In the past several years, on any given day -- including holidays, mind you! -- you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a media member complaining about how America's respect within the international community had declined under George W. Bush.
This makes Friday evening's editorial in Investor's Business Daily all the more astounding.
Readers are strongly advised to prepare themselves for an alternate state of reality before proceeding any further (emphasis added, h/t NB reader Andrew Gill):
Democrats have hammered the Bush administration for supposedly losing allies and global standing. But a look at U.S. ties shows Bush to be a master diplomat who is strengthening U.S. relations all over.
"The world owes President Bush a debt of gratitude in leading the world in our determination to root out terrorism," said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a man whose recent elevation to office was supposed to denote a "cooling" of relations with the U.S. and a tilt toward Europe.
But Europe isn't really "cooling," either.
France is now led by a man elected as "le Americain." Like Brown, President Nicolas Sarkozy had nothing but good things to say about Bush. [...]
In Italy, all we can find is another enthusiastically pro-Bush prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who won high office this week in a landslide. "What I did counted in my relationship with Bush," he said this month in his campaign.
In Germany, led by conservative and U.S.-friendly Chancellor Angela Merkel, the sentiment has also gone pro-American, as it has in the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and Canada.
Outside of Western Europe, the reviews are even warmer because there's a focus not just on terror-fighting but standing up for democracy— as ties with Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Albania show. [...]
No president in U.S. history has signed as many free-trade deals as Bush, which has deepened our alliances well beyond trade.
Bush signed off on 10 free-trade agreements, many with Arab states vulnerable to terrorism such as Morocco, Jordan, and Persian Gulf state Bahrain — which is now a "major non-NATO ally." [...]
Bush has also boosted ties with strategic Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, and broken new ground with some very big players globally, like Brazil and India, both of whose leaders have the most cordial of relations. [...]
So what was that again about Bush alienating the world?