Revisionism In The Making

Three Card Monte

Kurt Campbell, guesting today on Nicholas Kristof’s blog over at the Times, does an elegant and capable job of skewering the Bushists and other RNC recalcitrants for trying, yet again, to rewrite history. This time, the very recent past. Here is an excerpt:

Take for instance the president’s characterization of the 1990’s during his second inaugural address, just as the hopes of a new bipartisan approach to the new global challenges were fading in the wind: “After the shipwreck of communism,” Bush declared, “came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical – and then there came a day of fire.” The language perfectly captures the Bushist critique of the Democrats; elitist in their university cocoons or trial lawyer firms, fundamentally lazy, and lucky too. Thank God Republicans were finally back in power when things got serious on 9/11.

Yet this picture of being lost in the 1990’s, of a Gatsby-like holiday from history during a fun-filled and frolicking interwar period, ignores all of the drama that played out almost exclusively in America’s favor during this supposedly relaxed decade. Indeed, the 1990’s involved enormous and important good works internationally and helped set the scene for continued American power on the global stage. Increasingly, the first Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration can be seen in retrospect as essentially fitting together to complete a decade of accomplishment that paints President George W. Bush’s subsequent term in office as an outlier.
Nicholas D. Kristof – Opinion – New York Times Blog

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