Joe Klein really wants to find something charitable and valedictory to say about George W. Bush. “His position on immigration was admirable,” Klein writes in Time. “He spoke well, in the abstract, about the importance of freedom. He is an impeccable classicist when it comes to baseball.” But none of that makes up for the “paralytic incompetence” that has made his last months humiliating, Klein says.
Bush’s lack of leadership in the economic crisis is forcing the president-elect to move quickly to at least preview his intentions. That means Bush “is less than president now, and that is appropriate," Klein writes. "He was never very much of one.” But even Bush’s “creative paralysis” won’t define him; “it will be his intellectual laziness, at home and abroad.” In Klein’s opinion, “Bush never understood,” well, anything.