No, Iraq was not the one thing that gave us Obamacare. It caused the 2006 congressional wipeout, but in 2008, John McCain, the man more associated with the war than any one except Bush himself, stayed close to Obama throughout the summer and actually led him by two or three points in September before the financial implosion kicked in. (It was this fiscal collapse that gave us Obamacare, along with a number of various oddities: “macaca;” the 200-plus felons who voted in Minnesota; and the Club for Growth running against Arlen Specter, which pushed him into the Democrats’ arms.)…

What is the prudent approach on conservative principles to an attack that kills almost 3,000 people in our two capital cities, nearly destroys the Capitol (and the congressmen in it), and leaves a smoldering wreck in Virginia and a pit filled with ashes in downtown New York? The conservative critique of Iraq never addresses the question of what Saddam might have done if left unimpeded, without which no assessment can be quite complete.

Between 2005 and 2006, Bush had two of the worst years ever endured by an American president, and he deserves the heat he took for it. But Iraq is still not Vietnam. The war was not lost, and we got some things out of it. When the Sunnis took our side and helped drive out al Qaeda, it was a distinct and remarkable win. In l952, the war in Korea made Harry S. Truman persona non grata and helped sink the Democrats, who, for many years after, rarely mentioned his name. His party lost the next two elections, which didn’t stop John F. Kennedy from winning the next one, rebranding his party and stepping up the muscular posture that Truman adopted. A few years after that, the country began to think better of Korea, and Truman. The same thing may happen to Iraq, and George W. Bush.