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POLITICS: POLL: 80% of Historians see Bush as Failure

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posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:12 AM
We often get down to questions of credentials in political debate; the "who are you to say that?" type of thing. Well, I guess those who study history as a profession would have a leg up in the cred department, no?

History News Network
"A survey of historians conducted at my suggestion (Dr. Robert S. McElvaine) by George Mason University’s History News Network found that eight in ten historians responding rate the current presidency an overall failure".

Of 415 historians who expressed a view of President Bush’s administration to this point as a success or failure, 338 classified it as a failure and 77 as a success. (Moreover, it seems likely that at least eight of those who said it is a success were being sarcastic, since seven said Bush’s presidency is only the best since Clinton’s and one named Millard Fillmore.) Twelve percent of all the historians who responded rate the current presidency the worst in all of American history, not too far behind the 19 percent who see it at this point as an overall success.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I often chide the Ivory Tower academics that I know for being too clinical and dispassionate.....these folks are damn witty! Who knew?

[Edited on 21-5-2004 by SkepticOverlord]

[Edited on 21-5-2004 by John bull 1]

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:43 AM
well atleast he will go down in history for something

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:46 AM
C-SPAN has a fairly brainy ranking of all Presidents through Clinton (Bush coming soon!) some may want to check out.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:50 AM
I find those statistics to be somewhat questionable. It reminds me of the old line from The Onion: Dr. Kookenpoof stated that “It has been proven that 90% of people believe what they read in the paper if it is presented by an academic.”

Furthermore, I think that any reputable historian would be reluctant to pass such a judgment on a current event. Most historians are well aware of the influence that personal bias has on perceptions of events.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:53 AM
Isn't it a little early to say how Bush will go down in history????

In 20 years Iraq could be a Middle Eastern paradise. And since it was Bush that got everything started, I would think he would have to go down as a great President. I am not saying it is going to happen,but it is a possiblity. And until the future comes to pass,this is speculation,nothing more. On the part of the "historians".
I doubt any "historian" ever thought Japan would have a great history and future after we dropped the "bomb" on them. The place was leveled,and look at Japan now. A thriving country.
Seems too me that "historians" are a little short sighted these days...and not actually waiting for something to become history,before they open their mouths.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:02 AM
its actually a little late to start complaining about bush. i mean hes wrecked everything hes been able to grasp. even my friends mother says he wrecked everything. and shes got sisters in the eastern star and daughters of rebecca!!

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:37 AM

Originally posted by nyeff
Seems too me that "historians" are a little short sighted these days...and not actually waiting for something to become history,before they open their mouths.

I agree. It sounds like some just wanted to have their name in the news for a change. Where the report lost credibility for me was with 12% who responded the it was the "worst in American History." I don't necessarily like the guy either, but worse than Harding? Millard Fillmore? Ford? NIXON?

Give me a break. I got my degree in history and one's personal politics should never, ever come before facts.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 12:13 PM
Millard Fillmore? How dare you impugn the name of Millard Fillmore.

The man was the American Presidential version of Sgt. Schultz (”I know nothing”).

In fact, he should be the ATS mascot, as the “American Party” under which he ran for president in 1852 (and lost, obviously), was originally a secret society.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 12:28 PM

Originally posted by el_topo
I don't necessarily like the guy either, but worse than Harding? Millard Fillmore? Ford? NIXON?

Give me a break. I got my degree in history and one's personal politics should never, ever come before facts.

Actually John Dean, who used to worked for both Bush and Nixon has a new book out about the Bush administration, "Worse than Watergate".

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 12:50 PM
It takes 415 historians to tell me that?

lol. I think his words and actions speak volumes.


posted on May, 21 2004 @ 01:48 PM

Originally posted by nyeff
I would think he would have to go down as a great President.


Seems you Bogarted that last round, Dude!

By no measure will GW Bush ever be called great.

As for the historians being mocked by the use of "historians", do you folks fail to grasp that the lion's share of his term is history ?
What justification do you have to assert that personal politics flavored their assesment? How about the facts on the ground from a nearly completed term?

Academic historians, no matter their ideological bias, have some expertise in assessing what makes for a successful or unsuccessful presidency; we have a long-term perspective in which to view the actions of a current chief executive. Accordingly, the depth of the negative assessment that so many historians make of George W. Bush is something of which the public should be aware. Their comments make clear that such historians would readily agree with conclusion that then-Democratic presidential hopeful Richard Gephardt pronounced a few months ago: the presidency of George W. Bush is “a miserable failure.”

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 02:19 PM
LOL, No BT, I would share.

I think you miss my point...or ignored it. Nobody can speculate on what history is going to be. If we could there would be no need for discussion boards.
They may know history, but they have no idea what the future holds. All it is is a bunch of proffessors that don't get out much SPECULATING on the future. In 5 or 10 years, maybe we can come back to this topic and see if they were right. Rember what they said about WW1..."The war to end all wars". I think they were wrong about that one,and could be wrong about Bush.
I am not trying to defend Bush,but its a bit soon to think about where he will end up in the history books. Nobody knows.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 02:23 PM
I agree with the historians, I was just saying the same thing in the mudpit I think it was, just a few days ago. Said that I wouldnt be surprised if Bush goes down in history as one of the WORST US Presidents. He is a bad planner.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 02:28 PM
Well, I remember when I first came to ATS.....there were some "predictions" I made back then too......I won't say I told you so ( but I'll imply it!!).

I feel that a near complete term is enough comperative data to assess where we where, what was done/not done and where we are now. I kind of see your argument as this: we have a catasthrophic event where we all lose three inches off of our left legs. THe kid who ran a 30 sec. 100 meter dash is now viewed as the "worlds fatest man". That's the only way how I see Bush coming up as "great" in anything he's been a part of!

And it's a long flight to CA.....can you ship the Cali sticky icky out East?

[Edited on 21-5-2004 by Bout Time]

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 02:49 PM
I don't think a year in Iraq or 2 years in Afghanistan is enough time to see where al the cookies are going to fall. Keep in mind the war terror and I raq were never intended to short term gains. It is going to take years, for anything good to come from there. But if and when something good does come out of there,more than likely it will Bush that will be given credit. Even if another president makes changes that make progress,Bush got the ball rolling.
I am not realy all that frustrated about the middle east at this point. I am smart enough to know that it is not going to an easy task. The economey I am not sure about though. It has been jumping all over the place. Its good,its bad,good again and back too bad. Notice I never said great.

Oh by the way BT....Its worth the flight.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 02:56 PM
hehehe, let me guess, all the 415 surveyed in this poll were from the Historians Against the War, BT? Even IF not, the source of this polling is flawed due to its obvious bias, and with such bias, still had 77 of them saying it was success? Wow, now thats, those 77 within a biased grouping, a success within itself, coming from and with such bias.


posted on May, 21 2004 @ 03:35 PM
ran across this while I was google-ing

FDR led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us: Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.

Truman finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,333 per year.

John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.

Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Lybia, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. We lost 600 soldiers, an average of 300 a year. Bush did all this abroad while not allowing another terrorist attack at home.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 03:38 PM
Nyeff: you're going off the premise that the Iraq invasion was warranted; that's the first & most stark question that history will judge the success by. It's not looking to good for a positive light rememberence at this point or anytime soon.

SeeK: I'm not seeing a bias. I'm seeing people who study this stuff as their means of support weighing in with their educated opinion. 20% saying he's a success is pretty high......or that 20% was high, I don't know which.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 10:01 PM
How utterly ridiculous is it to judge policy by its effectiveness in the first 1-3 years? It is not uncommon for a policy to take several years to bear fruit. I can not say at this point what Bush will be remembered as, however I find it hard to believe that it is already written in stone.
At this point in his administration, Clinton's (undesereved) reputation as savior of the economy was hardly certain.

posted on May, 21 2004 @ 11:59 PM
As a trained historian and former history professor, I'm inclined to agree that we can't empiracally judge Bush's presidency at this point. In grad school, it was the common adage that no event or personality could be judged dispassionately until at least 20-30 years had passed. You cannot judge a president's stature, in history, while in the midst of the presidency. For one thing, events have not played out as of yet and, as mentioned by others, we are too influenced by our own prejudices and subjective experiences.
With all that historical mumbo-jumbo said, I betcha Bush won't be at the top of the list in 50 years, but, of course, I'm highly prejudiced.

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