Rate George W. Bush?
Is George W. Bush the best or worst American president ever? Or, in your opinion, is he in the top 5 best, the bottom 5 worst, or about in the middle of the pack?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Bush - Worst President In American History
Ever since 1948, when Harvard professor Arthur Schlesinger Sr. asked 55 historians to rank U.S. presidents on a scale from "great" to "failure”, such polls have been a favorite pastime for those of us who study the American past.
Changes in presidential rankings reflect shifts in how we view history. When the first poll was taken, the Reconstruction era that followed the Civil War was regarded as a time of corruption and misgovernment caused by granting black men the right to vote. As a result, President Andrew Johnson, a fervent white supremacist who opposed efforts to extend basic rights to former slaves, was rated "near great”. Today, by contrast, scholars consider Reconstruction a flawed but noble attempt to build an interracial democracy from the ashes of slavery -- and Johnson a flat failure.
More often, however, the rankings display a remarkable year-to-year uniformity. Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Franklin D. Roosevelt always figure in the "great" category. Most presidents are ranked "average" or, to put it less charitably, mediocre. Johnson, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Richard M. Nixon occupy the bottom rung, and now President Bush is a leading contender to join them. A look at history, as well as Bush's policies, explains why.
At a time of national crisis, Pierce and Buchanan, who served in the eight years preceding the Civil War, and Johnson, who followed it, were simply not up to the job. Stubborn, narrow-minded, unwilling to listen to criticism or to consider alternatives to disastrous mistakes, they surrounded themselves with sycophants and shaped their policies to appeal to retrogressive political forces (in that era, pro-slavery and racist ideologues). Even after being repudiated in the midterm elections of 1854, 1858 and 1866, respectively, they ignored major currents of public opinion and clung to flawed policies. Bush's presidency certainly brings theirs to mind.
Harding and Coolidge are best remembered for the corruption of their years in office (1921-23 and 1923-29, respectively) and for channeling money and favors to big business. They slashed income and corporate taxes and supported employers' campaigns to eliminate unions. Members of their administrations received kickbacks and bribes from lobbyists and businessmen. "Never before, here or anywhere else," declared the Wall Street Journal, "has a government been so completely fused with business." The Journal could hardly have anticipated the even worse cronyism, corruption, and pro-business bias of the Bush administration.
Despite some notable accomplishments in domestic and foreign policy, Nixon is mostly associated today with disdain for the Constitution and abuse of presidential power. Obsessed with secrecy and media leaks, he viewed every critic as a threat to national security and illegally spied on U.S. citizens. Nixon considered himself above the law.
Bush has taken this disdain for law even further. He has sought to strip people accused of crimes of rights that date as far back as the Magna Carta in Anglo-American jurisprudence: trial by impartial jury, access to lawyers and knowledge of evidence against them. In dozens of statements when signing legislation, he has asserted the right to ignore the parts of laws with which he disagrees. His administration has adopted policies regarding the treatment of prisoners of war that have disgraced the nation and alienated virtually the entire world. Usually, during wartime, the Supreme Court has refrained from passing judgment on presidential actions related to national defense. The court's unprecedented rebukes of Bush's policies on detainees indicate how far the administration has strayed from the rule of law.
One other president bears comparison to Bush: James K. Polk. Some historians admire him, in part because he made their job easier by keeping a detailed diary during his administration, which spanned the years of the Mexican-American War. But Polk should be remembered primarily for launching that unprovoked attack on Mexico and seizing one-third of its territory for the United States.
Lincoln, then a member of Congress from Illinois, condemned Polk for misleading Congress and the public about the cause of the war -- an alleged Mexican incursion into the United States. Accepting the president's right to attack another country "whenever he shall deem it necessary," Lincoln observed, would make it impossible to "fix any limit" to his power to make war. Today, one wishes that the country had heeded Lincoln's warning.
Historians are loath to predict the future. It is impossible to say with certainty how Bush will be ranked in, say, 2050. But somehow, in his first six years in office he has managed to combine the lapses of leadership, misguided policies and abuse of power of his failed predecessors. I think there is no alternative but to rank him as the worst president in U.S. history.Source(s): WOLF: INTC, SpecOps, Commando, BlackWatch
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The bottom 5 worst are the top 5 best.
But, without a doubt, President Bush is the worst president in U.S. history.
- Anonymous4 years ago
I would give George W. Bush 10 out of 10 because he is the great leader for the United States of America and Planet Earth in the 21st Century and I believe that if Former President of the United States of America George Washington, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill, and Former Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada were all alive today, all three men would be proud of George W. Bush.
- trentrockportLv 51 decade ago
I used to think Jimmy Carter was the worst president because of his naive ignorance and arrogance. GWB is more ignorant, naive and arrogant than Carter ever could have been.
I used to think LBJ was the worst president because he was a megalomaniac, a warmonger and overtly rigged elections. Well, you know how this turned out.
I used to think FDR was the worst president because he presided over a term that saw the largest government expansion and intrusion into our daily lives. GWB has out-spent and out-intruded FDR by a longshot.
GWB, in the opinion of this conservative, is the Worst President Ever.
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- old manLv 41 decade ago
Best= Washington,Lincoln,Teddy Roosevelt,Franklin Roosevelt,Truman
Worst= Bush 1 and Bush 11, Carter (though he was the most honest) ,Hoover, L.B.Johnson
How and the heck can you right wing zealous idiots still back Bush, lied about Iraq, lied about Abramoff, Libby going to prison for selling out an undercover C.I.A. operative to get her husband off the White House's ***, he stood before the American public and said he would get those responsible for 911 and has not even gotten close,hand picked and still butt buddy Gonzalez lies before Congress about when he knew about the U.S attorney debacle, yet you still say Bush is doing a wonderful job with all he's had to deal with???? He caused the mess in Iraq, 3000+ American dead over lies. Don't even get me started on his pitiful response to Hurricane Katrina ("I think Brownie is doing a fine job") or his henchman Chaney gazillionaire on profiting from the war machine!He's set us back 200 years in his treatment of the Geneva Convention. There are already investigations into the F.B.I. way over stepping the broad bounds of the Patriot Act .When will you "ditto holes" wake up????????
You wanted to impeach Clinton for lying about oral sex?
- fire_side_2003Lv 51 decade ago
Well of all the things people will say about President Bush when he is through with his term in office it will not be that he stood by and watched. What a difficult thing to be the President of the Most Powerful Country in the world espcially during these horrible times.
I think President Bush is doing a wonderful job considering all he has had to deal with.
All I can say is you might not agree with what this man has to say but you damn sure know where he stands.
God Bless the President for being a man that stands upon conviction.
He is in the TOP 5
- DiesixDieLv 61 decade ago
Easily in the bottom five. Possibly the worst. I'm not intimately familiar with all of the guys from the 18th and 19th centuries, and some of them were pretty useless. They'd have to be pretty awful to top GWB.
GREATAMERICAN: Big thumbs down for you. First and foremost: ALWAYS ANSWER THE BLINKING QUESTION!! You didn't even answer the question. Nobody asked you why you are a republican. Nobody cares. Cut and paste responses suck.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
We are going to override the Constitution and draft George
W. Bush for president for the next three terms!
- johnfarber2000Lv 61 decade ago
If we go by who is the American president that has ever done more damage to the USA?
Answer: GWB without a doubt !
- Anonymous1 decade ago
In my humble opinion Bush is without a doubt the biggest lummox to have ever sat in the oval office. He's a dunderhead and a dolt. A myopic little toad of a man that wasn't qualified to be President!
- 1 decade ago
Bottom 5 worst. Probably somewhere between 1 and 3. Worse than Nixon, for sure, I'd say. At least Nixon had the decency to resign.