David Broder's column in the Washington Post this morning is a thinly veiled shill for a friend's book; that said, the friend's book gets at something that I think will be come more apparent over the course of the ten years or so that follow George Bush's retirement from office: that while some of George Bush's decisions have been questionable, the common portrayal of him as stupid, uninterested, detached or worse...simply doesn't cut it.
Like Dwight Eisenhower, much of what we know of the Bush Presidency will be revealed in the research that follows it. Eisenhower was treated as somewhat of an amiable dunce of an old man while in office. Scholarship that followed revealed the lie this was. Eisenhower was a master organizer who completely redrew the White House decision making mechanism to ensure he got decision quality advice so that he could make only the tough decisions.
Anyone I know who has worked closely with George Bush, and there are just a few, are quite open about his intellect and his personal influence over the workings of the staff. They say without hesitation that HE is in charge, that he sets the tone and tenor, that he has constructed the staff mechanisms to suit his decision-making style, and that he is a superb leader and manager.
The decision to go into Iraq on the cheap without sufficient inquiry into post-war matters will serve as the blackest of black marks against this administration. That said, it is not the whole story, and in the light of accumulated evidence, when Iraq is a stable nation and Al Queda (sp?) is an afterthought, people will be able to judge this Presidency in a fair manner.