Or perhaps: presidential reputation rehab. Theo Caldwell takes a stab at salvaging some kind of good name for George W. Bush. He pushes the argument that it’s too soon to assess Bush’s legacy. The real zinger here is an attempt to suggest that the argument that Bush squandered the international goodwill generated in the wake of 9/11 is “bollocks on stilts” (yes he said that). The only evidence that Caldwell can provide for that is that some people did not like Bush even before 9/11. Instead Caldwell believes that Bush should somehow get the title of father of Middle East democracy if at some point such a thing comes around.
There will no doubt be more attempts like this in the weeks and months and years ahead. Many of them will repeat Caldwell’s idea that if, at some far-distant point, democracy breaks out in the Middle East that Bush will deserve all kinds of credit for this. Why not credit Turkey for creating the idea of a modern (semi) democratic Muslim republic? Or Iran – a nation that has it’s problems for sure – but still manages to attempt some democratic forms? How about some of the smaller gulf states that trying to create forums for debate and the like?