Mr Bush and his inner circle labelled the Democrats "Defeaticrats" whenever they were reluctant to support extending the war from Afghanistan to Iraq. They manipulated intelligence to demonstrate that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and had close relations with al-Qaeda. This not only divided a country that had been brought together by September 11th; it also undermined popular support for what Mr Bush regarded as the central theme of his presidency, the war on terror.Before you go pointing fingers at The Economist for the flakiness of its editorial staff, perhaps you should take a closer look at yourself. Given the numbers, it is not too unlikely that the hand casting a vote for Bush in 2000 or 2004 is the same hand that cast its vote for Obama in 2008.
Sean Wilentz, a historian at Princeton, remarks how unusual it is for a president to have politicised such a national catastrophe: "No other president—Lincoln in the civil war, FDR in world war two, John F. Kennedy at critical moments of the cold war—faced with such a monumental set of military and political circumstances, failed to embrace the opposing political party to help wage a truly national struggle. But Bush shut out and even demonised the Democrats."
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Two days before the election in 2000, The Economist endorsed George Bush for President. Two terms later, five days before the inauguration of President Obama, The Economist joins the rest of the media in falling all over itself to pound yet another nail in the coffin of the Bush presidency.