The left and the media and the ever-expanding blogosphere, and of course the Democrats, never permitted George Bush to recover from the circumstances of his 2000 election.Even when President Bush reached out to the other side, pulling in Sen. Ted Kennedy for education and asking for bipartisanship leadership for the good of the country, he was rejected. Mr. Mackenzie recalls President Bush's 2004 victory speech:
They deemed him unacceptable, accidental, illegitimate, likely a conniver in the national outcome -- and so took to lobbing their hateful commentaries one after another without end.
"Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it . . . .We have one country, one Constitution, and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."He was rebuffed over and over, scathingly mocked and ridiculed by a vocal left that could not just disagree but had to be vicious in their disagreement. Indeed, Mr. Mackenzie says the leftists have maligned Mr. Bush:
Malign is too harsh? Consider:Read the rest of the article for more of Mr. Mackenzie's common sense remarks.Television, blogospheric, and newspaper commentaries slammed President Bush 24/7. Nicholson Baker wrote Checkpoint, whose protagonists weigh whether to assassinate him. Twelve thousand San Franciscans signed a petition to rename an Oceanside sewage plant for him.DESPITE this vicious stream, George Bush persevered and prevailed. 9/11 changed him. Mistakes abounded, but no subsequent domestic jihadist strike ensued. As he noted at the Army War College last month, this staggering security success was "not a matter of luck." Against Islamofascism pre-emption (described by the all-knowing as naIve, idealistic, and wrong) was -- as it remains -- the right policy for spreading liberty and democracy, particularly in a Middle East that boasts so little of either.
Hollywood went apoplectic, with Oliver Stone -- director of the detestable October-released flick "W" -- declaring: "We are a poorer and less secure nation for having elected [Bush] as our president . . . .America finds itself fighting unnecessary and costly wars and engaging in dangerous and counterproductive efforts to fight extremism. Even more significant and troubling, I believe, is his legacy of immorality."
The enterprise in Iraq, following the surge, now approaches victory -- the great Osama himself having declared Iraq "the central front" in his war against the United States. Barack Obama repeatedly pronounced Iraq a distraction and -- from beginning to end -- a mistake. Yet a resolute Bush was true to his values, to his nation, and to mankind's ultimate cause. Last month he told The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel that liberty can be extended beyond Iraq as long as America continues to believe "in the universality of freedom."
Ross Mackenzie is the retired editor of the Editorial Pages. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.