Pat's assessment-Patrick Buchanan's assessment- I pretty much agree with all of it. I would add that I think he became irrelevant stateside the day after the 2004 election was won and he declared that he was going to privatize Social Security and alter the laws on Illegal Immigration - both were dead-enders and within a year he had been blocked by the Republicans from implementing both. Once Katrina hit, he seemed to be in a sleepy daze. Since the 2006 election he's been stalemated by Democrats on domestic issues and hamstrung on foreign policy by the constant demands put on the state department in the middle east. I don't know what he set out to do in 1999, but it certainly can't be considered a successful presidency at this point. Both parties are negotiating for a change.
"The world seems to be waiting for Bush to depart and for the next American president. For the foreign policy differences between John McCain and Barack Obama are as real and stark as they have been since the Reagan-Carter election of 1980, or the Nixon-McGovern election of 1972.
Looking back on the years since 9-11, it is hard to give the Bush foreign policy passing grades. We pushed NATO eastward and alienated Russia. We have 140,000 Army and Marine Corps troops tied down in Iraq in a war now in its sixth year, from which our NATO allies have all extricated themselves. We have another war going in Afghanistan, where the situation is as grave as it has been since we went in.
The Bush democracy crusade was put on the shelf after producing election triumphs for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And the Bush Doctrine of preventive war, after Iraq, appears to be headed there, as well.
America remains the first economic and military power on earth. But after seven years of Bush, we no longer inspire the awe or hopes we once did. We are no longer the world hegemonic power of the neocons' depiction. And the reason is that Bush embraced their utopian ideology of democratic empire and listened to their siren's call to be the Churchill of his age.
Of Bush, it may be said he was a far better politician and candidate than his father, but as a statesman and world leader, he could not carry the old man's loafers."