George Bush Not The Worst President Ever?

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

I gotta say I disagree with Matt Yglesias on this:

In a History News Network poll, 61 percent of historians say that George W. Bush has been the worst president ever. . . . I . . . take the view that Bush is probably correct to think that history will remember him kindly.

Um, I don't. I think history will NOT be kind to the worst President in history, George W. Bush.

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    The way to make sure it will not be kind (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by scribe on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:33:29 PM EST
    is for Democrats to win the coming election and then go after Bush and his minions, making a historical record of their manifold crimes against humanity, law and sense.  

    Remember, history is written by the victors.  If ever there was a time to make sure the Repugs could not be the victors, this is the time.

    They were given the chance in '06 (none / 0) (#16)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:06:21 PM EST
    Wasn't that what was suppose to happen? Nothing came of the hearings and impeachment was taken off the table. Why would it be any different?

    More Congressional Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:07:51 PM EST
    and a Democratic President may help. :-)

    Set aside the war that didn't change (none / 0) (#35)
    by BarnBabe on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:23:58 PM EST
    I am referring to all those nice pieces of paper they sent to Karl and friends. Nothing became of it. The Republicans just ignored them and then not too much was heard from them again. WIth a new admin, it will be old hat, let's move on.

    Especially if Obama (none / 0) (#41)
    by cal1942 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 07:14:31 PM EST
    the Unity man wins the nomination and election. No truth squad, no nothing. Post-partisan and all that. Off scot free. Summers in Kennebunkeport, winters in Crawford and a Nixon style (original version) Presidential Library.

    Huh? (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by litigatormom on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:34:31 PM EST
    Kindly? Is he f**** kidding?

    For what, exactly, will he be remembered kindly?

    He will be remembered with contempt, anger, disappointment, embarrassment, horror, disbelief.  The most positive emotion I can imagine he might inspire is pity. And I, for one, will not pity him.

    Some of his Bushisms may be remembered with amusement, although they make me cringe.

    Cringe and Laugh at the same time. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Faust on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:10:30 PM EST
    Reading Bushisms is like shoving a big bag full of sweee n sours in your mouth.

    Clearly someone has abducted Matt (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:35:09 PM EST
    and taken over his blog. Possibly at gun point. We should get a posse together and go rescue him.

    History will treat GWB less kindly than Herbert Hoover and James Buchanan

    Kindly? Are we sure he didn't say (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Anne on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:47:37 PM EST
    that history would look upon him as the most "kingly" president?  That I could agree with.

    The only history books that will look "kindly" upon Bush are the ones in the Bush presidential library.  Assuming there will be books in it, of course.

    As One of Yglesias's Commenters (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by The Maven on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:50:29 PM EST
    pointed out, Joseph Nye, who has written repeated since near the beginning of the Bush presidency about the importance of the U.S. exercising "soft power" on the international stage, just had an op-ed a week ago in the Los Angeles Times on the many reasons why Wilson is an inapposite model for those who believe that Bush's reputation will be salvaged by history.  I tend to agree with Prof. Nye here.

    HNN via Digby (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:10:35 PM EST
    HNN by way of Digby post titled Glib, Contemptuous, Ignorant, Incurious

    "George Bush has combined mediocrity with malevolent policies and has thus seriously damaged the welfare and standing of the United States," wrote one of the historians, echoing the assessments of many of his professional colleagues. "Bush does only two things well," said one of the most distinguished historians.  "He knows how to make the very rich very much richer, and he has an amazing talent for f**king up everything else he even approaches.  His administration has been the most reckless, dangerous, irresponsible, mendacious, arrogant, self-righteous, incompetent, and deeply corrupt one in all of American history."

    What an excellent summation. (none / 0) (#23)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:12:51 PM EST
    Yes, he makes the very rich richer. That is why corporate media lurves him, and why they did nothing but tongue-bathe him until he screwed up Katrina so royally.

    Even now, they are harder on Paris Hilton than they are on Bush. It's absolutely pathetic.


    Time is a great leveller (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:26:59 PM EST
    Carter's end of term Job Approval rating was 34%.

    I doubt it would be the same right now.

    A lot of Bush's incompetence is already being distributed onto the administration that came before him.

    It's not tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas (a bush thing) that have hurt American Workers.

    It's NAFTA (a Clinton thing) that has hurt American workers.

    Many in the Dem Party are willing to play along.

    Obama clearly is playing that game. (none / 0) (#28)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:31:14 PM EST
    Make no mistake (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edgar08 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:33:26 PM EST
    It's the only game he has.

    As to NAFTA, Hillary is playing that game too (none / 0) (#34)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:21:53 PM EST
    She was against NAFTA the whole time, really, she was.

    for the longest time, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:17:55 PM EST
    i didn't think it possible for any subsequent president to surpass fillmore and buchanan as the worst presidents. year by year though, gw has inched his way up (down) the mediocrity column until finally, after (almost) 8 years of diligent stupidity, he has achieved greatness (of a bad sort) in his own term in office.

    there's something to be said for that. i'm not sure what, exactly, but something.

    bush's view that history will remember him kindly is just another example, possibly the crowning example, of the delusional alternate reality he inhabits. no rational person, similarly situated, could reasonably think that.

    I don't actually think... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:38:57 PM EST
    ... that Bush is the very worst, since he's unlikely to do as much damage as failing to head off the Civil War did. He's close to the bottom, though, and while some things could improve his image, I can't really imagine him rising above the lower middle in the long run.

    It can get worse (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Andreas on Tue Apr 08, 2008 at 04:07:02 AM EST
    George Walker Bush is the worst president so far. But that might change soon.

    Hmm (1.00 / 0) (#31)
    by jarober on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:11:52 PM EST
    Regardless of what you think of Bush, I think you would be hard pressed to rank him below James Buchanan.  Or, for that matter, Woodrow Wilson, who doesn't get nearly as much crap as he deserves (read Tuchman's "The Zimmerman Telegram" to get an idea as to just how badly he screwed up relations with Mexico).

    wow! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Turkana on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:30:58 PM EST
    has yglesias ever written anything more embarrassing?

    What?? (none / 0) (#5)
    by stillife on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:38:31 PM EST
    Once again, I feel like I'm living in upside-down land, when so-called progressives are demonizing a Democratic candidates while cozying up to Bush.  

    Four years ago, life was so simple.  We just hated the Republicans.

    Was it written on April Fool's Day?? (none / 0) (#6)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:39:14 PM EST
    It sure sounds like it was. I find it so amusing that people who tore into Bill Clinton with glee for much less cause are "respecting the office" when it comes to Bush, who is the most criminal president we have ever had. And the worst.

    Well anybody following the current campaign (none / 0) (#7)
    by ineedalife on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:41:11 PM EST
    could get the impression the Clinton administration is seen by 51% as the worst ever. And that is among Democrats. Obama certainly has kinder things to say about Reagan and Papa Bush than Clinton.

    Hilarious (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:46:53 PM EST
    He has lost his mind.

    He's got to be kidding. n/t (none / 0) (#10)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:48:14 PM EST

    Not Bush; Reagan is worst! (none / 0) (#12)
    by magnetics on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 01:59:57 PM EST
    Because he enabled Bush's ascent.  The canonization of St. Ronnie has too long proceeded without a countervailing voice.  Go (if you can stand it anymore) over to Big Orange, and look up my obituary of RR -- my first ever post there, under this same screen name,  lo these many years ago.

    De mortuis nil nisi bonum, but, as might be noted in other contexts, rules aren't always rules.


    Gotta agree with you on that one, at least (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:02:42 PM EST
    in terms of recent history.
    The election of Reagan marked a catastrophic turn in  US history, largely because of energy policy.
    He set us back decades on the path to sustainable energy use, and there may be no easy recovery.
    Bush is just playing out Reagan's legacy. If we weren't so totally dependent on MidEast oil, we would never have invaded Iraq.

    Agree 100%. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:07:08 PM EST
    Raygun was indeed the root of most of the evil we see today.

    IMHO, we have to include Nixon as well. He was much more socially liberal than Bush, but it was he who first brought Rumsfeld and Cheney into government prominence. And it was he who first propounded the "unitary executive" theory that has totally corrupted our justice system.


    P.S. I am a collateral descendant of (none / 0) (#14)
    by MarkL on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:03:24 PM EST
    many people's choice for the worst President ever---James Buchanan.
    Oh well.

    The only Pennsylvania President. (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:13:01 PM EST
    I make a point to stand on the plaque where his desk was whenever I'm in Statuary Hall.

    He may be treated kindly (none / 0) (#15)
    by BernieO on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:03:49 PM EST
    if the right wing propaganda machine goes to work to sanctify him the way they have done for Reagan. Even Nixon has been largely rehabilitated. However, Bush seems to have done so much damage to the party, that I doubt there will be much incentive to do this for him.
    What bugs me is that Democrats just sit back and let the right control the historical view of recent presidents. How often have you heard anyone point out that we were successfully reducing our dependence on foreign oil due to Carter's (and to some extent Ford's)policies but they were reversed by Saint Ronnie? How many people know that Reagan was an FBI informant during the McCarthy eral, snitching on fellow actors? Or that it was his legitimizing of deregulation that has led to the recent market meltdowns, starting with the Savings and Loan disaster? In fact, a lot of our current problems can be laid at Reagan's feet, but they won't be because the right wing and the media have canonized him. I guess as long as you are genial you can get away with just about anything. Democrats sure won't oppose you.

    and (none / 0) (#24)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:12:52 PM EST
    Reagan had alzheimers immediately following his stint in office (some would also say in his last couple of years).  The media and dems didn't want to be seen going after a sick man so the right wing had its chance to build him up.  

    Iran contra by itself should have sealed his historic fate.  Oh well.

    Back OT - yglesias has lost it.  Perhaps he wants to be invited for a beer?


    I believe Helen Thomas (none / 0) (#19)
    by Saul on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:07:55 PM EST
    who made that statement in Bush's first year.  I think she is a pretty good judge of character especially when judging presidents.  She has talked to President  I believe since Kennedy.


    This is the worst President ever. He is the worst President in all of American history.

    I think history will prove her right.

    In all fairness (none / 0) (#20)
    by brad12345 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:08:51 PM EST
    while I don't agree with MY's argument, he makes a legitimate argument that BTD more or less ignored when excerpting Yglesias' post.

    Well certainly (none / 0) (#25)
    by facta non verba on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:25:01 PM EST
    it's hard to top Useless Grant or Warren Harding whose Administrations were enveloped in corruption scandal after corruption scandal. Grant's Administration still had long-lasting consequences, some of which plague us to this day. The 1871 Mining Law comes to mind (supported by Obama) and the 1873 Supreme Court Decision in Union Pacific v. Santa Clara that gave corporations the rights of persons.

    Those of us who lived through the Bush 43 years certainly will not have fond memories. Domestically Bush was a disaster just about on every score card. His inaction on climate, his war on science, his environmental policy (No Tree Left Behind), his education policy (No Public School Left Intact), the first sitting President to lose an American city since James Madison (he lost Washington to the British in 1814), the gross mismanagement of the economy. But in the long run Bush will be judged by the war with Islam. As an advocate of a hard line towards Islam, I still find hard to believe that Bush's policies are anything short of an unmitigated disaster. The war with Islam was never in Iraq, a secular state. The war with Islam is in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan and in the periphery of Islam in Indonesia, Somalia, the Philippines, London, Berlin, Munich, Marseilles, Holland. As a progressive liberal, I find Islam wholly incompatible with western values of tolerance. My worry is Holland where Muslims now number 10% of the population and where clashes between Islam and Dutch society are ever increasing and ever violent. It does not bode well that in Holland the bridge between Islam and the West is so divided.

    Bush really is a uniter... (none / 0) (#27)
    by madamab on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:27:20 PM EST
    he's united 75% of Americans against him. Name another President that's done that, why don't you! ;-)

    heh grant (none / 0) (#38)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 04:06:50 PM EST
    I remember learning that when grant was old and destitute, he wrote his bio which has long been considered one of the greatest presidential memoirs.  I like to remind obama supporters of that when they go on and how about how great he must be because of his books. ;)

    To me... (none / 0) (#29)
    by desertswine on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 02:33:07 PM EST
    here is an image of the Bush Legacy.

    Yes, the worst president ever, and a sorry excuse for a human being.

    Heartbreaking photo (none / 0) (#37)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 03:52:50 PM EST
    I hadn't seen that before.  It's a kick in the stomach.