It is no surprise to me that Bush is starting to consider, and apparently worry , about his legacy. Despite rhetoric that seems to suggest that Bush thinks that history will remember him fondly, there is little doubt in my mind that the Bush presidency will be criticized as a textbook example of poor leadership, despite everything going for you.
Case in point: former aide after former aide seems to now be going to the press with their story about how they were the one that tried to push Bush back into the right path. Colin Powell is apparently doing it, but there seems to be less attention on those that are telling the story of how Bush’s White House was hostile to the scientific community. Sure, it’s easy to point to the climate change stuff, but there is a better example.
One of Bush’s Surgeon Generals, Richard Carmona, is now saying that Bush ignored data from his office ranging from teen pregnancy to stem cell research. From Wednesday’s LA Times :
“Anything that doesn’t fit into the political appointees’
ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized
or simply buried,” Dr. Richard H. Carmona, who was surgeon general from
2002 to 2006, told a congressional committee. “The job of surgeon
general is to be the doctor of the nation — not the doctor of a
This is interesting enough on its own, but taken in light of Bush’s apparently ability to ignore advisors, it fits the pattern of the past six years.
I don’t really know a lot of Bush defenders at this stage of the game, but one has to wonder, how do you defend this President? His own advisors are continually going to the press to say that they urged reasonable policies and his response? Ignore… and in some cases, fire.