July 18, 2003

Reagan the craven, Bush the cowardly?

I normally like Victor Davis Hanson but his effort today has got to be one of his weaker ones. How often do you find Reagan being criticized as an appeaser in an US mainstream right wing publication? Yet there it is.

But foreign policy is not the only area of US policy that is seriously out of whack and by applying Hanson's analysis, any politician who compromises to form a winning coalition in other areas can later be called a coward or an appeaser. This certainly includes the present occupant of the White House.

When the history of racial preferences is finally written after they are killed off, should GWB's timid brief in the Michigan case be called craven? When US public pension funds explode in an unsustainable sea of red ink is it fair to strongly condemn GWB for not solving the problem as promised?

This road leads to a destination of no heroes to emulate, no good men in politics because none hold firm all the time. The US system forces compromise. To ignore the greater good enabled by a compromise is not proper historical analysis because it ignores context. Reagan did cut and run in Beirut but his larger military record is one of reversing the Carter era perception of US weakness both in the US and without.

Posted by TMLutas at July 18, 2003 11:40 AM