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A-List Blog: The worst president ever

Alex Miller

It’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel these days, lambasting our president for all his many faults. In fact, so many people have been piling on in so many different venues that I’ve been largely silent on it in print, reserving my incredulity and, at times, venom for those like-minded friends and family members.

But after reading an Associated Press report this morning about how Bush sat there, heard how bad Katrina was going to be and still did next to nothing, I couldn’t resist. Even “Heckuva Job Brownie” comes out looking like a half-noble, misunderstood Cassandra from this videotape.

With his approval ratings coming perilously close to Nixonian nadirs (35 percent in the latest poll vs. Dirty Dick’s low of 27 during the height of the Watergate scandal), it’s at least heartening (and, at the same time, disheartening) to recognize that a good many of the people who voted for Bush probably wish they hadn’t. People are recognizing, finally but too late, that George W. Bush is an incompetent fool. This would-be emperor, who tries to clothe himself in the flag to hide his many deficits, is now being outed and exposed for the fraud he is.

Asked about the polls, Bush responded in characteristic head-in-the-sand form about how he doesn’t pay much attention to them and, if he did, he wouldn’t get anything done. Between the lines, though, it’s hard not to hear him say this: “What the hell do I care? I’m W, dammit, I don’t have to run again and I’ll do what I please regardless of what the electorate says.”

I don’t doubt he still sleeps fine at night as well. You can do that when you’re utterly clueless.

While Republicans who do have to run again are treating W like a leper in advance of the November midterm, Democrats are still apparently flummoxed as to how to differentiate themselves and do something other than rest on the hope that Bush’s problems can’t but help them.

It’s a sad state of affairs, and to think we have three more years of this administration. Unless the Dems take control of the House and Senate this fall – an unlikely scenario – impeachment seems an unlikely way out of this mess. Even so, I’m one of the 661,301 people who’ve signed a petition to impeach Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzalez and Rice on the Web site votetoimpeach.org.

Useless, probably, but it felt good.

There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re living under what will go down in history as one of the worst presidencies in U.S. history. And if you do the body count plus the damage to our economy, social programs, environment, health care system, international relations and a host of other indices, it may well be the worst ever.

The U.S. is a much bigger, much more globally influential player than it was when other worsts like Warren G. Harding, Ulysses S. Grant and Herbert Hoover mucked-up the office, so a modern president like W. has a greater chance to screw things up on a larger level.

But maybe we don’t have to wait for history to render its verdict. In a poll of 415 historians, 81 percent rated Bush’s presidency a “failure.” With about 65 percent of the public sharing that view, perhaps it’s time to think about a recall election. Can you even do that for presidents?

I don’t know, but maybe it’d be worth a try.

Vail, Colorado


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