Bush's harshest critics, left liberals as well as traditional conservatives, have repeatedly called attention to this record. That criticism has yet to garner mainstream political traction. Throughout the long primary season, even as various contenders in both parties argued endlessly about Iraq, they seemed oblivious to the more fundamental questions raised by the Bush years: whether global war makes sense as an antidote to terror, whether preventive war works, whether the costs of "global leadership" are sustainable, and whether events in Asia rather than the Middle East just might determine the course of the 21st century.
While some of our wiser intellects argue these questions, the seem limited to New York Review of Books intellectuals. I'll try to write about these questions in later posts. I personally have mixed feeling on some of these questions, however, I very much feel the idea of a "global war on terror" is deeply misguided.
Many other issues are off the table as we more and more simply argue about whether the war is working. Liberals have been so distracted by these issues that we've nearly forgotten what else is wrong in American society: the widening wealth disparity, the growing prison populations, the "war on drugs" etc.