I confess to confusion at the reader comments here about how NR is a GOP flack. I, as one person among many at NR, believe George Bush deserves some credit and a little more respect than a shut-up-and-go-away post. But NR disagreed with the Bush administration on a whole host of issues. (I did, too.)
Republican administrations and officers could tell you all about their frustration with NR on a whole host of issues. Veterans of the Bush White House will not-so-fondly remember NR on faith-based initiatives, on No Child Left Behind, on the Department of Homeland Security, on Harriet Miers, on immigration . . . I could go on. He wasn’t the perfect conservative, but I think we knew that walking in. And I might add that even the perfect conservative wasn’t always perfect: Go back and read old issues of NR from the Reagan administration; we praised him when we believed he was doing what was best; when we believed he was not, we not only criticized and persuaded but, in some cases, led the opposition.
I didn’t agree with everything the man did or said, but I am grateful for legacies like John Roberts and Sam Alito, and he did use his office for good in a way that a President Gore or Kerry never would have. And now he’s carving out a post-presidential way to be effective (primarily through his Institute) and use the voice that having been president affords him. I’m grateful for that and to him.