Today's first post-election reading assignment comes from Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a Democratic lawyer and investigative reporter who interned with John Kerry's legal team in 2004. Writing in today's WSJ, he bemoans the classless disrespect shown to President Bush by many Americans --a majority of them members of his own party.
In his words:
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Truth be told, Mr. Bush has not been a failed president. He met the challenge of 9/11 by taking the fight to our enemies. Remarkably, there has not been another terrorist attack on U.S. soil since that time. In Iraq, he rejected the advice of the so-called "wise men" and adopted a surge strategy that brought us to the brink of victory. Economically, he presided over 56 months of growth and record-low unemployment until the recent collapse in the housing sector and on Wall Street.
And, Mr. Bush even offered something for "big government" types with his ground-breaking "No Child Left Behind" education plan--the first effort at systemic accountability in our public schools, and a massive, Medicare prescription drug benefit, something Democrats promised for decades, but could never deliver.
To be sure, President Bush has his flaws. But, as Mr. Shapiro observes, he deserved better than he received from his countrymen. Will he receive some sort of rehabilitation over time, like Harry Truman? Probably not. The country has changed, and liberals need a perpetual bogeyman to blame for the country's ills. That's why Mr. Bush will remain a scapegoat for virtually anything that goes wrong, long after he retired to Crawford.