Alex Massie

Judging Dubya: A Litmus Test

Text settings

Generalisation of the Day comes from Jay Nordlinger at National Review:

In my experience — and I’m just generalizing here — the better the person, the more positive he is about George W. Bush.

Well! Look, I don't hate Dubya and I was glad he defeated Al Gore, but the notion that liking the 43rd President is some sort of character test is laughable. Sure, some of the tedious Bush Derangment Syndrome was gratingly witless, but, please spare us this twaddle in return. Then again, this is part of a weird conservative trope that elevates character above all other considerations. It's important, certainly, but not everything. For some people these days, however, it's as though criticism of Mr Bush is inherently mean-spirited because it fails to acknowledge what a good heart Dubya possesses. Well, that's dandy but it butters very few parsnips. In the end, politicians are judged by the wisdom and impact of their policies, not the purity of their conscience or the capacity of their heart or good intentions.

[Hat-tip: Jon Chait]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSociety