The Democrats were never able to beat George Bush when he was on the ballot, but they seem to think that the third time’s a charm. To hear Barack Obama talk, you might think he is running against Bush. And the conventional wisdom is that Republican candidates will be well-served to stay as far away from the President as possible.
Perhaps so; at this point, hardly anyone has any interest in defending the Bush record. The fact is, though, that the administration’s record is a good one. Investors’ Business Daily provides a useful review:
On the economy, there are indications the sun is coming out after a fairly mild economic storm. More data are showing a recession will be avoided, and it looks like a new bull market in stocks began in March after a short and shallow bear. …
For the resilience of this economy, we can thank the president. He pushed substantial tax cuts on income and investment through Congress, which were followed by four years of growth, generating over 8 million jobs. …
As for national security, Obama keeps saying the war in Iraq and the rest of the administration’s foreign and defense policy have, as he put it last week in South Dakota, “prevented us from making this country safe.” But the country is safer than anyone expected after 9/11.
There has not been a single terrorist attack on the homeland, and we have instead foiled multiple terrorist plots to kill innocent Americans. America has succeeded in foiling these plots because Bush gave the National Security Agency the authority to monitor any and all communications of suspected terrorists, by telephone, e-mail or other means.
The president also gave authorization for the CIA to employ tough interrogation methods on terrorists in custody, to the extent of transporting those detainees to secret locations abroad.
As we have prevented the terrorists from taking their jihad to the U.S., we have taken the global war on terror to the terrorists’ home soil. *** When faced with the entire Washington establishment demanding an end to the war — including his own father’s secretary of state, James Baker — President Bush stuck to his guns, placed a new general in charge and employed a surge strategy that is now winning the war in Iraq in resounding fashion.
The Bush administration has had failures. It failed to stand up to the Democrats and business-as-usual Republicans on spending and it turned left on immigration when it should have turned right. On the whole, though, and especially on those issues where the Democrats are most anxious to attack it, the Bush administration’s record is one the President can be proud of.
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