He’s a uniter, not a divider.
From the Guardian:
Instead of looking ahead, Bush is forced to look back, seeking comfort in second world war analogies that are wholly inapplicable to our current circumstances. By destroying Iraq, a traditional counterweight in the region, Bush strengthened Iran as a regional power, and it is not an act of appeasement to talk to the most influential, and dangerous, people in the region.
But more striking, as we watch these last days of the Bush administration, is to survey the damage that Bush has done to the Republican party that was in essence a bequest to him from Ronald Reagan. Despite the havoc Reagan wrecked on the federal budget, the government safety net and the political fabric of the country, he managed to bring a respectability and a strength to American conservatism that proved formidable for more than a generation. It was powerful enough to force the Democratic party off its bearings and managed to get Bush elected president despite his obvious deficiencies as a candidate, an executive and a thinker.
Bush was hailed as the fulfilment of the Reagan’s aspirations and heir to his legacy. After losing to Bill Clinton in 1992, and taking control of the Congress in 1994, conservatives in general and Republicans in particular saw Bush’s 2000 win as the rapture for which they had been waiting since 1980, when they thought they had set liberalism back on it heels forever. By 2004 they controlled all the levers of government, but, counter to their expectations, the conservative agenda was more in tatters than ever.
Today, Bush is the most unpopular president in recent history. He has defiled Republicans’ notions of small government and destroyed their reputation as the more responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money. And, of course, there was the war of his choosing, which has led to the nefarious, Wilsonian nation-building they have so long despised. The word in Washington these days in that the Republican brand is tarnished. It may be worse that that. There are signs that the GOP is headed for landslide losses in the congressional elections this fall.