Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boy in Bushwick discusses Bush's legacy on BBC

As the debate over President George W. Bush's legacy continues to rage in this country and around the world, the British Broadcasting Corporation provided me the opportunity to enter into the fray today on its "World Have Your Say" program.

It is certainly true terrorists have not attacked the United States since Sept. 11, 2001. It is also correct on face value to assert the Bush administration's efforts to combat HIV and AIDS in Africa have delivered some tangible results. The fact remains, however, the White House's conduct with regards to the so-called War on Terror, its arguable failure to regulate an economy that continues to slide into a deeper and deeper recession and the pursuit of socially conservative positions that observers can easily interpret as a failed attempt to deflect attention away from its response to Hurricane Katrina and other domestic failures are among the innumerable things for which the outgoing administration must answer.

Bush will obviously continue to defend his overall record. Vice President Dick Cheney will do the same as he has done in interviews with PBS' Jim Lehrer and other reporters in recent weeks. It is safe to conclude Bush polarized the country to a new and arguably frightening degree during his eight years in office. He arguably failed to win election in 2000 and he managed to secure only 50.7 percent of the vote in 2004. The anti-Bush rhetoric will continue to rage as the country looks forward to President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration and his first few months in the White House. The fact remains, however, the outgoing commander-in-chief's extremely complex legacy has only begun to reveal itself.

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