What Happened To A Little Historical Perspective?

Can I just get something off my chest? If you assert that the Bush Administration is “the most disgraceful administration in my lifetime, perhaps in American history” and you are old enough to vote I will no longer take your opinion seriously.

I don’t care whether you are Democratic or Republican, a statement like this is so lacking in historical perspective as to render the speaker unfit for serious commentary. President Bush and his administration have had their problems, Lord knows. But given the Presidencies of Johnson, Nixon, and Carter I fail to see how Bush can approach the top of even this short list. Do you want to compare Bush’s response to Katrina to Johnson’s destruction of urban America via something ironically called “urban renewal?” Do you want to compare Karl Rove to Nixon’s dirty tricks or Johnson’s well known blackmail to get votes?

And I will probably be pilloried for saying something so cold and uncaring, but given the death and destruction involved in the wars and skirmishes around the globe this century and the American lives lost in Iraq, I again fail to see how Bush can compete with past administrations.

Again, everyone is entitled to an opinion about the wisdom of the war in Iraq or the potential for success at this point, but conflating it to a failure of epic or historic proportions simply ignores historical context. Something can be bad or wrong and not be the biggest foreign policy mistake of a generation.

Bush derangement syndrome has simply taken hold of some people and removed their sense of history and context – if they ever had any. I realize this is part and parcel of the hyper-politicized environment we live in with its 24-hr news cycles and the need to scream louder to be heard above the din of accusations of treason and murder, but I don’t have to like it.

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