Extremely timid offering on the Post's A1 today about how Bush is feeling during the closing days of his presidency, as he bounces along the lowest regions of job disapproval any U.S. president has ever registered. (He's surprisingly sanguine!)
The story basically offers Bush apologists a forum to claim the president's been unfairly attacked and that “his closest advisers are confident that history ” will remember him well."" Whatever.
But this misleading passage especially caught our eye:
Others inside and outside the administration, however, say the upbeat talk masks disappointment and frustration among many White House staffers, who believe Bush's reputation has been unfairly maligned for a series of calamities -- from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to the financial crisis -- that were beyond his control and which he handled well.
If we had to assemble a list of “calamities” for which Bush has been blamed, we don't think the terrorist attack of Sept. 11 would even make the top ten. Yes, there's been healthy debate over the years about whether the Bush White House paid enough attention to anti-terrorism initiatives and how the FBI ignored lots of tell-tale signs that trouble was brewing.
But in general, I don't think Bush's reputation has been “maligned” by 9/11. It's been maligned by everything that happened after 9/11. The way he was unable to secure Afghanistan, decided to lead the U.S. into war with Iraq, tried to privatize Social Security, completely botched Hurricane Katrina relief, and on and on and on.
It's puzzling that the Post would point to 9/11 as an example.