Bush as Tanya Harding
As a liberal (as George Lakoff will tell you) I am a optimist.
I prefer to look at the Bush from a positive point of view. For those of us who read and remember history, much of the strife of the 20th Century was caused by the collision between the rise of Germany, starting in the 19th Century when it leapfrogged England in industrial technology. The rise of Germany which lead to the First World War, which lead to the rise of the Soviet Union and the Second World war, was paralleled by the rise of Japan. Both of them clashed with the United States and in its victory, it became the Superpower. I, and apparently Brad Delong, and I suspect many other smart people believe that China and perhaps India will become the dominant powers of this century.
Based on the history from the 20th Century, there was a real risk that the United States, in its arrogance and greed, would try to prevent this from happening. There was the serious risk of a major catastrophic clash between the superpowers. George Bush has saved us from that.
Item 1) Military
Starting from the beginning of his administration, his fiscal and foreign policies have ensured that the military that costs us more than the combined military of the rest of the world are now feared by no one.
1) Who will fear the strategic defense system that can't knock down a single missile carrying a fog horn, a beacon, clown shoes and having made an appointment in advance.
2) Who will fear the armed forces that have served multiple tours in Iraq but under the leadership of The Man Call Pretraeus, can't do more than dodge do it yourself explosives which chew up $100,000 humvees using off peak cell phone minutes.
3) Who will fear the 600 plus overseas military bases which apparently serve to provide housing for the hundreds of Generals needed to command the hundreds of bases.
4) Who will fear the navy that must stay clear of speedboats and the dreaded zodiac ship killers.
No, the realpolitik world leaders and staff will start making Gulliver outsourcing jokes.
Item 2 Economics
Bills come due eventually. If we ever threaten the Chinese, they can call in our debt. This would not have happened as quickly or a severely as it did without the tax cutting and war spending of Bush and the Republicans.
Item 3 Moral High Ground.
Ironically, the Republican's don't believe in the Moral High Ground just as they don't believe that Global Flooding will happen. So the fact that we have lost it is not important to them.
In conclusion, We, the people of the United States, pose less of a threat to the world than we did before Bush v. Gore. You can thank the Supreme Court for keeping the 21st Century as peaceful as it will be. Think of what a major war with China in 20 years would cost vs the relatively minor costs of under 10,000 American dead (including the non-combat deaths) and under 50,000 maimed Americans and possibly under 1,000,000 Iraqi dead and $3 trillion in cost.
We have given the world to the Chinese with small risk to the rest of the world. Bush and the Republicans have kneecapped us.
Perhaps that was the Neocon dream all along. Leo Strauss would be proud.