I am by no means a "Bushie." I have always felt the family was too squishy and would not mix it up with the liberal Democrats when needed. Rove is in full roar here and I suspect this article will cause apoplexy and angina in some quarters.
I don't believe GWB has been a cutter of entitlements to say the least. I do agree he has been a pretty good steward of economic growth and mainly right on questions of war and peace since 9/11/01. But looking at what he has done to annoy the Right, I do think the hatred of GWB is extraordinary.
If on September 12, 2001 you had told me that by 2006 there would not be another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, the U.S. would have seen economic expansion for six straight years, the stock market would rebound to record levels, the U.S. would topple and, replace with elected governments, the dictators of Afghanistan and Iraq with the loss of less than 5000 men, unemployment would be below 4.5% consistently, the deficit would be less than .5% of GNP, home ownership rates the highest in history and Republicans would have appointed two conservative supreme court justices and held the Presidency and both houses of Congress through two election cycles I would have laughed and called it a fantasy. Yet GWB presided over all of this.
I think the entitlement expansion will bite us before any personal account reforms save us but that is a bipartisan problem and I can not think that Presidents' Gore or Kerry would have been better. Further, GWB did not use the strong hand toppling Saddam by 2002 gave him, to topple Syria and Iran and that may be the difference in the long run. There has been no creating armed resistance to Islamicist regimes as Casey and Reagan did to the Soviets in the 1980's. Like Reagan did, President Bush has allowed underperforming staff to stay too long.
Overall however it is impossible at this time to call GWB a failure on any of the conventional scales by which we measure Presidents. Quite the reverse. Yet to read a paper or watch T.V. you would think Jimmy Carter or James Buchanan was President. Unbelievable.