Monday, January 19, 2009

The Two Things about George W. Bush

The Two Things is an interesting analytical framework, because it forces you to prioritize. I quite like their Two Things about economics: One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. That's a workable understanding that you can use to see why the bailouts are a slow motion train wreck, headed our way.

So what are the Two Things about George W. Bush? At the close of his administration, we have the advantage of retrospect.
One: He got the war on terror right, because he was stubborn. Most Washingtonites would have given up; he didn't. This was a big, big win.

Two: He was one of the worst of the Big Government insiders. Like LBJ, he chose guns and butter, bigger bureaucracy (No Child Left Behind), and the nanny state (McCain Feingold). This was a big, big miss.
There's no question that history will be kinder to GWB than the press was. His big government mindset will be continued under Obama, and Iraq is doing well enough that it's the O-Man's to lose. The media is already walking back from the cliff, so Bush's war on terror legacy is safe.

Personally, I agree with Obama:
I think personally he is a good man who loves his family and loves his country. And I think he made the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.
Good luck to the stupid Republican party, though - that #2 pretty much did you guys in.

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