Friday, November 18, 2005

Beyond Mediocrity

America's Least Wanted - Another Bush earns his place on a Rushmore for the rejected. By Bruce Reed

The Has-Been puts the Bush family achievements in perspective:
It's an awesome achievement for one family to produce two of the four most unpopular presidents in modern times. If there were a Mount Rushmore for rejection, the Bushes would have half the place to themselves.
Only two presidents in modern times have had disapproval ratings higher than the Bushes, who are tied at 60 percent: Richard Nixon at 66 percent and Harry Truman at 67 percent.

There's an important difference, though: When each of the other three hit his personal low point, his term was about to end, one way or another. Truman's worst approval ratings came just before Eisenhower replaced him in 1953. Nixon's darkest hour was just before it dawned on him to resign in 1974. And Bush I was at his worst in 1992, just before Bill Clinton sent him back to Kennebunkport for a long vacation.

But this Bush threatens to stay in the White House for another three years, barring an impeachment or resignation. I realize that, after deducting his vacation time, this only means he'll be spending another six weeks in D.C., but still: That's a long time for things to get worse. Two months ago, Reed notes, Bush's disapproval number was 56; now it's 60. Will it be 64 in two more months? 68 in four? With 36 months until the election of his successor, Bush has time to flirt with a disapproval rating above 100, if only such a thing were possible. He can certainly give Truman and Nixon a run for their money.

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