April 20, 2013

"Many academics branded Bush a failure long before his presidency ended...

"... and not just fringe elements of the academy, such as Ward Churchill or Howard Zinn, but also scholars from the nation’s most prestigious universities."

Writes Professor Stephen F. Knott, noting some choice examples, including:
Historian Douglas Brinkley, author of a flattering election-year biography of 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry, declared in 2006 that “it’s safe to bet that Bush will be forever handcuffed to the bottom rungs of the presidential ladder” and that Bush purposely tried to “brutalize his opponents.”
Handcuffed to the bottom rungs? What a crappy writer Brinkley is! Picture someone handcuffed to the bottom rungs. Feet go on the rungs of a ladder, and handcuffs go on wrists. Is Bush trying to climb a ladder in the handstand position? Apparently, these elite historians would like to require any advancement by Bush to be done at a severe disadvantage.

67 comments:

AllenS said...

Ward Churchill, fake Indian. Fraud.

Bob Ellison said...

Bush could bend his knees and start hopping with the ladder. He's a pretty athletic guy. He might be able to hop the ladder up a hill after enough practice. I guess that doesn't get him to the top rungs of the Presidential ladder, but it moves the whole ladder up, so maybe it would improve future Presidencies.

Michael said...

Brinkley. Bad writer. Bad historian.

Bob Ellison said...

With training from Cirque du Soleil, maybe he could eventually reverse the ladder vertically so that he's hanging from the top rungs.

AprilApple said...

Howard Zinn - Official America- hating turd blossom extraordinaire.

AllenS said...

I remember the left going ape-shit crazy over Bush and his Patriot Act. Yet, when Obama renewed it, there was not one peep from those same people.

Astro said...

I'd fault him for making too much of WMDs as being the main reason for going into Iraq. I'd fault him for going into Iraq and Afghanistan without having clear exit strategies. I'd fault him for putting too much faith and money into 'Head Start'. Mainly I'd fault him for not vetoing the budgets sent to him by the Dem controlled House in the last 2 years of his Admin; he let spending get out of control and deserves a lot of criticism for that.

OTOH, he deserves a tremendous amount of praise for handling the economy - esp the stock market - in the days just after 9/11. He deserves praise for the 'Bush Tax Cuts' that stimulated the economy and let to decreasing, almost to zero, the deficits from 2003 to 2007.

Overall, an ok presidency; certainly better than the petty, partisan, destructive admin. we've gotten from Obama. Better than Johnson or Carter, not as good as Reagan. On par with Bush I and Clinton.

Cedarford said...

Basically, Bush staked his Presidency on tax cuts for the rich "growing the revenue more than lost tax base" by growing the economy, and also on an elective "nation-building" war he believed would be a boon for America and the Noble Iraqi Freedom Lovers.

Iraq went sour 1st. He bungled it and then failed to defend the few parts that may have been wort doing adequately. Stupidly thinking he didn't need to bother with the effort because "history would bear him out".

Then the folly of Voodoo Economics hit home in 2007, made worse by the poison paper the beneficiaries of tax cuts for the rich churned out, in 2008.

Bush had a failed Presidency..and it was obvious he was a failure by 2004 the neocon lies and his preposterous posturing as the American Churchill had soured voters. His godsend was the Dems nominated an awful candidate in 2004. Still, he had some that still trusted him..maybe 40% of the voters...but lost another 15% by 2006.
Then his years were sealed forever with a negative result on Reaganomics and the great Fiscal Meltdown.
The sense that he left Americans worse off than they were under Clinton, and left America less powerful and respected than the country was before he took the reins.

sydney said...

The being handcuffed to the bottom of the ladder imagery also implies that the person is being kept from reaching the top not by his own lack of ability but by the unjust actions of others- such as partisan historians.

Cedarford said...

Basically, Bush staked his Presidency on tax cuts for the rich "growing the revenue more than lost tax base" by growing the economy, and also on an elective "nation-building" war he believed would be a boon for America and the Noble Iraqi Freedom Lovers.

Iraq went sour 1st. He bungled it and then failed to defend the few parts that may have been wort doing adequately. Stupidly thinking he didn't need to bother with the effort because "history would bear him out".

Then the folly of Voodoo Economics hit home in 2007, made worse by the poison paper the beneficiaries of tax cuts for the rich churned out, in 2008.

Bush had a failed Presidency..and it was obvious he was a failure by 2004 the neocon lies and his preposterous posturing as the American Churchill had soured voters. His godsend was the Dems nominated an awful candidate in 2004. Still, he had some that still trusted him..maybe 40% of the voters...but lost another 15% by 2006.
Then his years were sealed forever with a negative result on Reaganomics and the great Fiscal Meltdown.
The sense that he left Americans worse off than they were under Clinton, and left America less powerful and respected than the country was before he took the reins.

AprilApple said...

Cedarfood - Bush lowered tax rates for all brackets, and it wasn't by much.

The leftwing-prog buzzterm: "tax cuts for the rich" is a crock. Sound an fury, signifying nothing.

btw- Why did Obama only pay 18.4% income tax when he's in the 39.6% bracket?


AprilApple said...

Cedarford:
Why did Obama only pay 18.4% income tax when he's in the 39.6% bracket?

AprilApple said...

an = and

Bob Boyd said...

People are hand-cuffed to something so they can't go where they would go if they were free.
So maybe its an apt metaphor revealing an academic's recognition that Bush would climb higher on the ladder if not restrained by efforts of historians who know what is best for the rest of us to believe.

AprilApple said...

WMD's - Shall we roll the tape of all the various democrats who insisted that Saddam's WMDs were a real problem?

Jay said...

Then the folly of Voodoo Economics hit home in 2007, made worse by the poison paper the beneficiaries of tax cuts for the rich churned out, in 2008.

^That is ignorance which can not be properly mocked.

If you think that the 2003 tax cuts created, or led to, the collapse of the housing bubble, you're a fucking idiot.

tim maguire said...

I kind of like "handcuffed to the bottom rungs."

Handcuffed by whom? By a liberal establishment determined to lie, cheat, and steal, to harm America in any way necessary to make sure Bush was not a success. Kind of ironic considering this hard right president was pretty liberal himself.

AprilApple said...

Obama's corrupt and wasteful spending = the real voodoo economics.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Many academics branded Bush a failure long before his presidency started...

Writes Ignorance is Bliss.

Jay said...

Anyone who takes to the Internet to assert that Bush "cut taxes for the rich" is a fucking idiot.

The reason that 47% pays no federal income taxes is because of the Bush tax cuts.

That 47% are no "the rich"

Just stop talking about tax cuts, ok Cedarford ?

chickelit said...

Is Bush trying to climb a ladder in the handstand position?

2004 was around the time that "keg stands" were all the rage. Perhaps the author was associating the former frat boy side of Bush with a modern party school stunt.

ricpic said...

Like we're supposed to be impressed by the phrase prestigious universities.

AllenS said...

Here's a couple right here, April --

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

Bob Ellison said...

Jay is correct. Bush's tax cuts moved the entire curve downward, to the extent that almost half of the electorate pays no income taxes at all. That is arguably his biggest failure.

AllenS said...

Here's one from Hillary the Bitch --

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weap ons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002.

Steve Koch said...

Bob Ellison said...
"Bush could bend his knees and start hopping with the ladder. He's a pretty athletic guy. He might be able to hop the ladder up a hill after enough practice. I guess that doesn't get him to the top rungs of the Presidential ladder, but it moves the whole ladder up, so maybe it would improve future Presidencies."

If Bush was handcuffed to the lower rungs of the ladder, his feet would probably not be on the ladder so he might be able to just pick up the ladder and carry it somewhere else.

Alternatively, he could turn the ladder upside down, leaving him at the top but that might be tricky.

Even if he was not handcuffed to the prez ladder, it seems like it would be difficult to climb the presidential ladder with all those other presidents in the way.

Another possible solution is footcuffs, they are identical to handcuffs but you attach them to ankles instead of wrists.

AprilApple said...

The left's endless "TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!" parrot canard:


Trickle down diarrhea.

AprilApple said...

Allen S - yep.
...and there are many more from John Kerry and Madeleine Alright and Al Gore...and...

Big Mike said...

Every day the Obama presidency goes on Bush's presidency looks better and better.

AllenS said...

I have them all, April.

Jay said...

For anyone interested in the housing bubble here are some good references:

In 1995, President Bill Clinton's HUD agreed to let Fannie and Freddie get affordable-housing credit for buying subprime securities

And:
Democratic lawmakers demanded that the company buy more loans that had been made to low-income and minority homebuyers. [Pretty damning quotes by Barney Frank in that one]

And:
How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis [Absolutely Devastating to the Dem HUD Secretary]

And:
Bush didn't create the conditions that led to the crash; he inherited them from Bill Clinton,

and:
Democrats and the media insist the Community Reinvestment Act, the anti-redlining law beefed up by President Clinton, had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis and recession.

But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, "Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks."


Thanks.

EDH said...

Picture someone handcuffed to the bottom rungs.

Bent over, the easier to fuck him up the ass with an 'academic' hit piece.

...Bush purposely tried to “brutalize his opponents.”

Who? When? If only he did.

MarkD said...

Would that be "academics" like Michael Bellesiles, or just your average group thinking tenured fool?

C Stanley said...

Disregarding whether the methaaphor makes sense, there's also the obvious observation that Bush didn't handcuff himself to the bottom of the ladder. It seems Brinkley is inadvertently revealing more about the bias of the historians than about the Bush presidency itself.

C Stanley said...

"methaaphor"? Oof. IPads.

Cedarford said...

AprilApple said...
Cedarford:
Why did Obama only pay 18.4% income tax when he's in the 39.6% bracket?

=================
A total non-sequiter. That Obama pays less than some middle class people and many other liberals do -as well as conservative fatcats bragging they only pay 8% a year to the Feds - just points out that we need to throw out the whole Fed tax Code and start afresh. At best, it is just "liberals are being hypocritical" whining by lovers of discredited Voodoo Economics.


Bush's tax policies were fiscally ruinious. Yes, he stupidly lowered taxes on everyone while amping spending up more than LBJ did and throwing in 2 totally unfunded wars and a 18 trillion dollar unfunded new entitlement for "free" drugs bought for full price on China IOUs.
Yes, he helped create the 47% that pay no taxes and only want mo' free stuff. But no matter how much conservatives hate it being mentioned, his tax cuts benefited the rich far more than other groups and only the very rich saw their wealth substantially grow in the Bush Years, widening the wealth disparity in America to ratios once only seen in 3rd world nations between the Patrons and owner oligarchs - vs. the peasants.

AllenS said...

Why stop with Bush, Cedarford? Obama and the Democrats could have initiated a reversal of Bush's tax cuts, but haven't. Seems to me that Obama and the Democrats are starting more wars. How are they paying for them?

AllenS said...

Perhaps you haven't noticed, Cedarford, but Obama's spending is 2 or 3 times more than Bush.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

And his successor, more agreeable to Brinkley, no doubt, is doing sooo much better.

Astro said...

I'd fault him for making too much of WMDs as being the main reason for going into Iraq.

It was deemed the easiest to sell.

Slam dunk ring a bell?

I'd fault him for going into Iraq and Afghanistan without having clear exit strategies.

The word "win" mean anything?

What was our exit strategy in Mexico?

WWII?

I'd fault him for putting too much faith and money into 'Head Start'.

Head Start was LBJ's baby.

Jay said...

Bush's tax policies were fiscally ruinious.

No they weren't.

When Harry & Nancy took over Congress the federal deficit was at $248 B ,the GDP had grown at 3.4% the previous quarter, and U/E was 4.7%

How did Harry & Nancy work out for America?

Stop with your silly blather.

cubanbob said...

AprilApple said...
Cedarford:
Why did Obama only pay 18.4% income tax when he's in the 39.6% bracket?

4/20/13, 8:24 AM

I'd like to meet his accountant. I paid a higher rate.

C-4 how about jacking up your taxes to 39%.

Jay said...

and only the very rich saw their wealth substantially grow in the Bush Years, widening the wealth disparity in America to ratios once only seen in 3rd world nations between the Patrons and owner oligarchs - vs. the peasants.

It sounds like you've been reading this silly Web sites Robert Cook links to.

cubanbob said...

and only the very rich saw their wealth substantially grow in the Bush Years, widening the wealth disparity in America to ratios once only seen in 3rd world nations between the Patrons and owner oligarchs - vs. the peasants.

Crony capitalism at its finest. Notice how many fat cats happen to be democrats.

Big Mike said...

George W. Bush has a Harvard MBA, a degree which -- on the clear evidence since January 2009 -- requires substantially more intelligence to earn than a Harvard JD or a history Ph.D. from anywhere.

He understood what the social scientists (so-called "scientists") and lawyers do not -- that there need to be incentives for people to start busiensses and to grow them. Lefties like garage don't believe in private enterprise, and from his unscripted comments Mr. Obama is downright contemptuous of it.

Roger J. said...

It will take decades to absorb the effects of a presidency--Both Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower (ironically castigated for playing too much golf) were denigrated during their presidencies by "prestigious historians." Over time, however their stock has risen considerably. At the end of the day it is Presidents who are remembered but no one remembers historians.

AprilApple said...

Cedar,
Obama's hypocrisy is not
a "non-sequiter."

You don't understand the tax code, or the history of the tax code.

What is the leftwing remedy for solving our tax system?
All progressives want to do is tax the top 1-10% of earners at some ridiculous amount like 90% and not tax anyone else.

It's called progressive taxation for a reason.

I know some very wealthy people and I can assure you they pay close to the full 39.6% tax rate (minus legal deductions)& Those deductions don't bring it down to 18.4%.

Eustace Chilke said...

That bottom rung on the presidential ladder is a crowded place. Maybe the ladder needs to be extended downward.

Freeman Hunt said...

This is not nice to Obama. Where is he supposed to be? Buried under the ladder?

mccullough said...

There is no doubt that W's presidency was bad. There is no doubt that Obama's presidency is bad. Does anyone think we need more time to make these assessments?

Tregonsee said...

Quick, which president stopped a nuclear war? Dubya. People forget that India and Pakistan were on the verge of a nuclear exchange. Bush and Powell worked hard to defuse the situation, all the while dealing with the results of 9/11. Powell was a singularly qualified Sec State for the task. And don't get me started on "Mission Accomplished." In less than a generation there is a truly frightening disconnect between events and history.

JAL said...

George W Bush will come out ahead of Obama. Watch.

But then unlike both Obama and WJC, I don't think Bush wasted a lot of time thinking about or trying to make his presidency into a "Legacy."

We don't elect presidents to make a legacy. We elect them as executives and CIC for the most unique free country in the world.

Upholding the Constitution instead of working 24/7 to undo or go around it is the job.

Don't like it? Don't take it.

(And before the Bush Haters jump I here, if you'd get your eyes off BHO's halo and look at his handiwork you would shut up.)

JAL said...

You know Obama has been pushing recently for more housing loans to People Who Do Not Show Financial Responsibility.

Forget American Pie, this is American Death Wish.

dreams said...

Liberals just aren't as smart as they think they are.

cubanbob said...

If Bush is chained to the bottom of the rung then Carter and Obama will lose their places on the rung.

carrie said...

Who believes that scholarly works are unbiased anyway.

carrie said...

Who believes that scholarly works are unbiased anyway.

Phil 3:14 said...

Cedarford..... A total non-sequiter


I liked that word combination.

Rick Caird said...

Historians are notoriously bad at predicting history.

Astro said...

Bush's tax policies were fiscally ruinious. (ruinous)

No, they weren't. To say so is simply regurgitating a false, partisan talking point that has no basis in fact.
The economy improved in the years from 2003 to 2007 following the 2 'Bush tax cuts'. It improved even with the wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan; it improved even with increased domestic spending. It improved and the deficit decreased.
The economy faltered after the Dems took control of Congress following the 2006 elections. For this the Republicans and Bush do bear some responsibility since they went along with the huge spending increases the Dems passed. But it is simply ludicrous to blame the downturn on tax policies enacted 5 years earlier and which showed positive results during those 5 years.

twinsdaddy said...

"a flattering election year piece"
I tried to get a girl to flatter me like that one time while driving down the highway, but she was afraid I would wreck the car....she was probably right

Kirk Parker said...

Astro,

"I'd fault him for making too much of WMDs as being the main reason for going into Iraq"

I would certainly fault him for that, too, if he had done so; but he didn't, so no.

Sam L. said...

I wouldn't call instantaneous a "rush" to judgment. It was...a given, expected, a non-story story.

And I'm pretty sure Bush's exit strategy was victory.

Sam L. said...

Just whose opinion was this, that the WaPo published? Looks like most of their readership commented.

Marshal said...

The better criticism, I think, is to consider what is meant by "handcuffed". To me it suggests movement would occur under freedom. So it seems to me the claim is that current PC enforcers are attempting to handcuff him because a more honest evaluation possible later on would result in an improved legacy.

William said...

Lincoln and Churchiill are the only two conservative figures who routinely get the kind of treatment that is awarded figures such as Clinton, Obama, and even-God help us- Carter. You'd think a historian would be aware of historian's bias in judging contemporary figures. Two hundred years later on, some of them still favor Napoleon over Wellington so don't hold your breath waiting for them to get Bush right.

gadfly said...

Many non-academics, including me, predicted that Obama would be a failure before he even stepped into the White House.

God, I really get bored with being right all the time. "I told you so" just rolls from my lips several times a day.