I personally think George Bush has done a fine job as a wartime president, and I think he is at peace with the job he has done. I have supported him for 8 years (despite what he has done to Conservatism as a cause) because he was absolutely right on the War on Terror and he has prosecuted it in a steadfast manner.
In every war, leaders make mistakes at the strategic level, and one can argue that Iraq was either a strategic blunder, or a necessary cog in the larger GWOT. One can argue the rationale used all day long, and we have. My bottom line is it was hard to imagine fighting a "Global War On Terror" and not taking down Saddam Hussein during it at some point.
W was ridiculously married to his initial strategy in Iraq, which plainly wasn't working. It took David Petraeus and (yes) John McCain to get him to change. Fortunately, he listened to Petraeus and McCain was able to bring enough political pressure and fortitude to Bush to get him to change direction and lead us to the point we can now legitimately claim victory in Iraq. This Thnaksgiving weekend, we all owe a huge debt of thanks to these two men, and also to President Bush, but mostly to the troops on the ground, who still secure this peace.
Now, it will be up to BHO to bring this chapter to a conclusion with honor, dignity, and leaving intact the second functioning democracy in the Middle East.
Yet, BHO's job is not getting any easier, just as the most difficult of the initial GWOT battles draws to a close. This week's events in India demonstrate that Islamofascists are determined to shed blood in the name of their "cause." Russia is openly flaunting the Monroe Doctrine (hopefully Katie Couric has been briefed on it) and is rattling her saber at our friends in Eastern Europe. Afghanistan, which has suffered from too much success too soon, and now suffers from History (Brits, Russians, Americans?), demands his attention.
At home, the economy has taken its worse hit since 1979. Democrats are talking about an incerdible $800B stimulus package on top of the already nearly $1T spent on bank and financial bailouts. By the time these are done, there will be zero dollars remaining for any of BHO's domestic priorities.
Conservatives are buoyed that the economic crisis may force BHO to actually apply economics to his policies, vice pander for votes. It's a shame that we have to enter into a crisis to have Democrats acknowledge reality. Still, we could see bailouts of the automobile industry that keep the inflated wage scales of the UAW intact, amid other atrocities.
For those of you that voted for BHO, he does seem like a thoughtful person. That may serve us well, it may not.
If W fashioned himself the modern Lincoln or FDR wartime president, does BHO see himself as their "domestic" counterpart? Healing the nation's psychic wounds from slavery, and saving our financial mess?
I might advise BHO and his supporters that those two presidents had limited success in their agendas at home. Of course, reconstruction wasn't carried out by Lincoln, but we saw its legacy last through 1964 in law, and through today in perceptions. FDR's depression-era reforms were not all that successful, and hinder our economy to this day. While many were necessary and serve us well, I think it's safe to say the Federal beast was hatched by FDR.
Anyway, good luck President-elect Obama. You're going to need it.