February 16, 2004

Young and Irresponsible Bush

One of the things that commentators like Phil Carter don't take into account in nit picking George W. Bush's record is that between those days and today, President Bush has explicitly said he had an epiphany that turned his entire life around. This "come to Jesus" moment was well discussed in the 2000 campaign and President Bush has himself said that he was "young and irresponsible" in those years.

When you take into account that the American people have already been told about this reformation, that he far larger lapses in character have been factored into the people's judgment of him before he was elected the first time and the entire episode becomes the picayune irrelevancy that it always deserved to be. Really, which is worse, skipping a couple of make work guard drills and then subsequently drilling more often to back and fill in his absences or driving drunk and stopped by a policeman? I think that the latter is clearly the worse offense but the people were told and elected him anyway.

There is an awful lot of overuse of the "youthful indiscretion" excuse in the US' political class but if anybody deserves a pass, its a politician who has had a well known reform moment, turned over a new leaf, and stuck to his new principles thereafter. GWB's record in his first term deserves close scrutiny. Voters can differ on his record. But a man's who has publicly and sincerely reformed does not deserve to have his pre-reform past thrown in his face to the exclusion of his post-reform behavior.

Posted by TMLutas at February 16, 2004 04:00 PM