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It's Official. 61% of Nation's 'Liberal' Historians Rank Bush as "Worst President Ever"

The nation's liberal historians are no longer pulling any punches. From Scott Horton's No comment' column at Harper's,

Previously Bush wasn't viewed in the most positive terms, but there was a consensus that he wasn't the "worst of the worst" either. That was in the spring of 2004. In the meantime, Bush has established himself as the torture president, the basis for his invasion of Iraq has been exposed as a fraud, the Iraq War itself has gone disastrously. In 2004, only 12 percent of historians were ready to place Bush dead last.

(Now, the newest results of) an informal survey of 109 professional historians conducted over a three-week period through the History News Network, 98.2 percent assessed the presidency of Mr. Bush to be a failure while 1.8 percent classified it as a success.

Yes, the informal poll (those who responded to the History network) of 109 leading historians found that 61 percent of them rank Bush as "worst ever" among U.S. presidents. Bush's key competition comes from Buchanan, apparently, and a further 2 percent of the sample puts Bush right behind Buchanan as runner-up for "worst ever." 96 percent of the respondents place the Bush presidency in the bottom tier of American presidencies."

Here are some of the comments that the historians furnished:

"No individual president can compare to the second Bush," wrote one. "Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world's goodwill. In short, no other president's faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large."

Scott Horton, who lectures at Columbia Law School a brilliant audio podcast interviewed a by another Scott Horton also delineates the latest scandalous Bush contempt for the rule of law, specifically, the Geneva Conventions which the US largely wrote, and many of of the Amendments in the Billl of Rights which Bush sought to completey disregard in exerting his unitary executive priviledge that he could do anything he wanted. This flowed in Bush's own words from "the great opportunity", that 9/11 provided. Bush's imperial actions forbidden by the Constitution, were so breathtaking in their daring, that even the Supreme Court, with seven Republican appointments have voted down 9 to 0, some of the most blatant excesses and the extravagant, self serving logic of the 'worst ever' president, and his legal minions.

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Comments (5)



I thought an event needed to be in the past for it to be considered History ...

How about you just label it what it is ...

Liberals rate Bush the worst President ever ... for sure dude ...

You actually consider yourself educated ? With this sort of intellectual writing its amazing that liberals ever get elected ...

Steve Crickmore:

Thanks, Jeff I see my original hat-tip link- Scott Horton has changed the Pew Research Poll back to informal Historian poll of those who responded to the History Network poll..Hey that's why we have comments...Sometimes, the sources or links can be inaccurate..My internet cafe was closing and I had only a few minutes to put my post to bed. Normally I try to check the source of the source when I notice something or have the intimidation that something can be a little fuzzy. I will change the title..The Pew Research survey referred to the increased percentage of Americans who want a change of direction. I presume that is accurate.

This article The follies of instant history' linked by the History network, expands on your argument. This is by no means conclusive or definitive opinion just a sign post, and even my post was meant to be written in something of that spirit.


i have a degree in history. having spent a few years in that environment, i can tell you that your jibe about "liberal" historians is actually a fact. i would estimate that a good 80%+ of the history professors that I had dealings with were outspokenly liberal in their veiwpoints and how they taught.

and i took courses like ancient history, constitutional history, and modern military history, so i was hardly in the part of the field where you would expect liberals to be dominant.

just another data point for you to consider.

Steve Crickmore:

I'm sure it is ke_future. My major was Political Science but I took classes with Louis Hartz and he was proud of the liberal tradition of American history and liberalism. Unfortunately I don't think many conservative historians either will be to plesed with Bush's legacy..What did Bush say in the future "we will all be dead." That kind of sums up his interest in anything greater than his own life in my estimation. I'm grateful he called himself a conservative and not a liberal..I just think he is very irresponsible full stop, and he comes from a very privleged powerful GOP aristocracy and that is where he acquired his values without being overly concerned about the governing philosphy behind it.


my point was that there are some obvious biases at work here when historians are rating a contemporary figure.

i honestly don't think that we will have an accurate view of the bush presidency until at least 20 years after he leaves office. if not longer.

the reason i think this is so is that many people today have very firm and strong beliefs about him, and so make every judgement through that lens.

for a true historical rating of his presidency, there needs to be less emotion involved. even if the political biases are still there, the emotional ones will be absent from those who are not contemporaries. or at least they will be less.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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