Reading Rove on his last day in the WH:
President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century by manipulating the scientific proof of that key test--global warming--so his donors could continue to profit off the dying petroleum age while they still had a chance.
He will be judged as a man of moral clarity who put America on wartime footing in the dangerous struggle against radical Islamic terrorism--and he only did it ten months too late, after ignoring all the accurate warnings that Richard Clarke gave him.
Following the horrors of 9/11, this president changed American foreign policy by declaring terror sponsors responsible for the deeds of those they shelter, train, and fund unless those terror sponsors were from either of the two countries with closest ties to those who attacked us: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
And this president saw the wisdom of removing terrorism’s cause by advocating the spread of democracy, especially in the Muslim world, where authoritarianism and repression have provided a potent growth medium for despair and anger aimed at the West and then, to save his failing war, he advocated bringing in Saddam light to fix his fuck-up.
While the world dithered, America confronted HIV/AIDS in Africa with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which has supported treatment for more than 1.1 million people worldwide, over one million of them in Africa. By doing so, Bush ensured that 1.1 million people would lose their access to the condoms that had been slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
While most of the globe ignored Sudan and Darfur or refused to act, this president labeled the violence there genocide — and pressed world leaders to take action while taking no action himself.
President Bush promotes economic growth and understands free markets provide the best path to a more hopeful tomorrow yet he ensures his cronies defy all market realities by giving them no-bid contracts that suck dry the government's coffers.
In education, “No Child Left Behind” introduced accountability into our public-education system by ensuring every child’s progress is measured--the kind of accountability Bush refused for his own failing policies in Iraq--or anywhere else, for that matter.
He advanced a culture of life where every child is protected and welcomed yet our infant mortality rates continued to grow and ranked us near the bottom among all developed nations. Welcome to death, kiddo!
It's not until we get down here near the end that Rove addresses the real issue that will sink Bush's legacy.
The outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan will color how history views the president.
History’s concern is with final outcomes, not the missteps or advances of the moment. History will render a favorable verdict if the outcome in the Middle East is similar to what America saw after World War II.
America’s persistence in Europe and Asia after that war helped Germany and Japan become democracies and allies in the struggle against Communism. If something similar happens in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will change the region and the world. For the first time, millions of citizens across the Middle East will see a working model of freedom in their region — and it will give them hope for a better future for their children by making America safer for them.
If the outcome there is like what happened in Vietnam after America abandoned our allies and the region descended into chaos, violence, and danger, history’s judgment will be harsh. History will see President Bush as right, and the opponents of his policy as mistaken — as George McGovern was in his time.
Funny, Rove the grand prognosticator wasn't even willing to feign confidence on this issue.