Many politicians and institutions that should be promoting democracy and freedom are cynically reluctant to do it, because Bush raised the agenda," Sharansky went on. "That's why I give Bush an "A" for raising the idea, a "C" for implementation and I give his opponents, who abandoned the idea, an "F," because they are attacking Bush not for inconsistency in implementing the agenda but for raising it. Their approach denies the people of the Middle East the ability to live in freedom."
Sharansky called Bush "a lonely dissident for democracy in the White House" because of his lack of support. But he cited three cases where Bush could have and should have been more consistent in his insistence on democratization: the Palestinians, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Sharansky, whose book, The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror, is the author who inspired Bush to push for democracy and freedom in the Middle East.
Sharansky is exactly correct on several points. President Bush continues to be demonized for even raising the idea of spreading democracy and freedom in the world. To the extent that such behavior has been fueled by useless "utopian" fantasies, it has failed; that is, anyone who expected "perfect" freedom or "perfect" democracy to instantly bloom in that Middle Eastern desert, is high on idiocy. Neither Freedom, nor Democracy are perfect; nor will they ever be. Leave it to the utopian leftists to think that everything and everyone must be perfect to exist in their perfect and unreal world.
I sincerely doubt that anyone would be able to get much above a "C" in today's postmodern (i.e., insane) world, where a simple (i.e., not particularly nuanced) and fundamentally good person like Bush--who means what he says and is himself honestly--is more frightening to the political left than a tyrant or a murderer. Even Republicans and conservatives tend to misunderestimate the man and want to hold him to ideological points that he in good conscience is unable to support.
But an "A" in conception and a "C" in execution are both passing and perfectly acceptable.
[Bush] has had a lot to deal with over the course of his presidency and, to say the least not everything has been handled with extreme competence. But we are a nation at war and I expect major mistakes will be made. Most of the emotionalism of the left and the media has focused on issues that frankly are trivial or irrelevant to me as a voter. I could care less about their rage toward Gonzales; I think Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame should go to jail for their self-aggrandizing and utterly deceitful behavior. They are just two pitiful clowns who history will erase from serious concern. I could go on about the manufactured "scandals" but you catch my drift.
No, if there is one thing I have to take issue with the President for, it is that he has chosen to "rise above it all" and not aggressively defend himself against all the deliberate falsehoods and malicious attacks that have come his way. As one of my friends has put it, "The man has a Christian martyr complex!"
I suppose he figures that history will ultimately judge him well (I think it will for all the missteps); or perhaps he feels that it is enough to help this country change course and go on the offensive against Islamofascism. Contrary to what meatheads like John Edwards think, the war on terror is quite a bit more than a bumper sticker.
Bush's strategy has always been to introduce the seed of democracy and individualism into the sick collectivism of Middle Eastern politics. In that, I believe he has succeeded and receives a "passing" grade.
As for Bush's opponents, to paraphrase Obi-wan Kenobi, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, than those who have failed abjectly to stand up for Freedom and Democracy in the world today and who dare criticize Bush for even trying.