Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't Know Much About History....

Hah! Check this out:
History News Network’s poll of 109 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. And was his presidency (it’s a bit wishful to speak of his presidency in the past tense–after all there are several more months left to go) a success or failure? On that score the numbers are still more resounding: 98 percent label it a “failure.”
More here.

Hat tip the following Investor's Business Daily to Michael Medved:
So 98% of history professors adjudge George Bush's presidency a failure and 61% say he's the worst president ever. And we thought historians studied history, not events too recent to be properly assessed.

It should be no surprise that the 109 history professors surveyed by the History News Network would be critical of Bush. History professors tend to be a Democratic lot. A study conducted by Daniel Klein and Charlotta Stern in 2003 found that the Democrat-to-Republican ratio among them is roughly 9.5-1.

The professors' political bias has blinded them to reality. They formed their opinions around an axis of nonsense: Bush's invasion of Iraq, his "tax breaks for the rich," and the alienation of many nations around the world. Let's take their arguments one at a time.

• It's far too early to deem the Iraq invasion a failure. In terms of military achievement, it ranks as one of the greatest in modern history. In a matter of weeks a dangerous dictator was toppled, his regime ousted, his military routed and an oppressed people freed.

Since then, thousands of terrorists have been denied their chance to strike America because the U.S. military has eliminated them.

The cleanup has been messy. But unless the U.S. loses its resolve, a stable, U.S.-friendly representative government is likely to emerge in a strongly anti-American region dominated by despotic regimes.

• "Tax breaks for the rich" is the big lie come alive. Under the Bush tax cuts, 25 million Americans at the bottom half of the income scale have been wiped off the federal income tax rolls.

And the rich? The federal tax burden of the top 1% of earners has gone from 19% under Jimmy Carter (in 1980) to 39.4%. Meanwhile, the bottom 50% paid 3.1% of taxes in 2005. In 1995, they paid 4.6%.

• Since Bush has been in office, pro-Americans have been elected to lead Germany (Angela Merkel), France (Nicolas Sarkozy), Italy (Silvio Berlusconi) and Canada (Stephen Harper). Both Britain and Australia remain close to the U.S. though both are under governments less pro-American than their predecessors. Who's been alienated? Iran, which has been at war with the U.S. for nearly 20 years?

History professors need to stick to teaching history. They seem to be seeing the unfolding of events through a cloudy lens

George W. Bush will go down as one of our best presidents in U.S. history.

Meanwhile....the worst former president and one of the worst presidents wants some attention:

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Blogger Indigo Red said...

There were only two questions on the survey. How accurate can that be?
Read the Qs:
Further Adventures of Indigo Red

Thursday, April 17, 2008 7:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Carter should be tried for treason regardless of his having been a president. Those days are long past. Now he kisses Hamas' butt. Enough is enough!

With the Democrat to Republican ration 9.5 -1 among historians, that's not a survey that can be counted as anywhere near fair. Sheesh!

Thursday, April 17, 2008 7:48:00 AM  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Those , "historians, " are:

1. people whose memory only extend five minutes in the past or they would remember Carter and Clinton and other President's in their revisionist summation of history.

2. obviously very liberal in their political persuasion. Which would also account for their short and convenient memory!

Also I second Gayle's idea about Carter and treason. Eveidently these, "historians, " have also forgotten the historical record known as the Constitution and the aid and comfort clause that fits Carter to a tee!

Thursday, April 17, 2008 8:08:00 AM  
Blogger SkyePuppy said...

A long time ago, I think during the Reagan years, they published a similar survey, and Millard Fillmore was on the bottom. So what did Buchanan do to make the historians mad enough to put him below Fillmore?

Or did the historians think "Buchanan" meant Pat Buchanan...?

Thursday, April 17, 2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I heard Medved talk about this yesterday. He, as I, was not surprised as the professors are typically more liberal than the general public. Plus, the loaded questions and small focus group. What a sham. Just anything to bash the President.

Revenge will be sweet, as history plays out. I am watching Gordon Browne and Bush at their press conference at the White House. And, it will be interesting if Obama gets to the Oval Office. Our European allies have gone center-right for the first time in a long time, so Obama will be much farther left then any of "old Europe" and certainly the new countries freed from the former Societ Union.

Thursday, April 17, 2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Details on a typical scholarly presidential survery here:
..wherein it has been observed, there is negligble percentages between party of the president;
for example, Reagan is rated very high (as is Eisenhower, my personal favorite). As for poor
Buchanan, his four years were filled with the acrimony that led to the Civil War.

Friday, April 18, 2008 8:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Americaneocon said...

Thanks for that IBD link. I blogged on this the other day. "The worst president ever" meme gets tons of mileage in the lefty blogosphere, but I've noted many times that Bush will likely end up like Truman, who left office at 22 percent and now is considered a "near great" president, and one of the best of the 20th century!

Saturday, April 19, 2008 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger rockybutte said...


Would Medved's "pro-American" foreign governments still be considered "pro-American" if they opposed the next American president's withdrawal of troops from Iraq?

Monday, April 21, 2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Are you referring to the likes of Berlosconi and Sarkozy? They are very openly pro-Bush, as much as pro-American.

Gordon Brown certainly isn't Tony Blair; but I still consider Great Britain a strong ally and friend to the U.S.

Not sure what you are getting at. A reversal of roles, to see if my message and logic is consistent?

Were you listening to Medved or something?

I think all 3 presidential candidates in the running have similar withdrawal plans, anyway. The difference is, the language to the constituency.

Monday, April 21, 2008 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm not trying to trap or trick you. I'm trying to draw attention to Medved's use of the term "pro-American" governments with respect to Germany, France, Italy and Canada. Were the governments that preceded the current governments "anti-American" because they were less conservative?

Regarding Bush's legacy, do you think he will be honored and admired by posterity for championing the unitary executive at the expense of the other two branches of government? Shall we salute him for trying to upset the balance of power among the three branches of government? What right does he have to say that FISA does not apply to his administration? Do we really need a despot that badly?

Thanks to the spineless Democrats, the cowardly press and conservative polemicists and rabble-rousers, Bush has run roughshod over the Constitution that serves as the underpinning of our fragile democracy. Even a moderate conservative with Machiavellian moments such as yourself would be troubled by democracy's demise, wouldn't you?

Monday, April 21, 2008 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Were the governments that preceded the current governments "anti-American" because they were less conservative?

That's a fair challenge. No, governments don't have to be "pro-Bush" to be pro-American.

I do think, however, that there is anti-Americanism abroad that is independent of hatred for Bush or Reagan, or a specific political Administration.

How often do foreign political leaders express admiration for America in general? I think Chirac might have done so in 2003; can't remember. And I know even less, whether or not it was just political rhetoric, or if he really felt that.

I think some of the pro-Bush leaders such as Blair and Sarkozy, are also admirers of America. Of course, I do believe Saddam also expressed admiration for America- just didn't care for Bush #41 or #43.

I think Medved used a poor choice of language here.

As far as your other challenges regarding your opinion that somehow President Bush has run roughshod over the Constitution, I think we've been down this argument before.

I think it's much ballyhoo to do about nothing. As well as the notion that anything he's done has been "unprecedented". I refer you back to Geoffrey R. Stone's 2004 book "Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism."

Monday, April 21, 2008 11:42:00 PM  

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