Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Worst President of the Modern Era

The Worst President of the Modern Era
Oct 5, 2005, 06:12
...It is intolerable to think that, once U.S. troops leave, Iraq might erupt in civil war and become what Afghanistan was: a haven where terrorists can plot attacks and killings carried out around the world.

Our military success has turned into our military nightmare. It is a nightmare never dreamed of by the willfully dysfunctional decision-makers who run the Bush presidency. It is a nightmare that revisits American families every night.

That is why, at this date, George W. Bush's presidency looms so sadly as the worst of the modern era -- worse by far than Lyndon Johnson's presidency. He gave America a legacy of civil-rights legislation that ended our national shame, even as he gave us the escalation of the Vietnam War that became a national tragedy. Worse, too, than Richard Nixon's presidency _ he said he wasn't a crook, but was a proven criminal. Yet, Nixon was still a leader with global vision and domestic environmental accomplishment.

Go further back. Americans have had corrupt and inept presidencies such as Warren Harding's and Chester Arthur's. Yet they did little damage to the planet or its people. That cannot be said for today's incumbent.

The sad trajectory of this presidency is that George W. Bush could wind up as the worst president in U.S. history.

That would be disastrous for us all. He has little time to get it right and, it seems, no sense of how to do it. But congressional Democrats and Republicans need to unite to ensure that U.S. troops stay in the Gulf long enough to ensure that the Afghanistanization of Iraq does not become Bush's legacy and our fate.

(Martin Schram writes political analysis for Scripps Howard News Service. E-mail him at martin.schram(at)