I have a confession to make: I've never believed that Bush is a terrible president. Sorry. I'll spot you monumental incompetence in the handling of Iraqi reconstruction. But then, we're not particularly practiced in nation building, particularly when our own press is working against our interests. Bush inherited the dot.com bust and neatly preempted a recession with the timely tax cuts. Most of his tenure has coincided with a healthy economy. He is no more responsible for the housing crisis, than Clinton was for the tech bubble, and than either is responsible for the orgy of greed that got us there. His concession to the "greenies" in the form of pushing ethanol has led to pressure on global food prices. Just goes to show.
His greatest sin, according to most who trash him, was "lying" to get us into Iraq. I'll give you my theory. Prior to 9/11, the most Osama had ever done really was cause handfuls of casualties. I can be sure that not even the most perspicacious of those self-proclaimed Cassandras- who are running around wringing hands and gnashing teeth in hindsight- ever imagined the scope of the damage he would inflict. I suspect that Bush, sometime in the evening of 9/11, said to himself, "Not on my watch ever again." Saddam, it was generally thought, had weapons of mass destruction, was hostile to the United States, and had at his disposal all the terrain and wealth of an entire nation. He removed him. Perhaps it was not morally right; perhaps it was. The result is that all the jihadis made post haste to Iraq, where they have been essentially defeated, and Saddam ain't going to be helping anybody.
Here's Anne Coulter's take on the Bush presidency in a must read column. Some days, she just has it. I wouldn't go as overboard in praise of Bush, but time will tell just how good a president he has been.