Now that my company has finished moving, Pine View Farm is cleaned, and this week’s class is over, I have a little time to catch up on my reading after packing for my return flight tomorrow.
I just finished reading two articles from Rolling Stone:
Paul Alexander’s 1999 article, “All Hat, No Cattle” and Sean Wilentz’s recent “The Worst President in History.” I commend both articles to your attention.
As my two or three regular readers know, I have little liking for and absolutely no trust in or respect for the current Federal Administration. They have sold the United States of America to the highest bidder and sacrificed our children for a lie.
They speak with forked tongue.
Frankly, George Bush makes Richard Nixon look good. Nixon at least did some things right.
I was particularly struck by this passage in Mr. Wilentz’s article.
How does any president’s reputation sink so low? The reasons are best understood as the reverse of those that produce presidential greatness. In almost every survey of historians dating back to the 1940s, three presidents have emerged as supreme successes: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These were the men who guided the nation through what historians consider its greatest crises: the founding era after the ratification of the Constitution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and Second World War. Presented with arduous, at times seemingly impossible circumstances, they rallied the nation, governed brilliantly and left the republic more secure than when they entered office.
Calamitous presidents, faced with enormous difficulties — Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Hoover and now Bush — have divided the nation, governed erratically and left the nation worse off. In each case, different factors contributed to the failure: disastrous domestic policies, foreign-policy blunders and military setbacks, executive misconduct, crises of credibility and public trust. Bush, however, is one of the rarities in presidential history: He has not only stumbled badly in every one of these key areas, he has also displayed a weakness common among the greatest presidential failures — an unswerving adherence to a simplistic ideology that abjures deviation from dogma as heresy, thus preventing any pragmatic adjustment to changing realities. Repeatedly, Bush has undone himself, a failing revealed in each major area of presidential performance.
God help us all.