This story from Sunday's Washington Post was one of several I wanted to post this week only to get sidelined by a dead phone and Internet connection. Whether you still support Bush or despise the man, I think this article deserves a thorough and unbiased-as-possible read. After all, it is not often an editorialist goes out on a limb and claims that one man's presidency is a textbook example of how not to behave as president, which is what Douglas Brinkley writes about George W. Bush here in a piece entitled, "Move Over, Hoover".
Bush has two more years to leave his mark, he [Reagan biographer Lou Cannon] argued. What if there is a news flash that U.S. Special Forces have killed Osama bin Laden or that North Korea has renounced its nuclear program? What if a decade from now Iraq is a democracy and a statue of Bush is erected on Firdaus Square where that famously toppled one of Saddam Hussein once stood?
There is wisdom in Cannon's prudence. Clearly it's dangerous for historians to wield the "worst president" label like a scalp-hungry tomahawk simply because they object to Bush's record. But we live in speedy times and, the truth is, after six years in power and barring a couple of miracles, it's safe to bet that Bush will be forever handcuffed to the bottom rungs of the presidential ladder. The reason: Iraq.
At first, you'd want to compare Bush's Iraq predicament to that of Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War. But LBJ had major domestic accomplishments to boast about when leaving the White House, such as the Civil Rights Act and Medicare/Medicaid. Bush has virtually none. Look at how he dealt with the biggest post-9/11 domestic crisis of his tenure. He didn't rush to help the Gulf region after Hurricane Katrina because the country was overextended in Iraq and had a massive budget deficit. Texas conservatives always say that LBJ's biggest mistake was thinking that he could fund both the Great Society and Vietnam. They believe he had to choose one or the other. They call Johnson fiscally irresponsible. Bush learned this lesson: He chose Iraq over New Orleans......