The Bush Presidency, Eight Years Later

The Bush presidency stands for failure at home and abroad — and an ultimate vindication of democracy

Illustration by David Gothard for TIME

"We will reopen Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House." —the 2000 Republican platform

But they never did. Eight years later, the barricades remain. It was a phony issue, of course — just another stick with which to beat Bill Clinton, who closed the road at the insistence of the Secret Service. In an interview with PBS a month after Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney stated the obvious: "Pennsylvania Avenue ought to stay closed because, as a fact, if somebody were to detonate a truck bomb in front of the White House, it would probably level the White...

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