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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 16, 2010 8 Tishrei, 5771

Rethinking George Bush?

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Former President George W. Bush left office with the lowest approval ratings since Richard Nixon. In reaction, for nearly two years President Barack Obama won easy applause by prefacing almost every speech on his economic policies with a "Bush did it" put-down.

But suddenly Bush seems OK. Last week, the president did the unthinkable: He praised Bush for his past efforts to reach out to Muslims. Vice President Joe Biden went further and blurted out, "Mr. Bush deserves a lot of credit." Biden topped that off with, "Mr. President, thank you."

Even liberal pundits have now called on Bush to help Obama diffuse rising tensions over the so-called Ground Zero mosque and Arizona's illegal immigration law.

What's going on?

For one thing, recent polls show an astounding rebound in the former president's favorability -- to the extent that in the bellwether state of Ohio, voters would rather still have Bush as president than Obama by a 50-42 margin. Nationwide, Obama's approval ratings continue to sink to near 40 percent -- a nadir that took years for Bush to reach. It has become better politics to praise rather than to bury Bush.

Iraq seems on the road to success, with a growing economy and a stabilizing government. Don't take my word on that; ask Vice President Biden. He recently claimed that the way Iraq is going, it could become one of the Obama administration's "greatest achievements." Obama himself seconded that when the former war critic called the American effort in Iraq "a remarkable chapter" in the history of the two countries.

Then there are the growing comparisons with Bush's supposed past transgressions. Compared to Obama, they're starting to look like traffic tickets now. Take the economy and the war on terror. Americans were angry at the Bush-era deficits. But they look small after Obama trumped them in less than two years.

For six years of the Bush administration, Americans enjoyed a strong economy. So far, there hasn't been a similar month under Obama. Bush had a one-time Wall Street meltdown, but Obama's permanent big-government medicine for it seems far worse than the original disease.

If Hurricane Katrina showed government ineptness, so did the recent BP oil spill. Maybe such problems in the Gulf were neither Bush nor Obama's fault alone, but are better attributed to the inept federal bureaucracy itself -- or to freak weather and human laxity.

On the war on terror, Obama has dropped all the old campaign venom. Bush's Guantanamo Bay detention facility, renditions, tribunals, intercepts, wiretaps, predator drone attacks, and policies in Afghanistan and Iraq are no longer dubbed a shredding of the Constitution. All are now seen as national security tools that must be kept, if not expanded, under Obama.

In comparison to Obama and his gaffes, Bush no longer seems the singular clod whom his opponents endlessly ridiculed. The supposedly mellifluent Obama relies on the teleprompter as if it were his umbilical cord. His occasional word mangling (he pronounced "corpsman" as "corpse-man") and weird outbursts (he recently complained that opponents "talk about me like a dog") remind us that the pressures of the presidency can make a leader sometimes seem silly.

Bush now seems cool because he has played it cool. The more Obama and Biden have trashed him, the more silent and thus magnanimous he appears. Bush's post-presidency is not like that of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton -- both have criticized their successors and hit the campaign trail -- but similar to that of his father, who worked with, rather than harped about, Bill Clinton. That graciousness not only has helped George W. Bush in the polls, but it finally seems to be mellowing out Obama as well.

Criticism of Bush got out of hand the last few years of his term. Writing novels or making documentaries about killing the president, or libeling him as a Nazi, is not the sort of politics that we want continued during the Obama years. So it makes sense before the general election to halt the endless blame-gaming, before what goes around comes around.

The frenzy of Bush hatred and Obama worship that crested in the summer of 2008 is over. We now better remember the Bush at Ground Zero with a megaphone and his arm around a fireman than the Texan who pronounced "nuclear" as "nucular." Meanwhile, hope-and-change now seems to offer little hope and less change.

America woke up from its 2008 trance and is concluding that Bush was never as bad, and Obama never as good, as advertised.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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