As a strange follow-up to my post on Wednesday concerning President Harry S. Truman....and I mean strange for me because I never thought I'd offer space in my blog to link to the opinions of Ed Rollins, I'm addressing a recent commentary in which Rollins mentions Truman being George W. Bush's "newfound hero." The quote below is a portion of his thought-provoking commentary (in which he begrudgingly notes that he'll vote for McCain but what do you expect from Rollins...) and the colored text is mine for emphasis.
. . . But two presidents, the incumbent and his immediate predecessor, cast giant shadows over this election season.
The biggest shadow of course is that of President Bush. Our 43rd president's goal in life was to surpass his father, 41, whom he admired but felt was weak.
Guided by his political guru, Karl Rove, it was Bush II's ambition to make the Republican Party the majority party for decades to come. He and Karl wanted to create a political realignment that would marginalize Democrats for at least a generation and maybe more.
Not satisfied to change only American politics, Bush and his neo-con advisers, led by Dick Cheney, wanted to use American military might to spread democracy to places that had been led only by tribal councils and ruthless dictators.
If Bush had accomplished these goals, he truly would have been a historic president much like his newfound hero Harry Truman. But his failures were unimaginable. W will go down in history, all right.
He will leave office with the lowest approval ratings of any president in modern times and will be judged as a catastrophic failure who destroyed his party, left his successor with two unpopular, unfinished wars and left the country in the worst economic condition in nearly eight decades. That's not even counting the Bush administration's inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
By comparison, his father's failed presidency looks pretty good. Barack Obama has very effectively tied John McCain to Bush and tried to convince voters that electing McCain means four more years of Bush's failed policies. . .
You can read Rollin's full commentary here, along with a series of truly interesting and varied comments from readers. The first comment there is noteworthy, written by Prantha:
"The Republicans need to DUMP THE AGENDA-DRIVEN NEOCONS AND THE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS who control the party! If the Republicans don't do this, they deserve to stay far out in the wilderness."
NOTE: Top cartoon by Pat Oliphant. Bottom cartoon by David Horsey