Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 18, 2010 11 Kislev, 5771

The George W. Bush Fixation

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama remains fixated by George W. Bush. For nearly two years, President Obama and his team have prefaced their explanations for the tough economy, tough finances and tough situation abroad with a "Bush did it" chorus. Apparently, they believed that most of our problems, here and abroad, either started with George W. Bush, or at least would not transcend him.

At first, it was an easy enough habit to fall into. Things were not in great shape in January 2009 when Obama took over. More importantly, Obama's started out with a nearly 70 percent approval rating. In contrast, Bush, like the punching bag Harry Truman, left office with an approval rating in the low 30s.

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 Washington on a foreign tour immediately after the election -- only to be cold-shouldered by fair-weather foreign leaders who sensed weakness. Bush, in contrast, is basking in endless media exposure as he expounds on his best-selling memoir -- appearing above the partisan fray, past and present.

Voters two years ago elected Obama for a variety of reasons -- from unhappiness with Bush and Iraq to the landmark novelty of seeing our first African-American president. The financial meltdown of September 2008 ended for good John McCain's small lead in the polls. That panic also reminded voters of their unease with the Bush deficits and his expansion of government.

Unfortunately, Obama misread all that, and ended up trumping many of the things that Bush did to alienate voters.

Deficits of $500 billion soared to $1.4 trillion ones. Vast but unfunded Bush programs like Medicare prescription drug benefits and No Child Left Behind soon were overshadowed by even bigger ones like ObamaCare. An initial Bush bailout evolved into a gargantuan stimulus and multifaceted takeovers.

The result, fairly or not, was that Bush's financial felonies began looking like misdemeanors in comparison. Tea Party voters saw the Obama medicine as worse than the original Bush disease.

There was the same obsession with, but misreading of, Bush in foreign affairs. The public was turned off by the violence and costs in Iraq -- but otherwise not especially concerned about Bush's largely traditional foreign policy or his anti-terrorism protocols. Too bad a Bush-obsessed Obama was again blind to that simple fact. So when Iraq became largely quiet as Obama entered office, the entire "Bush did it" refrain was rendered obsolete and should have been dropped.

The antiwar Obama had campaigned on closing Guantanamo, ending tribunals and renditions, and critiquing the Patriot Act and Predator drone attacks. But once Iraq was taken out of the equation, Obama quickly discovered that these old bogeymen Bush policies were both useful and relatively popular. So he was forced to keep or expand them. Obama's flip-flop only confused Americans: Why, in hypocritical fashion, was he now embracing the Bush legacy that he used to constantly demonize?

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, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in a civilian court, replete with legal gymnastics. They did not think that announcing artificial deadlines for troop withdrawals in wartime was an especially bright idea.

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 Europe over Iraq did not mean that an "I'm not Bush" Obama could not turn it off even more by printing billions of dollars, urging European countries to borrow more in reckless American style, and downplaying old alliances with everyone from Britain to Poland.

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.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2010, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles