Urbane columnist Richard Reeves is still taking the long view -- in this case, President James Buchanan vs. President George W. Bush -- and making sense of political events that come packaged in fog:
"...Buchanan, the 15th president, is generally considered the worst president in history. Ironically, the Pennsylvania Democrat, elected in 1856, was one of the most qualified of the 43 men who have served in the highest office.
"...This is what those historians said about the Bush record:
- He has taken the country into an unwinnable war and alienated friend and foe alike in the process;
- He is bankrupting the country with a combination of aggressive military spending and reduced taxation of the rich;
- He has deliberately and dangerously attacked separation of church and state;
- He has repeatedly "misled," to use a kind word, the American people on affairs domestic and foreign;
- He has proved to be incompetent in affairs domestic (New Orleans) and foreign (Iraq and the battle against al-Qaida);
- He has sacrificed American employment (including the toleration of pension and benefit elimination) to increase overall productivity;
- He is ignorantly hostile to science and technological progress;
- He has tolerated or ignored one of the republic's oldest problems, corporate cheating in supplying the military in wartime."