Friday January 16 | The Bush Legacy

January 15, 2009 at 11:59 am | Posted in Coming Up | 14 Comments

We’ll take a look at how legacies are made. President Bush has conducted a series of exit interviews to remind Americans of his accomplishments. We’ll find out how legacies are viewed, how they are created, who creates them and how our perception of history can change over time. The Bush legacy is up for discussion.
Dr. Scott Huffmon – Assoc. Professor of Political Science, Winthrop University
Dr. Michael Bitzer – Assoc. Professor of Political Science and History, Catawba College
Dr. Eric Heberlig – Assoc. Professor of Political Science, UNC Charlotte

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  1. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Or so sayeth Proverbs.
    But where there is no reality, there is no vision. And Bush had neither a good vision or good reality. By sugar-coating the Bush legacy, we will never get to the reality.
    May President Obama, and the American people, demand better reality and better visions.

    Do your panels think Bush had good visions or reality? If so, why and how?

  2. Iraq was a “War and Occupation Of Choice”, Afghanistan quickly turned into the same after downing the Taliban and placing in our usual puppet government!

    Now long running and Not Resolved with Troops and Innocents still Dying in Iraq and the Huge numbers of Iraqi Refugee’s. Afghanistan has been rapidly getting out of control as the failed policies have done what they always do in Insurgent/Guerilla actions of invasion and occupation of other, Recruitment has Increased for the Taliban and al Qaeda from across the region!!!

  3. Adding to above, the Policies set have Decreased our National Security, Time is a Weapon of Guerilla Warfare, they have it occupation forces don’t and Criminal terrorism is and has been World Wide!!

    ‘Nam Vet ’70-’71

  4. Please examine this: How is it that Bush has the power to declare large expanses of the Pacific Ocean natural reserves? Isn’t this unilateral action just another expression of empire and expanded presidential power?

    I do not argue against protecting natural treasues and fragile ecosystems, but I think Bush illustrates a poor way to accomplish it. If in power later his kind would likely disrupt the preserved areas with mineral leases, arguing American hegemony.

  5. James and David B.: Why aren’t you guys writing on the WFAE Watercooler blogs?

  6. 50 million people liberated and no attack in 7 years. One would think you guys would be a little grateful for a job well done.

  7. If you were a Neocon Imperialist you might also think the Bushites did a great job in fabricating a new Pearl Harbor on 9/11/2001, Gregg Smith. If you wanted the people deceived and their rights of due process and privacy abrogated you might call it a “job well done.” If the further intensification of the updraft of wealth and ownership were your aim you might be elated to the point of ecstasy. I imagine the unquestioning bailout of the wealthiest through their banks must have felt like an orgasm to the underling spokespersons of the elite. Personally, Gregg Smith, I’m not satisfied that the Bush administration was ejaculated on November 4th. I want war criminals tried and real economic reform implemented. We need living wages and a leveled field of competition, safeguards against wealth and wage disparity.

  8. I would like to see a list of 3 or 4 things Dubya did in his 8 years that benefited the U.S.
    Gregg, I will agree with you in regards to your point about no more attacks on American soil, but I don’t believe that it’s our job to liberate countries like Iraq while ignoring situations like Darfur.
    I have been frustrated with Republicans making excuses for Bush’s presidency like, “he had a lot of difficult things to deal with.”
    I don’t think he was the first president put into difficult situations. If you aren’t ready to deal with such experiences, don’t run for president.
    I think Republicans are very lenient when it comes to evaluating Bush, but very critical when judging Democrats.

  9. Bryan,

    We can disagree (and I do) about the “job” of the US but liberating 50 million people is no small feat. I agree things in Darfur, and other places, merit attention. Unfortunately, Darfur hasn’t had the history that Iraq did. There were 16 UN resolutions violated over 12 years, the attempt to assassinate Bush 41, they were shooting at our jets patrolling the UN sanctioned no-fly zone to protect the Kurds that were gassed with WMD that Sadaam evidently didn’t have, A 17th UN resolution that was passed 15-0 and approval from Congress. All of this in a post 9/11 world. And don’t forget the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Yes, regime change in Iraq was Clinton’s idea.

    I believe the Patriot Act has kept us safe and benefited the country. I hear complaints about civil rights but I have yet to hear anyone specifically say what rights they’ve lost. Tax cuts delivered us from the recession that Clinton left us and brought in record amounts of revenue. Pulling out of the ABM treaty helped us in my opinion. Medicare reform cost plenty but helped us. “No Child Left Behind”, warts and all, has improved education. The work he’s done in Africa to reduce AIDS and malaria has been remarkable and saved countless lives, that’s why they love him over there. I believe we’re better off with honorable justices like Roberts and Alito. I’m sure you disagree with most of what I’ve cited but there is another side.

    As to criticism, you must have missed it when Republicans went ballistic over immigration reform, Dubai ports, spending, the bailout and the Harriet Meyers nomination.

  10. Greg, you are right about Bush generously contributing to fight AIDS in Africa, but…
    please don’t bring up Bush and his tax cuts delivering us from the Clinton recession. After 8 yrs of Bush INC., we are in the worst financial mess in 70 yrs.
    The former admin grew gov’t and spent more than any other that came before them. They blew through the surplus that Clinton achieved. How can a conservative be proud of that?
    Do you really think we should have fought a war in Iraq? It was an unjusr war that cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
    No Child Left Behind has not worked and that has been proved. We need to teach children how to think rather than memorizing for tests.
    I find it ironic that so many people vote republican for one reason… abortion. More abortions happened in Bush’s 8 yrs. than Clinton’s 2 terms. I think that republicans don’t want to curtail abortion, b/c it helps them raise money and win votes.
    Good points about the immigration reform, Dubai ports, spending, the bailout and the Harriet Meyers nomination.
    I’m surprised there wasn’t more criticism regarding spending, though.

  11. Bryan,

    Bush’s tax cuts did deliver us from the recession that Clinton left. I don’t see how that’s disputable. I agree about the spending, it was deplorable. The tax cuts brought in record revenue just like Regan’s did. Just like Kennedy’s did. Spending was the culprit and I won’t defend it. Clinton did not leave a surplus, that’s an accounting gimmick and a myth. I would disagree that it’s the worst “financial mess” in 70 years. It may turn out to be but so far it’s not even as bad as the Carter years.

    The Iraq war was just, unavoidable and necessary. I gave you some of the reasons. At the time there was nearly universal agreement. Democracies in the heart of the Middle East are an extraordinary achievement. The world is a better place. Please google Bush’s speech to the UN 9/12/2002 and the “Iraq Liberation Act of 1998”. In my opinion these two realities trump all of the rhetoric about an “unjust war”.

    “No Child Left Behind” improved education. That’s my only claim. I said it had “warts”. I would submit that teaching children how to take test is teaching them how to think. The key issue is accountability. There used to be none. I didn’t expect you to agree.

    I’m pro-choice. All I can say on that is that there is more room in the Republican party for someone pro-choice (Condi Rice, Laura Bush, Christie Todd Whitman, Colin Powell) than there is in the Democrat party for someone that is pro-life (none in the Clinton cabinet).

  12. On the “financial mess” one must assign some of the blame to Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

  13. Gregg Smith will never be satisfied until a time machine can return his/her like to live with Daddy Reagan in Vallhala forever. Maybe “mad cow” runs in the family. Dub’s got it too.

  14. Wow, that’s deep dude. Good answer!

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