Doug Casey is chairman of Casey Research, and is a best selling author, international investor, and entrepreneur. He travels the world looking for exceptional opportunities in real estate and undervalued companies in the natural resource sector (precious metals, oil and gas and more). The author of four best selling books, his Crisis Investing was #1 on the New York Times best-seller list for 29 consecutive weeks.

Casey is a libertarian, with a mean streak of political independence. The typical Bush bashing is an emotional jeremiad that alienates readers and proves nothing; Instead, Casey’s conservative critique of the last president is a calm, cogent, rational analysis of the last President’s legislative, budgetary, and foreign affairs accomplishments. I found it devastating.

Given our recent discussion of the Obama White House tactical errors, and the anniversary of 9/11, I thought this was as good a time as any to share Doug’s views.

Enjoy.

~~~

Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?

By Doug Casey

I recognize that I’ve antagonized many subscribers over the years with “Bush Bashing.” In the January TCR, just after OBAMA!’s election, I said I wouldn’t mention Bush again, his departure having made him irrelevant. I only feel bad that he and his minions will apparently get away scot-free with their crimes; better they had all been brought up before a tribunal and tried for crimes against humanity in general and the U.S. Constitution in particular. But that is objectively true of almost all presidents since at least Lincoln.

Most of our subscribers appear to be libertarians or classical liberals — i.e., people who believe in a maximum of both social and economic freedom for the individual. The next largest group are “conservatives.” It’s a bit harder to define a conservative. Is it someone who atavistically just wants to conserve the existing order of things (either now, or perhaps as they perceived them 50, or 100, or 200, or however many years ago)? Or is a conservative someone who believes in limiting social freedoms (generally that means suppressing things like sex, drugs, outré clothing and customs, and bad- mouthing the government) while claiming to support economic freedoms (although with considerable caveats and exceptions)? It’s unclear to me what, if any, philosophical foundation conservatism, by whatever definition, rests on.

Which leads me to the question: Why do conservatives seem to have this warm and fuzzy feeling for George W. Bush? I can only speculate it’s because Bush liked to talk a lot about freedom and traditional American values, and did so in such an ungrammatical way that it made him seem sincere. Bush’s tendency to fumble words and concepts contrasted to Clinton’s eloquence, which made him look “slick.”

I’m forced to the conclusion that what “conservatives” like about Bush is his style, such as it was.  Because the only good thing I can recall that Bush ever did was to shepherd through some tax cuts.  But even these were targeted and piecemeal, tossing bones to favored interests, rather than any  principled abolition of any levies or a wholesale cut in rates.

Is it possible that Bush was actually the worst president ever? I’d say he’s a strong contender. He  started out with a gigantic lie — that he would cut the size of government, reduce taxes, and stay out of foreign wars — and things got much worse from there.

Let’s look at just some of the highpoints in the catalog of disasters the Bush regime created:

No Child Left Behind. Forget about abolishing the Department of Education. Bush made the federal government a much more intrusive and costly part of local schools. Project Safe Neighborhood

Project Safe Neighborhoods. A draconian law that further guts the 2nd Amendment, like 20,000 other unconstitutional gun laws before it.

•  Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. This the largest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ and will cost the already bankrupt Medicare system trillions more.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Possibly the most expensive and restrictive change to the securities laws since the ‘30s. A major reason why companies will either stay private or go public outside the U.S.

Katrina. A total disaster of bureaucratic mismanagement, featuring martial law.

Ownership Society. The immediate root of the current financial crisis lies in Bush’s encouragement of easy credit to everybody and inflating the housing market.

Nationalizations and Bailouts. In response to the crisis he created, he nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and passed by far the largest bailouts in U.S. history (until OBAMA!).

• Free-Speech Zones. Originally a device for keeping war protesters away when Bush appeared on camera, they’re now used to herd.

The Patriot Act. This 132-page bill, presented for passage only 45 days after 9/11 (how is it possible to write something of that size and complexity in only 45 days?) basically allows the government to do whatever it wishes with its subjects. Warrantless searches. All kinds of communications monitoring. Greatly expanded asset forfeiture provisions.

The War on Terror. The scope of the War on Drugs (which Bush also expanded) is exceeded only by the war on nobody in particular but on a tactic. It’s become a cause of mass hysteria and an excuse for the government doing anything.

Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush started two completely pointless, counterproductive, and immensely expensive wars, neither of which has any prospect of ending anytime soon.

Dept. of Homeland Security. This is the largest and most dangerous of all agencies, now with its own gigantic campus in Washington, DC. It will never go away and centralizes the functions of a police state.

Guantanamo. Hundreds of individuals, most of them (like the Uighurs recently in the news) guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, are incarcerated  for years. A precedent is set for anyone who is accused of being an “enemy combatant” to be completely deprived of any rights at all.

Abu Ghraib and Torture. After imprisoning scores of thousands of foreign nationals, Bush made it a U.S. policy to use torture to extract information, based on a suspicion or nothing but a guard’s whim. This is certainly one of the most damaging things to the reputation of the U.S. ever. It says to the world, “We stand for nothing.”

The No-Fly List. His administration has placed the names of over a million people on this list, and it’s still growing at about 20,000 a month. I promise it will be used for other purposes in the future…

The TSA. Somehow the Bush cabal found 50,000 middle-aged people who were willing to go through their fellow citizens’ dirty laundry and take themselves quite seriously. God forbid you’re not polite to them…

Farm Subsidies. Farm subsidies are the antithesis of the free market. Rather than trying to abolish or cut them back, Bush signed a record $190 billion farm bill.

Legislative Free Ride. And he vetoed less of what Congress did than any other president in history. The only reason I can imagine why a person who is not “evil” (to use a word he favored), completely uninformed, or thoughtless would favor Bush is because he wasn’t a Democrat. Not that there’s any real difference between the two parties anymore…

As disastrous as he was, I rather hate to put him in competition for “worst president” in the company of Lincoln, McKinley, Wilson, the two Roosevelts, Truman, Johnson, and Nixon. He is simply too small a character — psychologically aberrant, ignorant, unintelligent, shallow, duplicitous, small-minded — to merit inclusion in any list.

On second thought, looking over that list of his personal characteristics, he’s probably most like FDR, except he lacked FDR’s polish and rhetorical skills. I suspect he’ll just fade away as a non-entity, recognized as an embarrassment. Not even worth the trouble of hanging by his heels from a lamp post, although Americans aren’t (yet) accustomed to doing that to their leaders.

Those who once supported him will, at least if they have any circumspection and intellectual honesty, feel shame at how dim they were to have been duped by a nobody.

The worst shame of Bush — worse than the spending, the new agencies, the torture, or the wars — is that he used so much pro-liberty and pro-free-market rhetoric in the very process of destroying those institutions. That makes his actions ten times worse than if an avowed socialist had done the same thing. People will blame the full suite of disasters Bush caused on the free market simply because Bush constantly said he believed in it.

And he’s left OBAMA! with a fantastic starting point for what I expect to be even greater intrusions into your life and finances. Eventually, the Bush era will look like The Good Old Days. But only in the way that the Romans looked back with nostalgia on Tiberius and Claudius And then Nero. And then the first of many imperial coups and civil wars.

Category: Bailouts, Politics, Think Tank, War/Defense

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

99 Responses to “Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?”

  1. And no, 9:03 post time is not a coincidence

  2. Paul S says:

    Note that Ted Kennedy ended up on the “no fly” list (and was in fact stopped from boarding), amongst many other undeserving innocent flyers- a list about as accurate as Jeb Bush’s “felon list” of voters from Florida 2000, which of course was instrumental in getting Bush Jr installed in the first place.

    But no matter- conservatives love Bush because he got them exactly what they wanted- lower income and capital gains taxes. It was Reagan II- Reagan himself being the 2nd worst president ever.

  3. cvienne says:

    ‘And no, 9:03 post time is not a coincidence”

    Quaint BR…

    Cue the f411 & VD comments, they’re going to wake up, read this, and think they’ve won the lottery!

    Look, I’m not in disagreement of some of the things mentioned, but it is easy to get on a bandwagon and conveniently roll up many different things into a neat UNI-BALAME package…

    For example:
    Farm Subsidies. Farm subsidies are the antithesis of the free market. Rather than trying to abolish or cut them back, Bush signed a record $190 billion farm bill.

    Most of the “farm subsidies” package was passed so as to address the ethanol mandate… Ethanol is and was clearly a boondoggle, but it was something that mostly Democrats were pushing for… It was all the Al Gore ‘greenies’ who didn’t want wars or drilling, so they latched onto ethanol without really thinking it through (much the same as the present day bills)…

    Those day, the Dems weren’t getting many wins, so Bush conceded that one…

  4. greenie says:

    Barry, are you serious?
    First of all today should be a day all of us stand together not use the anniversary as a soapbox for some political rants (which I will not even waste my time debating-as people like your friend Casey are so gone there is no hope of a normal debate).

    Second, what do you mean “And no, 9:03 post time is not a coincidence” ??? I lived through the attacks. I saw people falling from the towers and yes at 9:03 I was standing under the second tower when the plane hit over head. What is the point of this trash as your anniversary post of the attack on our us?

    I am truly upset that this Bush bashing and political fringe is posted on this day and YOU chose to use the time as the way to remember the terrorist attacks, Shame !

  5. Given the way the last president abused the notion of Patriotism, and cynically manipulated the Terror alerts for partisan political reasons, I found it perfectly appropriate.

    The blind defense of his tragic presidency continues unabated . . .

  6. Bob A says:

    I pretty much agree but I think you were a little to easy on him :)

  7. cvienne says:

    @BR

    “Given the way the last president abused the notion of Patriotism, and cynically manipulated the Terror alerts for partisan political reasons, I found it perfectly appropriate.”

    I agree… & this way, hopefully all the said political rants can end up in one thread…

    Now, in another thread we can get to talking about the S&P carving out a top in the 1044-1054 range

  8. Dennis says:

    Greenie:

    It was okay to abuse the idea of patriotism, keep the citizenry in a state of fear, and lead us into a ruinous and costly war –AGAINST THE WRONG COUNTRY — while scamming everyone with phony terror alerts.

    But to criticize those errors on 9/11 makes BR somehow unpatriotic?

    Sorry, but unwrap yourself from that flag, and open your eyes. Bush 43 did immeasurable damage to this country, and the sooner we acknowledge it,t he sooner we can start fixing what is broken.

  9. bonghiteric says:

    Greenie,
    All debate must cease at 9:03 on 9/11 eight years later? Save the sanctimony.

  10. DeDude says:

    If the Bush leadership and actions becomes the “good old days” – that is would be a real doomsday scenario.

  11. jturner says:

    While some may view Casey’s article as a rant, I think he makes a lot of good points based on factual evidence. And I too find it very scary that anything related to Bush could be considered to be the good old days.

  12. greenie says:

    To all.

    I am big fan of debate, as BR can personally attest. I question using the anniversary of the terrorist attacks as well as Barry’s use of the 2nd plane hitting as the posting time…It shows bad taste…

    Can’t we take one day to be somber and remember our lost friends without politics?

  13. I respect Greenie’s ideas, and that’s why I moved this to the Think Tank from the front page . . .

  14. dark1p says:

    “As disastrous as he was, I rather hate to put him in competition for “worst president” in the company of Lincoln, McKinley, Wilson, the two Roosevelts, Truman, Johnson, and Nixon. ”

    Barry, I don’t get this sentence. Are all of these guys supposed to be in the running for worst president? That’s simply ludicrous, so I doubt that’s what you meant. It’s not very clearly written. I think (and hope) you meant that the guys on the list are major figures, love them or not, while Bush isn’t in that league.

    Although the worst president has long tilted toward Harding, who wasn’t a major figure of this stature, either, so your argument there is not well informed from a historical point of view. Bush could, indeed, be the worst of all time, even if history doesn’t view him as a titan. In fact, that qualifies him even more for the title, probably.

  15. beaufou says:

    Greenie,
    you can choose to do so without imposing it on everyone else.

  16. Take the last six emperors with no clothes,
    Shuffle the six card deck and whatever order they pop up is where they rank.
    1-6 the order doesn’t really matter.

  17. Thatguy says:

    “Can’t we take one day to be somber and remember our lost friends without politics?”

    It would be nice but since Bush used this one day as a political cudgel against those who disagreed with his political policies and views it makes it rather hard. Maybe we should add disgracing the memory of thousands of dead countrymen by using it to force through this travesty of an agenda?

  18. DeDude says:

    I think that one of the things those bastards in the planes hated us for, was the freedom to do and say whatever we want, and to create our rules and laws via democratically elected representatives, rather than theocratically created interpretations of thousand year old texts. What better way to give them the finger than to actually engage in that democratic process by our usual slamming political discussions.

  19. karen says:

    This is an appropriate memorial on the appropriate day. Trial for treason also seems appropriate for many more in the executive and legislative branches but our judicial systems no longer works. Today is the sad, sad anniversary of a day that could have changed the world for the better.

  20. rdhall3637 says:

    Very poor taste today, BR.

    I sickens me how people play Monday morning QB with some of the most difficult times in our nations history. No other president in modern history had to deal with the threats Bush did after 9/11. People that lived through it are so quick to forget how it acutally felt that day and the days following. The fear of another attack was overwhelming everyone. We had no idea what was happening. Now, years later and no additional attacks, it’s easy to look back at Bush’s aggressive actions and bash them.

    Let me ask you this. Would you have been ok if days after 9/11, Bush would have said something like,

    “Well, most people want us to go after the terrorists, but I’m not going to give it to violent human nature. No, I’m going to understand why these people hate us. Let’s pull our miliary out of the Middle East, as that seems to be why they hate us. And let’s interview terrorists around the world and ask them what else they want us to do so they won’t attack us again. And terrorists have rights too, so we need to make sure we don’t step on their rights. ”

    Come on, seriously. But that is what many people honestly think we should have done.

    Side note: This situation is very similar to those that look back at the end of WWII and condem the dropping of the bomb. Educate yourself about the end of the war and what it was like living through it, and you will see that at that time, there was really no other option but to drop the bomb. Anyone that argues otherwise is simply not fully engaged in the actual events, fears, uncertainties and enemies we faced at the time.

    The same goes for 9/11 and Bush’s policies. He was trying to do the best he could and did not have the hidesite that you now have living in a free country that he and others have protected for you.

    The idiot that wrote this piece you posted… what would he have done, really, after the attacks? I want to hear acutal actions he would have taken.

    WHAT WOULD OTHERS HAVE DONE? LET’S HEAR YOUR FEEDBACK….

  21. Andy T says:

    hate to talk politics in a social gathering….but

    That was a beautiful take down. Most Libertarians, and most of the real Republicans I know, really detested Bush. “Republicans” from the middle of the last century wouldn’t even recognize Shrub as a Republican. That party has strayed far, far away from its “roots.”

    It was the gross infringement of our personal liberties and the liberties of others around the world that will be his legacy, as well as the runaway deficits/Depression.

  22. richard37 says:

    It is curious that you do not mention Kennedy in your list of the worst. His subordination of the US State to the Chicago mob goes way beyong anything Bush did. His reckless disregard for state security, the prostitutes, the inept assasination plots, and the extra judicial ones that actually worked, the prolongation of involvement in Vietnam so as not to jeapordise the 64 election, its all there. His squalid little accomodation with a bunch of gansters to win office in the first place is enough of an indictment on its own. Kennedy is a truly grotesque figure and somebody who were it not for the equally pathetic and deluded LHO, would have taken your great country to a much darker place than Nixon.

  23. willid3 says:

    i would have thought that the worst ever would have included Grant and Hoover. I can’t see any way to exclude them

  24. Onlooker from Troy says:

    I very strongly identify with the sentiments in this article (very much including the critique of the modern “conservative”). Words can’t describe how bad this president was. Although I’ve always also felt he was just a mostly ignorant man who lived a sheltered life with all things handed to him who was then used as a puppet for the real masterminds behind him. But once given the reins of power he pulled them himself sometimes, liking the feel of it and grinning that stupid grin.

    The R party needs to be taken over by a new more ideology; more libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative. The two party system is too well entrenched to make a 3rd party viable so there has to be a take over of an existing party to effect some real change.

  25. willid3 says:

    rdhall3637, not sure that several presidents haven’t gone through much worse. after all, we have been through WW2 and Pearl Harbor, WW1, and then there was that minor civil war thing. and while no body died, there was that minor dust up in Cuba about some nukes, which could have lead to doomsday. so we can’t exactly say no other president has not gone through some fire. and while the original reactions are understandable, not so sure about the events 2-6 years on. the appearance of playing politics with security
    is to blunt

  26. WaveCatcher says:

    8 years from now we will be reading a similar essay about the Great One – Barry Hussein Obama.

  27. “He started out with a gigantic lie — that he would cut the size of government, reduce taxes, and stay out of foreign wars — and things got much worse from there.”

    “And he’s left OBAMA! with a fantastic starting point for what I expect to be even greater intrusions into your life and finances.”

    if this piece isn’t an appropriate mirror on a day such as this one, I couldn’t imagine what would be.

    and, as Casey points out, this:”The worst shame of Bush — worse than the spending, the new agencies, the torture, or the wars — is that he used so much pro-liberty and pro-free-market rhetoric in the very process of destroying those institutions. That makes his actions ten times worse than if an avowed socialist had done the same thing. People will blame the full suite of disasters Bush caused on the free market simply because Bush constantly said he believed in it.”

    is something that should be widely understood, much like other things./.

  28. Joseph1 says:

    “That guys says” Bush made it hard for you to remember those lost that makes you sad but I couldn’t agree more with poor choice of days to be slamming Bush especially when the context of each of your posts is overwhelming similar in that Bush is irrelevant. It appears more to be a projection of the zero you voted in because if in 8 years of service you believe Bush is the worst president ever than Obama is making that case in less than 9 months. Posting at 9:03, ripping Bush total joke I usually don’t reply to any of these things but today’s comments and timing rise way above inappropriate. Worry about what is going on now move on, you all sound like our current President who is going to blame all of his mistakes and issues on the prior adminstration. It was Bush’s fault the thieves at AIG got bonuses, that part of the deal must have passed through the scalpel he is using to stop wasteful spending or maybe it was when he was having a beer with a professor or was it when he was at the pool posing for GQ or Esquire. Please politicians we can be here all day.

  29. Mannwich says:

    Hence the irrational, misguided/misdirected/quasi-comical anger of some on the right that we are now seeing. Deep down somewhere in their brains/souls, SOME of them probably know who/what to truly be angry at, but they’re still in denial a bit and are lashing out at the wrong people/things.

  30. I-Man says:

    Politics are mere parlor tricks.

  31. franklin411 says:

    Well, he’s right on the fact that free market ideology has been utterly discredited. The previous administration’s policies were the pinnacle of conservative thought; the realization of conservative dreams since Ayn Rand wrote the Fountainhead in 1943. We all know where that took us.

    Ayn Rand is dead.

    Friedrich von Hayek is dead.

    Milton Friedman is dead.

    Ronald Reagan is dead.

    May they ever remain so, so help us God.

  32. bdg123 says:

    You’ve got bigger balls than I do posting this today. I have somewhat of a different take on things. We have developed a ruling class over the past handful of decades. They are all generally inept beyond words. They are self-serving with no moral compass. They have effectively taken bribe after bribe under the guise of lobbying which is purely legalized bribery and corruption. And they are unaccountable to no one. Not the Constitution. And surely not the American people. To varying degrees the people of this country have come to recognize this fact. It was first minorities who were, as a class, often denied economic opportunity in the beginning of this massive fraud. In other words, it first started out as generally race-based in its effect. Then it migrated to more of a class-based system. The generally lower-middle class then suffered with lack of economic opportunity due to rules imposed by the elitist whores. Then the middle class and then upper middle class. This first started developing in the 1970s when we first started adopting the neoliberal economic model. One that is completely morally and financially bankrupt. So Bush is simply the latest in a long line of idiots bent on pursuing their neoliberal ideologies embraced by both parties. Obama seems sort of in between. Trying to break some of these crimes but either doesn’t really understand the systemic nature of the crisis or is too beholden to the system which he believes elected him. But, the system didn’t elect him. The largest voting block in America did. And that is now independents. The pigmen and their whores who work for money in Washington don’t yet realize the worm has turned. They will. Something really big is going to happen at the voting booth in coming years. Really big. Or I could say something really big has already happened if Obama gets his sea legs and embraces the populist movement happening in America. It’s good to be the king. Not much longer though.

  33. rdhall3637 says:

    willid3, read carefully. … “Modern history”. My thought on modern was the post-war era. Almost hard to say WWII is modern history, but it’s agruable.

    But i’m telling you. Talk to people that lived through both Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Talk to a lot of them as I have. Totally different fears. Hawaii is a great place and absolutely part of our country, but it’s not an attack on civilians in the heart of NYC by an unseen, unclear enemy. There simply was not the same level of fear after Pearl Harbor. I’m not saying there was no fear, that’s ridiculous. But it simply was not the same.

    “Ideology and social liberalism” are great topics that we can discuss in a free country. But there is a difference betweent the world you discuss in a classroom and the one we have to live in and protect.

  34. delilo says:

    “Not that there’s any real difference between the two parties anymore…”
    - sadly, this is really the case…

  35. [...] Disclosures « Baby Bush: The Worst President in History? [...]

  36. Concerned American says:

    W wins hands down. Obama may beat him out, it is way too early to tell. You can’t screw it up worst than Bush in 8 months.

    They missed my favorite about W though.

    He praising jobs moving offshore because it was good for us. That may be his biggest screw up of all. He did nothing to keep nor create jobs, just more wealth for the wealthy.

  37. Rikky says:

    i can’t take this article seriously when the guy doesn’t even have a grasp of what a conservative is. in fact he starts off coloring the term in a negative way to lead into his Bush bashing. in addition last i checked we have 3 branches of government. for the president to take all the blame is disingenuous.

  38. beaufou says:

    rdhall3637

    I can understand not giving an inch to terrorists, although terrorists are not fough in the open, they are secret hidden groups best fought with intelligence agencies.
    Looking at the competence of those agencies regarding the WMDs, you have to wonder if the best was done to fight terrorism.
    Maybe throwing planes into buildings was the work of a lunatic fringe but you also have to ask yourself what makes people hate you so much they are willing to do that.
    The middle east has a history of demented actions, I am aware of it but a response such as invading Iraq was way off the mark and certainly encouraged the terrorist cause.

    Remember, this is not about them, it’s about us and how far we are willing to go so another 9/11 never happens again.
    Finding terrorists and killing them is fine with me, but our government also has the responsability of not creating more danger for the general population.
    Iraq was a prime example, Israel and Palestine is another, oil is driving the bus.
    So, we have to make choices, otherwise 9/11 will happen again fed by special interests and suffered by the innocent sitting in his office on a september morning.

  39. VennData says:

    Why didn’t Obama raise the terror alert during the town hall meeting crisis? Were Ridge and Ashcroft too busy to show him where the buttons were?

  40. rdhall3637 says:

    beaufou, now that is a educated response to these issues. Yes, Iraq is really not part of this discussion. You are right, it was a mistake. I see that as a seperate decision less related to 9/11 as some of the others. It was not well thought out, and many mistakes were made clearly.

    Saying 9/11 was our fault is incredibly narcissistic. Acting like we have the power, with the right decisions, to create a world free of evil and aggression. Pretending like if we play nice, nobody will come and take our ball from us? And if they do, it’s our fault because we didn’t let them play with us? And if we share with some, the others will come after us because we didn’t let them play with our ball too? So we better share with everyone, and perfectly equally, or it’s our fault. Oh, and when we play together, we better always let them win, or they will come after us. On and on and on….

    Come on people….

    Stop living in a bubble where you think all people across this world are rational, educated, thinking people. 90% of the world is just trying to survive and fight for their little piece of this earth, protect it, and have enough food to eat. Try reasoning with them and see where it gets you.

  41. BTW, Doug Casey (the author of the piece) is a huge anti-Obama Conservative –that is what makes his column on W so interesting

  42. torrie-amos says:

    the whole 8 years was sad, Bush “not on my watch” basically acted like a dictator while he soothed the savage beast of the congress and senate by opening up the flood gates for appropriations………it was an understanding between both sides…….let me run this war my way…….and you can have all the money you want for special projects……….what was it like a 36,000 % increase in special appropriations, forgot the specific name for them, anyways………..and along the way they snuck in approval of 30-1 leverage for the banks, hmmmm, more money…………..the guy acted likeaa king and he had the power of an unlimited checkbook, he started that way and ended it that way…….and what is sad is no one really stood up against him……………..hate motivates, we hated clinton for disgracing the whitehouse, and most figured W a devout christain would be similar to his father, an okay president……communication is 60% body language, 30% tone of vioice, when i saw his first speech after 9-11 I turned and said, most folks don’t understand this guy, we are going to war and it will last for 20 years before folks figure out it’s pointless………..some people live and see a black and white world, a very small percent perhaps 7, most of us see the grey around the edges of our rose colored glasses, as luck would have it we got two in the wrong place at the wrong time, cheney and bush, and no one stopped them because they were eating liberally at the trough, sad time in history, and the band plays on

  43. spoonman says:

    f411,
    He made no such claims about free market ideology being discredited. Casey is a fairly radical libertarian, I think. His criticisms of Bush are Bush ENCROACHED on the free market and free society in new and unprecedented ways. His point is exactly the opposite of what you represent it to be. You need to resist the urge to categorize everyone who criticizes Bush(or any republican) as being against “free market ideology” and everyone who criticizes a democrat as being for “free market ideology”. You’re a smart guy, you just need to listen to what people are actually saying. You can do it, just try real hard.

  44. Bokolis says:

    Nobody got the symbolism? Obama is the second plane.

  45. Marcus Aurelius says:

    greenie Says:

    Can’t we take one day to be somber and remember our lost friends without politics?
    __________

    Maybe we could if the actual attacks hadn’t come as a result of political game-playing (bias against and the subsequent dismissal of those providing prior warning of such attacks) and incompetence. Maybe it would be easier to remain apolitical if the attacks themselves hadn’t been used for political purposes (for example, whatever happened to the second round of 9-11 hearings that were promised?). The truth is, 9-11 was used as a springboard for all manner of political and governmental chicanery — not the least of which, as Karen rightly points out, was treason (Valerie Plame).

    Memorial day is the time we set aside to remember our departed friends. In light of how the social fear that resulting from the events of that day was used, the anniversary of 9-11 is a time to reflect on the political/social changes resulted from the events of that day. As B. Franklin said (paraphrase), “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”

    __________________________________________________________

    rdhall3637 Says:

    Sheesh _ Im going to have to respond point-by-point:

    1. “No other president in modern history had to deal with the threats Bush did after 9/11.”

    Really? Please, name some of those challenges.

    It’s interesting and informative to note that Bush(co) did not deal with these threats BEFORE the attacks, especially in light of the fact that they had intelligence from numerous sources indicating that the attacks were imminent.

    2. “People that lived through it are so quick to forget how it acutally felt that day and the days following. The fear of another attack was overwhelming everyone. We had no idea what was happening.”

    I don’t want leadership that reacts in a knee-jerk fashion to feelings and fear (wow – a President who thinks with his gut), especially if they don’t know what’s happening (BTW: What was happening was clear from the get-go, what is unclear is how that series of events resulted in war against an uninvolved party and the illegal violations of our Constitutional rights).

    3. “Would you have been ok if days after 9/11, Bush would have said something like, “Well, most people want us to go after the terrorists, but I’m not going to give it to violent human nature. No, I’m going to understand why these people hate us. Let’s pull our miliary out of the Middle East, as that seems to be why they hate us. And let’s interview terrorists around the world and ask them what else they want us to do so they won’t attack us again. And terrorists have rights too, so we need to make sure we don’t step on their rights. ”

    Why would anyone say stupid shit like that? (BTW: Whatever happened to Osama bin Laden?)

    4. Side note: (actual text not included, here).

    To make a good analogy using the end of WWII and our reaction to 9-11, we would have had to have dropped the bomb on Argentina, or some other uninvolved party.

    5. “The same goes for 9/11 and Bush’s policies. He was trying to do the best he could and did not have the hidesite that you now have living in a free country that he and others have protected for you.”

    Hindsight is what we’re using now. Bush had forewarning of the attacks (from our own and foreign intelligence agencies), yet he did nothing.

    6. “WHAT WOULD OTHERS HAVE DONE? LET’S HEAR YOUR FEEDBACK….:”

    We should have treated it as the crime that it was (by no stretch was it an act of “war” under any rational definition), and used our intelligence and covert forces (as Israel used the Mossad after the Olympic terror attack in ’72) to make an example of those involved. We would have saved many lives and a shit load of money.

  46. beaufou says:

    rdhall3637
    I’m not trying to reason with unstable, crazed people, and I told you I was aware of the lunatics living in the Middle east.
    I want no part of their religious driven existences, I don’t say it’s our own fault but doing stupid things like invading Iraq doesn’t help.
    You use “We” a lot and I would dearly like to recognize that “We” when 20 year olds are getting blown away in Iraq or innocent people in the twin towers.
    “We” as Halliburton or Blackwater, is not “We”, I’m sorry, I don’t win when they get new contracts and neither do you or the nation as a whole; wrapping those turds in a flag is possibly the most unpatriotic feat we can achieve.
    And I’m not afraid of them coming after us if we play fair, isn’t that a little braver than crushing everything in sight because they might become a danger, doesn’t that create more potential deeply rooted hatred like terrorism?

  47. TBJ says:

    It’s sad to see what our country has become.. But, hope is not lost. Keep up the independent thought guys, and lets take the power back through blogging and the boycotting of FOX, CNN, MSNBC. (I’m just preaching to the choir here :/ )

  48. EAR says:

    Bush was an unparalleled disgrace…

    By April 2007, roughly 3,2oo US Servicemen and women had died in Iraq.

    From April 1 to April 24, 2007, 90 US Servicemen were killed in Iraq.

    This was W on April 25, 2007…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvxKZRf8k2k

    By the way, the constant prediction of and pining for some kind of revolution or social upheaval is getting tedious. Who waxes poetic about the imminent downfall of their own society? Who does so and proceeds to talk about the S&P and FAZ?

  49. devil_futility says:

    Do you really find Lincoln to be one of the worst in history (I don’t question the others as I agree they were all awful – Carter would have to be on my list too though).

  50. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “BTW, Doug Casey (the author of the piece) is a huge anti-Obama Conservative –that is what makes his column on W so interesting”

    Gee, I would never have guessed that with his use of – OBAMA! (snark, acknowledging Casey’s snark) :)

  51. rdhall3637 says:

    Marcus Aurelius, anyone that thinks Bush’s lack of action against Bin Laden prior to 9/11 means the attacks were his fault is simply ignorant. Bin Laden had been on our radar for years. Can you say, “Thanks for nothing, Clinton”? I suppose you think the attacks were a conspiracty lead by Bush als0?

    Knee-jerk? Are you suggesting that going into AFG and cleaning out the terrorists was a mistake? You seriously would have just had trials? Against who? The main criminals were dead? You want to put Bin Laden in a courtroom? Oh my goodness, let’s hope you never have anyone start puching you in the face. You will ask them nicely to stop as they keep pumbling you?

    You did not answer the question. What exactly would you have done after 9/11? We should be more like Israel? Wow, that’s a great idea. Sure, they are doing it right? More terrorist attacks in Israel than any other country in the world. How many in the US since 9/11…. ZERO. Bush did at least something right.

  52. rdhall3637 says:

    The one question those on the left hate more than any other is…

    “How did Bush get elected to a 2nd term?”

    We all make mistakes once. But those on the left couldn’t even manage to hold the “worse in history” to 1 term? What does that say about John Kerry? Oh, i know. “It was the stupid people in the middle of the country that voted for Bush.” Boy, if that’s the case, the left can’t be that smart as they don’t even know how to manipulate and brainwash those “stupid” people into thinking the way they want them to….

    until…… OBAMA! He understands that game! Tell them what they want to hear.

    Now, the scariest scenario for the left…. OBAMA!, the chosen one, is only a 1 termer, and Bush, the worst ever, had 2 terms. We will see, won’t we.

  53. dougc says:

    I believe W really thought he had conversations with God and he was doing God’s work.

  54. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “Would you have been ok if days after 9/11, Bush would have said something like, “Well, most people want us to go after the terrorists, but I’m not going to give it to violent human nature. No, I’m going to understand why these people hate us. Let’s pull our miliary out of the Middle East, as that seems to be why they hate us. And let’s interview terrorists around the world and ask them what else they want us to do so they won’t attack us again. And terrorists have rights too, so we need to make sure we don’t step on their rights. ”

    Geez, that’s an award winning straw man. You won’t provoke any serious discussion or debate using that B.S.

  55. Bush may have had a military backbone but he had the politcal backbone of a giant blood sucking vampire squid. Everything and anything the leviathan government wanted to do he could not find in himself to stop. That is why America is in the economic trouble it is in today.

  56. DL says:

    Bill Clinton and Al Gore each made about $100 M since leaving office.

    I’m guessing that Bush will fall a little short of that mark.

  57. Onlooker from Troy says:

    dougc

    Unfortunately I don’t doubt that either.

  58. Onlooker from Troy says:

    DL

    No need, he made plenty of money before getting into office from his sweetheart Texas Rangers “business deal.” Money’s not his worry or problem at all, having been born on third base and getting home on a wild pitch (or maybe a balk).

  59. impermanence says:

    Author states:

    “This is certainly one of the most damaging things [state-condoned torture] to the reputation of the U.S. ever. It says to the world, “We stand for nothing.”

    This is EXACTLY why Bush was so valuable. As the last half century has clearly shown, the U.S. is willing to do EVERYTHING for wealth and power. And incredibly, the vast majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, support it. Deep down inside, Americans understand that we are who we are because of our willingness to destroy others.

    Human being are a tough lot, and Americans are the most brutal yet. Imagine sitting in the room where the decision was made to drop nuclear bombs on cities. I do understand that they were attempting to end a savage part of human history, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water.

  60. contrabandista13 says:

    I don’t know about “Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?”….. However, you gotta admit he sure as hell was the funniest and one of the dumbest presidents in history…..

    “I will put food on your family”….?

    Come on, it doesn’t get any better than that….. I mean, I’ve still got a piece of olive stuck in my brain from that one…

    Ciao,

    Econolicious

  61. Bob A says:

    funny? I guess if you think stupid is funny…

  62. Deflator Mouse says:

    Bush killed more Americans than Osama bin Laden.
    He killed more Iraquis than Saddam Hussein.
    What does that make him?

    rdhall: Strawman much?

    Franklin911: I’m probably left-of-center in this blog cohort, but you, sir, are a troll.

  63. rickety rick says:

    barry,

    shame on you for for using the memory of the 9/11 tradgedy to deliver another dump on bush, as well as another thinly veiled potshot at republicans. it’s like ripping on jesse jackson on our nation’s martin luther king holiday. even if bush was not sharpest pencil in the drawer, this opinion piece is inappropriate on this day. and i believe your smug and arrogant responses after the article are out of line. maybe you need another vacation.

    that said, i think casey doesn’t have a clue about who conservatives are. his description of a conservative sounds more like what i hear from those called republicans. it’s my opinion that most conservatives now identify themselves as independent. and the conservatives that i know are more like what he defines as “classical liberals”. i do not know a single conservative who has many positive things to say about bush’s two terms. i suppose the tipoff to us was when he originally ran as a “compassionate conservative” – code words for “liberal”.

    and i find it interesting that well over half of the policies casey cites as disasters were legislated by the elected representatives in our house and senate. i think they are co-owners of the mess he blames on bush and that we call our govt.

    wake up, voters.

  64. Paul S says:

    Oh so this is all about 9/11. Man- the Bush lovers just won’t give it up. 9/11 was the one and only reason the worst president in history got re-elected. In case you missed it, Tom Ridge has revealed the scam that the administration used terrorism and artificially jacked up terrror alerts to keep folks scared. Fear always motivates voters to stand behind the incumbent and not change presidents- although- even with all the artifice of a “war time” president they had created- Kerry still almost beat Bush. What saved Bush’s sorry ass was bin Laden’s last minute video the Friday before the election. Any poll movement towards Kerry (which had been occuring thanks to Kerry’s serious ass kicking of Bush in the three debates) was stopped by that video- a video the C IA’s analysts later determined was INTENDED to help Bush get re-elected.
    Bush may have won, but he is in many more ways a loser.

  65. rickety rick says:

    oh, and barry. btw, doug casey ( the author of this piece ) is a huge anti-obama LIBERTARIAN. you should read his ideas more carefully. maybe too subtle a point for you.

  66. Moss says:

    Bush was/is a complete fraud, but we put him in office twice.
    That is the real tragedy. What does that say about the society?

  67. Onlooker from Troy says:

    contrabandista

    LOL Yep, you couldn’t make that stuff up, could you? People in decades to come probably won’t even believe some of those quotes are genuine. They’ll be convinced they were made up as surely no president could be such a bumbler. He was like a gift from the heavens for comedians everywhere. It was really too easy. Would have made a better court jester perhaps. What a disappointment, except for those whose purposes were served by this lackey.

  68. DeDude says:

    “Come on, seriously. But that is what many people honestly think we should have done”

    Seriously rdhall3637 that would be the most bizarre statement of this decade if it wasn’t for the classic “if you are not with us you are against us”. Anyway it would be nice if you could back up the statement with just one single link to a person who expressed the opinion you are attributing to “many people”.

    And please drop all that juvenile bullsh*t of “would you wan’t us to drop our pants and ask the terrorist for a spanking”. You are in the company of thinking and reading adults and none of the sh*t you are putting in other peoples mouth has been spewed out by anybody but you. All that “either you agree with me or you must be a terrorist lover” crap belongs in the strawman collection of that clown you are so infatuated with, and thank God his time has gone.

    I lived through 9/11/2001 and I was not scared sh*tless that a buch of tovelheads had gotten a lucky suckerpunch in on us. For what it is worth the number of deaths on 9/11 was no more than the number of other types of homocide in the country in any that same month. I was angry from day one, and never had the slightest doubt that these people would remain a minor inconvenience unless we allowed them to become something bigger, for political reasons.

  69. The Curmudgeon says:

    Bush and Johnson are the worst presidents of the last half-century, perhaps in history, and they share some interesting parallels:

    1) Both sorta from Texas (not that it really matters–don’t you longhorns get your spurs to twirling)

    2) Both were inept commanders-in-chief. Johnson tried to run a war 10,000 miles away from the basement of the white house. Bush tried to win a war on the cheap. Both needlessly killed multitudes and wasted treasure and despoiled our honor.

    3) Both believed in the efficacy of government solutions to problems. Johnson had the Great Society, most of which had been dismantled by the end of Clinton’s term. Bush literally never saw a government program he didn’t like.

    4) Both left their successors with more unsolved than solved problems. Nixon inherited Vietnam, and the beginnings of stagflation that comes from trying to do everything with limited resources, that finally resolves to dollar devaluation. Obama inherited two conflicts, the successful resolution of either of which is well in doubt, and a new resolve to fire up the presses to solve all of our problems.

    Get ready for it folks, we are about to relive the seventies. Perhaps we’ll manage to somehow avoid leisure suits this time around. There’s always hope.

  70. theyAllcrooks says:

    Good Presidents Don’t Start Wars That Avoidable…

    …. 9/11 was horrific..no doubt..But for those who’ve studied past Wars..it’s obvious that War should always and only be used as a last resort….The day those towers fell I thought “OK the pendulum needs to swing back the other way–less CIA bashing…We need our CIA guys to be–how shall we say.. ahead of the curve ?….I thought Bush was stately in the immediate aftermath… I was even good with Bush going into AFG to get the bad guys …BUT….

    once he started berating our Allies–with the “You’re for us or against us shit”….Well that’s when he crossed into idiot land…

    GOOD PRESIDENTS DON”T START WARS THAT ARE AVOIDABLE…

  71. rdhall3637 says:

    DeDude, the simplistic analogies are ment as humor and “teasing”. Please don’t get too worked up, unless of course you feel they are a true representation of your views.

    Nice to know that the 9/11 attacks did not seem to bother you all that much. Shows what kind of a person you are that you only ‘logically’ thought that it was just as many people that get murdered each month.

    But, still, no one has come forth on this board and given any reasonable alternative actions that they would have realistically taken after 9/11. BARRY, DO YOU HAVE ANY? YOU ARE OUR FEARLESS LEADER.

    All those that are SO much more enlighten than the rest of us… please, explain to us “commoners” what a real President should have done after 9/11. Please provide details. There must have been a better course of action that what Bush took.

  72. flipspiceland says:

    @rdhall367

    What a real POTUS would have done is realize he was Commander in Chief.

    As such, he would have misunderestimated his talent, brains, and courage then weighed them against what was needed at the time to respond appropriately and then promptly resigned, knowing full well that he did not possess those traits needed for a proper response to the 9/11 attacks, that he took on a job that was way, way over his pinhead.

    That would have cleared the way for Dick Cheney, who really was the mastermind all the while. Then we could properly place the blame for how things went wrong on the right person.

  73. dsawy says:

    That someone would put Geo. W. Bush forward as “the worst president in history” when we have had so much worse in our history (eg, James Buchanan) shows nothing more or less than the author’s ignorance of American history.

    Following Buchanan, any true libertarian would put Woodrow Wilson and FDR in the running for worst POTUS.

  74. sinomania says:

    “Eventually, the Bush era will look like The Good Old Days.”

    Spot on. Remember, just like W, Harry Truman had approval ratings in the low 20% and was considered a disaster. But by the time he died in 1972 he was idolized and millions were nostalgic for good ole ‘give ‘em hell Harry’.

  75. gloppie says:

    Being that I’m a foreign National living in the US I’d like to first use this opportunity to express my sincerest condolences to the all who have lost loved ones on this tragic day.
    This said, since the political debate is raging on, I can not help but to point to the fact that the terrorists proclaimed goal for this hateful act was to waste as many “infidels” as possible in retaliation to what they perceived to be an “invasion” of their sacred land, namely Saudi Arabia.
    Now, why is it that the Bush Administration, being the Chief of the Army and all, actually did the very thing the terrorists asked ? see http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030430-psab01.htm
    I’m sorry, Bush and Cheney are flakes, empty, self aggrandizing suits types, not worthy of the Trust that the American People bestowed on them. I’m not a fan of Obama neither by the way, he’s quickly loosing momentum and will end up doing worse I fear.

  76. DeDude says:

    “But, still, no one has come forth on this board and given any reasonable alternative actions that they would have realistically taken after 9/11”

    You have a couple of dozen alternatives listed above if you cannot read and understand them, then you are not a “commoner” but a child that has to be left behind. Including in all of those above answers to your question was; 1) not destroying our credibility by violating our own values, laws and international treaties and 2) not attacking a country like Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11. Are you considering such actions not reasonable or not realistic?

    If you want to know what a good president actively would have done (as in contrast to the abouve f*ck-ups he would not have done); I suggest that he would have been on top of the hunt for Bin Laden and given the commander who almost had Bin Laden cornered in Tora Bora those extra troops he was begging for. The guy told them he was short handed and Bin Laden could slip away if they didn’t send reinforcements – yet they blankly refused. I know Bush was to disinterested to have been involved in the political calculations to let Bin Laden slip away (so Bin Laden would be there as the Boggy Man at the next election), but a real President would have been involved and refused to let politics and his own reelection get in the way of justice for the 3000 victims.

  77. rdhall3637 says:

    DeDude writes: “You have a couple of dozen alternatives listed above if you cannot read and understand them, then you are not a “commoner” but a child that has to be left behind. Including in all of those above answers to your question was; 1) not destroying our credibility by violating our own values, laws and international treaties and 2) not attacking a country like Iraq that had nothing to do with 9/11. Are you considering such actions not reasonable or not realistic?”

    Saying what you would NOT do or ripping apart what someone else DID do are not NEW ideas, no matter how angry you get.

    To summarize, your “new” idea is to have gone after Bin Laden and provided enough troops to get the job done. Wow, brilliant idea. Your Tora Bora idea sure does sound like John Kerry’s. Unless you think Bush did not WANT to catch Bin Laden and purposely let him sneak away (which makes no sense, because catching him would have secured Bush’s place in history forever as a hero) you have to chalk that up to 20/20 hide site.

    STILL WAITING FOR A REALISTIC NEW IDEA….
    ———–
    (Here is what a new idea might sound like and I’ll use a silly example)

    Immediately deport all non-citizens to their home countries – threaten to drop a nuclear bomb on Mecca unless Bin Laden turns himself in immediately
    ————
    Those are stupid but NEW ideas – Let’s hear a REAL idea from Barry, Doug Casey, or anyone else for that matter who is so great at slamming what someone else stood up and did to protect our country.

  78. markd says:

    1 Barry not a bad memorial piece, however I can see how it would gind on some people so moving off the main page was good.

    2 I nominate rdhall3637 as the biggest dumbest troll ever (dude or dudette that strawman was weak!!! you want to get out between the chalk lines bring some GAME!!!)

  79. bergsten says:

    Were I stupid enough to get into the middle of a political debate, I’d quote the latter part of my favorite sentence in the entire article, to wit:

    “…I said I wouldn’t mention Bush again, his departure having made him irrelevant. ”

    I wish he (and everybody else) would take his advice and get on with life. I, for one, don’t plan to spend even a second of my remaining time on this planet even thinking about Bush.

  80. rdhall3637 says:

    Nice markd. Your response is full of great new ideas… ;-)

    Interesting how people love to rip someone, but when the light turns on them to come up with something of substance, all you hear is “crickets”….

  81. CNBC Sucks says:

    Bergsten just wrote The Great CNBC Sucks to join this thread. And no Columbo (ahab), we are not the same guy.

    Terror alert?

    How about trade proposal alert, mannwich, or that lurker who calls himself ColdWaterConch? What the heck does a guy have to do to get a trade in the Ritholtz league?

    Clearly, The Great CNBC Sucks no longer worries himself with matters of politics or even economics. Today, like the rest of America, my mind is on two things that coincidentally have the initials “FF”: fantasy football and being…you guessed it…FASHION-FORWARD. ;)

  82. DeDude says:

    Rdhall3637; so now we are changing the subject. Its no longer about “what a real President should have done after 9/11” or “a better course of action that what Bush took”. Now it has to be NEW idea and REALISTIC (as per the great oracle of realism from trollistan). Wish my team could play football like that – keep moving the goalpost as the opponent gets closer ;-).

    I guess NOT f-ing up is not a new idea (at least not to me). However, it seems a pretty effective one, even if it was not realistic to expect it from Bush and his minions.

    Actually getting Bin Laden would have risked that Bush I ended in the same category as his father (and other leaders); a leader who won a war and lost the next election. Americans are well known for holding their noses and backing their President in times of war and crisis. So it’s pretty dangerous for an incompetent President to enter re-election time without either.

    OK enough Cricketering with the troll, go ahead and have the last word – I am sure that is important for you ;-)

  83. gfb615 says:

    Fascinating comments. Amazing that not a soul has recognised that outside of the closed-loop media blackout that is the USA very few people believe that OBL had anything whatsoever to do with the coup on 9/11. No doubt such innocent beliefs will continue until after the military takeover by about 2020.

  84. Onlooker from Troy says:

    rdhall…

    “He was trying to do the best he could and did not have the hidesite ”
    “you have to chalk that up to 20/20 hide site.”

    That’s the second time you did that, so it’s not a typo, so I’ll correct it for you. It’s “hind sight”; as in seeing behind you; as in the past. Now you’ve learned something. You’re welcome.

  85. strousd says:

    Where does Jimmy Carter fit into the “worst president in history” mix? The US was a laughing stock when he was president. To the guy who said Reagan was one of the worst: get a grip buddy! When I graduated from college and went to business school in 1985, all we ever heard about was how uncompetitive the US was, how badly managed US companies were, and how every one from the Japanese to the Russians were kicking our asses. The job market and the economy turned around due to Reagan’s policies, the US regained its competitiveness and the Soviet empire crumbled. All presidents suffer or benefit from the luck of the timing of economic cycles, but based on the state of the Union before and after Reagan was president, there is no way he ranks amoung the worst.

    I also agree with the writer who elloquently pointed out that Doug Casey is playing Monday morning quarterback regarding the actions of the Bush administration following 9/11. Many people forget about how scared they were at the time. I live in a high rise in dowtown Chicago, and we had people who were afraid that terrorists disguised as pizza delivery guys were going to blow up the building. Insurance companies were preety scared too. Our insurance policy went up by 100% the next year. While obvious mistakes were made and I agree with some of the points Casey makes, what would he have done if he was in Bush’ position? Let’s hear it, Doug! It will be interesting to hear what people say after we have another terrorist attack, now that we are more concerned about the rights of terrorists who want to kill us than we are about protecting our own citizens.

  86. gfb615 says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation” for 12 hours. Gatekeepers in action for even questioning the role of Osama bin Laden in the 9/11 coup. Even the FBI considers that there is too little evidence to publicly accuse this man. So dream on in a cocoon of self-imposed (and dictated) ignorance. In 10 years or so there will be great nostalgia for GWB and Obama as the last publicly elected American Presidents.

    ~~~

    BR: Um, not quite: Power Outage!

  87. [...] few people complained about Doug Casey’s critique yesterday about Bush as president. One asked, “Why today of all days to post [...]

  88. Casey does well by listed NCLB, #1, on the Hit Parade of other missteps..

    see: http://www.booktv.org/Program/10694/In+Depth+Jonathan+Kozol.aspx

    for further insight into the, additional, devastation that program has wrought upon our ‘Education’ efforts.

  89. dennism says:

    Thank you Doug for writing this, and thank you Barry for posting it.

  90. Eric Davis says:

    This is crazy stuff, get medicated now Doug!!

  91. jaysan says:

    “Casey’s conservative critique of the last president is a calm, cogent, rational analysis …”

    SURELY YOU’RE JOKING, MR. RITHOLZ! IF NOT, I’VE LOST MUCH RESPECT FOR YOU.

  92. george.b says:

    I’m no Bushie, never was, but does anyone else see Doug Casey’s neurotically obsessive irony in first admitting that after bashing him for years, he “wouldn’t mention Bush again, his departure having made him irrelevant”, and now 3/4 of a year later, when the rest of us are dealing with the present, he proceeds to burn over 1300 perfectly good words telling us that Bush isn’t even good enough to be called a bad president in the company of other historic presidents and carefully tabulates a list of all the things that Casey apparently feels Bush was personally responsible for. Like Sarbanes-Oxley?!

    Give it up already Doug. Even Tina Fey has finally figured out that she can’t make a career out of spoofing Sarah Palin.

  93. GeorgeMB says:

    I’m no Bushie, never was, but Doug Casey is swimming in neurotically obsessive irony by first admitting that after bashing him for years, he “wouldn’t mention Bush again with his departure having made him irrelevant”, and now 3/4 of a year later, while the rest of us are dealing with the crisis-rich present, he proceeds to burn over 1300 perfectly good words informing us that Bush isn’t even good enough to be called a bad president and carefully tabulates an evidence list of all the things that Doug feels Bush was personally responsible for. Like Sarbanes-Oxley!?

    Doug needs to give it up already. Even Tina Fey has finally figured out that she can’t make a career out of spoofing Sarah Palin.

  94. [...] he highlights many of the same policies that liberals dislike about Bush but from a very different perspective: Is it possible that Bush was actually the worst president ever? I’d say he’s a strong [...]

  95. taf says:

    I am not fan of W Bush, but blaming him from all the problems that are afflicting our country only shows that extreme myopia and selective memory is prevalent in the political intelligentsia. This great country of ours is supposed to have checks and balances to avoid the abuse of powers. Consequently, there are plenty of accomplices in Congress, Republican and Democrats, for some of the disasters pointed out by Mr. Casey. The worst of the accomplices are those who thought that the laws and edicts were flawed but kept quite for political expediency.

  96. CTB says:

    I have nothing to add here, other than people should spend 2x as much time listening as talking, not the other way around.

  97. wunsacon says:

    Wow, what a range of opinion. What did or will we learn? Probably just what Jeremy Grantham expects.

  98. [...] But that is objec­tively true of almost all pres­i­dents since at least Lin­coln. (See Baby Bush: The Worst Pres­i­dent in His­tory? for the full list of errors, stu­pidi­ties, and out­right crimes that brought down the [...]