The Economist Nails Bush’s Coffin Shut

January 16, 2009

Conservative magazine The Economist, which supported Bush’s candidacy for president twice, now puts the final nails in the coffin:

“HE LEAVES the White House as one of the least popular and most divisive presidents in American history. At home, his approval rating has been stuck in the 20s for months; abroad, George Bush has presided over the most catastrophic collapse in America’s reputation since the second world war. The American economy is in deep recession, brought on by a crisis that forced Mr Bush to preside over huge and unpopular bail-outs.

America is embroiled in two wars, one of which Mr Bush launched against the tide of world opinion. The Bush family name, once among the most illustrious in American political life, is now so tainted that Jeb, George’s younger brother, recently decided not to run for the Senate from Florida. A Bush relative describes family gatherings as ‘funeral wakes’.”

Tell us what you really think.

A couple of other nice tidbits:

“Lack of curiosity also led Mr Bush to suspect intellectuals in general and academic experts in particular. David Frum, who wrote speeches for Mr Bush during his first term, noted that ‘conspicuous intelligence seemed actively unwelcome in the Bush White House’. The Bush cabinet was ‘solid and reliable’, but contained no ‘really high-powered brains’. Karen Hughes, one of his closest advisers, ‘rarely read books and distrusted people who did’. Ron Suskind, a journalist, has argued that Mr Bush created a ‘faith-based presidency’ in which decisions, precisely because they were based on faith, could not be revised subsequently.”

Yeah. Fuck books.

And then there’s this:

“How will Mr Bush be judged in the light of history? ‘Many historians’, says Princeton [historian Sean] Wilentz, ‘are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.’ A humbled Mr Bush counters his critics by pointing out that ‘You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you’re gone.’ He frequently invokes the name of Harry Truman as a president who was dismissed at the time, but is now regarded as one of the greats.”

Wow.

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