In this poll George Bush is tops.
Well there is one poll where George Bush the III is coming out tops. This polls asks Americans who is the worst president since 1945. And the current occupant of the White House leads the pack. And who wins as best president since 45? Ronald Reagan. I would have to agree on both counts.
Of course the real competition for Bush would go back a few more years to Franklin Roosevelt, who I think is the second worst president in American history. (With some persuasion I could have him and Georgie switch places.) In distant third is Woodrow Wilson, fourth is Abraham Lincoln and farther behind are also-rans like Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover. John F. Kennedy is there as well because he came so close to push the world into nuclear war. But the top two worst all time presidents are FDR and Dubya with Wilson not far behind.
Outside the remains of the Republican Party the only group that thinks Dubya is a good guy are fundamentalists. But they are used to ignoring facts in forming beliefs. And why do they like or dislike this man? The main reason cited for disliking him is the debacle in Iraq with 43% giving that as their number one reason. In second place, with 13% are those who say they dislike "everything" about him, followed by 10% who think he is dishonest or corrupt.
How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. I would have to cite the following and they are in close proximity of severity. One would be his imperial presidency and disregard and contempt for Constitutional restraits and tradition. Second, would be his foreign policy of American globalism. Third, would be the profligate spending that is bankrupting the treasury and inflicting massives debts on the young REQUIRING huge tax increases at some point down the road. Fourth, is his annihilation of the small government wing of the Republican Party turning them into bigger government advocates than the Democrats . Fifth, is his theocratic tendencies and pandering to the most totalitarian movement of any significance in the United States: the fundamentalist Right. Sixth is his utter incompetency regarding almost anything he does. He is a total bumbler. Seventh, is that this man is willing to lie about anything and does.
Asked what are the main problems the US faces the response shows that more name the war in Iraq than anything else. This is followed by those worried about the economy -- which is good to see since the dangers there are not as apparent as Bush's globalism. This is followed by immigration (I don't agreed), energy, and terrorism. But trailing terrorism by one percentage are those worried about politicians ---- hmmm, pretty much the same thing I would think. Both are destructive in almost anything they do and both want to keep you scared.
The political Left should note that trailing the list are things like healthcare and education, two of their favourite issues. It's the war dummy! It's the war. Yet the Democrats, instead of campaigning openly against the war (after all they invented interventionist foreign policy) run on these low priority issues. Even lower on the list are environmentalist (2%), class inequality (1%) and poverty (1%). If the Democrats want to win a concerted "get us campaign" is the way to go.
The favourite issues of the Right don't get much play either. Only 1% list "family breakdown or family values" as their major concern. Just 1% yet Bush is launching his big "stop the fags from marrying" campaign. Good to see he has his priorities straight (and pardon the pun).
The Polling Editor at USA Today, Jim Norman, has said that as time passes presidents who rate low in previous polls improves and says that Carter, who was once rated as worst by 39% of the public, second to Nixon at 35% has slowly improved so that now only 13% think him worst. He misses what is happening altogether. It is not that people find Carter better it's just that with more candidates in the running the votes get spread out. Also if one really bad individual, like Bush, comes along, he will grab a huge percentage of the vote and he has to take those percentages from other candidates, who by necessity, will improve in their numbers. It is not that they are seen more sympathetically but that other, murch worse competition has come along. I had my doubts that anyone could be worse for American than FDR, I really did. But Dubya showed me I was wrong.