Monday, July 16, 2007

Quote of the Day (7/16)

"[The Administration] has f--ked this war up"

Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), in private conversations with Karl Rove about Republican unrest over the Iraq War. Publicly he said:
"The president is a young man and should think about his legacy. He should know history will not be kind unless he can come up with a plan that protects the troops and stabilizes the region.”

For his part, the president doesn't seem to worry about his legacy, as he told 60 Minutes:
“I don’t think you’ll really get the full history of the Bush administration until long after I’m gone."


byrd said...

with that quote, the president showed some true acumen in his historical analysis. many presidents that were thought to be disasters while they were in office are often given favorable views by historians (lincoln, truman). it is difficult for the contemporaries of leader not to be overly critical. this is due to the fact that we are too close to every event that takes place and, thus, it is difficult to put those events into some type of historical context. when our grandchildren study the president we have no idea what the history books will say. mr. bush is correct: no contemporary can predict the legacy of a leader.

Chris Meehan said...
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Chris Meehan said...

i appreciate President Bush's perspective here, but, for accuracy's sake, while Lincoln was reviled for his handling of the civil war as it wore on, by the time it ended at the start of his second term, he was beloved. it didn't take far off historical perspective in that instance.
people recognized they had greatly misjudged the "inexperienced country lawyer."

by the way, the civil war lasted four years (1861- 1865) and the Iraq War began five years ago.

I think part of Sen. Voinovich's point is even if Iraq ends up being the successful democracy President Bush dreamt of however many years ago, will it be President Bush who has the courage/ leadership to bring it out of its current chaotic state?

In that vein the president has failed at every turn.

It seems more likely that he will run out the clock and hand it off to his successor.

Douglas E. Flynn said...

Harry Truman had a 22% approval rating, a low Bush has yet to hit (although, lets give him some time). History regards Truman much kinder than the Americans of that time period did.

ptb said...

“I don’t think you’ll really get the full history of the Bush administration until long after I’m gone."
...that's the scary part

byrd said...

just for historical accuracy: civil war 1861-1865 4 years 203,000 Americans killed in action

iraq war II 2003-20?? to date 3,616

in addition, Lincoln won the 1864 election handily but terribly violent anti-war riots still arose and keep in mind, the south did not vote in the Union election of 1864. to say that he was universally loved by his second term is false. after he was shot and generations later was the legend of lincoln firmly enshrined.

Chris Meehan said...

of course lincoln wasn't universally loved throughout the US, he had just orchestrated a victory over half the country.

however, in northern circles he was popular AFTER the war and before his untimely death.

Technology, modern warfare and medical advances make any comparision between causualties impossible. But we are seeing a higher % of wounded and dismembered veterans return from Iraq.

And your # of dead does not count the Iraqis who have died in their current civil war.

Douglas E. Flynn said...

While we're talking about Lincoln, interesting story. Lincoln was the only president to go to the front lines of a battle while serving as President. It was near the end of the war and the confederates knew they were losing. So they tried an attack on Washington and got within 100 miles. The army wanted to evacuate Lincoln out of Washington by boat but he was outraged and he refused. He went to the front lines. While at the front lines he was so close that bullets started whizzing over his head, and of one soldiers, not knowing who he was at the time, turns around and yells "Get down you Damn fool!!" That soldier was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, who later went on to become a Supreme Court Judge.