I have published an essay today, President Bush's last full day in office, at Pajamas Media: "George W. Bush’s Legacy: Moral Vision."
Readers can read the essay at the link, and the comment thread is certainly an interesting case of Bush derangement syndrome.
But for the present post, let me share the letter to the president by Eric at Tygrrrr Express, "Dear President Bush" (cited here at midstream):
I could spend hours praising your 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, in addition to your many fine qualities in terms of how you treated every day human beings.Read the whole thing here (and leave a nice word or two in the comments).
Yet to me you will always be the man that kept us safe. I will always see you through the prism of September 11th, 2001. I will always well up with emotion when I think of you standing with that firefighter on September 14th, three days after the attacks. I still hear your voice exalting Americans. “I hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and pretty soon the people who knocked down these buildings will hear from all of us!” They heard us loud and clear.
I will go to my grave believing that the Iraq War was the legally and morally right thing to do. Reconstruction has been tough, but Saddam is gone. The world is absolutely better off for this. The collateral effects included Khadafi of Libya voluntarily giving up his weapons programs. This was a direct result of your leadership. You labeled Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the “Axis of Evil.” You were right, and one of those three is no longer led by a dictator out to threaten the world. When your critics declared that the Iraq War was lost, you doubled down, ordered a surge, and brought in General David Petraeus. Not only did you hire the best and brightest, you let them do their jobs, and get those jobs done right.
On September 20th, 2001, you told us that America, “would not falter, and would not fail.” You let us know in January of 2009 that we “did not falter and did not fail.”
If anybody wants evidence that America is still a beacon for the world to admire and emulate, just look at your successor. Only in America could his election be possible. As expected, your graciousness and kindness towards him and his family is sincere. Some say you were a divider and not a uniter. This is totally false. You reached out to your critics, and they never accepted your hand of friendship. Your political enemies were the ones who polarized this nation. Your successor mentioned the other day that he thinks you are a good person. His critics need to hear this over and over again. Despite their obsession with division, you remained kind to the end, and were able to unite people that were willing to let decency override partisanship.
Eric makes clear as well that this administration's record in black political inclusion and support for AIDS eradication in Africa, among other areas, is unsurpassed.
Thank you President Bush. You will be deeply missed and our country is better off for having you.
Photo Credit: Wordsmith at Flopping Aces, "8 Years of 'Failed Policies'."
Cross-posted from American Power.