JONATHAN CHAIT AUGUST 13, 2010
Just to continue the recent and rather strange thread in my recent thinking, George W. Bush really is looking better all the time, at least in relation to the GOP. I note that, while some Republicans want to revise the 14th Amendment, former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, former Bush evil genius turned just-evil-full-stop Karl Rove, and Rove's loyal ward Pete Wehner have all denounced this notion.
There does seem to be a general trend for Republican presidents to look better with the passage of time as successive Republicans get crazier. Richard Nixon proposed universal health care and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Ronald Reagan passed a huge tax hike and a progressive tax reform. George H.W. Bush passed a deficit reduction bill that included a tax hike on the rich. George W. Bush didn't have a lot of accomplishments, but these days we can look back and appreciate the fact that he left the post-Civil War amendments intact. Likewise, one day we will be saying to ourselves, "You know, I never really appreciated President Palin at the time, but her policy of having intellectuals publicly flogged seems pretty humane compared with President Angle."