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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Apr 20, 2006.
afaik, this is the first such cover story for a major publication. others to follow?
He relies a bit too much on poll numbers, but fascinating nonetheless. Chilling to see all of this in one place, especially when you consider some of the things he left out.
I often am unsure how I will rank GWB, but I have a hard time believing GWB and WJC should be ranked and I waver on whether GHWB is ready for ranking (maybe another 6-10 years) - too much instant history. I really think think that RR is as recent as you can get in being able to "historically" assess a presidency.
Honestly I think ranking of a president should wait 50 years after he/she leaves office. Too many people see things through a highly politicized view point during and soon after an preidency. The right wing will say he is one of the best and the left wing will hate him. History will judge the true nature of this presidency when it is far removed from it.
People can only truely speculate as to what the fall out of his policies will be... In time we will know if he set us back as nation/world or if his policies spured advancement.
Yes, I agree it's a bit early for ranking the performance of recent presidents, but keep in mind that this is by no means a formal process, and even over time, a consensus is rarely achieved. As the author pointed out, some historians continue to defend the performance of Herbert Hoover even though most tend to give him poor grades for his handling of the crash of '29 and the subsequent Great Depression. The point being, the verdict of history is almost never a decisive one, even many decades after the fact.
From my perspective, I think it unlikely that history will vindicate the presidency of George W. Bush. If he's made the right choices during his term of office, it's won't be on account of deep thought, flexibility, and a careful consideration of all the facts, but in spite of a lack of these qualities. In short, it will be a product of dumb luck. This much I believe we can know now.
i certainly hope that in 50 years GW will still be regarded as the unchallenged worst US president, as I can't begin to imagine what could happen to this nation if someone even worse were to come along
I think history has begun to judge Bush's part in 9/11 and as the newness of the event wears off and the emotion fades, we're remembering it for what it truly was: something he allowed to happen because of apathy and then failed to properly respond to because he used it to settle a personal grudge.
Add to it the contemporary recognition of his failures of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, his dismantling of international diplomacy, his disdain for criticism to the point that he'd jeopardize national security to exact petty revenge on a guy who wrote an opinion letter to a newspaper, his apathy and failures of leadership during the energy crises and natural disasters and it paints a picture of a uniquely awful presidential record.
I think history might favorably review the do-not-call registry, but if no one remembers how annoying telemarketing was 50 years from now I think Bush may not receive adequate praise for signing the bill.
I hope he isn't regarded as the worst president in history, because what his awfulness will mean is that America's decline as a military and economic power must be traceable to his terrible leadership. I think that's going to happen, but it's not that reasuring to be riding on a sinking ship.
I hope he isnt... not because i find anything about the man anything other than completely foul and dispicable. But because if the events he has sett in action dont turn out completely awful (Iraq doesnt fall into a civil war causeing the deaths of millions)(our economy doesnt go into ressesion)(we can somehow rebuild our credability in the eyes of the world) then he will not be remembered as the worst of our presidents.
edit*and if i had read the next post I would have known this was already posted (my bad)
I think you guys shouldn't wait to see the outcome of his actions, but judge him based on his intent. If anything that he did turns out to be ok, it will be out of pure luck. His intent and motivations are horrible, and that makes him a bad president, wether his actions end up being beneficial for the US or not. Besides, his impact on the rest of the world has been extremely negative, and that is something we can witness today.
Didn't I already say that?
He isnt representing the people in any stretch, pretty hard not to go down as one of the worst when you dont represent the common American worker. Aristocrat for sure who hasnt a clue about the common man. His foreign policy is a disaster unless getting the world to hate you is your purpose.
oops, sorry should've read more
It's a moristocracy.
With a long o...
I thought that the worst one was James Buchanan!
I see your points, but i think the historical judgment on the current administration is bound to be negative no matter what the future will bring (other than us becoming a fundamentalist theocracy) because of objective all-around incompetence and questionable motivations.
that said i certainly hope and think that this will be the low point where we go back upwards, rather than the flash-point of irreversible decline
my personal opinion is that it's never too early to make a greatest or worst evaluation, so long as there's data available. (i.e. making such a declaration about bush on feb 1, 2001 would have been jumping the gun).
certainly as time goes on, we gain a historical perspective. but mostly that levels out some of the hyperbole. in 100 years, historians may not agree that bush was the worst, but i really doubt many would put him in the top half, even.
here is a 1998 sports illustrated article asking if the 90s chicago bulls team was the best team ever. was it too early to ask that question? if so, is it okay now?
Whether or not Bush is, or will be considered the worst President is somewhat beside the point imo.
The fact that he is so seriously considered for that position speaks volumes and implies a great deal.
This seems more important to me.
Perhaps Bush will be a Uniter after all - in that opinion will be united against his Presidency.
It's all rather depressing really...
In 100 years, there will be at least a dozen more presidents competing for the best and worst honors. So by that definition, there will never be a best or a worst president.
Welcome to logical futility.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. I know there were some people who would have given him that honor right after he was elected before he even did anything, just as there are people who would call Clinton the worst (not that they ever actually give a reason, but there's always somebody). But this is something completely different. The fact that so many people, many of whom cared nothing for politics before, are ready to hand him this is telling.
From what I've seen, no matter what happens in the future, unless we have some really bad Nixonesque presidents, he's definitely in the bottom 5.
The anger towards the Bush administration is understandable at this point in time (even if the economy is beginning to rock and roll). The only reason I think that we need to wait to pass complete judgement is that we tend to focus on the extremes. With the Clinton administartion, there was such a focus on his mistakes, that I think a lot of conservatives failed to see the good that he did do (I think some of his weaker reactions to terrorist actions helped set us up - but that is beside the point). I feel comfortable saying that because I am one of them. As I take a detached look and weigh the good and bad, I can gain some perspective and I can start to see what led to certain decisions.
I bring all this up because I am really bothered by the attacks on Nixon. Nixon's actions in the Watergate scandal were bad, but looking back, I think he was one of the most successful Presidents that we have ever had. I think a lot of the opening up that China has experienced over the years can be attributed to his work. I think that generally, he was an effective leader. He may not have been TV ready, but he was good at what he did. To judge his presidency on the scandal is no better than the republicans that summarize the WJC administration with "Monica...."
As for zim's comparison with the Bulls of the 90s, I think that comparison is possible more quickly in sports. Especially since most of the comparison is based on hard data and comparitive data. If you are subjectivly evaluating two teams from different eras, I would say that Showtime was better. I can't back it up with numbers, but if we were to compare position by position, I think they had too many weapons for MJ, Scotty and the leftovers to handle. If we had specific numbers that we could use, I might be ready to evaluate. But, unfortunately there is no objective system for evaluation of the POTUS. Oh, and I really am not much of a basketball fan, so I havne't looked to see how not having the 3 would have affected modern team - but now I'm drifting way off topic.
but so few with Bush's natural ability to screw things up...
he has the truly rare combination of arrogance and ignorance that makes him the titan of failures.
This is a "rock 'n roll" economy only if you're already well-off. Practically everyone else is slipping backwards.
Nixon was an awful president and an even more awful human being, a fact that no amount of historical revisionism will change. The opening of China was his only really significant accomplishment. He was secretive, divisive, underhanded, paranoid, vindictive and bigoted. He tried to rule instead of govern. Watergate was a product of these personality defects, not some sort of aberration that just happened to snare him.
There is always darkness before the dawn. Maybe he's the worst and will be followed by one of the best. FDR and Lincoln were preceeded by presidential losers.