The argument for his eventual vindication is stronger than many might expect.
On foreign policy, Bush emphasizes that he pursued a “freedom agenda” and spread freedom to Iraq. While the Iraqi future is far from clear, it is possible that the country becomes a democracy and a reliable ally of the U.S. If that transformation is completed, then it could well be viewed as a turning point in the war on terror.
On the home front, to virtually everyone’s surprise, we’ve avoided a terrorist attack since Sept. 11.
Hard to Argue
So it is hard to argue that Bush’s policies were a failure. The unpopular war may have trashed his party, but it didn’t have the same effect on the country.
Turning to the economy, the pro-Bush argument becomes more of a stretch. First, his accomplishments were few. He passed a relatively small tax cut and was unable to hold the line on government spending.
By Kevin Hassett