Skip to comments.Historians: Bush presidency 'battered,' 'incompetent,' 'unlucky'
Posted on 11/06/2008 4:21:15 PM PST by MinorityRepublican
(CNN) -- With record low approval ratings and intense criticism for his handling of the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina and the economy, the word most used to label George W. Bush's presidency will be "incompetent," historians say.
"Right now there is not a lot of goodwill among historians. Most see him as a combination of many negative factors," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.
"He is seen as incompetent in terms of how he handled domestic and foreign policy. He is seen as pushing for an agenda to the right of the nation and doing so through executive power that ignored the popular will," he added.
But like so many presidents before him, Bush's reputation could change with time.
Harvard University political history scholar Barbara Kellerman said when President-elect Barack Obama takes over in January, people may view Bush in a new light.
"I think it's possible when people have stopped being as angry at the Bush administration as they are now ... that they will realize that some of this is just ... the luck of the draw."
Kellerman, author of the book "Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters," noted that Bush has not had luck on his side for the past eight years.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
A little early for evaluations, IMO.
Oh, really, ya think?
Our objective media, rubbing the salt in.
Any real historian wouldn’t be talking about Bush while he was still in office. History isn’t the “now” it is the past!!
Those that do aren’t historians!!
(Where are the names of these “historians”?)
When Obama finishes destroying the country, they will still blame Bush.
All I know for sure is this...show of hands...who thought we were ABSOLUTELY going to get hit again? If you didn’t raise your hand, you’re lying like a Democrat.
I rest my case for telling Bush critics to STFU.
That’s great to hear Zeliza bash Bush. After all, he is a Prof at the WOODROW WILSON school. I guess it takes one to know one...
The Clinton's never upped USA security after the 1993 hit ON AMERICAN SOIL (not one little bit)...embolding the terrorists!!
No terrorists attacks on US since 9-11.
Recovered from the recession inherited from Bubba.
Two emerging democracies in the middle east.
Missile defense deployed.
I guess none of those things were on the “historians” lists.
So true. Just as soon as they realize Barack Obama cannot be picked up by the "clean end".
Too early for evaluation!
President Bush was handed an economic recession from the Clinton years and then 9/11 which was a disasterous blow to an economy already in recession. Those NASDQ losses were in the 98-99 years.
The rest, the constant battering from the left and the media which was unconscionable will go down in history as a hideous example of out-of-control partisanship.
The “stolen” election which wasn’t, Katrina and the democrat Governor who had everything at her disposal on her command as governor and didn’t use it because she froze, and everything else incompetent in LA isn’t mentioned, I see.
Also not mentioned is the demise of a sacred tradition that politics stops at the water’s edge.
The democrats in Congress, Former President Bill Clinton, and others used the media in foreign countries to bash Bush to politicize their cause for the future.
President Bush’s presidency was unlucky. Everything that could have happened, did.
The current economic problems have their origins in the Clinton admin, although this admin helped it along.
I am glad he was there. He’ll be written as a good president, not great, but good for the times.
*In about 200 years....
Republicans and Conservatives might ask themselves, why didn't Bush defend himself against the scrupulous unjustified attacks? Good question. Bad results for Republicans.
Such high praise. They said worse about Reagan.
Current "historians" are little different from journalists. It isn't "history" until enough time has gone by to assess it in context of what went before and what came afterward. Chou En Lai once made a remark about the French Revolution's importance - "It's too early to tell."
Nevertheless, we have a steady line of Bush haters, even here on FR, triumphantly trumpeting the risible illusion that they've had the last word. The presumption is amusing. In time the idiocy will be as well.
You’re spot on. Some of Bush’s problems were self-inflicted, some was just bad luck, but most was a media hit-job that started the day he took office.
It’s impossible to tell how he’ll be viewed in 50 or 60 years, but one thing is certain; The hit-job will continue full-steam-ahead for the next 4 years or longer. Bush will be blamed for everything that goes wrong in Barry’s New Amerika. It is going to be very painful to watch.
When we are hit, it will be Zero’s fault.
Mark my words.
He’s already contributing to the lawlessness by just being elected based on the expectations of being all things to every person on the planet.
The disappointment will be breathtaking to behold.
I think historians may find that THESE are the good old days.
OTOH, he kept this Country safe for 8 years. He didn't disgrace his wife, family and country, the Oval Office like Bill Clinton did.
Bush was and is an honorable man. God Bless Him.
I absolutely agree....the media spent the past 7+ years portraying W in the worse light possible - wanting to destroy him - and never mind the effect it had on this country....they will now spend the next 4 years upholding Hussein and protecting all of his screw ups....and of course, everything he does wrong will still be blamed on W.....
The same scumbags, as well as the Drive By Media are ready to put Obamaramla-ding-dong on Mt Rushmore already.
Isn't it about time for soros' expiration date to be up?
This historian has never, ever, not once, been contacted by any of these organizations for his opinion on Pres. Bush’s administrations.
In the few cases where people have asked me, as a history professor, to rate Bush, I tell them that two years into his successor’s term (at the time, didn’t know who it would be), George W. Bush, for all his faults, will be FONDLY remembered.
katrina was a failure of city of no and state of louisiana
but promoted on tv as a racist failure of president bush.
If Bush was for gay marriage and pro-abortion, none of those fools would’ve given two flips about Iraq.
Yep, way to early for this. Dims will blame Bush for as long as they can. I expect something along these lines from 0: “Bush left things in much worse shape than even I expected so I can’t do, bla bla bla.”
No chance for a Bush 3 since thanks to them there won't be a democratic nation anymore. Thanx George's!
350000 illegal immigrants were returned to where ever this year, and no media coverage. Have you ever noticed that big media stopped covering White House Press briefings after incompetent Scott McClellan left, and competent Tony Snow and then Dana Perino took over.
The media silence regarding Bush’s work in the White House has been beyond imagining. Practically a total blackout. People think he has done “nothing.”
I believe that his voice irritated the White House reporters - the folks who choose the clips to use on radio and tv - as much as Obama’s voice irritates me. So these “journalists” played his voice as little as possible, assuming that no one in America would want to be subjected to listening to it. We used to hear Clinton say something every hour on the hour.
Ann Compton who does the ABC radio reports every hour, sometimes allows listeners to hear about four words in a quote, and then she tells the listeners the rest of what GWB has said.
I will bet you a case of your favorite beer or wine that by Summer 09, the wheels will have completely come off the country and dodging thugs will be a national past-time.
I’d say mid-July 09 by the looks of things.
Sometime in the next 50 years, W will be regarded as a near great president. He will be recognized as the one who led the fight to save western civilization from the islamofascists, as the first western leader to recognize the threat posed by islam to civilized people everywhere.
"Who's Barry's Daddy?"
"How Barry Got an Indonesian Passport"
"How Bary Traded in an Indonesian Passport for a Red Senate Passport"
"How an 'American' Traveled to Pakistan in the 1980's When Pakistan Wasn't Accepting Americans"
"Lies From Barry's Bar Association Application: What's in a Name?"
"How Barry Put an Entire Illinois State Senate Office Through a Tree-Chipper"
"Larry and Barry: A Wild Limo Ride in Gurnee"
"Columbia: Barry's Grades, Barry's Benefactors, and Barry's Friends: Ayers-The Early Years"
"ACORN: From a Small Nut, a Large Red Oak"
"Alinsky's Principles and Barry: The Formative Years"
"What Land Deal? Who is Rezko?"
"How to Improve Schools by Making Them Worse: Annenberg Money Down a Rat Hole"
"How to Attend a Church for 20 Years and Not Hear Anything"
"How Barry Helped Solve the Murder of a Beloved Choir Director, OJ Style"
"How Barry Brought Chicago-Style Machine Politics to Washington: Handouts, 'Walkin's Around Money', Muscle, and Bagmen"
In general, presidents are remembered for foreign policy-—unless it is LBJ, whose twin legacies are Vietnam and the Great Society. Bush’s failures in domestic policy will fade somewhat and his successes in foreign policy will be magnified, particularly when the truth is learned of how he dismantled the worldwide Islamic terror machine.
I feel it in my heart that one day in the future, God will reward President Bush and he will be vindicated.
After 4 years of Obama Marxism and foreign policy weakness, the historians are going to give GWB glowing reviews!
One wonders what words will be used to describe 9% Nancy and the do-nothing Congress???
“A little early for evaluations, IMO.”
Publishers make schools buy new, updated books every few years. Kids will start learning all of this about the Bush administration effective pretty much immediately. Whether or not enough time has passed for a fair evaluation, an evaluation has been made all the same.
“This historian has never, ever, not once, been contacted by any of these organizations for his opinion on Pres. Bushs administrations.”
How many textbooks are you writing that will be read by school children all over the nation? The ones that are writing the books, and making their opinions known, and in so doing indoctrinate the next generation, are the ones with the power. They are, consequently, the ones who will be interviewed.
Bush is like Truman who left with very low poll ratings, Korea War was viewed as an unnecessary war and was refer as “Truman’s War”. By the mid 1970’s people revisited Truman and conclude he was a good President because he was the first to deal with the Soviet threat. The rise of a modern, prosperous and now democratic South Korea exonerates his decision and the sacrifice of the American soldiers.
I remember “historians” saying much the same when Reagan left office.
And that I will never forgive the Democrats for doing! And Obama going to Berlin frikin' GERMANY and bashing the USA I will never forgive him for doing.
Your entire post was excellent!
I have only two problems with W.
1.) He spent too much.
2.) He didn’t spend enough time communicating his agenda directly like Reagan did.
Historians will chronicle him as a near great president. Unless they’re honest then he’ll be a great president.
Look at some of his acclomplishments:
3)No attacks for 8 years
4)Economic prosperity against all odds
5)Second Amendment affirmed as an individual RIGHT.
6)Liberated 50 million people from tyranny
7)Stem cell research position. I haven’t seen this for a while but that was a good decision back in 2001 I think.
8)Laura Bush is the classiest First Lady since Barbara and before then I don’t know when.
9)First manly president since Teddy Roosevelt and Ike Eisenhower(Sarah Palin might have extended the run)
10)A clarity of vision not seen since Lincoln (unfortunately not communicated well enough).
You might read it some day. A Patriot's History of the United States. And it's not the first book I have used in college classes: my previous book, The Entrepreneurial Adventure: A History of Business in the United States is used in business history classes all around the country and is out of print, due to come out next fall in a new edition.
I agree with you that President Bush has the most vision since President Lincoln. He viewed America as a nation no longer divided just as our current President viewed the Middle East where freedom will reign because it is God’s gift to humanity. I think the World will view his legacy favorably once Iraq becomes stable and prosperous. Even President-elect Obama can’t screw up that one, thanks to our President, Al-Qaeda is virtually decimated.
patriot act... homeland security.. tax cuts.. libya.. destruction of al queda network... formed new policy about not allowing terrorists to be harbored in any foreign country..
Bush will go down in history as one of the greatest.. although he did spend too much with help of congress..