Monday, August 17, 2009

How Successful was the G.W. Bush Presidency?

It might be too soon to equate the 8-year Bush presidency as a failure as many are wont to do. During the last year of his administration he sat center seat during one of America's worst economic downturns since the horrendous days of the late Ford and entire Carter years. This, and what many saw as his trampling of constitutional rights in the name of national security didn't make him well liked in his final two years in office, even by many who voted for him twice, however, one can never gauge success by how well one is liked or disliked and to say his presidency was an utter failure may be a bit premature at this early date.

If the goals President Bush set to accomplish are the backdrop for discussion, then one may be led to say -- at least at this time in history -- he was about, on average, 67.7% successful. That's not too bad of a success record for any President, especially one who had the majority for the first 6 years of their tenure in the White House and struggled with minority control as a lame-duck President in his final 2 years. But, the big question is what was he successful at and did his success in meeting those goals really help the country? The answer would have to be an unqualified Yes & No.

Here is a brief look at some of President Bush's goals and his success or failure rate:

Goal: Keep Americans in the homeland safe from another terror attack of any kind after 9/11.
Success: 100%

Goal: Remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.
Success: 100%

Goal: Establish a democratically free-elected government in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Success: 100%

Goal: Keep the economic growth begun by Reagan and continued by Clinton going in that positive direction.
Success: Keeping in mind the devastating economic effects of 9/11: Years 1-4 = 90% Years 5-8 = <60%

Goal: Keep unemployment rate below 6%.
Success: 100%

Goal: Take away more citizen's personal freedom chartered by the Constitution.
Success: 85%

Goal: Bring overall stability to the Middle East with Democracy the rule of law in the region.
Success: 0%

Goal: Find, capture or kill most of those behind the terror attack of 9/11.
Success: 90% in bringing bin Laden's key planner to justice.

Goal: Find, capture or kill the 9/11 mastermind Usama Bin Laden.
Success: 0%

Goal: Raise the level of global cooperation with and respect for the United States.
Success: Years 1-4 = 95%. Years 5-8 = <25%>

Like all Presidents who came before him time will be the final deciding factor on the success or failure of George W. Bush and his 8 year term as President of the United States. In 20 to 50 years will he be hailed a hero or villain, or just another footnote in the annuals of American history?

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