‘Lincoln-like greatness’

‘LINCOLN-LIKE GREATNESS’…. As difficult as it is to see the Bush presidency as anything but a failure, it’s fascinating to see some of his fans give it a shot. Richard Connor has a new CQ item that argues Bush may, in time, be seen as having “Lincoln-like greatness.”

If we begin to expect that any chief executive of anything — be it a country or a Fortune 500 company — cannot make a mistake or two among the hundreds, perhaps, thousands of decisions they make, then our standards have reached the point of ridiculousness.

We know for virtual certainty that Bush’s speeches will not go down in history. He will not be known for a public display of intellectual depth. What we do not know, however, is how he will be ultimately judged. We know there has not been a foreign attack on our land since 9/11. Is it because of Bush’s policies?

If it is proven he kept our nation safe, we will begin to see him differently as leader.

In fact, only time will tell if he will be viewed as a failure or if, like Lincoln and Churchill, his legacy will grow and expand and shine in the reflected light of history. In the end, it may be he and not Obama found to have more in common with Lincoln.

No, wise guy, there’s no reason to believe Fred Barnes is secretly using “Richard Connor” as a nom de plume.

I do like the “mistake or two” line; that’s a new one. George W. Bush may have failed miserably in every endeavor and every area of public policy, but, hey, can’t a guy get some slack around here? Why let the perfect be the enemy of the good?

As for the “since 9/11” line, it gets less persuasive every time I hear it. There’s a sense among Bush’s defenders that the president’s national security legacy starts on Sept. 12, 2001. The argument, in effect, is straightforward: “Just so long as one overlooks the terrorism that killed 3,000 people in 2001, Bush’s record on domestic security is excellent.” Please.

Using Bush’s name in the same sentence as Lincoln’s and Churchill’s is just silly, unless separated by “bears no resemblance to.”