Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Historians on Bush

The Rolling Stone had a frank article on the Bush Presidency...

How does any president's reputation sink so low? The reasons are best understood as the reverse of those that produce presidential greatness. In almost every survey of historians dating back to the 1940s, three presidents have emerged as supreme successes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These were the men who guided the nation through what historians consider its greatest crises: the founding era after the ratification of the Constitution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and Second World War. Presented with arduous, at times seemingly impossible circumstances, they rallied the nation, governed brilliantly and left the republic more secure than when they entered office.

Calamitous presidents, faced with enormous difficulties -- Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Hoover and now Bush -- have divided the nation, governed erratically and left the nation worse off. In each case, different factors contributed to the failure: disastrous domestic policies, foreign-policy blunders and military setbacks, executive misconduct, crises of credibility and public trust. Bush, however, is one of the rarities in presidential history: He has not only stumbled badly in every one of these key areas, he has also displayed a weakness common among the greatest presidential failures -- an unswerving adherence to a simplistic ideology that abjures deviation from dogma as heresy, thus preventing any pragmatic adjustment to changing realities. Repeatedly, Bush has undone himself, a failing revealed in each major area of presidential performance.

As my readers know, I completely agree. This presidency has been completely devoid of leadership. Although some Americans have confused standing on a pile of rubble with a bullhorn with leadership... action defines a leader: not rhetoric. From 9/11 to Katrina we've seen how this administration has been breifed on likely disasters -- its reaction was to sit on its hands and let the mystical market-economy address our problems.

Time will tell, but Bush is likely to go down as the most incompetent leader the nation has seen.


Intellectual Insurgent said...

What time will show is that Bush and his junta profited handsomely from their inaction. It's not that Bush isn't a good leader. He's just not a good leader for Joe Schmoe American. He's a wonderful, messianic leader for corporate America.

Reign of Reason said...

I'd add "he's a great leader for BIG corporate America" ...

I don't think smaller companies are faring that well.

As someone who owns and runs an aerospace engineering company of about 30 or so people I see the effects of this admin's policy on BIG DEFENSE... The money is flowing.

I recently left a DoD contract -- the amount of money they are still throwing at missile defense is obscene... for very little return.

But the cronies are doing very well.