The George W. Bush Fixation
Victor Davis Hanson
At first, it was an easy enough habit to fall into. Things were not in great shape in
Obama's serial fixation with his former predecessor made little sense when he first took office -- and has now become a disastrous misreading of political realities.
Recent polls reflect that Bush and Obama are now just about even in popularity. Obama's supporters in the House have suffered the worst Democratic shellacking since 1938. The president got out of
Voters two years ago elected Obama for a variety of reasons -- from unhappiness with Bush and
Unfortunately, Obama misread all that, and ended up trumping many of the things that Bush did to alienate voters.
The result, fairly or not, was that Bush's financial felonies began looking like misdemeanors in comparison.
There was the same obsession with, but misreading of, Bush in foreign affairs. The public was turned off by the violence and costs in
The antiwar Obama had campaigned on closing Guantanamo, ending tribunals and renditions, and critiquing the Patriot Act and Predator drone attacks. But once
When Obama tried to chart a new and much-heralded "reset-button" foreign policy in loud opposition to Bush's, the irony continued. Most Americans did not want to try the accused architect of 9/11,
They also did not expect that the much-heralded antidote to Bush's swagger and "Dead or Alive" Texanisms would include bowing to Saudi princes and Chinese dictators, apologizing abroad for America's purported sins, or spreading mythologies about the Islamic world's contribution to the Western Renaissance and Enlightenment.
Just because Bush turned off
So here is a polite suggestion for President Obama: After nearly two years of governance, free up your own policies to either succeed or fail on their own merits without chaining them to the Bush past.
In a word: Let go of a now-smiling and relatively rehabilitated Bush -- before such a fixation consumes you and your presidency.
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(c) 2010 Victor Davis Hanson