Short answer: No. Long answer: Nooooooooo.
President Bush has been out of office little more than a year, and it looks like some people are already longing for brighter days. Stanley Fish is saying “I told you so.”
Well it’s a bit more than a year now and signs of Bush’s rehabilitation are beginning to pop up. One is literally a sign, a billboard that appeared recently on I-35 in Minnesota.
And now, right on schedule, Bush has resurfaced (just as I imagined him doing a year ago last September ) to join Bill Clinton in a humanitarian relief effort. He is officially a member in good standing of the ex-presidents club, and the longer he lives the more his reputation will be burnished. To be sure, his post-presidency resume is still thin, but we can expect it to be beefed up by good deeds, ceremonial appearances and the activities that will surround the building and opening of his library at Southern Methodist University. We’ll see Bush the tour guide and Bush the patron of historical scholarship and, perhaps, even Bush the seminar leader.
And the judgment of history? Well, I’m not that foolish, but I will venture to say that it will be more nuanced than anything the professional Bush-haters — indistinguishable in temperament from the professional Obama-haters — are now able to imagine. He will not go to the top of the list, but neither will he be the figure of fun and derision he seemed destined to be only a year ago.
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