Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ross Mackenzie: Gratitude for President Bush's leadership

Ross Mackenzie, former Editorial Page editor at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, reflects on the Bush years in today's op-ed piece titled, "Most Consequential President Since Reagan." He begins:
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.

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.
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:
"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:
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.

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."
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.

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."
Read the rest of the article for more of Mr. Mackenzie's common sense remarks.

Ross Mackenzie is the retired editor of the Editorial Pages. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

Somehow along the way the American media has forgotten the word honor and integrity. In my 68 years on this earth I have never before seen our country bombed or devastated by pure acts of nature as immense as the past few years. I was raised to respect the leader of our country, namely, our President. It has certainly been lost to our country and to our children and the media has played an enormous role in erasing the words, respect and honor from our vocabulary. With due respect - many of the problems we face were not initiated by Our President, Mr. Bush, but by our entire Congress and Senate who now are the sublime members of our country!!! Let's hope that their choice can make it all go away!!! Maybe they can work with him because they didn't listen to President Bush in 2004 when he asked that we all work together.

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Amen. I, too, am thankful to Mr. Mackenzie for his extremely thoughtful op-ed that puts it into words in a way I couldn't.

This President has kept us safe from terrorism since 9/11. He said his #1 job was to keep the American people safe ... and he kept his word.

Let's hope we continue to be safe after January 20th.