William McGurn, Wall Street Journal opinion
In a few hours, George W. Bush will walk out of the Oval Office for the last time as president. As he leaves, he carries with him the near-universal opprobrium of the permanent class that inhabits our nation's capital. Yet perhaps the most important reason for this unpopularity is the one least commented on.
Here's a hint: It's not because of his failures. To the contrary, Mr. Bush's disfavor in Washington owes more to his greatest success. Simply put, there are those who will never forgive Mr. Bush for not losing a war they had all declared unwinnable.
Here in the afterglow of the turnaround led by Gen. David Petraeus, it's easy to forget what the smart set was saying two years ago - and how categorical they all were in their certainty. The president was a simpleton, it was agreed. Didn't he know that Iraq was a civil war, and the only answer was to get out as fast as we could?