After a slow and stumbling start, official Washington is scrambling to try to prevent the unfolding mortgage crisis from pushing the country into recession during an election year. There is a strong feeling, though, that the government will need to do more to avert a financial disaster.

Congratulations, George W. Bush! An unwinnable war at the very nadir of its unwinnability, and an economic collapse that has started before you had a successor to frame? It’s not often a President can begin reflecting on his legacy while he’s still in office.

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