Back in 2008 it was almost universally accepted that George W. Bush was an epic failure as president. When he left office his Gallup approval rating was 34 percent, which was actually up from the 25 percent it fell to in October 2008. Though I have no idea how it went up 9 points in the midst of one of the worst economic collapses in United States history.
But when he left office, you were hard pressed to find anyone who’d speak highly of him outside of the most dedicated Republicans. While not everyone spoke ill of him, they sure didn’t speak highly of him either.
Well, an interesting thing has happened as the years tick by: I’m seeing more and more conservatives speaking highly of “Dubya.” I find it funny that while Republicans will blame anything and everything they can on President Obama, Republicans spent most of the last few years doing anything they could to never mention Bush’s name.
So, what I like to do every now and again is remind everyone of just how awful George W. Bush performed as president. While I hesitate to call him (or anyone) “the worst president ever” – mostly because it’s really impossible to prove and considering who we just elected – he is undoubtedly one of the worst presidents this nation has ever experienced.
That being said, I thought I’d list five quick reasons to support my claim. (Don’t get me wrong, I know there are far more than just five.)
1. The 9/11 Attack: Look, I’m not blaming Bush for the terrorist attack on 9/11. I’m a realist and understand that while we can prevent or deter many attacks, eventually (and tragically) these sorts of attacks are going to happen. But the fact remains he did have intel given to him that said Osama bin Ladin was determined to attack the United States within our borders – and he did absolutely nothing about it.
This was a massive failure by the Bush administration right at the beginning of his presidency that showcased just how incompetent they were at dealing with terrorism – a pattern that repeated itself throughout his entire eight years in office. So his intelligence failure prior to 9/11 wasn’t just a “blip” on the radar, it was the beginning of eight years of intelligence failures.
2. The Iraq War: The Bush administration promised weapons of mass destruction, a quick war and that we would be greeted as heroes and liberators. Literally none of that happened. There were no weapons of mass destruction (no, conservatives, the report you all cite is about remnants from Saddam’s older chemical weapons programs we already knew were there); the war lasted nearly a decade; and thousands of American troops were killed by Iraqi insurgents. While I’ll still say the Vietnam War was probably the biggest military disaster in U.S. history, I think the Iraq War should go down as the most incompetently handled war upon which this nation has ever embarked.
The Bush administration was completely wrong about everything going into the war, then had absolutely no idea what to do once we were there or how the hell to get us out.
Ultimately, all the Iraq War did was completely destabilize the entire Middle East region (including allowing Iran to gain a strong foothold in Iraq – something it never had before due to Saddam) which has allowed radical Islam to gain an even stronger presence throughout the Muslim world. If the Iraq War never happens, ISIS never exists.
3. He Ruined a Balanced Budget: Was Clinton’s balanced budget mostly just an unrealistic long-term myth? Somewhat. While it wasn’t feasible to adhere strictly to the original plan to pay off our debt according to what Clinton had set up, all it would have taken was a few minor tweaks and we could have paid off most (if not all) of our debt before 2008. Instead, Bush nearly doubled the debt by literally increasing spending (two wars are very.. very expensive) while cutting our nation’s tax revenue. He did the equivalent of someone buying a really expensive car – then taking a massive pay cut at work, rendering them incapable of being able to afford the payment on their new vehicle. It made absolutely no sense.
4. He Never Got Osama bin Ladin: Osama bin Ladin spent far more years on this Earth than he should have basically because when we should have been going after him in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bush had shifted most of our focus and resources to Iraq – a nation that literally had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush had nearly eight years to find the man mostly responsible for the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, and he was too incompetent to even do that.
President Obama managed to do it in two years – just thought I’d remind everyone.
5. The Worst Financial Collapse Since the Great Depression: Who here vividly remembers the collapse of 2008? That was a terrifying time. We weren’t losing a few thousand jobs a month, we were literally losing hundreds of thousands of jobs every single month. But it wasn’t just that, the whole financial sector basically collapsed and the American auto industry was on the brink of extinction. After eight years of dealing with one of the most incompetent presidents in our nation’s history, it was fitting that as Bush left office the nation’s economy was in complete disarray.
Just for “fun” I’ll throw in a free bonus.
Hurricane Katrina: If you look up, “How to completely botch a response to a natural disaster” – it’s literally just a play-by-play description of how the Bush administration responded to Hurricane Katrina. You almost have to willfully try to be that incompetent.