Monday, December 05, 2005



You can imagine how amused I was to discover that one of Yahoo's most forwarded stories is the one titled, "Is George Bush the Worst President -- Ever?"

I guess I need to redesign my poll (moved to the bottom of the left column earlier today, in case you hadn't noticed) to include James Buchanan, identified by columnist Richard Reeves as the president most historians think was the worst.

As the second Dumbya term careens along like a kid's wagon falling off a cliff, it strikes me that Our President is more strikingly reminiscent of the string of Tammany buffoons who were mayors of New York in the second half of the nineteenth century. Everything is about who you know, who you drank with, whose friend of your parents needs a consulting paycheck, all of it wrapped up in one great big ball of "My way or the highway."

It's all Franklin Delano Roosevelt's fault. Had he not been such an innovative, brilliant, and beloved president, he never would have been elected four times, and the Republicans would never have been impelled to propose the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. Thanks to that bit, no second-term president ever has to worry about what the American public thinks, because liked or disliked, he's out of there. Would Iran-Contra have happened had Reagan (and more likely, his aides) been positioning himself for a third term? Would Congressional Republicans have felt it necessary to impeach Bill Clinton if they knew he'd have to face the American public in 2000? Look how effective the chance to run again was in 1968, when Lyndon Johnson resigned rather than risk a defeat at the polls.

Is George W. Bush the worst president in American history? I can't say. I know he's the worst one in my lifetime.

1 comment:

frankpoor said...

"Would Congressional Republicans have felt it necessary to impeach Bill Clinton if they knew he'd have to face the American public in 2000?"

Yes Mike, I believe they would have. Right from the very beginning, the usual talking head suspects ran to the nearest TV camera to demand Bill Clinton's resignation. It was the only (so they said) honorable thing he could do. At the time I was amazed that "they" wanted to face Al Gore as an incumbent, not as a lowly Vice President. But once the GOP had taken "the peoples house" away from the people, they used their new powers of investigation to find any reason, any one at all to impeach Clinton. (I turned him into a) Newt Gingrich didn't spend years planning his takeover of the Congressional Majority just so he and his colleagues could use those powers for good. They figured that the worst thing that would happen is that the Government would do absolutely nothing for two years; which if you think like a republican is really a huge win. For two years the FBI spent a tremendous amount of resources on defeating the single greatest threat to our American way of life, Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, somewhere in Afghanistan, on old Regan/Bush ally was plotting something else entirely...GWB's 2004 reelection campaign!