Here are my grades for President Bush on a wide range of issues, from social to defense to foreign policy.
Judiciary: A- We’ll start with the positive…I think Bush has done a good job with the judiciary, including federal and supreme courty nominations. John Roberts is a judicial All-Star and Alito is good as well. If it weren’t for that foolish attempt to get Harriet Myers on the bench, I would say A+.
Defense: B- Notwithstanding the 9/11 attack, which is hard to blame Bush for, I think he’s been alright with national security. Policies and programs put into place after 9/11 to protect have obviously worked, at least to the degree that we haven’t been hit again. I applaud Bush for pushing the envelope with security and intelligence programs, even if they encroach on some privacy guarantees. In a post 9/11 U.S., I would much rather us err on the side of security and over-agressiveness than personal privacy or convenience.
On the intelligence side of the fence, the Porter Goss nomination didn’t quite work out, but after Clinton decimated the CIA I’m sure it’s hard to find folks who want to head that agency. Too early to see how Hayden will do. I would have favored someone with operational experience (Gary Schroen maybe?).
The Border is a disaster, and getting worse by the moment. Just heard a newstory that claims that Mexican cartels are spending more than law enforcement and are basically getting their way on the southern border. Bush wants amnesty before any sort of law enforcement. What a tragedy…
Budget and Taxes: C+ Conservative what? Spending is pretty much out of control, which is aggravating, but tax revenues have been strong lately so I can’t be too hard on him here. Also can’t expect a balanced budget when Iraq is milking us like it is.
There was a point where Bush wanted to reform the tax code, but that fell into a gutter somewhere. I guess no one could come up with a good idea (right). Tax seem to have worked though, and despite what some are saying, the economy is pretty good (save for healthcare, which I spoke about last week).
Social Issues: C- Compassionate conservatism was pretty much a hypothetical. Bush spoke a lot about a federal marriage ammendment…in October 2004! Hmm…heard anything about that lately? I guess he got the job done.
Social security didn’t get fixed, so hopefully Hillary or Obama can fix it sometime before I die!
Education: D My wife says “No Child Left Behind” is a joke, so that’s really all I know about this. Word is the money got left behind first, and now the children are.
Foreign Policy: D- Foreign policy is Bush’s worst subject, in my belief. While I think it’s good to stand for what you believe in, the take-it-or-leave-it approach that Bush has presented to the world will probably cause more harm than good.
In extreme foreign policy, Bush is pushing the growth of NASA. I support the closing of NASA. It’s a money toilet that should be closed, or downscaled severly. But I guess when weapons in space is your military goal, money will keep flying through high orbit and into black holes.
Conclusion: I guess on my report card he doesn’t fail, but there’s is certainly room for improvement. In many ways, President Bush has been less that anticipated. The bad news is, there doesn’t seem to be any better options in sight. Help us God.