Saturday, November 19, 2005

Worst President Ever?

This is a snappy new sticker that has been making the rounds lately. It raises a question that I have struggled with for a while. Is Dubya really the worst president ever?

It certainly seems so today, but it is hard to keep a clear historical perspective on things. Nixon killed a lot more people, untold millions in Vietnam and Cambodia. Reagan gave us the Contra War, Salvadoran death squads, and Guatemalan genocide. Even Kennedy brought us to the brink of global nuclear war in a fit of macho posturing.

I in no way want to minimize the horror of what Dubya has done and still less what he may have set in motion or yet stir up. But in terms of the pure physical damage and mass murder he is in no way the worst, at least so far. In terms of eroding basic human rights, however, he is no doubt a contender for the worst ever, though Andrew Jackson, who made bridles out of Indian skin for his horses, could give him a good run for his money.

I think the best case for Dubya as the worst president ever is in terms of the waves of destruction he has set in motion on virtually every front: from exacerbating the crisis in the Middle East beyond the point of no return to policies designed to accelerate global climate change to the rehabilitation of torture and disappearance as instruments of national policy to the accelerated dismantling of civil liberties in the US to attacks on science and education to the promotion of theocracy.

None of these converging vectors has reached full potential yet, but the wave is looming on the horizon.


At 11/23/2005 8:27 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

It's a judgement call - Bush will be judged by how Iraq turns out over the nxt 10-20 yrs.

Even though you are much further to the left that our blog, we agree on the broad anti- Dubya sense of things. We posted this a few days before Fitzball kickoff:

On First Looking Into Fitzgerald's Indictment

A Pre-Emptive Poem
From A Keats Ghost To Gothamimage:

Much have I witnessed the Scandal of Bush
And many awful lies and outrages seen;
Round many breaches have I been
Which bards in fealty to Republic hold.
Oft of one great Injury had I been told
That worried the Founders in repose;
Yet did I never see it so clear
Till I heard Fitzgerald speak out loud and bold:
Then I felt like some Justice on High
When a pure Truth comes into his view:
Or like Honest Abe when with wise eyes
He saved the Union - and all his men
Look'd at each other with great relief -
Silent, upon a stillness at Appomattox.

At 11/23/2005 8:29 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

We've always feared that Iraq (esp Kurdistan) will be to the 21st century what the Balkan conflicts before 1910 were to the 20th cent.

For a number of Bush supporters, that's considered a good thing.

At 11/23/2005 10:16 AM, Blogger velid said...

Well Richard Perle did prophesy that "our children will sing great songs about us years from now." I guess he got his wish just a little early.

At 2/02/2006 7:20 AM, Anonymous abraham lincoln said...

Interesting blog. A good read.


Abraham Lincoln Jr.
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