Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Quick Note

Today's NYT has a nice series of short pieces from former presidential aides about their experiences one year into a new administration. Karen Hughes takes a little jab at the sitting president by recalling her own boss's words at his first SOTU:
President Obama often seems to suggest that his administration is facing challenges more difficult than others did. He might look back on the first words of President Bush’s first State of the Union address: “As we gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has never been stronger.”
It's a nice sentiment, but we now know he was wrong, don't we?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think Bush was wrong.

In Jan. 2002 we WERE at war, the economy WAS in recession, and, as far as the nature of the terrorist threat against the US, we WERE facing unprecedented dangers. And I'm not going to quibble over his fourth point, how strong the nation was at that moment in history. It was what he needed to tell a nation still reeling from the attacks on 9/11.

My problem was with Karen Hughes using her space in the NYT to be so small. She was the only writer to go on the attack. And her interpretation of recent history was, as might be expected from such a partisan apologist, seriously skewed.

Unlike Bush, BHO faces two wars that, due to the previous administration's mismanagement, suffer eroding public support and risk failure.

The recession BHO faced - including a melt down in the financial industry that brought us to the brink of economic depression - cannot be compared to the weakening economy that GWB inherited. Except by Karen Hughes.

Worse, while Bush can rightly take credit for the lack of a major terrorist action in the past 8 years, his failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, port security, etc. - combined with the devastating impact of US torture policy - still leaves us too vulnerable to the "unprecedented dangers" Hughes worries about.