Undecided We Stand: Debating Bush's Legacy

History will view this as a consequential presidency. George W. Bush was one who thought boldly and aimed explicitly to make a lasting impact. And there's been major changes in public policy regarding the war on terrorism, of course, and U.S. foreign policy and homeland security — but also domestically on taxes, on education policy, on health care. Full Story »

Posted by Walter Cox
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Subjects: U.S., Politics
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Posted by: Posted by Walter Cox - Jan 7, 2009 - 12:30 AM PST
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Edited by: Fabrice Florin - Jan 12, 2009 - 6:38 PM PST

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Kristin Gorski
4.3
by Kristin Gorski - Jan. 8, 2009

Original insights presented through historians and a Bush biographer interviewed. Fair, and a solid overview of Bush's high and low points. First in a series. An interactive timeline which accompanies the audio piece and article focuses on major events and images, providing a thorough look at "key moments in Bush's eight years."

I recommend listening to the audio piece, as well as reading the text. It's interesting to compare the voices and notable catchphrases of FDR, JFK, Nixon, and Reagan with that of Bush 43 (who has not one memorable phrase, says one historian interviewed).

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Paul Belle-Isle
2.4
by Paul Belle-Isle - Jan. 12, 2009

NPR looks to achieve "balance" in its analysis of George W. Bush's presidency. Unfortunately, it does so by framing the arguments for a positive review of the Bush Administration in the most superficial and uncritical manner. Did President Bush do some good things? Certainly - money for AIDS in Africa stands out - but they are so far outweighed in both number - and more importantly, in significance - by the horrors he has visited on this country and the world (war, torture, shredding the Constitution, Katrina response, corruption, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.) that attempting to pitch the argument that there is some kind of balance between his pluses and minuses is utterly ridiculous.

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Walter Cox
3.6
by Walter Cox - Jan. 12, 2009

In considering Bush's legacy, NPR has avoided simply trashing his presidency and instead considered his accomplishments and his failures in a consistent and balanced way. This article could have used more detail for those readers unfamiliar with the Bush administration's push to make retroviral drugs available worldwide for HIV patients, to construct and fund healthcare centers, and to undertake a major renovation of federal involvement in education through "No Child Left Behind." Otherwise it is a solid piece that will leave readers better informed.

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George Blahusiak
2.3
by George Blahusiak - Jan. 12, 2009

Waste of paper. Public and the world are negative, yet some people still praise Bush. The contradiction is too large to ignore, yet this isn't even mentioned. Ask yourself why Bush wasn't impeached? Too much trouble? That makes the public complicit in Bush crimes, the very people who are now offering their opinion on how good he was. That is why Americans are hated around the world. There were remedies yet this story says nothing about them, simpiy that he started wars which, as it turns out, were totally unnecessary. Nothing said about that either.

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Greg Kopczynski
2.7
by Greg Kopczynski - Jan. 12, 2009

I'm glad this article wasn't just another Bush-bashing. There is plenty of that to read elsewhere. But I think NPR in apparently trying to be "balanced" is doing so at the expense of objectivity. This is apparently the first in a series, so hopefully this author will display more naked, objective analysis in subsequent articles. However, in starting with a faulty premise (that Americans are undecided about Bush), it seems he would have to betray the series title to do so.

I think the title belies the faulty premise: Americans really aren't very divided about Bush's legacy. Except for hard-core republicans, the only real debate for most Americans is whether Bush was a bad president or an awful president. Personally, I can't remember a worse president (and I'm a conservative Democrat).

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