Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rating Bush

Is Bush the worst president we've ever had? If so, what would it take in the next two years to allow his place in history to climb out of the gutter? Today's WaPo Outlook section posed that question to some historians (including a personal favorite, Eric Foner). One thing they all point out is that Bush's place in history is hard to judge while he's still in office, two years to go. After all, history is the subject plus time, equaling perspective. I find it difficult to believe that any amount of time and perspective could move Bush out of the bottom 5, ranking as certainly one of the worst presidents we've ever had.

Eric Foner (Columbia University) "He's the Worst Ever"

Douglas Brinkley ( Tulane University) "Move Over Hoover"

David Greenberg (Rutgers University) "At Least He's Not Nixon"

Vincent J. Cannato (University of Massachusetts) "Time's On His Side"
[warning to our weaker-stomached readers, Cannato writes from the right]

Iraq is overwhelmingly the topic by which the authors selected to judge Bush's presidency (Even Cannato admits Iraq is an anchor, but seems to hope that it will lesson with years). For the sake of the Iraqi people, I'm sure most Americans would love to see a miraculous happy ending come out of all of this. But we're not 4 years old and this isn't a fairy tale. Bush's presidency has earned its rank near the bottom of the pile, and the neo-cons push to mold the world in their image along with it. Their hubristic ideology set the cogs turning in Iraq, and the outcome can be placed at their self-deluded feet. Their sin, not so much that they allowed those delusions to create the hellish world of present-day Iraq, but that so many of them have refused to admit mistakes, thereby offering a chance to learn from them. And so they propel the world headlong down the same dark, hopeless and bottomless well. For that, they have well earned our derision.

3 Comments:

Anonymous buckarooskidoo said...

i think anytime you plumb the depths of andrew johnson territory, you are in a lot of trouble. rightly so, in the case described in the article.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am struck by how bold the media has gotten since the election. Too bad some of them could not have "found voice" earlier. Good post.

6:08 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

hmmm... i am going to go with cheney is the worst president ever and bush the worst puppet.

9:12 PM  

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