With only a little more than nine months left in his eight-year presidency, the time is ripe to begin organizing the events, accomplishments, successes and failures of the administration of the current president of the USA. Â
After all, we have all lived through these past eight years and for better or worse, the events are history in the making.Â
Legacies are best written and judged by people with an affinity for and knowledge base of history.Â Legacies are meaningless unless they provide a frame of reference.Â In the case of Bush, that frame of reference is the legacy of the other forty-one presidents whom have served the United States.Â And who better to be able to compare all forty-two presidents than professional historians, such a professors and teachers of history?
The History News Network (HNN) recently commissioned a study of professional historians regarding the legacy and ranking of the GW Bush administration in comparison to the other forty-one presidents.Â The article with the summary of the study can be found HERE.Â
In a survey of one hundred nine professional historians, fully 61% of them rated Bush as the worst US president in history.Â Some of the historiansâ€™ comments were what you might expect if youâ€™ve been following the performance of the Bush presidency.
Another 35% ranked Bush within the ten worst presidents out of the 42 whom have served.Â Some of those put him at number 41, just above James Buchanan.
One historian wrote, â€œNo individual president can compare to the second Bush. Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the worldâ€™s goodwill. Â In short, no other presidentâ€™s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.â€
Another wrote, â€œWith his unprovoked and disastrous war of aggression in Iraq and his monstrous deficits, Bush has set this country on a course that will take decades to correct.Â When future historians look back to identify the moment at which the United States began to lose its position of world leadership, they will pointâ€”rightlyâ€”to the Bush presidency.Â Thanks to his policies, it is now easy to see America losing out to its competitors in any number of area: China is rapidly becoming the manufacturing powerhouse of the next century, India the high tech and services leader, and Europe the region with the best quality of life.â€
A third wrote that â€œthe paranoia of Nixon, the ethics of Harding and the good sense of Herbert Hooverâ€ are what will make this presidency the lowest in history, akin to the bottomless pit of performance.
One has to believe that Bush is aware of all of this, since he does have the most expensive advisors that tax money can buy.Â But olâ€™ GWB is a stubborn, arrogant man.Â He thinks that history is on his side.Â Nonetheless, as yet another historian noted, â€œBushâ€™s â€œdenial of any personal responsibility can only be described as silly.â€
After all, this is a man who, when questioned by the press about his legacy just two short months ago, replied, â€œAs far as history goes and all of these quotes about people trying to guess what the history of the Bush administration is going to be, you know, I take great comfort in knowing that they donâ€™t know what they are talking about, because history takes a long time for us to reach.â€ You can read the entire transcript HERE: George W. Bush, Fox News Sunday, Feb 10, 2008.
For the rest of the country, and the rest of the world for that matter, it seems more people will believe what yet two other historians noted:
â€œGeorge Bush has combined mediocrity with malevolent policies and has thus seriously damaged the welfare and standing of the United States,â€ wrote one, and
â€œBush does only two things well. He knows how to make the very rich very much richer, and he has an amazing talent for f**king up everything else he even approaches.Â His administration has been the most reckless, dangerous, irresponsible, mendacious, arrogant, self-righteous, incompetent, and deeply corrupt one in all of American history.â€Â
And you thought Nixon was bad!
There is a bright side to all of this, though:Â whichever candidate wins the White House in November canâ€™t help but absolutely sparkle brilliantly in comparison to his or her predecessor.