Worst. President. Ever.

Is it too early to be declaring this, with two years of untold disasters left for the Bush Administration to bring? Personally, I think Bush crossed the finish line for this contest long ago and hasn’t quit running yet. Let’s take a look at his legacy:

I’m not sure I can even remember it all, but starting at the beginning:

  • He won the Presidency after losing the popular vote, with a highly contested election result in the state of Florida.
  • When he took office, was told by Clinton’s outgoing people that Bin Laden was the biggest threat, and was handed a plan to deal with it. He then demoted Richard Clarke and totally ignored Bin Laden and terrorism for the first eight months on his Administration.
  • During this time, his signature policies were whoring for the religious right (by prohibiting federal funding of stem cells and funnelling tax dollars to churches through “faith based initiatives”), passing tax cuts which were little more than a billions-of-dollars giveaway to the wealthiest Americans, and introducing sweeping education reform (No Child Left Behind) while proceeding to underfund it by tens of billions of dollars.
  • He went on vacation for the month of August and then some in 2001, while warning sirens about terrorist activity were going off all over the place. During this time, he was handed a memo titled “Bin Laden determined to attack US”; he didn’t ask any questions about it.
  • On September 11, the worst attack on American soil in history occurred on Bush’s watch. His response was to sit like a deer in headlights for seven minutes after being told the country was attacked.
  • Almost immediately afterwards, according to reports, the Administration wanted to pin the attacks on Saddam Hussein.
  • Days later, he signed the Orwellian named Patriot Act, one of the biggest curtailments of civil liberties ever, and has defended it vigorously since.
  • With most of the world united in condemning the attacks and the highest approval rating of any President, ever, Bush of course fell back on the politics of divisiveness: “You’re either with us, or with the terrorists.”
  • He opposed setting up the Department of Homeland Security before he was forced to flip flop on the issue. He then staffed it with cronies.
  • He opposed a 9/11 commission. When one was finally convened, he refused to testify for it. He finally did so though… off the record, not under oath, and with Cheney by his side.
  • As commander in chief, he botched the best chance we had to get Bin Laden at Tora Bora, who five years after 9/11 remains uncaptured. These days, Bush isn’t even concerned about the man who killed almost 3,000 Americans and left a hole in downtown manhattan.
  • By the end of 2002, the war in Afghanistan was all but forgotten (and lost, allowing for a Taliban resurgence.)
  • In September of 2002 (because you never launch a new product in August), the focus had shifted to justifying an invasion of Iraq (and making “The facts fit the policy” according to Downing Street Memos)
  • He timed the fearmongering about Iraq to strengthen the Republican majority for the 2002, in other words, he picked the time for this war for political gain.
  • Meanwhile, he was busy running up the biggest deficit in history and all but bankrupting the country. He’s spent more than any “tax and spend” liberal who’s come before, and has yet to veto a single spending bill.
  • He lies constantly. His lies are too many to even begin to list, but this President has an amazing capacity for doublespeak. Black is white, up is down, war is peace, ignorance is strength and freedom is slavery.
  • He lied and misled about *everything* regarding Iraq in the run up to the war, from WMD’s to terrorist links and its relationship to 9/11. Nothing he told the American people about this war turned out to be true.
  • When he was called on one of his lies (in the State of the Union no less), his Administration (with his knowledge) revealed the identity of an active undercover CIA agent payback, jeopardizing national security for political payback.
  • Despite his pledge to fire anyone involved with the leak (which he authorized) and get to the bottom of it (guess he never thought to just ask Rove, Cheney, or Libby about it), no one has yet been fired over it. Scooter Libby did resign upon being indicted for perjury though and the investigation is still ongoing.
  • In March 2003 he launched a “pre-emptive” war against Iraq to stop Saddam from giving WMD’s he didn’t have to terrorists he didn’t know, without any meaningful international support for the action.
  • “Mission Accomplished”
  • He ignored any generals who told him there weren’t enough troops or that the troops didn’t have the right equipment. As Rumsfeld said so eloquently, they went to war with “The army you have, not the army you wish you have”
  • In the chaos that followed Saddam’s downfall, poor planning led to widespread looting an anarchy. But the oil fields were well defended.
  • Years later, Iraq’s infrastructure still isn’t where it was at the time of the invasion, and Halliburton and other contractors haven’t been asked to account billions of missing dollars.
  • An insurgency grew and the country has descended into a sectarian civil war. Our troops are stuck in a quagmire with no exit plan. Iraq has become Vietnam II.
  • But… “Bring em on”
  • He’s held Jose Padilla, an American citizen, in blatant violation of his fifth and sixth amendment rights.
  • He’s also holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without charges being brought against them, or attorneys, or any of those other rights we’re supposedly fighting for.
  • His Administration formed a policy of torture (and then made the guy who wrote the torture memor Attorney General) with no regard for human rights, which led to Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay abuses, to say this least. This has resulted in irreperable damage to the war effort, our image abroad, and human rights in general.
  • In continuing to be a whore for the religious right, he backed a constitutional amendment to enshrine bigotry against gays into the constitution.
  • Meanwhile, North Korea was allowed to develop nuclear weapons and test fire missiles (basically doing all the stuff Bush falsely accused Saddam of being guilty of.)
  • But he can’t recall a single mistake he ever made, aside from trading Sammy Sosa.
  • He wins re-election by the slimmest margin ever for an incumbant president (and with questionable goings on in Ohio), he declares he has a “mandate” to continue his policies.
  • I’m not even sure why he wanted re-election, as being President is such “hard work”.
  • He tries and fails to destroy social security.
  • The economy is a mess. The war is a disaster. Everything’s going to hell. But somehow, Bush finds the time to bust through the record for most days spent on vacation by any President, with three years to spare. In fact, 20% of his time in office was spent on vacation.
  • Vacationing for him is so critical, he doesn’t want to cut it short to deal with Hurricane Katrina. Neither does the rest of his Administration for that matter. Condeleeza Rice, for example, was shoe shopping in NYC as the city of New Orleans was being destroyed.
  • He says “No one could have predicted the levies would break”. He was told, two days before they broke, that the levies were likely to break.
  • But “Brownie” did a “Heckuva job” dealing with the disaster.
  • The event revealed just how widespread cronyism is within his Administration. As if Michael Brown wasn’t enough proof of that, he then tried to nominate Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court.
  • All the while, Bush has embarked on a frightening power grabs for the executive branch, offering legal justifications for many actions that amount to dictatorial powers. (Or as Nixon would say, “When the President does it, it’s not illegal”)
  • He used the NSA to track and tap domestic phone calls without warrants, congressional approval, or judicial oversight.
  • He’s the financial transactions of Americans, again without warrants or the involvement of other branches of government.
  • He’d wanted to hand over our ports to the UAE, before public pressure forced a flip flop on that.
  • Oh yeah, and he’s also been up to his neck in one of the most corrupt congresses in history; he’s good friends with Tom Delay and Jack Abromoff (and Ken Lay, for that matter).

Now, to be fair, I think you can make the case that there are instances of President’s doing stuff worse than some of the stuff above. But I don’t think there’s any that can compare for the sheer volume of incompetence and corruption that we’ve seen in the last six years. But, maybe I’m not giving him a fair shake. At least he never got a blow job.

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One Response to “Worst. President. Ever.”

  1. inaeth Says:

    Excellent post!

    To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve seen a post anywhere on the internet that concisely deals with all the topics of corruption, cronyism, and incompetence in a single list like what you wrote. Great job!

    Of course, I’ll be labelled as being with the terrorists for agreeing with you… ;(

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