October 17, 2005

Which Is More Important

. . . to a President's legacy?—the selection of a Supreme Court nominee, or how he conducts foreign/military policy in light of a threat from abroad?

It's a serious question. Not a rhetorical one.

Please discuss.

Posted by Attila at October 17, 2005 10:57 PM | TrackBack

Consistently doing what is right...hmmm? A fine legacy for anyone. Too bad we don't yet know Miers like the President does! Our loss!

Posted by: Darrell at October 18, 2005 12:02 PM

Both, of course.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 18, 2005 12:17 PM

Legacy is what a president might consider as part of doing his job, but not to consider his legacy instead of doing the job. A Supreme Court judge is not going to make a legacy unless it is the first woman, or the first black, or the first hispanic. Most of the judges on the 1973 Court were put there by a Republican president, that is not a legacy. Earl Warren was put on the bench as Supreme Court Chief Justice by Eisenhower, the legacy of Roe is the legacy of the court, not any president. Now, foreign policy makes the legacy of any president, and the lack of it is part of the failure of Clinton. Like McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman, and Eisenhower, their legacy is strongly defending our nation and strong international policy. Therefore, from history, the Bush 43 legacy will be his foreign policy, not any judge. And the most important part of history will be when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice become our next president and that will be part of Bush's legacy.

Posted by: Crystal Dueker at October 18, 2005 02:17 PM

Foreign/military policy by a nose. What he is doing now can have serious long term consequences to the safety of the USA.

SCOTUS is important, but, rulings can be overturned.

Unless Bush gets a third pick. Then, which is most important may change.

Posted by: William Teach at October 19, 2005 07:33 AM

And remember, Earl Warren bused his kids across town so they would not have to attend school with Mexicans. He used State owned limos to do it.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at October 19, 2005 10:09 AM

I'd say foreign policy. The average person doesn't get too wonky about the SCOTUS, but they have at least a passing appreciation for foreign affairs.

On top of that: we remember the justices who make the decisions while on the court, not the President who appoint them. Likewise with foreign policy: we remember the Presidents who were in charge at the time.

Posted by: Seth Williams at October 20, 2005 01:00 AM

"Post a comment? Remember: Be polite. Attack ideas, not people."

How appropriate for someone adopting the name "Attila!" he was known to always have admonished his soldiers, "attack buildings, not people."

It seems today that presidents don't have legacies, which arrive naturally, fairly or not, by the prodcess of people looking back. Today, presidents have libraries.

Maybe Bush will refuse.

My statement. His legcy will determind by what iraq looks like 25 years from now, and maybe bywhat the Middle East looks like. he has taken a huge gamble in foillowing the old liberal notion that we should pay any price, bear any burden in the defence of liberty anywhere in the world. If it fails, the consequences will be grave, both for America and the world. But if it succeeds, we may be in for a global golden era.

Just in case, make sure your children learn Chinese.

Posted by: Averroes at October 20, 2005 08:17 PM

Great comments, and good to see so many people agree that foreign policy is the most important part of any presidential legacy. Now that so many nations in the Middle East have already made major changes in the past 2 years, like Syria finally getting out of Lebanon, Arafat died and his corruption stopping poisoning his own people to feed his hatred of Jewish people so the Palestinians might have a chance to create their own nation, Kuwait has a First Lady (wife of the Emir) who is standing up for the right of women to be full citizens, along with other Middle East nations making changes for the better, I can only hope to see some more improvements over the next 2 years. Over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been murdered by the thugs trying to sabotage their own nation, and Secretary Rice is correct that it will be the political process which will help resolve the differences, along with training the Iraqi military and police to stop the kidnapping, and the murders to destabilize Iraq. A lot can improve over the next 2 years, and if we can get the newspapers to report the good stuff, we have a chance to show we got rid of a tyrant, put into place a representative government, and stabilized a horrible place after 30 long years.

Posted by: Crystal Dueker at October 20, 2005 10:45 PM

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