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MacLeans: Is GWB The Worst President In 100 Years?  
User currently offlineSQuared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2807 times:

http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/po...jsp?content=20060417_125323_125323

MacLean's, one of Canada's news magazines, has recently published a fairly interesting article discussing George W Bush's legacy, and whether he will be considered one of the worst presidents in US history.

Quote:
Just over 16 months have passed since George W. Bush was elected for the second term that eluded his father, but already historians and pundits are beginning to debate whether he just might be the worst U.S. president in a century.

The article goes on to list a number of issues that the United States has faced, and will continue to face while under the stewardship of GWB.

But is it really possible to judge a leader as the "worst" until we've had time to reflect? The interesting point is that many historians have already passed judgement on GWB:

Quote:
In 2004, George Mason University polled 415 presidential historians and found 80 per cent considered Bush's first term a failure. More than half considered it the worst presidency since the Great Depression. More than a third called it the worst in 100 years.

Although, I am not a fan of GWB, isn't it a bit early to judge? Can we really understand the significance of something or someone while we are in the midst of it?

I don't think we can judge so soon, reflection is required to truly understand the impact of a leader. As G.W.F Hegel put it "The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk."- in other words, we only truly understand after the event has passed.

What do you guys think? Can we judge GWB so soon? If so, is he the worst president in a century?

SQuared

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3135 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2788 times:

Quoting SQuared (Thread starter):
If so, is he the worst president in a century?

Absolutely, and one of the worst of all time.

This "uniter not divider" has been one of the most divisive in history. He has chipped away at fundamental rights and would like to chip away at them further. He started a war based on misinformation and fear. He single handedly turned world opinion against the US. There is indisputible evidence that he has lied to the US population and supports programs that fly in the face of the constitution.

He has done nothing to make the USA a better place. He has only been a detriment. Definitely, definitely one of the worst of all time.


User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

Quoting SQuared (Thread starter):
Can we judge GWB so soon?

I think it is a bit to early to tell just yet, I have shown I am not a fan of his at all, but we need to give this time to settle and be out of office before one can look at his time in the oval office and see he was worse than most of us think. That being said, Ill answer your second question as well.

Quoting SQuared (Thread starter):
If so, is he the worst president in a century?

The worst, again its to early to say that. But in my book definatly in the top three. In no particular order in my book, you have Nixon, Hoover and Bush43.


User currently offlineSQuared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2778 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 1):

He has done nothing to make the USA a better place. He has only been a detriment. Definitely, definitely one of the worst of all time.

I certainly do agree that GWB has committed some pretty reprehensible things during the course of his presidency. But I suppose the question is, can we judge history when we're in the midst of experiencing it?

I mean, how beloved was Lincoln, often considered the greatest American President (maybe only eclipsed by Washington), during his tenure? Many people (at the time) blamed him for the Civil War. But yet as we reflect on history, he is considered one of the great presidents. There are other examples noted in the article, including the much-reviled Nixon. Will history redeem or condemn President Bush? I'm not so sure we can judge that right now...

SQuared


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Depends on what is the criteria that is used to define a presidency.

Economically, there are many countries that would love to have the economic performance that the US has had for the last several years.


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2761 times:



Patrick


User currently offlinePSA727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 974 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2751 times:

It's way too early for that judgement, the main reason being that there
are still over 2 years left of his presidential tenure.

But if you go back 100 years, Jimmy Carter would out-rank GWB.
As much as I hate the price of gas, I can at least by it any day of
the week, and not have to wait in a long line to do so.
And remember double-digit interest rates?

And if bad war decisions move you higher up on the list, then LBJ
should definitely be in the Top 5.

Let's not forget Woodrow Wilson's opposition to the Women's
Suffrage movement, as well as him abandoning the Paris Peace
Conferences after WWI, which really helped to pave the way for
the next one.



fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
User currently offlineOldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2743 times:

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 4):
Economically, there are many countries that would love to have the economic performance that the US has had for the last several years.

Do you mean that economic performance based on humongous debts, to be paid by the next 2 generations?
No, thank you.  Yeah sure

Axel



Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2743 times:

Quoting SQuared (Thread starter):
But is it really possible to judge a leader as the "worst" until we've had time to reflect?

No, you cannot. The conventional wisdom has always been, in the view of presidential history scholars, is that it usually takes about 30 years after the person has left office to really judge what the effects were of his/her incumbency. I think the same will be true for Mr. Bush. Personally, I don't think history will be too kind to him, and I think he'll end up on the bottom end of middle of the pack, to be honest.

And honestly, I think history will treat Mr. Clinton a lot more kindly than Mr. Bush.

Quoting SQuared (Thread starter):
Quote:
In 2004, George Mason University polled 415 presidential historians and found 80 per cent considered Bush's first term a failure. More than half considered it the worst presidency since the Great Depression. More than a third called it the worst in 100 years.

Personally, I think Hoover, Nixon and Carter were were worse overall.


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1727 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2736 times:

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 2):
I think it is a bit to early to tell just yet, I have shown I am not a fan of his at all, but we need to give this time to settle and be out of office before one can look at his time in the oval office and see he was worse than most of us think. That being said, Ill answer your second question as well.

 checkmark 

It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings as it were. There's still almost three years left in his term (shudder). Lots of things, both good and bad could happen in that time. I think it really takes 50-75 years to truly get an objective perspective on events and consequences.

From my admittedly subjective contemporary perspective, I think it's very likely the Bush presidency will be remembered as an absolute disaster unless something drastic happens to rehabilitate him. Clearly in my lifetime (45 years) there hasn't been someone in the White House so completely in over his head. It's difficult to imagine someone who could match the catastrophically bad judgement and sheer incompetence.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2717 times:

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 9):
It's difficult to imagine someone who could match the catastrophically bad judgement and sheer incompetence.

See that is his fundamental failings. One can look back at the other questionable Presidents, Nixon, LBJ, and Hoover for example. All three of them were experienced, and successful in thier previous ventures, and all three of them were quite intelligent. GWB, was rather unsuccesful at anything he did before, his business decisions were poor, he was average in school, etc. All he has is the pedigree from his dad. I still cannot believe the American people elected him...TWICE!


User currently offlineBobster2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2710 times:

http://www.filmstripinternational.com

User currently offlineWingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2346 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2680 times:

I don't think there's any question though to label someone "the worst" is subjective at best. Nevertheless, I think the Bush presidency will be unique in one regard and that is that I don't think in the past 100 years there has ever been a President who has enjoyed such complete domination over all braches of government and accomplished so little. In fact, just the opposite is true, Bush used this unprecedented level of power with such complete incompetence that he will hand over the biggest mess from one president to another I can ever recall. The deficit will be the largest in history and already Bush is talking of handing the Iraq War off to the next guy. And to think of the state of the country when this chucklehead took over. If incompetence were a crime this entire administration would've gotten the Chair. It really is a shame.

User currently offlineKiwiinOz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2673 times:

I would imagine similar articles would have been published about every president in history, so I'm sure the fact that this article exists is no real reflection of whether or not history will judge him as the worst.

It's a little difficult to compare presidents, as the criteria for performance is so broad. Previous Presidents may have been ineffective in applying their principles and policies. That is certainly not the case with Bush. Most objectives he has are achieved. The debate tends to arise from whether his objectives are right or wrong.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2669 times:

Quoting Wingman (Reply 12):
And to think of the state of the country when this chucklehead took over

A little history refresher course:

"The dot-com bubble burst, numerically, on March 10, 2000, when the technology heavy NASDAQ Composite index [4] peaked at 5048.62 (intraday peak 5132.52), more than double its value just a year before"

Here is a link to an interesting chart regarding the NASDAQ value, remember that Bush was inagurated on January 2001.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:N...AQ_IXIC_-_dot-com_bubble_small.png


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2669 times:

Quoting SQuared (Thread starter):
MacLean's, one of Canada's news magazines, has recently published a fairly interesting article discussing George W Bush's legacy, and whether he will be considered one of the worst presidents in US history.

Jean Cretian was much worse.

Maybe Macleans should stick to their own politicians.

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 6):
But if you go back 100 years, Jimmy Carter would out-rank GWB.
As much as I hate the price of gas, I can at least by it any day of
the week, and not have to wait in a long line to do so.
And remember double-digit interest rates?

Agreed, That man was a disaster, between the harm he inflicted on the economic growth of Alaska through his land grab-ANILCA, to his lack of will to put down Islamic Fundamentalistim/terrorism in Iran.

The seeds for the current conflict and any future one that may happen with Iran where sewn in his term.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2661 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 15):
The seeds for the current conflict and any future one that may happen with Iran where sewn in his term.

Bull. Carter did more to try and sow peace in the region than any president since this crisis began. Anwar Sadat paid for his life from those efforts.

The problems with Iran were well-sown before Carter came along. The Shah was the pet of many an American president, not just Carter.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2647 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
Carter did more to try and sow peace in the region than any president since this crisis began. Anwar Sadat paid for his life from those efforts

Agreed.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
The problems with Iran were well-sown before Carter came along. The Shah was the pet of many an American president, not just Carter.

Yes, they were, but he didnt help out the situation and certainly didnt do anything to make it better.


User currently offlineSQuared From Canada, joined May 2005, 387 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

Quoting L-188 (Reply 15):
Jean Cretian was much worse.

While Chretien is not exactly exalted or celebrated as a great Canadian Prime Minister, and his legacy is not as significant as say, Trudeau, or even (the much-hated) Mulroney, he did have a significant impact on Canada (Budget surpluses, and the Clarity Act).

Of course comparing Prime Ministers and Presidents is a moot point, as they are, in many respects, quite different.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 15):
Maybe Macleans should stick to their own politicians.

Macleans can certainly comment on whomever they wish, especially as Canadians, and much of the world, are impacted by the US President's actions as well. Besides Stephen Harper is far too much of a bore to devote an entire article to him.  duck 

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
The problems with Iran were well-sown before Carter came along. The Shah was the pet of many an American president, not just Carter.

Agreed. To blame Carter for the revolution in Iran seems a bit myopic.

SQuared


User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2640 times:

I would agree with Falcon: Carter, Hoover, and Nixon were all useless.

Also, Kennedy was right about horseshit too.



This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29840 posts, RR: 58
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2637 times:

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 17):
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
The problems with Iran were well-sown before Carter came along. The Shah was the pet of many an American president, not just Carter.

Yes, they were, but he didnt help out the situation and certainly didnt do anything to make it better.

Exactly, we needed more of a Teddy Roosevelt rather then a Carter in.

Carters fear of getting Americans killed over the hostages really did paralize the country and him for 440 odd days.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlinePSA727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 974 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2612 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
Bull. Carter did more to try and sow peace in the region than any president since this crisis began.

Seeing how this conflict between Egypt and Israel began while the
U.S. was bogged down in Vietnam (thank you LBJ); and that Nixon
took his time getting out of there only to be pre-occupied with his
own scandal; and Ford was in so briefly, not much got done.....
It's the least Carter could have done.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
The problems with Iran were well-sown before Carter came along.

This is very true, dating back to many of Carter's predecessors.
However, the way he handled the hostage crisis only strengthened
the terrorists' will to do America harm, they could see how helpless
our government could be.
And by the way, foreign terrorist attacks against U.S. interests only
increased after the Iran Hostage Crisis (not that many before then).

And as great as the peace accord was between Egypt and Israel, the
Islamic Fundamentalists use that also as propoganda to hate the U.S.
F.Y.I.--they really, really don't like Israel.



fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
User currently offlineBushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2593 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 19):
Also, Kennedy was right about horseshit too.

BS, he didnt get the chance to finish what I think could have been a grand presidency, he brought the world back from Nuclear destruction, was critical in the civil rights act, he was critical to NASA and the US winning the moon race, he was beloved by most Americans and worldwide. You could point to the Bay of Pigs, but that was an IKE thing he inherited, he didnt allow air support but that wouldnt have made much difference, that was doomed from the start. He would have cancelled outright if he had much of a choice.
RFK working under Jack took on the mob. Plus, doesnt sleeping with Marilyn Monroe get you some Pimp Points?


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2588 times:

Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 22):
he brought the world back from Nuclear destruction

If anything, that gets him a star in my book. And the sleeping with Marylin, well, I would have done it if I had the chance, too!


User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5565 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2568 times:

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 6):
It's way too early for that judgement, the main reason being that there
are still over 2 years left of his presidential tenure.

Please don't remind me! If during my lifetime there is anyone worse than W, perrish the thought! For those of you who voted for him in 2000 and 2004; remember that old addage: Be careful for what you wish for because you just may get your wish!



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
25 Greaser : I Don't think Hoovrer deserves to be one of the worst. Hoover was one of the most eligible presidents at that time. The Great Depression was not his f
26 LTBEWR : I would say that GWB (43) will be considered a 'well below average' president in the overall ratings, although he is comming closer to being the 'wors
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