Monday, June 19, 2006

Historians say Bush is sinking fast

Historians say Bush is sinking fast
Posted on Sunday, June 18 @ 08:27:54 EDT
This article has been read 2211 times.
Allan Powell, The Herald-Mail

With increasing frequency, articles are being published which compare the performance of George W. Bush with that of earlier presidents. But there is a very real difference in the present ranking system and what was used on previous presidential studies.

Earlier studies of presidential performance used categories which had been accepted for many years: excellent, above average, average, below average and failure. At least two of the recent articles rank Bush only in relationship to presidents who have, by common agreement of recognized historians, been judged to have been poor presidents. In other words this study is judging the worst of the worst.

Examples of low-ranking presidents are James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Warren Harding and Richard Nixon. A 2004 study conducted by George Mason University in a survey of 415 presidential historians concludes that George Bush should now be included in this list - or worse, designated as "the worst."

A summary of the results are as follows: Eighty percent considered Bush's first term a failure, half of all respondents considered it the worst since the Great Depression, more than a third said it was the worst in 100 years and 11 percent ranked his first term the "worst ever."

But, more damaging than the original study are follow-up opinions. One professor avers that, "When I filled out that survey, I said Bush was the worst since Buchanan (1857-61), but things have gotten worse and now I'd have to consider him the worst ever."

The criteria used by these historians by which to grade the performance of each president were: Fiscal management, economic stewardship, success in handling change and crises and how our international interests were promoted...