As President George W. Bush prepares to leave office a review of his eight years as the Nation's chief executive is in order. While the end of his presidency has been overshadowed by economic problems and angry calls from the left about various aspects of the war against radical Islam, Bush did have some success which should be recognized.
Bush's greatest success in office came when he remained faithful to his principles-namely, his belief in the sanctity of human life. When, in 2001, the issue of scientific research on embryonic life came to the forefront, Bush wisely held the line on Federal funding for the destruction of human embryos not already in use, in spite of calls from many that he was "anti-science." Six years later he vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would have permitted public financing of human embryonic stem cell research.
When vacancies appeared on the Supreme Court Bush was able to find nominees who were highly qualified and who respected the Constitution, as written, to be the law of the land. Chief Justice John J. Roberts, Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito have proven to be sound scholars, as well as serious and thoughtful Justices who respect the limits placed upon their branch of government by the Constitution. In other words, they have not tried to legislate ideologically from the bench nor attempt some sort of social or cultural engineering through the law.
One other success stands out. Bush frequently and consistently supported faith-based non-profits and voluntary organizations within American society. He recognized that they role they play in local communities, at the State and national levels forms part of the bedrock of America. This is a theme as old as the country itself, but after the secularist assault on faith in the 20th Century, many of these groups struggled. Now more people recognize the services and resources these organizations contribute to those in need and, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, how valuable they are.
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