They say presidents worry about their legacies, about how history will remember them. George W. Bush, I think, can stop worrying. History will give him an "F," maybe even a special award as the worst one we've ever had.
Foreign affairs? He blundered us into a very expensive invasion of Iraq--no, they didn't have weapons of mass destruction and no, Saddam Hussein was not sheltering Taliban militants. Bush's mistake has killed more than 4,000 young Americans so far; Iraqi casualties are far, far higher.
Domestic stuff? Well, the Dow Jones Industrial average lost over 700 points the other day, big brokerage firms are folding, and the president couldn't get his rescue bill through the House in spite of what we're told was serious lobbying--a lot of phone calls to Members. Has Mr. Bush's clout on Capitol Hill run out? Sure seems that way.
The bailout is not dead, of course. The Senate is to vote this evening on a slightly revised version--additional tax breaks for business and the middle class, increased deposit insurance. The word is it will pass the Senate easily, though it's fate in the House is much less certain. It will not pass the Senate, though, because of anything the president has done. His personal popularity is at its lowest ever, according to the most recent Gallup Poll, down to 27%, a figure which reminds us older folk of Richard Nixon during Watergate, Harry Truman during Korea.
I like elections; I like politics. But I'm especially anxious for this election because, whoever wins, we get a new president. The country is in a fairly serious mess, as best I can tell, and we really need a new face in the White House to try to make things better.
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