The Kerry camp still resents Bush's victory (updated)

Ed Lasky
The Washington Post recently published a harshly anti-Bush op-ed by Douglas Brinkley, who does not bother disclosing his John Kerry connections.
Shortly after Thanksgiving I had dinner in California with Ronald Reagan's best biographer, Lou Cannon. Like many historians these days, we discussed whether George W. Bush is, conceivably, the worst U.S. president ever. Cannon bristled at the idea.

Bush has two more years to leave his mark, he argued. What if there is a news flash that U.S. Special Forces have killed Osama bin Laden or that North Korea has renounced its nuclear program? What if a decade from now Iraq is a democracy and a statue of Bush is erected on Firdaus Square where that famously toppled one of Saddam Hussein once stood?

There is wisdom in Cannon's prudence. Clearly it's dangerous for historians to wield the "worst president" label like a scalp-hungry tomahawk simply because they object to Bush's record. But we live in speedy times and, the truth is, after six years in power and barring a couple of miracles, it's safe to bet that Bush will be forever handcuffed to the bottom rungs of the presidential ladder. The reason: Iraq.
Fair play? I think not. Don't you think some disclosure might be warranted that Brinkley wrote a book about John Kerry and his Vietnam experience, was his campaign biographer and promoter whose integrity has been questioned before, and and who reportedly hoped to play the role that historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. played for the other JFK (John F. Kennedy) had Kerry won the last presidential election.

Might that be considered before the Washington Post ran this op-ed speculating about George Bush being the worst president ever?

Sour grapes, anyone?

Update: Greg Richards adds:

Ignorant of economics, Brinkley fails to note that Bush steered the economy around the shoals of the first investment-led recession since 1929 and then the blow of 9/11.  His supply side policies of lower taxes have been an outstanding success as the economy has plowed along steadily since those policies were implemented. Douglas Brinkley has published a piece of small-bore vituperation against President Bush.

Yes, the Iraq War has not gone well and, in truth, has been undermanaged by Bush.  But Brinkley misses a crucial point.  One of the objectives of going on the offensive in war - which is always a choice - is to force the opposition to defend its territory rather than attack yours.  So far, that has worked in terms of further attacks on the U.S.  For those of us who live here and particularly for those of us who knew friends and loved ones in the World Trade Towers, that is no small accomplishment.  And one that would not have been achieved by the confused and indecisive Sen. Kerry, Brinkley's beau ideal.

The Washington Post recently published a harshly anti-Bush op-ed by Douglas Brinkley, who does not bother disclosing his John Kerry connections.
Shortly after Thanksgiving I had dinner in California with Ronald Reagan's best biographer, Lou Cannon. Like many historians these days, we discussed whether George W. Bush is, conceivably, the worst U.S. president ever. Cannon bristled at the idea.

Bush has two more years to leave his mark, he argued. What if there is a news flash that U.S. Special Forces have killed Osama bin Laden or that North Korea has renounced its nuclear program? What if a decade from now Iraq is a democracy and a statue of Bush is erected on Firdaus Square where that famously toppled one of Saddam Hussein once stood?

There is wisdom in Cannon's prudence. Clearly it's dangerous for historians to wield the "worst president" label like a scalp-hungry tomahawk simply because they object to Bush's record. But we live in speedy times and, the truth is, after six years in power and barring a couple of miracles, it's safe to bet that Bush will be forever handcuffed to the bottom rungs of the presidential ladder. The reason: Iraq.
Fair play? I think not. Don't you think some disclosure might be warranted that Brinkley wrote a book about John Kerry and his Vietnam experience, was his campaign biographer and promoter whose integrity has been questioned before, and and who reportedly hoped to play the role that historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. played for the other JFK (John F. Kennedy) had Kerry won the last presidential election.

Might that be considered before the Washington Post ran this op-ed speculating about George Bush being the worst president ever?

Sour grapes, anyone?

Update: Greg Richards adds:

Ignorant of economics, Brinkley fails to note that Bush steered the economy around the shoals of the first investment-led recession since 1929 and then the blow of 9/11.  His supply side policies of lower taxes have been an outstanding success as the economy has plowed along steadily since those policies were implemented. Douglas Brinkley has published a piece of small-bore vituperation against President Bush.

Yes, the Iraq War has not gone well and, in truth, has been undermanaged by Bush.  But Brinkley misses a crucial point.  One of the objectives of going on the offensive in war - which is always a choice - is to force the opposition to defend its territory rather than attack yours.  So far, that has worked in terms of further attacks on the U.S.  For those of us who live here and particularly for those of us who knew friends and loved ones in the World Trade Towers, that is no small accomplishment.  And one that would not have been achieved by the confused and indecisive Sen. Kerry, Brinkley's beau ideal.