Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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« What is Obamaism? | Main | Post Presidency and legacy »

Bush's Legacy

There's been a lot chatter the past week about President Bush's legacy. 

I've weighed in on this topic in columns past, and I'm sure I'll give it more consideration in the future.

It's been interesting to see some conservative commentators -- George Will, Ann Coulter, Bill Kristol, etc -- come to his defense with the following refrain:  Only time will tell if the war in Iraq has made us safer. 

Come again? Let's stipulate for a second that the war in Iraq did, somehow, make us a safer nation against Islamic terrorism.  It probably hasn't, but for argument sake assume it did.

Even so, it doesn't change the fundamental failure of Bush's presidency:  He took us to war under false pretenses.  Short of committing a crime like Nixon, that's about the worst sin a president can commit.  He took our most sacred treasure -- our service men and women -- and put them in harms way based on faulty intelligence.  He didn't seek out dissenting points of view.  He didn't exhaust all other alternatives.  He didn't ask the people around him to make critical arguments against going to war.  He simply got it in his mind that Suddam Hussein had to go, and he railroaded us into war.

Maybe history will show that we were a safer nation with a free Iraq -- though I highly doubt it --  but it doesn't change the fact that we were bamboozled into war.  And no amount of time will change that.

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Reader Comments (7)

George Bush's legacy will be that he created the most dire and dangerous times the United States has had to face in over 100 years. He has helped create a negative scenario that allows Americans to show what they are truly capable of doing when the going gets tough.

His legacy will be that he, more than any other President, proved that the voting citizenry can get it wrong, twice.

January 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Quarry

First, Nick, try to work "bamboozled" into your posts more often.

Second, did you read "The Moment" in TIME's 1/26 (Briefing)? Bush is leaving office with "52 months of prosperity between recessions" and the Iraq situation as "less calamitous than it once was." What a relief.

January 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen

With all due respect, I don't believe you have captured but a small portion of the disaster that will be referred to as "the George W Bush presidency".

In historical terms, I believe that the economic problems in the United States will far overshadow the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the life of any human life should not be be diminished, the virtual destruction of a whole economic society has a much wider and far reaching impact on our society.

Why will GWB be blamed?

His decisions to abandon conservative economic principles were at the heart of the problems that led to the economic disaster. Yes, his decision to go into Iraq without any plan for ending our involvement, cost this country billions of dollars per day. No other President in our history has gone to war while instituting tax cuts. Most have raised taxes as they asked the country to make sacrifices in the face of the burden of war. But his decisions to promote social lending, add to the record budget deficits, support further unbridled deregulation, and dismantle enforcement of sound financial laws was the true instigator of our econmic demise.

Not only did he put this country on the path of economic decline, but he destroyed the very fabric of the Republican Party by abandoning so many of its priinciples.

1. The United States is not the world's policeman.

2. It is inconsistent with American principles to try and install our system of government on other countries. (nation building)

3. Republicans support small business as the very essence of the capitalistic system.

4. Governments do not bail out American businesses without having long-term negative impacts.

5. Economic conservatism is not only reducing taxes (government's burden on the common man), but promoting a balanced budget (living within your means).

6. The prinicple of minimizing government interference in private lives is not selectively applied only for those issue on which you agree.

While I am not predicting the demise of the United States or saying that the Republican Party will not rebound, I believe that the presidency of George W Bush will be looked upon as one of the two or three most damaging periods in American history.

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