Reading Time: < 1 minute

Today’s dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will bring together all of America’s living ex-presidents for what will likely be a warm and celebratory event. Protocol for the unveiling of presidential portraits and presidential libraries general calls for an abundance of courtesy and good feelings, with politics to be left at the front door.

Like all presidential libraries, this one — built on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas — largely reflects the president’s own view of his time in office. The library and museum also reflects the 43rd president’s unique demeanor — “straightforward, confident, unapologetic and willing to let history be the ultimate decider of his time in office,” according to the Washington Post.

But there are other views, of course. George W. Bush’s presidency — like most — was also marked by controversy, tragedy, bitter political rancor and failings large and small. As the Bush administration ended in Dec. 2008, the Center for Public Integrity took stock of what went wrong during those years in its Broken Government project. In a comprehensive assessment of systematic failures over the previous eight years, the Center found more than 125 examples of government breakdown.

Read the project: Broken Government

Help support this work

Public Integrity doesn’t have paywalls and doesn’t accept advertising so that our investigative reporting can have the widest possible impact on addressing inequality in the U.S. Our work is possible thanks to support from people like you.