Sigh. I wonder if I'll live long enough to see the country recover. More likely, this is just the beginning of a long, steep decline. The most obvious question facing us is whether what we are witnessing more closely resembles the end of the Roman Republic, or the onset of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Talk about drastically telescoped historical scenarios.
I generally avoid mentioning unscientific polls here, but this one, conducted by Robert S. McElvaine on the History News Network site, is getting a lot of attention elsewhere. The 109 self-selected respondents are professional historians. Kenneth T. Walsh writes for U.S. News: "History News Network found that 98 percent rated the Bush presidency a failure and only 2 percent saw it as a success. "Even more deflating, more than 61 percent of the historians said the current presidency is the worst in American history. In 2004, only 11.6 percent of the historians questioned rated Bush's presidency in last place."
The New York Times editorial board blogs: "We take most unscientific surveys with a large grain of salt, and this certainly falls into that category. On the other hand, we like the idea of historians starting to think about the George W. Bush presidency, and how it fits into larger patterns of American history. "We'd be interested in knowing more about the 1.8 percent of historians who regard this presidency as a success."
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Worst. President. Ever.