Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Refreshing Appraisal

I have been patiently waiting for a charitable retrospective of George W. Bush's presidency, one that did not belabor his innumerable beastly faults. As Obama's inauguration draws ever nearer, I knew that one would surface, eventually.

It is no surprise that this positive synopsis of the past eight years was written by Hugh Hewitt. Although he is a rock-solid Republican, Hewitt maintains a reasonable degree of objectivity as he points out the outgoing president's achievements, which have always been largely ignored by MSM. If you haven't time to read the whole piece (although I hope you do), this passage is an effective summation:

Here was an extraordinary and controversial man who
accomplished a great deal, lost many battles, stood by his friends sometimes too long and could be stubborn beyond political calculation but who accomplished his most urgent task of protecting the union against its many enemies. The successful completion of that task is what all great presidents have in common.

I've been as exasperated as the next conservative with George W. Bush over a variety of issues. I think he made some dreadful mistakes in the past eight years. But to Hewitt's comprehensive tribute, I'll add my own one-sentence assessment of Bush 43's presidency: He made me feel safe.

In a deeply troubled world such as the one we inhabit today, I can offer a leader no higher praise.