Sunday, April 23, 2006

Worst President in History? Updated

Is George W. Bush the worst president in history?

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s explanation of the rightful place in history Bush is in the process of earning is nearly 6,000 words long. For a modern magazine article that’s a tad long. But that's because to be thorough/scholarly it has to be. Unfortunately, this indictment will be read -- for the most part -- by people who are already unhappy with the Bush presidency.

That’s too bad. Because Wilentz obviously knows what he’s talking about and he does a fine job of laying out his case. So, if you know any Bush supporters who are open-minded -- if that’s possible -- send them the link to this Rolling Stone piece. Tell them to read it and then tell you where it’s wrong. Here’s a little sample of "The Worst President in History?":

“According to the Treasury Department, the forty-two presidents who held office between 1789 and 2000 borrowed a combined total of $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions. But between 2001 and 2005 alone, the Bush White House borrowed $1.05 trillion, more than all of the previous presidencies combined. Having inherited the largest federal surplus in American history in 2001, he has turned it into the largest deficit ever -- with an even higher deficit, $423 billion, forecast for fiscal year 2006. Yet Bush -- sounding much like Herbert Hoover in 1930 predicting that "prosperity is just around the corner" -- insists that he will cut federal deficits in half by 2009, and that the best way to guarantee this would be to make permanent his tax cuts, which helped cause the deficit in the first place!”

Update: Reuters reports that President Bush's approval rating has sunk to a new low.
Illustration by F.T. Rea

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