What The Bush Administration Has Wrought

There is one reason the Democratic Party is in the political ascendancy - the George W. Bush Administration. Let's face it, the Democratic Party is, by and large, craven and toothless. It stands for little and does even less. But they will be swept into complete control of the Presidency and the Congress in November because the Bush Administration has been the worst in the history of the Republic. Today's New York Times offers headlines that remind us this is so.

First, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is promoting a $20 billion plan to double the size of the Afghan military: [More . . .]

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will endorse a $20 billion plan to substantially increase the size of Afghanistan’s army and will also restructure the military command of American and NATO forces in response to the growing Taliban threat, senior Pentagon and military officials said Thursday. Taken together, the two decisions are an acknowledgment of shortcomings that continue to hinder NATO- and American-led operations in Afghanistan. With the war in Iraq still an obstacle to any immediate American troop increase in Afghanistan, the plan was described by officials as an attempt to increase allied and Afghan capabilities in advance of deploying the additional American brigades that Mr. Gates and his commanders agree are necessary.

Second, Russia Threatens Retaliation Against the Georgian Republic:

The sharpest fighting since the early 1990s in the disputed Caucasian enclave of South Ossetia threatened to draw Russia and the American-backed former Soviet republic of Georgia into direct military conflict on Friday.

. . . As Georgian forces besieged Tskhinvali, the capital of the enclave, President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia promised to "punish" those responsible for what he called "a deep violation of international law" by Georgia that he said had led to the deaths of Russian citizens and Russian peacekeepers stationed in Tskhinvali.

Third, Pakistani President Musharraf Won't Resign:

President Pervez Musharraf will stage a spirited defense against impeachment charges the governing coalition is pursuing against him, and has no intention of resigning under pressure, his key allies said Friday.

Mr. Musharraf, who has been president for eight years, faces the first impeachment proceedings in Pakistani history, after the leaders of the two major political parties in the ruling coalition announced Thursday they would seek to remove him.

Fourth, a 2.3 Billion Loss For Fannie Mae:

Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest mortgage finance company, offered additional evidence on Friday that the housing slump was deepening by reporting a $2.3 billion loss in the second quarter.

The increase in credit losses “is a reflection of the extraordinary pressures at work in the housing and mortgage markets,” Fannie Mae’s chief financial officer, Stephen M. Swad, said in a statement. “The credit picture remains very difficult.”

Fannie Mae’s news comes two days after the nation’s other housing giant, Freddie Mac, revealed a loss three times larger than analysts had anticipated. . . . “Our second-quarter results reflect challenging conditions in the housing and mortgage markets that began in 2006 and have deepened through 2007 and 2008,” the chief executive, Daniel H. Mudd, said in a statement.

Our international prestige is nonexistent (was there anything more pathetic than to listen to George Bush lecture anybody on human rights?). The Iraq Debacle slouches on. The forgotten war in Afghanistan becomes more difficult. The economy is in shambles. Unemployment and inflation are on the rise. Gas prices have risen over 300% during the Bush Administration. It would be difficult to do more damage in 8 years than the Bush Administration has done.

Of course Democrats will win the election. But it is to their discredit that there will not be a permanent realignment come November. It is an indictment of the Democratic Party that its victory will be relatively modest.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:14:23 AM EST
    as bad as Bush has been, it doesn't necessarily traslate into Obama winning. The way Obama has run his campaign the last two months indicate that he is heading for a loss in Nov. Those internals you showed from the CBS poll the other day are deadly for Obama.

    I agree on the the house and senate races though. If they can successfully separate themselves from Obama/Pelosi the wins can probably be even bigger.

    Now, there's a platform for ya (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:14:58 AM EST
    Let's face it, the Democratic Party is, by and large, craven and toothless. It stands for little and does even less.


    I wish there was any way I could argue with that statement. Or with the prediction that the victory will be modest. But I think both statements are fact - and this in a time where we really do need huge change, especially in environmental and energy issues.  I think even Al Gore recognizes that the Dems are only marginally better than the Republicans on that area - hence his non-partisan We campaign. What kind of political climate is it where Dems are not the greenest of the green?  Shameful.

    Obama will be fine (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:16:59 AM EST
    He should be great.

    Anyone who compares Obama to Bush is just a fool.

    HA (none / 0) (#14)
    by flashman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:26:21 AM EST
    Democrat Party = Craven, toothless.

    Obama = Democrat.

    Obama =Democrat = Craven, toothless = great.



    SHOULD BE (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:30:38 AM EST
    But will not be.

    He will be fine.

    He will be a Center-Left President, who will be a good steward of the country.

    He SHOULD transform the country. He will not.


    The truth is (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by frankly0 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:00:15 AM EST
    that Obama will never measure up to Bill Clinton's term.

    I anticipate little positive going forth under Obama's watch. He and the Democrats will no doubt botch UHC. Our Constitutional rights will stay eroded, lest Obama appear "unpatriotic" to the public.

    We will never have under his term the prosperity of Clinton's. He will never engage the sympathy and support of the people as did Clinton, because he lacks the gift. He will likely bungle many a decision simply out of inexperience combined with his tin ear for people's real concerns and a stubborn refusal to respond to criticism.

    Likely from nearly the day he enters office he will be fighting a losing battle to maintain his popularity, as the "throw the bums out" effect which propelled him into the Presidency fades with time, and he is reduced to his own unremarkable skills and background.

    And this will take place during a window of opportunity for progressive change unequaled to any in a generation.

    I can hardly contain my enthusiasm.


    I sure hope he doesn't.... (none / 0) (#35)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:34:47 AM EST
    equal Clinton's record on crime and civil liberties...we will be infinitely better off.

    Yeah, Obama's a real saint on those issues (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by shoephone on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:58:29 AM EST
    Crime: Obama is in favor of the death penalty for rapists.

    Civil liberties: Obama flat-out lied about supporting a filibuster against the unconstitutional FISA bill and voted "yay" on the whole thing instead.

    Gee, I'm really feeling hopeful about an Obama presidency.

    Yes, he'll be better than the Republican. But "better than Bush" has been and "better than McCain" would be is not good enough. Obama will win and he will be a mediocre president, at best.


    Obama and his advisors (none / 0) (#44)
    by joanneleon on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:06:57 AM EST
    are fools if they don't allow the Clintons to help get us out of this catastophic situation the country is in.  And it looks like that's what they're going to do.  They want to sideline the Clintons for political and egotistical reasons and because of old, petty grudges and jealousies.

    We've got one, yes one, president in the last forty years who, despite his other flaws, proved that he knew how to bring peace and prosperity to this country.  And our new leaders want to sideline him and worse, did everything they could to destroy him and his legacy.  

    That doesn't bode well for us, IMHO.  I really, really hope they come to their senses.  We need to assemble the best people we've got in this country to fix the incredible mess we're in, and we've got to do it FAST.  Hillary Clinton would have done that, and John Edwards would have done that.  I'm not confident that Obama will do that because he seems to want to rely on a small group of people who have so called different ideas.  God help us.


    Why believe he's going to govern center-left? (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by lambert on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:26:11 AM EST
    When he's going center right in the election, and dissing the part of the base that wants him to govern center left every chance that he gets? ("those people")

    As far as the Dems being craven, I think we need to drop that narrative. I think they have a vision for the country that is embodied in exactly what they are doing: Consolidating and rationalizing Bush's authoritarian gains.

    Exhibit A: FISA

    Exhibit B: Health care plank

    Unless you're an adherent of the Phonebooth theory, which I am not.


    The Best To Hope For (none / 0) (#20)
    by flashman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:36:42 AM EST
    I think is to improve conditions for Americans WRT housing, prices, and especially, corruption in Governemnt.  It shouldn't be hard to show a big contrast from the prior admin. after 8 years so that Democrats can ask, "Are you better off than 8 years ago..."  I care less that the country is transformed, honestly, I never expected it.  I care that the trends are reversed, and we take a step in the right direction.  I'm optimistic that will happen.

    carter was awful (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:10:25 AM EST
    I'm stocking up on canned goods.

    And to avoid the discussion about competent government making things work, one has already conceded they have no idea how Barack Obama will do.

    Let's not start talking about stewardship.  Let's keep focussed on issues and outrage at the media.


    Glad you feel that way (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 04:37:06 PM EST
    sometimes it seems as though the operative equation here is: Bush = anyone who dares to cross HRC.

    Bush Admin Had Certainly Been A Stain (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by flashman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:21:37 AM EST
    on our nation and it's legacy.  And I know the Democrats have pretty much been a big dissapointment.  But with nearly half of Americans still believing that Saddam attacked us on 9/11, there is pleanty of blame to spread around, starting with the media.  It's nearly impossible to govern when the public is so grossly misinformed.

    The Media has matched the Bush Admin. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:32:04 AM EST
    Just terrible.

    Obama taking office will be (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:23:04 AM EST
    a breath of fresh air after Bush.  I can say that, and I have not been a fan of his.

    I'll take his mistakes born of inexperience over Bush's mistakes born of criminally malicious intent any day of the week.

    Re mistakes born of inexperience... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by oldpro on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:21:35 AM EST
    Inexperience is the most worrisome thing for most people and the polls bear it out.

    When I think about inexperience in this case, I mean who's really calling the shots?  Who will Obama listen to and who will he appoint to positions of major responsibility?  How will he know who to trust (aside from his campaign team)?

    That was the major 'experience' difference I saw in the primary contest.  Obama knows few folks in the federal system...the Clintons know everyone everywhere.  They know who did their jobs and who didn't.  They know who to trust.

    Obama, so far, is trusting Daschle, Kerry and Kennedy plus Axelrod.  He doesn't know what he doesn't know.

    I don't find that promising or reassuring.

    Still...no Democrat could do worse than Bush II.  


    experience is overrated (none / 0) (#54)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 03:11:30 PM EST
    ... if you're on the wrong side of the issues.  This the argument Bill Clinton made in 1992 and he was right.

    Exhibit A: was there anyone more experienced in leading a country in war than Bush was in 2004?  Did he learn from that experience?  Hardly.


    I agree 1005 -- Obama and the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by JohnS on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:30:59 AM EST
    should be looking to crush the GOP this election. They need to think BIG. Obama needs a mandate, since the GOP plan will be to block him at every turn, esp with Uni healthcare if/when it comes up. Because if Obama and the Dems were to get there on Uni Healthcare, it would do for them what Soc Sec did for that earlier generation of Dems.

    His squeaking in gets us nowhere fast.

    I don't think Russia is so poor anymore... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by wasabi on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:48:20 AM EST

    When Putin took over as prime minister in August 1999, the capitalized value of the nation's publicly traded stocks amounted to $74 billion, but by 2006, the capitalized value exceeded $1 trillion.

    Buy mid-2007, with more than $420 billion in the state treasury, Russia had the world's third-largest holdings of foreign currency reserves and gold, behind only China, with more than $1.4 trillion, and Japan, with $900 billion.

    And the price of oil and gas has only increased since mid-2007.

    I heard on the radio yesterday (none / 0) (#27)
    by zfran on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:07:32 AM EST
    that Russia might be, or is, putting missiles back in Cuba. I hope this isn't true, I wouldn't want to go through that again!

    Call Gen. Clark for "threat" assessment (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by wurman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:11:56 AM EST
    Nothing that occurs between Russia & Georgia in anyway "threatens" the USA.

    No nation on Earth has the capacity to inflict any meaningful damage on the North American continent.  Russia's old, clunky, cast iron missiles could be launched (with their older, clunky, deteriorating warheads), but why would they even bother?  Other than an ABM site proposed by Bu$hInc to irritate Putin, the USA is of no consequence to Central Asian turf battles.

    If the Taliban, with al Quaeda help, takes over parts of Afghanistan, how does that threaten the USA, it's citizens, or economy?  Actually, the Taliban might destroy the opium trade--perhaps a net plus to the USA & Europe. Why would Joe Sixpak give a krap about who oppresses the Afghan people?

    What reasonable citizen of the USA would give a brown rat's rump about whatever happens to George xliii's pet Pakistani politician, Mushareff?  There are fears that an "unstable" administration in Islamabad could, make use of the nuclear weapons, but their delivery systems can't reach North America. Perhaps maniacs might be able to touch off a nuclear exchange among Pakistan, India, & China--but that would be completely suicidal & seems unlikely.  Some of the global effects would be devastating for 100s of years, so the Chinese would work to stop any saber-rattling in the region.

    The banking, mortgage, lending, credit crisis is a genuine threat to the USA--& perhaps the world economies.

    So guess which things Bu$hFail will focus upon?

    China (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:28:03 AM EST
    "No nation on Earth has the capacity to inflict any meaningful damage on the North American continent"

    China can.

    Just by selling all their dollars.  They don't even have to bomb us - although they could do that too.


    Also (none / 0) (#46)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 12:17:53 PM EST
    I remember growing up thinking that was true.  Right up until sept 2001...

    Doesn't have to be a strong nation to inflict damage.  It's not like Afghanistan is a world power.  But here we are 7 years later with 2 wars and an economy that still hasn't recovered.


    HUNH on China??? (none / 0) (#48)
    by wurman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 12:25:46 PM EST
    Who will they sell the dollars to?

    They need buyers.  Convert to Euros?  Maybe.

    China "sort of" has the ability to attack the US.  But their systems are easily tracked & can be quickly countered.

    They have some missiles that will just barely reach the West Coast of North America--with relatively low degrees of accuracy.  These missiles are liquid fueled, which takes lots of preparation & are easily "seen" in advance by satellites & electronic intelligence.

    They also have some old Russian bombers that are easily tracked & very few in number.

    They have some sea-based systems, but the ships are easily watched & there are very few of them.

    China also has an official "no first strike" policy that is substantially supported by the mechanical limits of their capabilities.

    They have one capability that does disturb US planners: in the past 20 years, they've developed some cruise missile weapons that may be very effective against naval flotillas, aircraft carriers, & amphibious forces.  Obviously, an attack on a US carrier battle group would be an act of war & perceived as an attack on the US, itself, so they can "hit" the US in that sense.

    My "blanket" generalization is safe, as a general threat review, but does have some specific holes in it if closely analyzed.


    Dollars (none / 0) (#51)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 01:42:25 PM EST
    This is exactly the problem:

    "Who will they sell the dollars to?"

    No one wants them.  So if they do decide to sell, the price will plummet.  And yes, they would sell them for Euros or other currency.

    They don't need to have good bombs to bomb us.  Remember sept 11th?  Not exactly high tech but very effective.

    Also, they just shot a satellite out of orbit, you don't think they could hit the U.S.?  Low levels of accuracy don't make me feel better, just more likely innocent people will be killed.  

    I am not saying China will bomb us or sell our money, it's not in their best interest to do either.  I am just saying, they could if they wanted to.


    Zero for 3 on Sept. 11, just like Bu$h (none / 0) (#55)
    by wurman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 04:23:17 PM EST
    First, the Saudi citizens who hijacked US aircraft & flew some of them into buildings were not a nation state.  Second, Bu$hInc notoriously & stupidly ignored the terrorist threat assessment Clarke & Tenet tried to force-feed to the PNAC NeoKonz in the White House, State Dept., & at Defense.  Three, the Bu$hInc response to the Sept. 11 attacks was mistaken & mis-directed; the military actions taken against nation states did nothing to harm or hinder terrorists.

    Consequently, terrorist threats still exist from many different sources.  This may be the most massive failure of the Bu$h mal-administration: they've actually done nothing to eliminate the terrorist threat(s) & made them far worse by invading Iraq & Afghanistan.

    I don't know if you are a conservative true believer or if you are mis-informed about Chinese military capacities.  Many rightwingnutz "fabricate" a "yellow peril" that darkens our shores & all that oldtimey armchair-admiral krapola that dates back to Nixon & his silly band of fear merchants blathering about Quemoy & Matsu.

    China has almost no ability to inflict military harm on the continental US.  If some total whack job in the People's Liberation Army launched a strike, it would not succeed.  The ships & aircraft would be observed & easily obliterated if they showed any hostile acts.  As I wrote previously, their ICBM force is liquid fueled, so any preparations would attract immediate attention, & any hostile intent would get the missiles destroyed on the launch pads.  And our military now has a hotline with theirs to ensure discussions of tests, drills, & mistakes.  There is a guesstimate that they may have a dry fuel rocket, but doubts about whether it's deployed.

    An excellent article on the "non-threat" of China & the foolishness of the rightwingnuz books about the yellow peril is in the Feb. 12, 2008 Asia Times (link):

    On the military question, the answer is much clearer. China is not a military threat to the US. Only those who believe that Fu Manchu is alive and well in the Middle Kingdom and fulfilling his dreams of world domination through a large and aggressive army, air force, and navy still subscribe to a notion that China poses a global military threat.

    Apparently you read your military capability news in Popular Mechanics, which hyped the Chinese satellite shootdown.  Deep in paragraph 49 of their story, they write that the first 3 tries to launch & hit the satellite were abject failures.

    Knocking out an Earth-orbit satellite is easy in comparison to putting an ICBM into a perfect exit window, stabilizing sub-orbital travel, hitting a perfect re-entry window (& not incinerating the vehicle), acquiring the target, controlling atmospheric flight, & detonating the warhead.

    The Chinese are no military threat to the USA.


    China and Sept 11th (none / 0) (#57)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 04:39:01 PM EST
    You are right, Sept. 11th wasn't caused by a nation that attacked us.  I was using it as an example of what one might do.  I know the terrorist threat still exists.  Also, I wasn't really distinguishing between a nation and an organization sponsored by a government, which maybe you were and I mis-interpreted.  However, I would point to the fact that the end result is essentially the same, and we did invade Afghanistan because of it...

    To be perfectly honest, I do not read any military capability news.  However I retain the right to be a sceptical about any reports of military capabilities.  Most of that stuff is pretty confidential.  But you seem very knowledgable so I will concede that point.

    My main point about China though was not the bombing, it was the money.  And that is very, very true.  Your first post did not specify a "military threat".

    And no, I am not a conservative true believer at all.  Like I said, I don't think it's in China's best interest to do any of this stuff, so I don't think they will.  I just think it's a bit arrogant to assume that we are untouchable by any other country.


    Also (none / 0) (#58)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 04:47:55 PM EST

    "If the Taliban, with al Quaeda help, takes over parts of Afghanistan, how does that threaten the USA, it's citizens, or economy"

    Is why I brought up sept. 11th.  It's pretty clear that we don't want al-Queda sponsored by a government.  Even one as remote as Afghanistan.

    Also, I think we made it worse by invading Iraq.  I think we COULD have made it better after Afghanistan if we hadn't abandoned them shortly after dis-mantling their government.


    You're right. I meant "military" damage (none / 0) (#59)
    by wurman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 07:37:34 PM EST
    & didn't include the term in my comment.

    I did describe the global economic damage at the end of it, but didn't focus on China.

    My argument stems from the common behavior of some people to fantasize "threats" that clearly do not exist.  The USA has no need to worry about globally strategic military threats.

    And you're also correct in that the US isn't a totally secure "fortress America."  It is possible for terrorists, or even what is termed "state-sponsored" terrorists acting for a government, to inflict damage.  A notorious nightmare is for some entity to put weaponry in a 40-ft ocean container for delivery to a specific location & then detonate it when the truck spots the load--doesn't even have to be a nuclear device.

    My concern is that a terrorist group, or a 3rd party nation, may inflict damage & make it appear as if Iran, China, N. Korea, Syria, etc., did the deed.  Bu$hInc is so haplessly stupid, macho insecure, trigger happy, & Krazee that they would retaliate against the false flag nation.

    Also, China is in a bind with dollars.  They need oil.  OPEC wants their money in Euros now.  As the Chinese perceive their devalued dollars buying less oil every week, they may be forced to dump the greenbacks in a short market.


    Speaking of the Bush Administration's assist (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by indy in sc on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:22:41 AM EST
    to the Dems--there has just been a confirmation that Cheney will in fact speak at the RNC convention.  Good news for the Dems.  Now if they will only give him a prime time spot...

    Well I disagree on this: (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Faust on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:45:19 AM EST
    It stands for little and does even less.

    The Democratic Party actually stands for quite a bit...in theory. That's why it's all the more frustrating when they habitually renege on their stated goals and principles (e.g. FISA).

    Hell even the Republican Party stands for things that it never actually does.

    Or how about our "free press?" They are supposed to stand for certain principles as well, and all they do is write scripts for our collective reality TV show.  

    Worse, (none / 0) (#1)
    by bocajeff on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 08:58:51 AM EST
    Worse than James Buchanan? Jimmy Carter?

    don't know about Buchanan (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Lil on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:02:30 AM EST
    but definitely worse than Carter. Apples and oranges.

    Oh man (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:04:04 AM EST
    A million times worse than Jimmy Carter!

    Was Carter that bad??? (none / 0) (#23)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:49:41 AM EST
    Or was it the times (and he was a little bad)?  I have read credible sources (in books not the internet so I can't supply links- and bad memory so can't remeber the title), that said that the CIA scewed him in favor of the republicans in terms of the hostage crisis.

    Carter Suffered Bad PR (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by flashman on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:05:57 AM EST
    because of the hostage crises and oil embargo.  And there is some evidence that the hostage's captors were working with some Republicans to embarasse him.  That in itself fits the pattern of Republican dirty tricks such as Nixon's negotiations with Hanoi to not come to the table.  Carter, however, took the extraoridnary step ( at the time ) to raise interest rates to stave off inflation.  The systems he put in place to guide the economic conditions are used to this day.  If he had been able to serve a second term, and reap the benifits of the steps he took, we would have a very different view of his presidency.

    For the presidential historians here (none / 0) (#38)
    by samtaylor2 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:38:52 AM EST
    How do you judge the successes of a president vs. the infrastructre that the former president put in place (especially if they are a 1 term president).    

    To me what makes the Bush presidency so aweful is that he has had 8 years (first is squandered what Clinton gave him) and then he was able to set up his own infrastructure (and destroy Clinton's), and thus we can see what his policies (and what McCain will continue) do for this country.


    In my view (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:51:55 AM EST
    Carter was not a good President.

    The problem (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:35:53 AM EST
    with Carter was, imo, that he was grossly inexperienced and came into office during a time of many crises. His approval rating was what Bush has about now.

    Carter largely created his own problems (but not all of them). He had a condesending attitude when in office and religiousity that turned some people off.


    Well, Probably the Worst (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by The Maven on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:17:57 AM EST
    thing that can be said about Buchanan is that he dithered while the nation began to fragment, and didn't take more affirmative steps to tamp down the fires of secession that were threatened should Lincoln be elected.  Though it should also be said that the levers of presidential power available in the late 1850s were quite limited.

    As for Carter, I don't see how one would term his administration as "worst".  It was a failed presidency, and Carter was rather ineffective in dealing with crises, but for the most part he was a victim of being overwhelmed by external events not of his own making.  GWB, on the other hand, went out of his way to create the conditions that have brought us to our present state in terms of foreign affairs, domestic policy and economics.  As an abject failure in all three, it's hard to see how he could be topped (or bottomed, more appropriately).


    Worse than Buchanan too (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:08:41 AM EST
    Since whatever his infamies were have been lost to average educated person (i.e. me) common memory.

    I think Bush's will live on.


    Much worse (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:29:10 AM EST
    I guess (none / 0) (#43)
    by chrisvee on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 11:02:24 AM EST
    it's hard to be worse than Buchanan in popular opinion unless one presides over the actual demise of the country.

    The debate over Bush and Carter reminds me of a discussion at work as to whether it's better to have a boss who is evil/competent or good/incompetent.


    Why do I think.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:10:10 AM EST
    this great victory come November will be an empty one, much like Slick Willy's in '92.

    Let's see if Obama can increase marijuana arrests three fold like Clinton, and increase prison population more than Reagan and Bush the First combined like Clinton.  I have a feeling Obama won't let his party, and tyranny, down.

    well just remember (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:29:53 AM EST
    you can't call him slick barry, cause that's racist.

    Gotta keep your gob shut tight fir the next 4 to 8 as well.


    Not me brother... (none / 0) (#37)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:36:22 AM EST
    I won't allow the hang-ups and guilt of others to censor me.

    I call 'em as I see 'em.


    when it starts (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edgar08 on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 12:24:59 PM EST
    you'll know.

    I'm not afraid.... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 12:35:00 PM EST
    of pc police calling me racist or sexist or pick your "ist".

    Oftentimes it's a badge of honor...


    Worse than Andrew Jackson? (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:25:06 AM EST
    Maybe we will give Bush the dollar, who needs that other George anyway...

    Much worse (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:31:15 AM EST
    Georgia vs... (none / 0) (#21)
    by desertswine on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 09:41:54 AM EST

    "The U.S. has been in discussions for many months with all parties to find a peaceful resolution," said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

    Yet another Bushfailure (as the tanks roll).

    Bushfailure: one word.

    The most damaging thing (none / 0) (#42)
    by joanneleon on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 10:58:38 AM EST
    the Bush administration and the Congress did to this country, IMHO, was to continually raise the debt ceiling and continually allowing another country to buy up so much of our debt.  Our military has made us strong in the eyes of the world, but it doesn't compare with the way our economy made us a giant in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    The other two worst things they did was to ignore and deny global warming for eight critical years, and to turn this country into a people that allows murder and torture.

    We can get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and deal with the Middle East in other ways.  We can deal with other countries conflicts in other ways.  We can work on the energy crisis and global warming.  We can salvage some of our reputation pretty quickly simply by changing our leadership and changing our ways.  We can't regain the trust that we once had though and we can probably never regain the good will we've lost by invading and slaughtering and torturing.  But if we really held leaders accountable for this, didn't cover it up, admitted our faults, apologized to the world and tried to make amends, we could definitely regain some of that good will and earn respect and as a result many people on this planet would breathe a huge sigh of relief, though they might never trust us again in the same way they once did.  Virtually every country in this world, given enough time, does some really horrible things.  Everyone has their skeletons.  So we might not be the shining light we once were.  That was probably always a myth anyway, but by doing the right thing and being honest about it in righting the wrongs, we can do better than many others have done in the past with their crimes and mistakes.

    But we can't fix our problems with the dollar and the debt and the incredible destruction to our economy any time soon.  We can't fix the loss of trust in our currency and our financial stability quickly.

    We can't get out of this catastrophic situation with our debt without a LOT of pain and it will take time, and meanwhile, other countries, one in particular, have way too much leverage over us and way too much ability to cause us harm.

    Overstating the obvious (none / 0) (#50)
    by Slado on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 01:07:32 PM EST
    I'm no superfan of Bush but you are overstating the arguement.

    While I appreciate and share your disgust for democrats a few key points.

    The economy is not in shambles.  We still have growth.  Not 5% but there is no recession.  Maybe there will be but raising taxes isn't going to help either.

    Our prestige is not hurt around the world.  Nobody likes the Iraq war but we still have Iran in a box, Iraq will be a free country in a couple years and we disarmed NK with multilateral success and no shots fired.   Also an Obama administration isn't goign to result in a world love in.   That's a pipe dream.  Europeans will find another reason to not like us.  Liberals should stop searching for their love.

    Gas prices are a function of demand not policy.  No president is going to keep other nations from using gas which is what it would take to keep prices down.  Obama's not goign to help prices just like Pelosi isn't either by not letting the congress even vote on drilling.   How much have prices risen since Pelosi's been in office?

    All that said my only point is you don't have to exagerate to make your point.  More simply put you suffer from Bush Derangement syndrome and you don't need to display it to everyone to make the simple argument that Bush is unpopular and this helps democrats.

    Nope (none / 0) (#52)
    by CST on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 02:00:51 PM EST
    Prestige around the world dropped sharply under Bush.  It wasn't always this bad.  They may not love us, but they will respect us a lot more, and will be more likely to listen to us.

    The economy is significantly worse than it was under Clinton.  You can spin it anyway you want but that's a fact.  Guess lowering taxes doesn't help...

    I don't blame gas prices on Bush, but BTD doesn't place blame, just states a fact.  Looks like going to war for oil didn't help too much.  If Bush invested 1/1000th of what he put into war with Iraq on public transit this wouldn't hurt nearly as much.

    But keep making excuses for him, if it lets you sleep at night.


    A bit premature, don't you think? (none / 0) (#53)
    by A DC Wonk on Fri Aug 08, 2008 at 03:08:24 PM EST
    To say:
    It is an indictment of the Democratic Party that its victory will be relatively modest.

    It's still August?  How can you be so sure?  The election seemed close in 1980 at this point, too.

    FWIW, there are a number of pundits who think we may see a repeat of 1980.  The climate then was all favoring the GOP (weak economy, gas & inflation, Carter's weakness, Iran-hostages), but Reagan was seen as a "celebrity" and a light-weight, and folks were hesitant about him.  It took a while (and the debates) to "seal the deal".  Further, we know a lot of people don't usually pay very close attention to the election in August.

    It's quite possible that after the conventions, and after/if Obama cleans McCain's clock in debates (let's face it -- if the debate is about looks, speaking or issues, Obama wins), we may see a repeat of 1980.

    And in the meantime, the Dems will pick up 4-6 Senate seats, too.