out.
In 2008 the American people, weary of an extended and pointless war, and alarmed by explosive spending by Bush and the Republicans and Democrats, had finally had enough. We elected a socialist President and we elected a horde of socialist Democrats who have been having an orgy with our checkbook.
When Republicans complain , the Democrats respond with the mantra, "Bush did it too" So what we face today was caused by a hard-headed Texas-Macho free-spending Bush who claimed to be conservative and was anything but.
Why did Bush perform so badly? Well, take it to it's roots. The elder Bush lost an election when he wandered into a department store in the middle of the 91 recession and marvelled at the bar scanner! Scanners had been around for a decade but Bush doesn't have to shop for himself. Always a rich man, he just couldn't relate to the average joe. George W. has fared no better in understanding the electorate. He certainly didn't understand the word "conservative".
So what is Bush's legacy? He was the Democrat's best friend. For the next decade or so, he'll be the excuse the liberals use when they are criticized for those spending orgies they love. Bush and a number of recent Republicans did more to damage the conservative cause than anyone I know.