The Worst President in History

Topics: President of the United States, Richard Nixon, President Pages: 3 (945 words) Published: February 29, 2008
Assignment 2
Erin Thrower
POLS 1113
Prof. Kelton
The Worst President in History

In the Rolling Stone article, "The Worst President in History", Sean Wilentz evaluates the first five years of President Bush's presidency. Wilentz is a well renowned historian and a professor at Princeton University. Wilentz begins his article by comparing Bush to the likes of worst presidents already in history. Those include Buchanan, Johnson, Harding, Hoover, and the only President forced to resign, President Nixon.

In 2004, Wilentz states, an informal survey of 415 historians found that 81% considered Bush a failure (1). Although historians tend to be more liberal than the majority another survey concludes that conservatives, as well, show unanimity about the best and worst presidents (Wilentz 1). In the Rolling Stone article, not only does Wilentz share his views on the subject but breaks it down into four categories: the credibility gap, Bush at home, Bush at war, and presidential misconduct. I believe I will do the same.

The Credibility Gap
Wilentz states in the first sentence that no president has squandered the public's trust more than President Bush. Wilentz, like many, believe that there is a huge credibility gap in the Bush administration. The "credibility gap" refers to the distance of what the president is saying and what we, as a nation, believe is true. I think it is obvious to most that the American people have a hard time believing our President. I believe that the President's ratings are so low due to this gap. It leaves us feeling insecure and uncertain. Wilentz also refers to Bush's attachment to his "loyal aides" no matter how discredited. I think this now been seen when President Bush granted executive clemency to White House aide Scooter Libby in light of his conviction of perjury and obstruction of justice (BBC). I believe the American people need and deserve a President that can admit to mistakes, rather his own or those of his...
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