Presidential “scholars”: Unfinished business Bush will leave is “unprecedented since at least World War II”

Via USA Today:

WASHINGTON — The 44th president will move into the Oval Office with an agenda defined in large part by the 43rd president.

In many ways, it will be George W. Bush’s third term.

Among pressing issues left on the table: What’s next in Iraq. How to restore America’s reputation around the world. Whether to extend tax cuts that expire in 2010. What to do about Medicare’s looming shortfall. And how to complete the job of helping the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina.

No new president gets a clean slate — global politics and the economy don’t run in neat four-year cycles — but presidential scholars say the unfinished business Bush will leave for his successor is unprecedented since at least World War II.

“I can’t think of a single modern president about to bequeath to his successor such a difficult agenda and such a damaged presidency,” says Paul Light of New York University.

Right! Ok, let’s see what Clinton left to Bush. Unfinished business with:

-North Korea,
-Iraq,
-Iran,
-Al Qaeda,
-The Palestinians and Israel.

As well as leaving:

-A recession of which the roots began towards the last few months of Clinton’s term,
-A demoralized military disgusted with their Commander in Chief,
-Thinned out and strained intelligence agencies,
-The stained (literally and figuratively) reverence of the Oval Office, created by President Clinton’s penchant for cheating on his wife.

It’s a fact that every single president is going to leave some unfinished business to the man/woman who takes his or her place, some moreso than others. A lot of it, of course, has to do with what’s going on in the world at the time, and if, when, and how a president chooses to handle it. Some issues a president doesn’t want to have to handle but must, and almost inevitably thanks to the typical red tape and political correctness that infests nearly every issue we debate in our times, some of those issues aren’t going to be resolved – even in two terms (see Clinton, Bill).

What about other presidents, like Lyndon Johnson, for example, and the huge Vietnam mess he left to Nixon?

The USA Today’s “experts” suggesting that Bush is leaving more than “any president since WWII” is a prime of example of why we shouldn’t always take the opinions of “experts” so seriously, and also shows how much historical perspective this country has lost over the last 6-plus years.

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