Via Troy, on DBA:
Bush ran as a moderate, tacked right and governed ineffectually — before 9/11. Since then he’s become the most radical American president in history — and arguably the worst.
Editor’s note: Following is the introduction to Sidney Blumenthal’s new book, “How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime,” recently published by the Princeton University Press.
By Sidney Blumenthal
No one predicted just how radical a president George W. Bush would be. Neither his opponents, nor the reporters covering him, nor his closest campaign aides suggested that he would be the most willfully radical president in American history.
In his 2000 campaign, Bush permitted himself few hints of radicalism. On the contrary he made ready promises of moderation, judiciously offering himself as a “compassionate conservative,” an identity carefully crafted to contrast with the discredited Republican radicals of the House of Representatives. After capturing the Congress in 1994 and proclaiming a “revolution,” they had twice shut down the government over the budget and staged an impeachment trial that resulted in the acquittal of President Clinton. Seeking to distance himself from the congressional Republicans, Bush declared that he was not hostile to government. He would, he said, “change the tone in Washington.” He would be more reasonable than the House Republicans and more moral than Clinton. Governor Bush went out of his way to point to his record of bipartisan cooperation with Democrats in Texas, stressing that he would be “a uniter, not a divider.”
The article non-free but visible behind the ad at Salon’s site and is well worth a read.