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Friday, May 19, 2006

"The Worst President in History?" Why do we Need the Question Mark? - by Andrew Bard Schmookler

  “The Worst President in History?” is the title of a recent article about the presidency of George W. Bush by Princeton historian Sean Wilentz published in Rolling Stone. It’s a fine piece, which has deservedly made the rounds of the blogosphere. Therefore it is not to denigrate that article that I now suggest that the question mark in that title can be dropped.
Wilentz cites a poll conducted among more than 400 historians in early 2004. Already at that point, more than 80% of these historians regarded the Bush presidency as a failure. Now factor in all that has become known about this administration in the almost two-and-a-half years since that poll was taken: how more fully disclosed are the lies leading to the war in Iraq and the blunders that assured its disastrous consequences; how incompetent the administration has proved to be in the face of hurricane Katrina; how clear has become the picture of this administration’s disdain for the Constitution and the law, with its bypassing of the required judicial oversight in the issuing of warrants; how shamelessly they have sought to suppress scientific and economic facts, and so forth— a list that could be vastly expanded.
The worst presidency in history? Where’s the competition?


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