And still more on Roh Moo-hyun

From the eyes of a Korean. Yes, I’ve been checking the Korean blogs out a bit more. After all, I do live here and I’m not really interested in chk-chk.

Spreading myself too thin? Probably. There’s Paco, Beck, Milquetoast, Kae, Sharpie, Margos, Kaboom, Andrew, Tim, Bankstown, the original bing all up waiting to be read, but it’ll just have to wait.

In the meantime…

Having said that, it would be foolish to be blind to the many failures of the Roh presidency. He was generally a poor diplomat who did not always have a smooth relationship with the U.S., Korea’s most important ally. It is also fair to say that Korea’s economy grew during his term despite his economic policy rather than thanks to it, as Roh’s policies focused more on distribution rather than growth, e.g., the extremely harsh property tax on the homeowners on certain ritzy parts of Seoul.

But the greatest failure of Roh was that he created a toxic partisan environment in which he relied on the small number of ardent supporters push through his agenda while alienating the greater public. In such a situation, successes during Roh’s presidency became discounted, while failures during Roh’s presidency – however attenuated Roh’s involvement is – were magnified. Toward the end of presidency, it was a common half-serious joke that if your toilet backed up, it was Roh Moo-Hyun’s fault.


In essence, Roh’s governing style combined the worst elements of Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, two of the worst American presidents since World War II.

That enough to hook yas?

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