I agree with this assessment but did not expect to see it coming from Kevin Drum's keyboard
Contrary to his reputation, Bush mostly succeeded by pressing a moderate, and sometimes even liberal, agenda. Tax cuts aside, which he passed solely primarily with Republican support
He goes on to point out that a lot of Bush's domestic legislation was really liberal (NCLB, Medicare part D). I agree.
But I think this is related to where Democrats go off track in understanding Tea Party and libertarian spending anger. Their rejoinder tends to be "much of current spending is Bush's fault." Leave aside the absurd implicit assumption in this that once a spending level is achieved, no president later has any ability to ratchet it back down. No, what they really miss is that I think the Tea party would agree. They are just as angry about Bush's spending and expansion of government, so the "Republicans started it" playground argument does not really get much traction. The best analog would probably be expansion of Executive power. Drum is not OK (I am pretty sure) with the notion that the President can have any American he chooses summarily executed in the war on terrorism, and isn't likely to change his mind if reminded that "his guy" Obama invented the power.