Saturday, December 02, 2006

Worst. President. Ever

Yeah, this is cold, but somebody's got to say it.

An editorial by historian Eric Foner in tomorrow's Washington Post reviews the greater and lesser Presidents and ends with this paragraph:
It is impossible to say with certainty how Bush will be ranked in, say, 2050. But somehow, in his first six years in office he has managed to combine the lapses of leadership, misguided policies and abuse of power of his failed predecessors. I think there is no alternative but to rank him as the worst president in U.S. history. He's The Worst Ever


Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Ironically, how bad George II looks historically will be somewhat contingent on the skill of his successor in getting us out of the hole he has dug for us. Pierce and Buchanan will always be at the bottom because it took a Civil War to get us out of the mess that they did nothing to get us out of before hostilities began. Hoover will be at the bottom, because it took eight years of the New Deal and nearly four years of World War II to repair the damage caused by his administration's approach to our economic situation and his lack of response to the Great Depression.

(Contrary to Foner's view, Polk is not viewed by most historians as a failed President, since the result of the Mexican War turned out, in the long run, to be felicitous for our country. Nevertheless, Lincoln's warning in 1848 certainly has resonance today.)

As we look to the future, I would encourage everyone to read Barack Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope. My wife and I are both reading it now and have been extremely impressed.

December 03, 2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically, George II is being criticized for his courage. We have a booming economy and an enemy sworn to destroy us who hasn't got a blow in for years.

Bush, while leaving something to be desired in rhetorical skills, was so much better than the alternatives in the last two elections that there was no feasible choice.

To quote Ralph Nader in 2000, "if Al Gore can't beat the bumbling governor from Texas, he doesn't deserve to be President".

Whether Bush is considered a good President or not will be probably be determined by what the Mid East looks like a decade from now. Liberals apparently liked the way it was before the Iraq invasion. It was not a stable situation though. The weakness shown by the Clinton administration was a major contributor to the problems now. Clinton virtually started the intifada by be willing to do anything to get credit for a Camp David II. He exacerbated the Iraq situation by continually making threats and not backing them up.

History will also show Bush as the only major politician of his era with the courage to propose saving Social Security.

And he didn't write any unconstitutional curriculums.

December 03, 2006 2:13 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

George II is NOT being criticized for his "courage." Or, rather, his "courage" to send other people's children into harm's way when he himself avoided such jeopardy in an early war he agreed with.

Rather, he is being criticized for getting us into a war that made the situation in the Middle East worse than it was before.

As for his actions and the Constitution, the Supreme Court has already spoken to that. Remember the reversal of his detainee policy?

Incidentally, if the 2004-05 curriculum had taken sides on theological matters, it would have been unconstitutional. But it did not. Judge Williams was tricked into incorrectly thinking certain background teacher resources selected by MCPS staff were part of the curriculum to be presented to students. Anon, if you think otherwise, please point us to anything in the 2004-05 curriculum that criticized anyone's theological beliefs. You can find the 2004-05 curriculum on the Resources page of this website. Go ahead. I dare you to find a criticism of anyone's theological beliefs. It is not there.

As to the "viewpoint neutrality" point made by Judge Williams, he was flat wrong, as the 4th Circuit recognized last summer. See Child Evangelism Foundation v. U.S.

Enough. Now I'm going back to the television to see if the Skins can come back and beat the Falcons.

December 03, 2006 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rather, he is being criticized for getting us into a war that made the situation in the Middle East worse than it was before."

Actually, he didn't. His Dad did. Given what he inherited from Bush I and Clinton, he did the best he could.

Many presidents were considered failures near the end of their terms and their reputations were rehabilitated by the rear view mirror.

He was in the right place at the right time. He has his limitations but the world was lucky he was where he was when he was.

Also, scientists have proven it is possible to get into the playoffs with an 8-8 record. To say otherwise is viewpoint discrimination.

December 04, 2006 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Incidentally, if the 2004-05 curriculum had taken sides on theological matters, it would have been unconstitutional. But it did not."

Considering the season, let's just say HO-HO-HO!

December 04, 2006 11:48 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...


You can laugh all you like, but you did not take up the challenge to find ANYTHING in the 2004-05 CURRICULUM that criticized anyone's theology.

As for your statement that George II was left with an Iraq mess made by George I and Clinton, this argument was made in 2002 and 2003 when George II and VP Cheney implied that Saddam was connected to the 9/11 attacks and asserted that Saddam had WMD and had the capability to make nukes. None of those premises were correct.

Instead, now it is plain to just about everyone that George I's assessment of the costs and benefits of going to Baghdad in 1991 was correct and that Clinton's containment policy based on George I's decision was correct.

There are no simple answers to the problems of that part of the world, and we now see that George I's belief that there was a simple answer has made matters infinitely worse.

December 05, 2006 11:30 AM  

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