The web is filled with pronouncements that George W. Bush is the worst President of the United States ever (or not). I thought I would spend a few moments on the subject. This is a multi-part post so come back later to read more on this subject. Better yet, subscribe to the feed and you can get it delivered to your email or feed reader.
First, lets look at what the historians say about W or at least how they grade other Presidents. Wikipedia has a pretty good write up on the subject so let’s start there. As with all of the recent Presidents there is a lack of the number of surveys and rankings. We can see from the couple that are there that the Wall Street Journal ranked him 18th out of 42 and Siena put him at 23. That is squarely in the middle of the pack and nowhere near the worst. The worst Presidents tend to Harding, Grant, Andrew Johnson, Nixon and Buchanan. Depending on your political bent, you could throw Carter or Coolidge into this mix for the worst. W doesn’t appear to be in this company.
If you look at History News Network though, we get a slightly different picture. There, Mr. McElvane cites several people and informal surveys that put him as the worst or among the worst. Mr. McElvane is not exactly impartial though as his various writings on the web show (a quick look at Huffington Post shows he strongly favors Democratic ideals and liberal policies). We can probably discount him as just another of the liberal herd that are saying W is the worst.
Rasmussen Reports did a poll that pretty much splits on the subject of being worst. 41 said the worst and 50 didn’t. Unfortunately the poll didn’t ask was he among the 5 worst or the 10 worst. To be honest though most Americans probably couldn’t get within 10 of the number of Presidents that we have had so this poll (and any other poll) probably is not a good barometer.
The US News and World Report interviewed Jay Tolson and he ranked the 10 worst Presidents. George W. Bush doesn’t appear on this list but perhaps that is because he was being nice to a sitting President. It is interesting that the reader poll that is on the page lists George W. Bush as the worst by 72% of the voters (as of this writing). This is far from scientific or lacking of political slant since Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan make the worst 5 vote receivers but there is little historic push to list those two gentlemen that low. Even Mt. Rushmore President, Abraham Lincoln, received 8% of the vote in contrast to most lists that put him at or near the top of the group. So obviously, polling data doesn’t really mean that much.
What we need to do is grade the President on his actions for the important issues of the 8 year tenure. Read the next post to start to dig into that subject.
More on this topic later!
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