Rove: Bush ‘Got the Big Things Right’


With the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library last week, there is a concerted effort underway to resurrect the reputation of Bush as a leader. Good luck with that. In fact, his presidency was a disaster in almost every conceivable way. But Karl Rove, who more than anyone else is responsible for getting him into the White House, tries his best:

Karl Rove, who has been described by former President George W. Bush as “the architect” of his 2000 and 2004 election victories, isn’t backing down in his defense of the former president’s legacy, saying “he got the big things right.”

“He kept us safe after 9/11, he moved to modernize our tools, provide the tools to fight terror, he called terror for what it was, he tackled the big issues of trying to reform Social Security, Medicare, immigration, education,” Rove tells Politics Confidential, standing outside the new Bush library and museum.

Man, he isn’t even trying. He didn’t actually achieve anything on Social Security, Medicare, or immigration, but he “tackled” the issues by “trying” to do something. Isn’t that inspiring? As for the “big things,” he could scarcely have gotten them any more wrong than he did. The Iraq War wasn’t just a bad idea, it was a spectacularly bad idea that has cost trillions of dollars. And almost every single element of the marketing campaign for the war turned out to be absolutely false.

Fiscally, he couldn’t have done more damage if he had tried to do so intentionally. Launching two major wars while cutting taxes turned a small surplus into a massive deficit and doubled the national debt. In fact, since those decisions are still the primary cause of most of the federal budget problems today, he is responsible for nearly tripling the debt.

And on perhaps the biggest issue of all, the very makeup of our constitutional system of checks and balances and the separation of powers, Bush did more to undermine that system than any president in our history. He was the one who approved of a whole range of clearly unconstitutional actions by the government and initiated the court strategy that insulates those actions from legal challenge, making the authority of the executive branch virtually limitless (and Obama gets an assist as well). Let’s also add to that the fact that he pretty much destroyed any notion that the United States has any credibility at all in criticizing another country for human rights violations with the torture regime he built.

Got the big things right? He could hardly have gotten them more astonishingly wrong.

Comments

  1. gingerbaker says

    This Karl Rove we have in this universe is not particularly useful. While we know that everything he says is a vile, black-hearted lie, it is not always a completely 180 degree departure from the truth.

    In the universe where Spock has a beard and is evil, the really useful Karl Rove exists, a font of platitudes, observations, and predictions all of them true, winsome, elegant, and beautiful.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    He didn’t actually achieve anything on Social Security, Medicare…

    Thank goodness for that.

  3. daved says

    Well, he achieved something on Medicare, kinda. We now have the unfunded Medicare Part D, which adds to the deficit in order to pay inflated prices for prescription drugs.

  4. Trebuchet says

    Rove should be rotting in prison (along with Dick Cheney) for his role in the Valerie Plame affair.

    One correction however: Far from achieving nothing on Medicare, Bush got Medicare Part D (Prescriptions) passed. It was, of course, a gift to the big pharma companies that wrote the bill, but still a major change and a benefit to many seniors.

  5. wscott says

    I did like Bush’s Dead On Arrival immigration reform proposal. That’s about the only nice thing I can find to say about the man.

  6. psweet says

    I’d have to give him credit for two things — the AIDS assistance in Africa, and the move to low-sulfur diesel.

  7. jolly says

    Well, they managed to completely revamp Reagan’s name into a hero and he sucked almost as bad a George II.

  8. Trebuchet says

    @8: I think it was more Bush licking Rove’s and Cheney’s boots than the way you’ve got it.

  9. busterggi says

    As far as I can recall Dubya’s biggest acheivement was completely reading ‘My Pet Goat’ while ignoring the worst terrorist attack on US soil in history. Its not easy ignoring reality like that but he did it.

  10. raven says

    Bush almost made me a billionaire.

    He was going to privatize social security. Social security is one of the few government programs that is self funded until 2033 anyway and it works well for its intended purpose.

    1. Studies show that 8 or 9 of 10 people lose money in the stock markets, which is where privatized SS money was supposed to go.

    2. We already have privatized social security plans, IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, and 401(K) plans. People can make up their own private plans already and many do. Studies show that at least 401(K) plans haven’t worked well for most people.

    My new company was going to deliver food, blue tarps, blankets, and water to the millions of old people living in our parks after Bush privatized social security. It would have been a guaranteed success.

  11. noastronomer says

    … and he (Bush) managed to leave office, that’s a plus right?

    Mike.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    Catching a fish – that was the biggest thing he did in office, wasn’t it?

  13. grumpyoldfart says

    Got the big things right? He could hardly have gotten them more astonishingly wrong.

    And the very savvy American electorate voted him in for second term !

  14. says

    Larry “He’s right. There is a whole lot of brush in Texas that got cleared.”
    No. He started clearing it in Texas but, before finishing, moved on to the real brush in Nebraska.
     
    grumpyoldfart “And the very savvy American electorate voted him in for second term !”
    But Kerry was a flip-flopper! And he served honorably in Vietnam!

  15. says

    Trebuchet@#8
    I think it was more Bush licking Rove’s and Cheney’s boots than the way you’ve got it.

    I think it was a whole wild frenzied circle-lick.

  16. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    As far as I can recall Dubya’s biggest acheivement was completely reading ‘My Pet Goat’ while ignoring the worst terrorist attack on US soil in history.

    I hear the library has the very copy he was reading. And at least three other books.

  17. Ulysses says

    I hear the library has the very copy he was reading. And at least three other books.

    One of those other books hasn’t been completely colored yet.

  18. says

    Speaking for God is getting the Big Things Right as big and as right as getting big things right can be.

    G.W.B. spoke for God as well as any profit ever.

  19. Uncle Glenny says

    I can’t believe this post has been up this long without the word “turdblossom” appearing.

    There.

  20. bad Jim says

    Now watch this drive!
    You’ve covered your ass.
    Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.
    There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.

    But all in all, it’s been a fabulous year for Laura and me.
    12/21/2001 White House release

    Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

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