Let the rehabilitation of Bush begin! For the past 8 years, the most strident and hysterical leftist criticism of Bush has centered on his intelligence policies which leftists assured us arose purely out of a callous disregard for civil liberties and human rights, if not outright evil.
President-elect Barack Obama is unlikely to radically overhaul controversial Bush administration intelligence policies, advisers say…They say he is likely to fill key intelligence posts with pragmatists.
Whoa, whoa whoa! Pragmatic? Bush’s polices are suddenly pragmatic? What about the incessant ranting for years that Bush had gone far beyond any practical necessity?
Poof, it’s gone. It’s gone because it has fulfilled its purpose. Leftists demonized and distorted Bush’s policies for one of two reasons: (1) They were idiots who didn’t understand modern technology and conditions or (2) they sought to demonize Bush for their own political gain. I think Obama operates from Reason 2. Now that the responsibility for national security falls in his lap, the steps that Bush took to bring intelligence methods and law into the 21st Century suddenly look like nothing but common sense. Obama will not risk American lives and his own legacy merely to pander to leftist hysterics who still think everyone communicates over analog phone lines.
Obama has to do this because Bush’s policies, which Congress and the courts repeatedly signed off on, did arise from pragmatic necessity as everyone with real knowledge of modern intelligence gathering knew all along. Bush and the rest of the federal government did pretty much what conditions required them to do in order to win a war and maintain security going forward.
Of course, this means that Obama will have to rehabilitate Bush in order to defend his adoption of Bush’s policies. He can’t say that Bush went far beyond necessity and the Constitution and then turn around and do the same thing. No, he will patiently explain that it turns out that Bush had most things right and that we need to respect the wise decisions that he made and to finish the work he started.
I predict this will be only one area in which leftists will quickly “re-evaluate” Bush’s legacy. Now that leftists face the same responsibilities that Bush has faced, they will see his actions in a different light. As a result, I predict that Bush will be much better thought of five to ten years down the road than he is today.
It’s too bad they didn’t have the integrity to put the country first back when it really counted.