As most of you know, I would rather attempt to swallow a live, angry wolverine in a single gulp than vote for George Bush for just about anything, much less President of the United States. I consider him basically an incompetent largely surrounded by smug apparatchiks of dubious morality.
So you can believe me when I say to you: His removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq is an unambiguous good thing in itself, for which he deserves thanks, and the appropriate respect for his decision to do it, and his focus to follow through.
I don’t doubt the all-too-near future will offer me numerous opportunities to get riled up at his general disastrousness as the Chief Executive of the United States, and as for my confidence that he can manage the rebuilding of Iraq… well, we’ll just have to see. However, from now to the end of time you won’t hear me say that the man never did anything right. He did, and what he did right has a pretty big thing. And were I ever to meet him, I would say to him: Fine job with Saddam. You did well.
No, it’s not painful in the least to say that. What would have been painful would have been to have to say, well, you screwed up on the Saddam thing, too. Because the implications of that — for our troops, for our country, and for the planet in general — would have been immeasurably bad. I can live with Dubya having done a good job with Saddam. Happily.
I’m still not voting him. Not even close. But I’m not going to let that get in the way of recognizing the fact he’s done something good for the world.