Worst President Ever Contest Continues

The discussion of who is the worst President ever continues in The Washington Post. Douglas Brinkley isn’t ready to decide who was worst, but finds a good comparison for Bush:

The problem for Bush is that certitude is only a virtue if the policy enacted is proven correct. Most Americans applaud Truman’s dropping of bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because they achieved the desired effect: Japan surrendered. Reagan’s anti-communist zeal — including increased defense budgets and Star Wars — is only now perceived as positive because the Soviet Union started to unravel on his watch.

Nobody has accused Bush of flinching. After 9/11, he decided to circumvent the United Nations and declare war on Iraq. The principal pretext was that Baghdad supposedly was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. From the get-go, the Iraq war was a matter of choice. Call it Mr. Bush’s War. Like a high-stakes poker player pushing in all his chips on one hand, he bet the credibility of the United States on the notion that Sunnis and Shiites wanted democracy, just like the Poles and the Czechs during the Cold War…

There isn’t much that Bush can do now to salvage his reputation. His presidential library will someday be built around two accomplishments: that after 9/11, the U.S. homeland wasn’t again attacked by terrorists (knock on wood) and that he won two presidential elections, allowing him to appoint conservatives to key judicial posts. I also believe that he is an honest man and that his administration has been largely void of widespread corruption. This will help him from being portrayed as a true villain.

This last point is crucial. Though Bush may be viewed as a laughingstock, he won’t have the zero-integrity factors that have kept Nixon and Harding at the bottom in the presidential sweepstakes. Oddly, the president whom Bush most reminds me of is Herbert Hoover, whose name is synonymous with failure to respond to the Great Depression. When the stock market collapsed, Hoover, for ideological reasons, did too little. When 9/11 happened, Bush did too much, attacking the wrong country at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. He has joined Hoover as a case study on how not to be president.

I agree with the comparisions to Hoover, but Brinkley is giving Bush too much credit for honesty. There isn’t the individual corruption seen in some past administrations, but I find the institutionalized corruption which Bush has accepted, such as The K Street Project, to be far more damaging to the nation. Considering the dishonesty used to push programs ranging from the Medicare Part D Program to the war on Iraq, George Bush could hardly be considered an honest man.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Probus says:

    Honesty is not something this president can claim given his false reasoning for preemptively invading Iraq. They gave Congress manipulated intelligence, and then falsely claimed that Congress saw the same intelligence that he and Cheney saw. That of course is not true as Congress only saw intelligence that the administration allowed them to see. They didn’t get to see all of it. The intelligence was cherry picked.

    Most Americans now think it was a mistake to invade Iraq. This administration has also falsely tried to connect the Iraq invasion to 9-11. The Abramoff scandal did in part hurt his own credibility as he was closely connected to Abramoff’s activities, Abramoff being one of his “pioneers”. Also the Plame leak scandal where a member of his administration, Libby was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice has also hurt this administration’s credibility.

  2. 2
    Allan Taghon says:

    It` the economy stupid. I have seen my job outsourced by the Bush policy of free trade. I think Bushes job of running the economy is autrocious. Secure the border HAW. I think we ought ship him back to MLB where he can bankrupt another baseball team.

  3. 3
    Sean C Higgins says:

    Now that a great idea Allen!!!

    Let’s not beat ourselves up about it!!! We knew what we were getting with G.W. ” The Village Idiot”.

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