And I am willing to wager that when this presidency finally ends, W will be ranked as one of the “Top 5 Worst Presidents”. Why? Well let’s examine what a president is judged upon:
1. Public Persuasion
2. Moral Authority
3. Relations with Congress
4. Crisis Leadership
5. International Relations
6. Vision/Setting Agenda
7. Economic Management
8. Administrative Skills
9. Pursued Equal Justice For All
10. Performance Within Context of Times
1. Public Persuasion: With an approval rating of 39%, I doubt highly that W is persuading very many people (outside of Texas or Congress) of anything. He is currently having a very difficult time persuading the public, and even members of his own camp, about his decision of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court, turning to a lawyer who has never been a judge to replace Sandra Day O'Connor and help reshape the nation's judiciary. However he DID manage to get re-elected, which does prove he has a line of bullshit that he can use when he needs it.
2. Moral Authority: We all know it was the evangelicals who got W re-elected. And while religion, specifically Christianity, has been the cornerstone of his term, he is really putting it out there with Miers again because he stated that she was chosen based on her religious beliefs.
3. Relations With Congress: It would not be surprising to see W distance himself from Congress very soon, given the recent scandals surrounding Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. With both houses of Congress being Republican-led and doing badly, not to mention the passing over of David Dreier for DeLay’s job just because he is gay, and with W dealing with the CIA leak scandal in his own Republican house, we might not be seeing any picnic lunches going on between Penn Ave and Capitol Hill. However he can still make them jump when he wants.
4. Crisis Leadership: New Orleans. Enough said, but “Brownie” did “good work”.
5. International Relations: W garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history. W led the entire world into a war that did not have to happen based on lies and misleadership. Every country on the globe despises America. When Hurricane Katrina hit, a friend of mine in Australia told me that the sentiment there about the U.S. was “we figured that Americans had killed so many in Irag that you all were just getting what you deserved. Basically, we all just think ‘so what?’”
However, at least the Canadians still love us as evidenced by marryanamerican.com, a web site devoted to Canadians who are willing to marry Americans who have been disaffected by W’s re-election.
6. Vision/Setting Agenda: What exactly IS W’s agenda? Is dismantling Social Security still on the table? How about altering the Constitution to recognize only man/woman marriages? It is more frightening when we NO LONGER hear about these things because this means that decisions are being made without anyone knowing about them. Something has diverted our attention from the coverage of these topics, yet these decisions are still being made with little or no report made to the American public. So much of this presidency has been accomplished on the down-low.
7. Economic Management: The outstanding public debt as of October 14, 2005 is $7,996,098,519,225.68. With the current US population being 297,429,596, each citizen’s share of this debt is $26,884.00 (I’ll just charge mine.) The National Debt has continued to increase $1.63 million per day since September 30, 2004.
W invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week. He spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. He shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history. He set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period. He set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period. He set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market. In his first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
8. Administrative Skills: True, W has surrounded himself with some smart people. But they are all “yes men”, lackeys and sycophants.
W began his career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975, buying an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after he sold all his stock. You could check his records on his skills, however all records of his tenure as governor of Texas are now in his father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view. Likewise, all records of SEC investigations into W’s insider trading and his bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view. Oh yeah, and all records or minutes from meetings that he or Dick Cheney attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. So good luck with that.
9. Pursued Equal Justice For All: Yes, W has certainly done this for all Americans. Unless they are gay. Or black. Or not a Christian. Or not a millionaire.
10. Performance Within Context Of Times: This is still too early to tell really. The impact of his presidency might not be felt for years to come. The jury is still out. And with luck, the jury will be only 39 % Republican. However, my bet for the ranking in the bottom 5 still stands.