December 05, 2006

Just How Low Can He Go?

This weekend the Washington Post had a team of historians discuss how they think history will rank President Bush. In my opinion, it is clear that he is the Worst.President.Ever (with a strong proclivity to screwing up even more in the time remaining) and I was pleased to see that Eric Foner provided some very compelling evidence that this was indeed the case. The other four were not so sure. Editor&Publisher had a great summary about this set of opeds that caught the gist of the arguments from the historians.

I wasn't surprised to see that the conservative historians didn't think Bush was so bad and they thought that he had time to resurrect his place in history. But the argument that did surprise me was the one by Douglas Brinkley who thought Bush was pretty bad, but he would only rank down there with Hubert Hoover leaving other miserable failures of presidents lower. When I read some of Brinkley's arguments, I wondered if he wasn't being a bit naive or disingenuous or even not very well informed because it seems he doesn't have a very good grasp of recent events.

Brinkley compared Bush to Lyndon Johnson (another president with a disastrous war record) and stated that Bush won't do as well as Johnson because at least Johnson had a legacy of doing well in the domestic sphere. But Bush, not so much. However, Brinkley's comments about Bush's domestic record are risible.

Look at how he dealt with the biggest post-9/11 domestic crisis of his tenure. He didn't rush to help the Gulf region after Hurricane Katrina because the country was overextended in Iraq and had a massive budget deficit. Texas conservatives always say that LBJ's biggest mistake was thinking that he could fund both the Great Society and Vietnam. They believe he had to choose one or the other. They call Johnson fiscally irresponsible. Bush learned this lesson: He chose Iraq over New Orleans.

That's just laughable. Bush's Katrina failure started out well before he understood what the fiscal cost would be. His failure came out of the mess he made of FEMA by putting his good friend Brownie in charge and then it came from his fiddling his time away for more than two days after the hurricane hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. And he was a petulant creep when he was forced to cut his vacation short. (Cut his vacation short?? NOT so much! Because after Katrina hit land he cut the longest vacation ever taken by a president short by one day -- but only after spending two more days eating birthday cake with John McCain and playing guitar while out campaigning to destroy Social Security.) Being cheap came afterwards. Evidently Douglas Brinkley missed this part of the record.

Once Brinkley decided that Bush doesn't have a good record on the domestic side, he admitted that Bush is stuck with the "unmitigated disaster" of Iraq. Yet, that unmitigated disaster didn't send Bush to the bottom of the presidential ranks. Why not?

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.

Ah, yes, Bush has had such as incredibly honest administration. I wonder if Brinkley has ever considered that this might because Bush has never had anyone in a position to perform real oversight on this corrupt and delinquent administration. Is it possible that Brinkley thinks that the absence of investigations is because there is nothing buried in all those secret records or with the long time friendship that Rove had with Abramoff? And anyway, if Brinkley was doing his job, he might actually realize that Bush's "honest" administration has had much more corruption and scandal associated with it already exposed than Clinton ever did. For all those years and years of hounding Clinton and his administration, it was pretty remarkable that the legacy of actual malfeasance consisted of Henry Cisneros lying about giving money to his mistress and Clinton's lie about his weakness for Monica.

Just in case Douglas Brinkley doesn't have time to go back and research the record, I'd like to let him know that the liberal blogosphere can help him with that. Because Josh Marshall and his hotshot investigative muckrakers have the lowdown on the Bush administration's real record on corruption, graft and malfeasance. And it ain't pretty, mister.

We've put together our first draft of Bush administration officials who've either been indicted or had to resign under an ethical cloud. But there are so many more. Even I can see that our list doesn't include Larry Franklin, who's now doing hard time for his role in the AIPAC spy case. Or what about for HHS Inspector General Janet Rehnquist who had to resign amidst multiple investigations? When the IG's are scammers, you know it's a dirty crew. Anyway, there are so many.

And this is what we know about before the Democrats start holding oversight committee meetings. After two years of oversight, Doug is going to find himself having to admit that Bush has earned a lot lower slot than even Tricky Dick, just as Eric Foner said.

Posted by Mary at December 5, 2006 12:24 AM | History | Technorati links |


Latest group to join takeover battle is Turkish Dogan biddin 3 bio euros

German Kirch (German for church)got 3 tv stations. It was bought by US Saban. Saban obviously wants to sell because this is the right output of the change in the media business in the 80s. There seems to be politcal pressure on Saban. Kirch media was founded in the 80s by Mr Kirch in the southeastern corner of Germany somewhere in Bavaria. It reminds too much of Borat (Im from Kazachstan) or lets say Aserbaidshan

After German Springer was blocked by state run monopoly control, famous Italian nazi Berlusconi made a bid. He suffered a stroke. The pope lately visitted Turkey. He obviously invited somebody to join the party.

Posted by: ccokz at December 5, 2006 02:41 AM