History News Network – 2005-06-04 23:30:03
‘A couple of observant readers pointed me to History News Network’s web site this weekend. They pointed out I could stop my search for someone qualified to answer the question, “Is George W. Bush the worst President of the United State, ever, because it’s been done.
HNN surveyed 415 historians and, without hanging chads or un-auditable electronic voting machines, the answer is at hand. Yes. Yes he certainly is:
Bush’s success rate was collectively assessed at 19 percent; his failure rate averaged out as a whopping 81 percent.
Quotes from historians contributing the History News Network poll:
• “Although previous presidents have led the nation into ill-advised wars, no predecessor managed to turn America into an unprovoked aggressor. No predecessor so thoroughly managed to confirm the impressions of those who already hated America. No predecessor so effectively convinced such a wide range of world opinion that America is an imperialist threat to world peace. I don ‘t think that you can do much worse than that.”
• “Bush is horrendous; there is no comparison with previous presidents, most of whom have been bad.”
• “He is blatantly a puppet for corporate interests, who care only about their own greed and have no sense of civic responsibility or community service. He lies, constantly and often, seemingly without control, and he lied about his invasion into a sovereign country, again for corporate interests; many people have died and been maimed, and that has been lied about too. He grandstands and mugs in a shameful manner, befitting a snake oil salesman, not a statesman. He does not think, process, or speak well, and is emotionally immature due to, among other things, his lack of recovery from substance abuse. The term is “dry drunk”. He is an abject embarrassment/pariah overseas; the rest of the world hates him . . . . He is, by far, the most irresponsible, unethical, inexcusable occupant of our formerly highest office in the land that there has ever been.”
• “George W. Bush’s presidency is the pernicious enemy of American freedom, compassion, and community; of world peace; and of life itself as it has evolved for millennia on large sections of the planet. The worst president ever? Let history judge him.”
• “This president is unique in his failures.”
Then the historians were asked, if he is the worst, in what areas is he the worst since….. Open the envelope please! And the loser is….
• In terms of economic damage, Bush is the worst since Reagan.
• In terms of imperialism, the worst since Theodore Roosevelt.
• In terms of dishonesty in government he is the worst since Nixon.
• In terms of affable incompetence the worst since Harding.
• In terms of corruption the worst since Grant.
• In terms of general lassitude and cluelessness, the worst since Coolidge.
• In terms of personal dishonesty, the worst since Clinton.
• In terms of religious arrogance, the worst since Wilson.”
So folks, there you we are. Now we know he really IS the worst president of this country, ever. Now what do we do with that information?
A good start would be for Democrats in Congress to enter the HNN poll into the Congressional Record. That way future historians will know we not only elected this guy twice, but did nothing about it after it confirming that we had turned America over to an certified incompetent. That way all three evil-doers will get the credit they deserve from history — George W. Bush, those that elected him twice, and the rest of us, who wrung our hands about it but never get off our pompous, Levi drapped, liberal asses to fill the streets in protest.
Which brings me to this interesting quote from 1955 – exactly 50 years ago:
“What no one seemed to notice. . . was the ever widening gap. . .between the government and the people. . . And it became always wider. . . the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting, it provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway . . (it) gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about . . and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated . . . by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. . .
Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’. . . must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. . . .Each act. . . is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone. . . you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ . . .
But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed.
Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. . . .You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father. . . could never have imagined.”
From Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1938-45Mi< (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955) Jim Lazar, Consulting Economist 1063 Capitol Way S. #202 Olympia, WA 98501 Voice: 360-786-1822 Fax: 253-679-7405