Naw. Let’s see he got tax cuts through Congress 3 or 4 times. The rich are getting richer. He tried to kill Social Security. Um. No Child Left Behind had a great name but really didn’t help either the children or the scholls or the teachers. He environmental policy is laughable. Let’s not forget Iraq. In Afghanistan we are pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. Maybe he is.
Let’s remember that The Rolling Stone had a huge article (May 2006) which was written by Historians which argued that he may be the worst ever. Therefore, this article for WaPo, which is written by a Historian should be no surprise.
From WaPo OpEd:
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. Continue reading