The Legacy of President George W. Bush

“I’m absolutely positive history will be kind to this president, who made the right decisions in a difficult time for this nation.”

– Bush Strategist Karl Rove, 5/7/08

A legacy is not what has happened in the past. It is what is handed down to the future.

By now, most Americans agree that President Bush’s two terms in office have been a profound failure. For months, Bush’s approval ratings have hovered around 30 percent — while approximately 2/3 of the American people disapprove of the job he’s doing in Washington.

What the polls don’t tell us is that in truth, the failures of the last eight years cannot be chalked up to one man – and that means they won’t necessarily be turned around when he leaves office. The war in Iraq, the floundering economy, the tragedy that befell New Orleans, were the failures of conservative ideology. And they were the failures of every one in Congress who cheerleaded for and happily rubber-stamped the President’s conservative agenda.

The purpose of the Bush Legacy Tour is not to gloat about all that has gone wrong over the past eight years, but to ensure that the legacy of President George W. Bush can be used to ensure that the next eight are drastically different.

We cannot let President Bush and Karl Rove’s version of the past eight years go down in history as the truth – and we cannot allow the conservative agenda to continue to fail the American people.

The conservative leadership in Washington, DC:

  • Misled the American people into an endless war in Iraq that has made the United States less safe, has resulted in the death and injury of thousands of American troops and Iraqis, has cost American taxpayers as much as one trillion dollars, has strained our military to the breaking point, and has prevented us from finishing the job in Afghanistan.
  • Stood idly by while thousands of Americans lost everything during Hurricane Katrina – and still haven’t taken leadership to rebuild the Gulf Coast and help people return home.
  • Allowed trickle-down, laissez-faire economics to help the rich get richer, while regular Americans struggle with soaring gas and food prices, a meltdown in the housing market, and exploding debt during today’s economic recession.
  • Turned control of our country’s health care system over to insurance and pharmaceutical companies, leaving millions of Americans incapable of paying for the rising costs of health benefits and turning emergency rooms into primary care physicians.
  • Broke their promise to America’s children, failing to fund early education programs and No Child Left Behind.
  • Ignored the scientific reality of climate change, obstructing efforts to make our air and water cleaner so oil and gas companies and big business could achieve record profits.
  • Turned their backs on America’s workers, assaulting workers’ rights and impeding regular Americans’ efforts to form unions and bargain for better pay and working conditions.

Congresional Republicans: Complicit in Bush’s Legacy