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Presidential libraries are huge failures

The people who built the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which opened today, envision hundreds of thousands of tourists descending annually on Dallas to gawk at the Decider-in-Chief’s artifacts. To pore over the “War President’s” trophies. To participate, virtually, in major crises that he faced. And, of course, to leave behind – in the form of admission tickets, gift shop baubles and Texas-sized meals – as much of the economic gains they’ve made up since Mr. Bush left office as they can spare.

The former president’s harshest critics, of course, can’t imagine why anyone would want to visit such a place. The more snide – and less talented – of them make lame jokes about what books may or may not be on the shelves (it’s not that kind of library). Or which gaffes, catastrophes and tragedies from his term in office the exhibits portray (they are predictably criticism-free). Or – as he himself remarked in a recent interview – whether or not he can actually read.

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