Friday, June 29, 2007
The Vanishing Presidency
When the dust ultimately settles on George W. Bush's presidency, will there be anything left, other than his bullhorn moment on the rubble of the Twin Towers, that we'll be able to point to as an accomplishment? Jimmy Carter largely failed through inaction -- that is harmlessly -- and he did manage to secure a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Even Nixon, for all his abuses of power both at home and abroad, made historic diplomatic advances with both the Soviet Union and China.
President Bush has managed to combine the worst aspects of both: Carter's lack of any positive accomplishments coupled with Nixon's assault on the rule of law. Throw in the dissipation of America's moral standing in the world and the erosion of our military capacity, and consider that -- unlike Carter, who never managed to rally his Congressional majority around his presidency -- Bush has managed this spotless record while enjoying sustained support from his party for his first six years in office, and it's truly a feat of Herculean proportions.