Criticism of George W. Bush

Criticism of George W. Bush

George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, has drawn significant domestic and international criticism since his election in 2000. His level of popular support has declined from 90 percent (the highest ever recorded by Gallup) [cite news|url=http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2007/07/usatgallup-po-1.html|accessdate=2007-11-28|publisher=USA Today|date=July 10, 2007|title=USAT/Gallup Poll: Bush approval at new low; Republican support eroding] immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks to 26 percent (in a "Newsweek" poll taken in June 2007),cite web|url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19352087/site/newsweek|title=How Low Can Bush Go?|date=2007-06-21|accessdate=2007-06-22|publisher=Newsweek] the lowest level for any sitting President in 35 years, rivaling Richard Nixon's unpopularity at the time of the Watergate scandal and his subsequent resignation. A NBC/WSJ poll [cite web|url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19209733|title=Republicans abandoning Bush|date=2007-06-13|accessdate=2007-06-14|publisher=MSNBC] also taken in June 2007 indicated only 19% of respondents believing that the country is headed in the right direction, the lowest level recorded in 15 years.

His opponents have criticized his role in the controversial 2000 election,Who|date=January 2008 his way of fighting the War on Terrorism, his support for the USA PATRIOT Act and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, among many other acts and issues along the way, and there is currently a movement to impeach him. Former President Jimmy Carter has called Bush's presidency "the worst in history", [cite web|url=http://www.komotv.com/news/national/7592052.html|title=Carter: Bush's presidency has been 'worst in history'|date=2007-05-19|accessdate=2007-06-12|publisher=KomoTV] although he later said that comment was "careless or misinterpreted," and that he "wasn't comparing this administration with other administrations back through history, but just with President Nixon's." [" [http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/21/carter.bush.ap/index.html Carter: Anti-Bush remarks 'careless or misinterpreted'] ", Associated Press, May 21, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2007] On April 15, 2008, the results of an informal poll of 109 historians (conducted by George Mason University's History News Network) found that 98.2% of the respondents considered Bush's Presidency a failure. Sixty-one percent of the historians said that Bush was the worst President in United States history. [ [http://hnn.us/articles/48916.html HNN Poll: 61% of Historians Rate the Bush Presidency Worst ] ] Many Independent sources also give him this title. [cite web|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/profile/story/9961300/the_worst_president_in_history?year=2006|date=2006|title=The Worst President in History|accessdate=2006-04-28] [cite web|url=http://harpers.org/archive/2008/04/hbc-90002804?year=2008|date=2008|title=Worst.President.Ever|accessdate=2008-04-06] [cite web|url=http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070226/howl?year=2007|date=2007|title=The Worst President Ever|accessdate=2007-02-17] [cite web|url=http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0708-27.htm?year=2005|date=2005|title=The Worst US President Ever?|accessdate=2005-07-08] [cite web|url=http://www.ajc.com/blogs/content/shared-blogs/ajc/bookman/entries/2008/10/01/with_economic_calamity_bush_se.html?year=2008|date=2008|title=With economic calamity, Bush seals title of worst president ever|accessdate=2008-10-01] [cite web|url=http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/political-fix/political-fix/2008/05/gephardt-bush-worst-president-ever/?year=2008|date=2008|title=Gephardt: Bush, worst president. Ever|accessdate=2008-05-10] [cite web|url=http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2007/05/200852513212589568.html?year=2007|date=2007|title=Carter: Bush 'worst president ever'|accessdate=2007-05-21] [cite web|url=http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/29921/a_third_in_us_say_bush_is_worst_president?year=2008|date=2008|title=A Third in U.S. Say Bush is Worst President|accessdate=2008-02-17] [cite web|url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-414491/Is-George-W-Bush-worst-president-ever.html?year=2006|date=2006|title=Is George W. Bush the worst president ever?|accessdate=2006-11-04]

Criticisms of administration

Foreign policy and national defense

Al Qaeda

In a White House briefing on August 6, 2001, President Bush was informed of the terrorist threat posed by Al Qaeda in a memorandum entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.". Critics allege that these warnings were ignored. [cite web
url=http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/48/17356
title=Bush ignored 9/11 Warnings
author=Jason Leopold
publisher=truthout
date=January 31, 2006
accessdate=2007-05-03
] At a press conference held on July, 2007, Bush denied a United States National Counterterrorism Center report that stated that Al-Qaeda has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001." [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6294526.stm
title=US concern at al-Qaeda strength
publisher=BBC News
date=July 12, 2007
accessdate=2007-07-13
] Bush said that was "simply not the case." [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6896248.stm
title=Bush denies al-Qaeda has renewed
publisher=BBC News
date=July 12, 2007
accessdate=2007-07-13
]

He has also received criticism for publicly using phrases like "bring it on" and "wanted dead or alive", both regarding terrorists.

"Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., called the president's language 'irresponsible and inciteful'". "'I am shaking my head in disbelief,' Lautenberg said. 'When I served in the Army in Europe during World War II, I never heard any military commander — let alone the commander in chief — invite enemies to attack U.S. troops.'" [ [http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-07-02-bush-iraq-troops_x.htm USA Today, 2003-07-02] ] And indeed the Iraqi Resistance group known as the "Islamic Jihad Army" put out a video which stated "George W. Bush, you have asked us to 'bring it on.' And so help me, [we will] like you never expected. Do you have another challenge?" [ [http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Inauguration/story?id=406639&page=1 ABC News] ] [ [http://ancapistan.typepad.com/message-from-resistance.wmv video] ] Bush apologized for these comments in 2006. [cite web
url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/06/02/regrets_confessions_bring_em_on/
title=Regrets? Confessions? Bring 'em on!
author=Leslie Savan
publisher=The Boston Globe
date=June 2, 2006
accessdate=2007-06-11
] .

However on September 9, 2007, Bush's homeland security adviser again caused a stir when she, in referencing a new tape by Bin Laden, said "This is about the best he can do. This is a man on a run, from a cave, who's virtually impotent other than these tapes". "In appearance on two Sunday talk shows, she used the 'virtually impotent' reference both times, suggesting the language was chosen with careful purpose". "Such a comment could prove incendiary to like-minded followers of bin Laden who see themselves as a 'vanguard of a global assault on the United States' ... "A provocation like that is not helpful" said Thomas Sanderson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies . [ [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gPfuhKxWr6wuItnKxaSAXAu3-2wA article] ]

Iraq

President Bush has taken a significant amount of criticism for his decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 and his handling of the situation afterwards. As President Bush organized the effort, made the case, and ordered the invasion himself, he has borne the brunt of the criticism for the war. [cite web
url=http://baltimorechronicle.com/2006/090606HICKMAN.html
title=Bush, Not Iraq War Critics, "Could Not Be More Wrong"
author=John Hickman
publisher=Baltimore Chronicle
date=September 6, 2006
accessdate=2007-01-11
] A Newsweek poll taken in June 2007 showed a record 73% of respondents disapproving of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq.

Critics of the invasion claimed that it would lead to the deaths of thousands of Coalition soldiers and Iraqi soldiers and civilians, and that it would moreover damage peace and stability throughout the Middle East. When this later turned out to be the case, public support for Bush and his policies dropped sharply.

Another oft-stated reason for opposition is the Westphalian concept that foreign governments should never possess a right to intervene in another sovereign nation's internal affairs. Giorgio Agamben, the Italian philosopher, has also offered a critique of the logic of such pre-emptive war.

Anti-war sentiment has led to a number of large protests in the US, among the most visible being the one led by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, and some reflection in electoral politics. A significant minority of mostly Democratic politicians, such as former Vice President Al Gore and Barack Obama, opposed the invasion of Iraq. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for President in 2004, voted to authorize the invasion. Howard Dean, a rival for the nomination, ran on an anti-war position, but did not favor quick troop withdrawal. Dennis Kucinich, another candidate for the Democratic nomination, favored replacement of the U.S. occupation force with one sponsored by the UN, as did Ralph Nader's independent presidential candidacy.

Torture

Another point of discussion has been whether the detainment and treatment of prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantánamo Bay detainment camp constitutes torture or not. Although a [http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=15160&pg=1 CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll] "found that sizable majorities of Americans disagree with tactics ranging from leaving prisoners naked and chained in uncomfortable positions for hours, to trying to make a prisoner think he was being drowned. [cite news
first = Toni
last = Locy
title = Poll: Most object to extreme interrogation tactics
url = http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-12-poll-interrogation_x.htm
work = USA TODAY
publisher = USA TODAY
date = 2005-01-13
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
quote = sizable majorities of Americans disagree with tactics
]

President Bush has stated that "We do not torture." [cite web
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9956644/
title=Bush: ‘We do not torture’ terror suspects
publisher=Associated Press
date=November 7, 2005
accessdate=2007-01-11
] Yet, many people and governments [cite news
first = Darren
last = Carlson
author = Darren K. Carlson
title = Public Believes U.S. Government Has Tortured Prisoners
url = http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=20170&pg=1
format = fee required
work = The Gallup Poll
publisher = The Gallup Organization
date = 2005-11-29
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
quote = [...] denying his agency tortures prisoners. But most Americans think otherwise.
] [cite news
first = Darren
last = Carlson
author = Darren K. Carlson
coauthors = CNN, USA Today
title = Americans Frown on Interrogation Techniques
url = http://www.galluppoll.com/content/?ci=15160&pg=1
format = fee required
work = The Gallup Poll
publisher = The Gallup Organization
date = 2005-03-08
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
quote = a majority of Americans think it's wrong for the government to use any of these methods
] [cite news
first = Edward
last = Cody
author = Edward Cody
title = China, Others Criticize U.S. Report on Rights
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3840-2005Mar3.html
work = Washington Post Foreign Service
publisher = The Washington Post Company
date = 2005-03-04
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
quote = No country should exclude itself from the international human rights development process
] don't see it that way and have staged several protests. [cite news
title = Guantanamo protest at US embassy
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6250669.stm
work = UK BBC NEWS
publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation
date = 2007-01-11
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
quote = More than 300 protesters gathered outside the US embassy for the hour-long demonstration.
] [cite news
first = Lena
last = Sun
author = Lena H. Sun
title = As Torture Survivors Watch, Activists Stage Arrests Near White House
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/26/AR2005062600955_pf.html
work = Washington Post News
publisher = The Washington Post Company
date = 2005-06-27
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
quote = The men and women who survived imprisonment, beatings and rapes knew ahead of time that yesterday's arrest of a group of their supporters in front of the White House was a symbolic protest to spotlight the continuing use of torture by governments around the world, including the United States.
] [cite news
first = Esteban
last = Israel
author = Esteban Israel
title = Guantanamo prison draws protests worldwide
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011101177_pf.html
format = Reprint
work = Washington Post News
publisher = Reuters
date = 2007-01-11
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
] [cite news
first = Carol
last = Leonnig
author = Carol D. Leonnig
title = 80 Arrested Protesting Guantanamo Detentions
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011100964.html
work = Washington Post Nation News
publisher = The Washington Post Company
date = 2007-01-12
accessdate = 2007-01-20
language = Eng
] These sentiments are partly a result of the Pentagon's suggestion that the president can legally torture anyone he deems to be a threat to security, [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3783869.stm
title=US 'not bound by torture laws'
publisher=BBC News
date=June 7, 2004
accessdate=2007-01-11
] and because the Bush administration has repeatedly tried to stop attempts at limiting torture, [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4530494.stm
title=Congress presses for torture ban
publisher=BBC News
date=December 15, 2005
accessdate=2007-01-11
] including legislation by President Bush to exclude himself from the laws created by the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 as well as vetoing legislation that would have made waterboarding and other coercive interrogation methods illegal. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080308/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_torture] Furthermore many people [cite web
url=http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2005/12/exporting-torture-us-rendition-and.php
title=Exporting Torture: US Rendition and European Outrage
author=Chandra Lekha Sriram
publisher=JURIST
date=December 13, 2005
accessdate=2007-01-11
] [cite web
url=http://www.sacc.org.uk/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=189&catid=27&Itemid=41
title=US Consul's gaffe provokes outrage in Scotland
publisher=SACC
date=January 16, 2006
accessdate=2007-01-11
] [cite web
url=http://www.cfr.org/publication/9350/
title=U.S. Treatment of Terror Suspects and U.S.-EU Relations
author=Mary Crane
publisher=Council on Foreign Relations
date=December 6, 2005
accessdate=2007-01-11
] are concerned by the Bush Administration's use of Extraordinary rendition, where individuals are sent to other countries where torture can easily occur without any form of oversight. Bush defends this practice on the basis that: [cite web
url=http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/04/20050428-9.html
title=Press Conference of the President
author=George W. Bush
publisher=The White House
date=April 28, 2005
accessdate=2007-01-11
] [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4088746.stm
title=US suspects 'face torture overseas'
author=Dan Isaacs
publisher=BBC News
date= June 14, 2005
accessdate=2007-01-11
]

[...] the United States government has an obligation to protect the American people. It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way. And we will do so within the law, and we will do so in honoring our commitment not to torture people. And we expect the countries where we send somebody to, not to torture, as well. But you bet, when we find somebody who might do harm to the American people, we will detain them and ask others from their country of origin to detain them. It makes sense. The American people expect us to do that.

A pentagon memo lists many interrogation techniques which were requested and approved during the presidency of George W. Bush on the basis that "The current guidelines for interrogation procedures at GTMO limit the ability of interrogators to counter advanced resistance".cite paper
author = William J. Haynes II, General Counsel
title = Counter-Resistance Techniques
publisher = DEFENCE PENTAGON
date = 2002-11-27
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/dodmemos.pdf
format = PDF Reprint ACTION MEMO FOR SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
accessdate = 2007-01-21
] . The Bush administration's connection to torture has been one of the main considerations in the movement to impeach George W. Bush.

Torture has in several cases become military policy [cite news|author=R. Jeffrey Smith and Josh White|title=General Granted Latitude At Prison|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35612-2004Jun11.html|work=Abu Ghraib Prison|publisher=The Washington Post Company|date=2004-06-12|accessdate=2007-07-30|language=Eng|quote=sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuse] and several high ranking US officials are being charged with war crimes in Germany [cite news|author=ADAM ZAGORIN|title=Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse|url=http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1557842,00.html|work=U.S.|publisher=Time Inc.|date=2006-11-10|accessdate=2007-07-30|language=Eng|quote=The utter and complete failure of U.S. authorities to take any action to investigate high-level involvement in the torture program could not be clearer, [...] ] .

Other human rights

The Bush administration has been criticized for failing to support the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Bush administration "has taken the position that disability is neither a human rights issue nor a predicate for international law." [cite web
url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A21060-2004Nov3
title=Human Rights for the Disabled
author=Thornburgh, Dick and Reich, Alan
publisher=Washington Post
date=November 3, 2004
accessdate=2007-06-13
]

Domestic policy

Domestic criticism of Bush has waxed and waned throughout his administration. Before 9/11, Bush was reviled by the bulk of the American left, mostly for his role in the controversial 2000 election, and for perceived shortcomings in his No Child Left Behind program for education. [cite web
url=http://edition.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/01/05/elec04.prez.bush.no.child.ap/
title=Bush stumps for 'No Child Left Behind'
publisher=CNN
date=January 6, 2004
accessdate=2007-11-01
] The next major domestic item which Bush faced significant opposition to was his program of tax cuts, codified in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Both acts ultimately passed, but calls for their repeal lasted until the end of the 2004 campaign. Democratic candidate Howard Dean in particular called for a repeal of the part of the tax cuts which affected the wealthiest Americans in order to fund public health care programs and reduce the federal deficit. [cite web
url=http://www.trendmacro.com/a/talkingpoints/2004_01_01_tparchives.asp
title=Tax Reform
author=Bruce Bartlett
publisher=TrendMacrolytics
date=January 06, 2004
accessdate=2007-11-01
]

After Bush was re-elected, he made Social Security reform a top priority. He proposed options to permit Americans to divert a portion of their Social Security tax (FICA) into secured investments, creating a "nest egg" that he claimed would enjoy steady growth. This led Democrats to label the program a "privatization" of Social Security. Bush embarked on a 60-day tour to shore up public support for the plan, attacking the political reaction against reforms. Ultimately, however, no consensus on a plan could be reached within the congressional Republican party, and Bush was left without any political will to pass his reforms. The issue was dropped, and the status quo maintained. [cite web
url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/07/AR2006020701865.html
title=Bush's Social Security Sleight of Hand
author=Allan Sloan
publisher=Washington Post
date=February 8, 2006
accessdate=2007-11-01
]

Bush has been increasingly forced to defend his actions on many fronts and has been unable to generate widespread support in the nation as a whole. [cite web
url=http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm
title=Bush Approval Ratings
publisher=Polling Report.com
accessdate=2007-11-01
] An example of the general displeasure and extent to which many Americans have lost respect and confidence in the President lies in his recent election as the "Biggest Tool of 2006" in an online poll created by Comedy Central. [cite web
url=http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/last_laugh_2006/poll.jhtml
title=Bush 'Wins' Poll
publisher=Comedy Central
accessdate=2007-11-01
]

The Republican Party's defeat in the 2006 US midterm elections is taken as another sign of plummeting public support for President Bush. After the Democratic Party's victory, MSNBC reported that "The war in Iraq, scandals in Congress and declining support for Bush and Republicans on Capitol Hill defined the battle for House and Senate control". [cite web
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15620405/
title=Democrats win control of Senate
publisher=MSNBC
date=November 9, 2006
accessdate=2007-11-01
]

Civil liberties and expanding government

After 9/11, Bush continually signed legislation interpreted as limiting the civil liberties of United States citizens. The two most prominent pieces of legislation are the PATRIOT Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which remove certain privacy rights and the right of habeas corpus. Criticism has come from both sides on this issue. Conservatives have criticized him for increased government spending, including non-defense spending, after running as a candidate who pledged to reduce spending and make government smaller. Liberals have criticized him for eliminating basic civil liberties and for not fulfilling his Constitutional duties to uphold habeas corpus.

Economy and fiscal policies

The Bush administration has also come under attack from the American right-wing, particularly with regard to its economic policies. The American Conservative laments "Bush doesn’t know how to stop. Like a credit-card thief, the President of the United States is going on a shopping binge and making other people pay. If history gives Bush a nickname, it will be Deadbeat Dubya".

Calling Bush "The Mother of All Big Spenders", the libertarian think-tank Cato Institute writes that "Sadly, the Bush administration has consistently sacrificed sound policy to the god of political expediency". [ [http://www.cato.org/research/articles/dehaven-030728.html CATO Institute article] ] Yet when Democrats want to increase spending on domestic issues such as health care for the poor Bush suddenly becomes a "fiscal conservative" accusing them of "working to bring back the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past" and vowing to fight them. But says Cato's Chris Edwards, "When he gives speeches now, you hear him bashing the Democrats on overspending. It sounds ridiculous, because we know he's a big spender." [ [http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/23/asia/prexy.php IHT.com article] ] "After running up $3 trillion in new debt - including more than half a trillion dollars for his flawed Iraq policy - it is astounding that the president is once again lecturing Congress about fiscal responsibility and fiscal priorities," stated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). [ [http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=18850815&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=6 The Bulletin] ]

Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve for 18 years, serving under six Presidents and who describes himself as "a lifelong Libertarian Republican", writes in his book " [http://www.amazon.com/Age-Turbulence-Adventures-New-World/dp/1594201315 The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World] " that Bush and the congressional Republicans "swapped principle for power". "Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences". Interestingly he writes that former President Bill Clinton had "a consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth [which] became a hallmark of his presidency" and says that Clinton was "by far" one of the two "smartest presidents I've worked with".

Greenspan also says "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil" [ [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070915/bs_nm/greenspan_book_rates_dc;_ylt=As481BiXgYNjj3GmxG7EUNxREhkF Yahoo News article] ] and "getting Saddam out of there was very important, but had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it had to do with oil." [ [http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/09/17/qa-greenspan-on-bubbles-saddam-cheney-and-bernanke/ Wall Street Journal Blogs] ] [ [http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/greenspans-shock-oil-behind-iraq-invasion/2007/09/16/1189881340375.html TheAge.com] ] With regards to the costs of the war in Iraq, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will come to between one and one and a half trillion dollars by 2010.

"Those costs -- both to sustain the current mission in Iraq and to pay longer-term 'hidden' expenses like troop healthcare and replacement equipment -- are far more than US officials advertised when Congress gave President Bush the authority to launch the invasion in March 2003. At the time, the White House and then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted a quick, decisive victory and counted on Iraqi oil revenues to pay for the war. And when Lawrence Lindsey, one of Bush's top budget advisers, estimated in 2003 that the entire undertaking could cost as much as $200 billion, he was fired ... McGovern said he is worried about the long-term financial impact of the war, adding that his primary concern is that the United States is borrowing money to pay for it. Some leading economists have predicted that, depending on how long troops remain in Iraq, the endeavor could reach several trillion dollars as a result of more 'hidden' costs -- including recruiting expenses to replenish the ranks and the lifelong benefits the government pays to veterans. 'It is being paid for on the national credit card,' McGovern said. 'It is being put on the backs of our kids and grandkids. That is indefensible.'" [ [http://boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/08/01/analysis_says_war_could_cost_1_trillion/ Boston.com article] ]

In fact, according to the former World Bank vice-president, Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and now a professor at the Columbia Business School, when other factors, like medical and welfare costs of US military servicemen are added in, the cost just to date is closer to $3.3 trillion. [ [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23286149-2703,00.html TheAustralian.news.com article] ] However, continues Stiglitz, "Three trillion is a very conservative number, the true costs are likely to be much larger than that". "The money being spent on the war each week would be enough to wipe out illiteracy around the world ... Just a few days' funding would be enough to provide health insurance for US children who were not covered," he said.

Under the Bush administration, the United States public debt has soared to more than $10 trillion. [http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080726/congress_housing.html?.v=3] The relaxed regulation under the Bush presidency are regarded to have been a major contributing factor to the subprime mortgage crisis, and there are fears that the United States and the world economy could slide into another Great Depression. [ [http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSGOR27660220080212?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0 Reuters article] ] [ [http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=918803 Intelligencer.ca article] ] [ [http://www.gulfnews.com/business/Economy/10201180.html GulfNews.com article] ]

Response to Hurricane Katrina

The President came under more criticism when the powerful Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast region during the early hours of August 30, 2005. In the wake of the hurricane, two levees protecting New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain collapsed, leading to widespread flooding. In the aftermath of this disaster, thousands of city residents, unable or unwilling to evacuate prior to the hurricane, became stranded with little or no relief for several days, resulting in lawless and unsanitary conditions in some areas. Blame for inadequate disaster response was partially attributed to state and local authorities, but public outcry in the disaster's early hours was largely directed at the Bush administration, mainly FEMAcite news|url=http://edition.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/04/14/fema.ig/index.html|title=Report: Criticism of FEMA's Katrina response deserved|author=Ahlers, Mike M.|publisher="CNN"|date=April 14, 2006|accessdate=2006-11-01] and the Department of Homeland Security [cite news|url=http://edition.cnn.com/2005/US/09/03/katrina.chertoff/|title=Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist|publisher="CNN"|date=September 5, 2005|accessdate=2007-11-01] alleging weak crisis management and coordination. In fact a Canadian search-and-rescue team actually made it to a New Orleans suburb 5 days before U.S. aid arrived. [ [http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0908-02.htm CommonDreams.org article] ] Additionally, Bush rejected aid from other countries such as Cuba, which offered to send "more than 1500 medical doctors with 37 tons of medical supplies". [ [http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1005-24.htm CommonDreams article] ]

Rapper Kanye West said in A Concert for Hurricane Relief that "George Bush doesn't care about black people," alleging that Bush did not do anything to help merely because most of the victims were black. [cite news|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/03/AR2005090300165.html|title=Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC|author=de Moraes, Lisa |publisher="Washington Post"|date=2005-09-03|accessdate=2006-11-01] Others have identified political conservatism as the overriding cause of problems in the way the disaster was handled. [cite web
last = Lakoff
first = George
authorlink = George Lakoff
coauthors = Halpin, John
title = Framing Katrina
publisher = The American Prospect
date=2005-10-07
url = http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=framing_katrina
accessdate = 2007-07-01
] These critics argue that the alleged unreadiness of the United States National Guard, negligence of federal authorities, and haplessness of officials such as Michael Brown did not represent incompetence on the part of the federal authorities, but were instead natural and deliberate consequences of the conservative philosophy embraced by the Bush administration, especially "sink or swim" policies to force reductions in government expenditure and privatize key government responsibilities such as disaster preparedness [cite web
last = Scahill
first = Jeremy
title = In the Black(Water)
publisher = The Nation
date=2006-06-05
url = http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060605/scahill
accessdate = 2007-07-05
] [cite web
title = Halliburton gets another $33 Million for Hurricane Katrina clean-up
publisher = Halliburton Watch
date=2005-10-12
url = http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/news/katrina2.html
accessdate = 2007-07-05
] , both of which resulted in the systematic dismantling of FEMA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security [cite web
last = Holdeman
first = Eric
title = Destroying FEMA
publisher = Washington Post
date=2005-08-30
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/29/AR2005082901445.html
accessdate = 2007-07-05
] .

Criticism led to the resignation of FEMA director Michael Brown, and eventually, Bush himself accepted personal responsibility for what he deemed "serious problems in the federal government's response" in a September 15, 2005 press conference. Currently, the administration is investigating itself, yet several politicians have called for either congressional or independent investigations, claiming that the Executive Branch cannot satisfactorily investigate itself. [cite news|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090802165.html|title=Leaders Lacking Disaster Experience|publisher="Washington Post"|author=Hsu, Spencer S. |accessdate=2006-11-01|date=2005-09-09] [cite news|url=http://www.time.com/time/press_releases/article/0,8599,1109304,00.html|title=CRONYISM in the Bush Administration|publisher="Time"|author=Pearson, Diana |accessdate=2006-11-01|date=2005-09-25] [cite news|url=http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1109345,00.html|title=How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There?|publisher="Time"|accessdate=2006-11-01|date=2005-09-25]

Environment

Bush has been criticized by national and international environmental groups for his administration's attacks on and rollbacks of hard won environmental protections going back more than three decades and for its general anti-environmental thrust. These are in areas ranging from the attacks on the endangered species act and the clean air and water acts to climate change and many more. For a comprehensive (to date of the report) list see the National Resources defense Council's report " [http://www.nrdc.org/bushrecord/2005.asp The Bush Record] ," NRDC's comprehensive account of the Bush administration's environmental policies from 2001 through 2005. More up-to-date information can be found [http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-new.cfm?doc_name=fs-110-1-1 on the U.S. Senate website] . According to MSNBC:

:"After four years in office, the George W. Bush administration has compiled an environmental record that is taking our nation in a new and dangerous direction. Last year alone, Bush administration agencies made more than 150 actions that weakened our environmental laws. Over the course of the first term, this administration led the most thorough and destructive campaign against America's environmental safeguards in the past 40 years." [ [http://www.nrdc.org/legislation/rollbacks/execsum.asp NRDC.org] ]

In " [http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/05/revolvingdoor200705 Texas Chainsaw Management] " (2007) Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. argues that "The verdict on George W. Bush as the nation's environmental steward has already been written in stone. No president has mounted a more sustained and deliberate assault on the nation's environment. No president has acted with more solicitude toward polluting industries. Assaulting the environment across a broad front, the Bush administration has promoted and implemented more than 400 measures that eviscerate 30 years of environmental policy." Kennedy has also written a book " [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0060746882/ Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy] ." See also the website [http://www.bushgreenwatch.org/ BushGreenWatch] .

George W. Bush has also been criticized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, representing over 20 Nobel Laureates, for failing to acknowledge basic science on environmental issues. This includes the intentional supression and distortion of facts regarding the environment. [http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2004/02/62339] [http://www.webexhibits.org/bush/1.html]

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys

The dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy is an ongoing political dispute initiated by the unprecedented dismissal of seven United States Attorneys by the Bush administration's Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2006, and their replacement by interim appointees under provisions of the 2005 Patriot Act reauthorization.] ] ] ]

Congressional investigations have focused on whether the Department of Justice and the White House were using the U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage. Allegations are that some of the attorneys were targeted for dismissal to impede investigations of Republican politicians or that some were targeted for their failure to initiate investigations that would damage Democratic politicians or hamper Democratic-leaning voters. [cite news
title=Charges may result from firings, say two former U.S. attorneys
first=David
last=Bowermaster
publisher=The Seattle Times
date=2007-05-09
url=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003699882_webmckayforum09m.html
accessdate=2007-05-16
] [cite news
title=Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals
first=Dan
last=Eggen
coauthors=Amy Goldstein
publisher=The Washington Post
date=2007-05-14
url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/13/AR2007051301106.html
accessdate=2007-05-18
] Clear explanations for the dismissals remain elusive, however, with several administration officials providing contradictory testimony or testimony contradicted by documents subpoened by Congress.] ] [cite news | work= CNN.com | publisher= Cable News Network |date=2007-05-28 | accessdate = 2007-05-28
url=http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/05/23/goodling.testimony/index.html|date=May 23, 2007
title=Deputy AG 'not fully candid,' ex-Justice aide testifies|publisher=CNN
] On July 25, 2007 the United States House Committee on the Judiciary voted along party lines 22-17 to issue citations of Contempt of Congress to White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers for their failure to respond to Congressional subpoenas.cite news|title=Bush Aides in Contempt; Will They Be Prosecuted?|author=Ari Shapiro|date=2007-07-25|url=http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12234115|work=All Things Considered |publisher=National Public Radio]

Critics argue that the scandal has undermined both the integrity of the Department of Justice and the non-partisan tradition of U.S. Attorneys. [] [cite news |accessdate=2007-05-21 |url= http://www.coxwashington.com/news/content/reporters/stories/2007/05/08/BC_FIRED_PROSECUTORS04_COX.html
title=Former Justice Official: Fired U.S. Attorneys Among the Best |author= Rebecca Carr |date=May 8, 2007 |publisher= Cox Newspapers
] ] [cite web |accessdate=2007-05-29 |url= http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200703/031907.html |title=Statement of Sen. Patrick Leahy: On S. 214, Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act Of 2007 |author= Patrick Leahy
date=March 19, 2007 |publisher= Senator Patrick Leahy
] Others have gone so far as to liken the event to Watergate, referring to it as "Gonzales-gate". [cite news |accessdate=2007-06-15 |url= http://www.onthemedia.org/episodes/2007/06/15/segments/80679
title= Gonzales-gate |first = Bob |last = Garfield |date=June 15, 2007 |work = On the Media | publisher = National Public Radio {NPR
] Many members of Congress from both parties called for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. [See references on Alberto Gonzales#Calls for resignation.2C firing.2C and no-confidence resolution] As of June 25, 2007, six senior staff of the Department of Justice had resigned, including the Deputy Attorney General, the Acting Associate Attorney General, the Chief of Staff for the Attorney General, the Chief of Staff for the Deputy Attorney General, the Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, and the DOJ's White House Liaison. [cite news |accessdate=2007-06-15 |url= http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wire/ats-ap_top11jun15,0,837360.story?coll=la-ap-topnews-headlines
title= Official Close to Attorney Firings Quits |first = Lara Jakes |last = Jordan |date=June 15, 2007 |publisher= Los Angeles Times
] ] By September 17, 2007 Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, and several additional senior Department of Justice officers had departed from office. His successor, Michael Mukasey after a controversy over his Senate testimony regarding the legality of torture and waterboarding, was confirmed to office by a vote of the Senate on November 8, 2007, and was sworn in on November 9, 2007.

Hostility toward the poor

Detractors have presented examples of a hostility to the poor, and a favoring of the rich, on the part of the Bush Administration, and Republicans in general. "This is an impressive crowd -- the haves and the have-mores. Some call you the elite. I call you my base," quipped Bush,cite journal | author=Marie Coco| authorlink=Marie Coco| title=Hollow Talk on 'Income Inequality'? | journal=Washington Post| date= February 6, 2007| url=http://www.postwritersgroup.com/archives/cocc0206.html] before a white-tie fundraiser. His supposed distaste for the working class shows in tax cuts for the very rich,cite journal | author=Edmund L. Andrews| authorlink=Edmund L. Andrews| title=Tax Cuts Offer Most for Very Rich, Study Says| journal=New York Times| year=2007-01-08| url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/08/washington/08tax.html?ex=1325912400&en=e1dc82f54ac7eacb&ei=5090] which leading economists have suggested may hurt the poor.cite journal | author=Laura D'Andrea Tyson| authorlink=Laura D'Andrea Tyson| title=The Bush Tax Cuts Are Sapping America's Strength | journal=Business Week| date=August 11, 2003| url=http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_32/b3845029_mz007.htm]

Moral and ethical questions have been raised over the billions of dollars Bush has requested for the open-ended Iraq war,cite journal | author=Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray| title=Bush Threatens to Veto Democrats' Iraq Plan| journal=Washington Post| date=March 9, 2007| url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/08/AR2007030800206.html| pages=A01] while ensuring less money is made available to help children and the poor in the United States.Cite web|url=http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec07/reid_12-21.html|title=Senate Majority Leader Reid Weighs Partisan Divides, Security in Iraq|accessdate=2008-02-13|publisher=PBS|date=December 21, 2007 |author=Online NewsHour Senator Harry Reid (D - NV): "The Leave No Child Behind Act is leaving children behind. We need money to take care of that; there isn't enough money because of the war in Iraq." and "How much longer are we going to be asked to spend $12 billion a month on this war, when we don't have money for health care? We tried to get 10,000 poor children health insurance. The president said there's not enough money to do that."] One example is a perceived stinginess toward poor children with regards to health care in a time when it is increasingly unaffordable.Cite web|url=http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=aebqrhyfmn7w&refer=home|title=Bush Adds Restrictions to U.S. Children's Health Plan (Update3) |accessdate=2008-02-13|publisher=bloomberg.com|date=August 21, 2007|author=Catherine Larkin and Edwin Chen "The Bush administration, fighting efforts by states and Congress to expand a popular health insurance program for children in low-income families, is making it more difficult for families to sign up ... 'The ultimate effect of this new policy is that tens of thousands of children who have health insurance will effectively lose that insurance,' said Rachel Klein, deputy director of health policy for Families USA, a Washington-based consumer group".] Another example is Bush's effort to cut food stamps for the poor. In 2005, Bush called for "billions of dollars in cuts that will touch people on food stamps and farmers on price supports, children under Medicaid and adults in public housing."cite journal | author=Joel Havemann and Mary Curtius| title=Bush to Propose Billions in Cuts| journal=Los Angeles Times| date=February 6, 2005| url=http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0206-03.htm] While passed by the Republican Congress, initially the "White House proposed the restriction".cite journal | author=AP| authorlink=Associated Press| title=US poor set to lose food stamps| journal=Sydney Morning Herald| date=October 29, 2005| url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/us-poor-set-to-lose-food-stamps/2005/10/29/1130400390006.html]

Hostility toward the press

The national news media and press corp have regularly denounced the Bush Administration as openly hostile and contemptuous towards news relations, as well as using "secrecy, lying, and fake news" to mislead and render impotent the press. [http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050509/alterman/4] Bush's press critics often cite a massive increase in the classification of activities, outright fabrications and denials of events, and even repeated submissions of "news releases" made to resemble an actual news conference, such as FEMA's infamous factious news conference during the response to the October 2007 California wildfires. During the staged conference, FEMA employees roleplayed as reporters asking facile questions such as "Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?", while the actual, unwitting press corp were only allowed to dial in via listen-only conference call. The results were then aired across national news networks without acknowledgment that the press conference was staged [http://thinkprogress.org/2007/10/26/fema-softball-presser/]

Criticisms of personality

Leadership

Bush's critics have questioned his leadership skills regarding some events. One occasion was on the moment of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks: after being told by Chief of Staff Andrew Card that the U.S. was "under attack", Bush continued with the reading lesson with elementary school children for seven minutes. [cite news|author= Adair, Bill|coauthors = Hegarty, Stephen|title =The drama in Sarasota|publisher="St. Petersburg Times"|date=2002-09-08|url =http://www.sptimes.com/2002/09/08/911/The_drama_in_Sarasota.shtml| accessdate = 2007-06-15 ] cite news|author=Achenbach, Joel|title =On 9/11, a Telling Seven-Minute Silence |publisher=The Washington Post|date=2002-09-08|url =http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53548-2004Jun18.html|accessdate = 2007-08-11|date=2004-06-19 ] Democratic 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry cited Bush's lack of swift action, calling into question the incumbent's leadership capabilities, and concluding: "Americans want to know that the person they choose as president has all the skills and ability, all of the mental toughness, all of the gut instinct necessary to be a strong commander in chief." [cite news|url=http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/08/06/kerry_questions_bushs_wartime_leadership/|title=Kerry questions Bush's wartime leadership|publisher="Boston Globe"|author=Healy, Patrick|year=2004-08-06] The 9/11 Commission later released a summary of Bush closed-door testimony, which stated the President's "instinct was to project calm, not to have the country see an excited reaction at a moment of crisis". It went on to say "The President felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening." This situation was featured prominently in Michael Moore's 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

President Bush twice, in late 2001 and early 2002, stated that before entering the classroom he had seen on a television set the first plane hit the World Trade Center, and that he had assumed it was an accident. [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/12/20011204-17.html President Meets with Displaced Workers in Town Hall Meeting] 2001-12-04] [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020105-3.html President Holds Town Hall Forum on Economy in California] 2002-01-05] This was impossible, as no televised footage of the first plane crashing into the tower was broadcast until the afternoon of that day. The White House explained his remarks as "a mistaken recollection". [Paltrow, S. (2004) "Day of Crisis: Detailed Picture of U.S. Actions on Sept. 11 Remains Elusive." "Wall Street Journal" March 22]

Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina was also criticized widely by the media, particularly by commentators Frank Rich, David Remnick, Josh Marshall, Arianna Huffington, Greg Mitchell, Andrew Sullivan, and Howard Kurtz. [cite news|url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2005/03/05/BL2005040700999_2.html|title=The Politics of Katrina|author=Kurtz, Howard|publisher="Washington Post"|year=2005-09-07] Remnick charges that "to a frightening degree, Bush's faults of leadership and character were brought into high relief by the [Hurricane Katrina] crisis." [cite news|title=Under water|author=Remnick, David|url=http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/09/12/050912ta_talk_remnick|year=2005-09-12|publisher="The New Yorker"]

Intellectual and psychological ability

George W. Bush's intellectual capacities have been questioned by press, media personalities and politicians on numerous occasions. [cite news| url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/19/AR2006081900568_pf.html| title = Pundits Renounce The President| accessdate = 2006-09-11|author=Baker, Peter|date=2006-08-20|publisher = "Washington Post"] [cite news| url = http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=401414| title = Blair 'feels betrayed by Bush on Lebanon'| accessdate = 2006-09-11|author=Walters, Simon|date=2006-08-19| publisher = "Daily Mail"] This tendency led to farcical hoaxes such as the U.S. Presidents IQ hoax. [ cite web
url = http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/presiq.htm
title = President Bush Has Lowest IQ of all Presidents of past 50 Years
accessdate = 2006-09-11
date = 2004-07-15
publisher = snopes.com
] A real historiometric study, published in 2006 the scientific journal "Political Psychology", estimated the IQs of all US presidents since 1900 by analyzing each president's speeches and publications. The study ranked Bush second to last, with an estimated IQ between 111.1 and 138.5, and a mean of 125 (an IQ considered above average). [cite journal
author = Simonton, Dean Keith
date=2006-08-01
title = Presidential IQ, Openness, Intellectual Brilliance, and Leadership: Estimates and Correlations for 42 U.S. Chief Executives
journal = "Political Psychology"
volume = 27
pages = 511–526
doi = 10.1111/j.1467-9221.2006.00524.x
url = http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2006.00524.x
accessdate = 2006-09-11
] In an interview, it was noted by the study's director that "Bush may be 'much smarter' than the findings imply" but that he "scores particularly unimpressively for 'openness to experience, a cognitive proclivity that encompasses unusual receptiveness to fantasy, aesthetics, actions, ideas and values.'" [cite news
url = http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2350564,00.html
title = Bush IQ low on presidential league
accessdate = 2006-09-10
last = Dobson
first = Roger
date=2006-09-10
publisher = "Times Online"
] [cite web
url = http://www.csbsju.edu/uspp/Election/bush011401.htm
title = Bush gets bad rap on intelligence
accessdate = 2006-10-09
date=2001-01-14
publisher = "St. Cloud Times Online"
] [cite news
url = http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/columnist/benedetto/2005-06-10-benedetto_x.htm
title = Who is smarter, Kerry or Bush?
accessdate = 2007-04-16
date=2005-06-10
publisher = "USA Today"
]

Personal behavior and tempermant

Bush has admitted undergoing a 'battle' with alcohol and alcoholism, which, he has stated, ended in 1986. [ cite news
url = http://in.news.yahoo.com/071213/139/6oenu.html
title = George Bush reveals his battle with booze
accessdate = 2006-12-16
author = Asian News International
date=2007-12-13
publisher = "Yahoo India News"
]

Bush's presidency has seen the re-emergence of the use of a term previously applied to his father, "Bushism", to describe Bush's colorful mispronunciations and misuse of words when speaking. Bushisms have been widely popularized and [http://www.dubyaspeak.com archived] across the Internet due to their often humorous nature. [cite news
url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/US_election_race/Story/0,,392735,00.html
title = Bush, in his own words
accessdate = 2006-10-09
author =Weisberg, Jacob
date=2000-11-04
publisher = "Guardian Unlimited"
] Even as early as the 2000 presidential debates, this was the subject of a "Saturday Night Live" sketch (see "Strategery"). [cite web
url = http://www.kencollier.org/classes/PSC448/readings448/SeriousStrategery.html
title = Serious 'Strategery' As Rove Launches Elaborate Political Effort, Some See a Nascent Clintonian 'War Room'
accessdate = 2006-10-09
author = Dana Milbank
date = April 22, 2001
publisher = Washington Post
] Perhaps his most famous mispronunciation is that of "nu"cular" instead of "nu"clear" when referring to nuclear weapons. In addition, he is often disparagingly called "Dubya", a stereotypical Texan pronunciation of the letter "W," which is Bush's middle initial. However, Bush's supporters have been known to refer to him as Dubya as well. Bush critic Georgie Anne Geyer found his behavior shocking [cite news
url = http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/DN-geyer_31edi.ART.State.Edition1.4370227.html
title = Georgie Anne Geyer: A spreading terror
accessdate = 2007-05-31
author = Geyer, Georgie Anne
date=2007-05-31
publisher ="Dallas Morning News"
] and Sean-Paul Kelley, founder of the left-wing blog The Agonist, found his behavior appalling [cite web
url = http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seanpaul-kelley/bush-in-the-bunker_b_47328.html
title = Bush in the Bunker
accessdate = 2007-05-31
author = Sean-Paul Kelley
date = April 30, 2007
publisher = The Huffington Post
] . Mishaps include an unexpected shoulder rub he gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G8 summit, [cite news
url = http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/19/BUSH.TMP
title = Cowboy george: Bush's unexpected squeeze of the German chancellor has the Internet howling
accessdate = 2007-05-31
author =Marinucci, Carla
date=2006-07-19
publisher ="San Francisco Chronicle"
] [cite news
url = http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/news/aktuell/2006/07/18/merkel-bush-liebes-attacke/merkel-bush-liebes-attacke.html
title = Bush: Liebes-Attacke auf Merkel (Bush: Love Attack on Merkel!)
accessdate = 2007-06-02
date=2007-05-01
publisher ="Bild"
] an incident where Bush wiped his glasses on an unsuspecting woman's dress on "The Late Show with David Letterman", [cite web|url=http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/bushvideos/v/bushkleenex.htm|publisher=About.com|accessdate=2007-06-12|title=Bush Uses Woman's Clothing As Kleenex] an incident when he ruined a rented house in Montgomery, Alabama and never paid the damage fine, [cite web|url=http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/6487413/alabama_getaway|publisher=Rolling Stone|accessdate=2007-06-12|title=Alabama Getaway ] [cite web|url=http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/09/02/allison/index.html?pn=2|publisher=Salon.com|accessdate=2007-06-12|title=George W. Bush's missing year] a time when he flashed the finger in front of a camera during his time as governor, [cite web|url=http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/bushvideos/v/bushflipbird.htm|publisher=About.com|accessdate=2007-06-12|title=Bush's One-Fingered Victory Salute] and a ceremony in which he presented the mothers of fallen soldiers with a Presidential coin and jokingly commented to one of them, "now don't go sell it on eBay". [cite news
url = http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2007/05/bush_to_mother_dont_sell_on_eb.html
title = Bush to mother: Don't sell on eBay
accessdate = 2008-08-04
author = Mark Silva
date=2007-05-31
publisher ="Chicago Tribune"
]

Bush has been continually charged by critics, including some conservatives, to have a low regard for human life and suffering, at times even pathological or disrespectful. The criticism ranges from broad indictments of his overall policy to noted specific instances. For example, when Bush was questioned by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson regarding possible clemency for the reformed Texas Death Row inmate Karla Faye Tucker, Carlson reported that Bush openly mocked her situation, even assuming an off-the-cuff impersonation of Tucker literally whimpering for her life. [ "Carlson, Talk", September 1999, p. 106] The incident lead to controversy between Bush and a coalition of Republican politicians, evangelicals, and Christians seeking clemency for Tucker, who had become a devout Christian before being executed. Another incident involved a meeting between the president and Senator Jim Webb of Virginia that had nearly escalated to confrontation. Bush was warned by his aides in advance to be sensitive towards Webb regarding his son, an Iraq War soldier who had almost been killed during his service. The president approached Webb and asked him, "How's your boy?". Webb had replied "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President.", to which Bush responded, "That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?" Bush's curt response reportedly had almost resulted in a physical confrontation between Webb and the President of the United States. cite news
url = http://hill6.thehill.com/under-the-dome/son-also-rises-in-testy-webb-bush-exchange-2006-11-29.html
title = Son also rises in testy Webb-Bush exchange
work= The Hill
first = Emily
last = Heil
date = November 29, 2006
accessdate = 2006-12-02
]

The national news press has also often accused Bush of literally intimidating both individual reporters and newsgroups such as the White House Press Corp during questioning and interviews with a bullying, aggressive physical presence, confrontational attitude, as well as often repeating directly to reporters that he refuses to read their work at all.

urveys of historians

Since 2006, surveys of professional historians have given the Bush presidency low marks. A 2006 Siena College poll of 744 professors reported the following results: [http://www.siena.edu/uploadedFiles/Home/Parents_and_Community/06_may_expert_bush_release.pdf Experts: Bush Presidency Is A Failure; Little Chance To Improve Ranking] . Siena Research Institute. May 1, 2006]
*"George W. Bush has just finished five years as President. If today were the last day of his presidency, how would you rank him? The responses were: Great: 2%; Near Great: 5%; Average: 11%; Below Average: 24%; Failure: 58%."
*"In your judgment, do you think he has a realistic chance of improving his rating? Two-thirds (67%) responded no; less than a quarter (23%) responded yes; and 10% chose no opinion or not applicable."Thomas Kelly, professor emeritus of American studies at Siena College, said: "President Bush would seem to have small hope for high marks from the current generation of practicing historians and political scientists. In this case, current public opinion polls actually seem to cut the President more slack than the experts do." Dr. Douglas Lonnstrom, Siena Collegeprofessor of statistics and director of the Siena Research Institute, stated: "In our 2002 presidential rating, with a group of experts comparable to this current poll, President Bush ranked 23rd of 42 presidents. That was shortly after 9/11. Clearly, the professors do not think things have gone well for him in the past few years. These are the experts that teach college students today and will write the history of this era tomorrow."

In 2008, the History News Network conducted an unscientific poll among 109 professional historians. That poll found that, among those professional historians, 98% believe that the George W. Bush presidency is a failure, and that 61% believe it to be the worst in history.McElvaine, Robert S. "HNN Poll: 61% of Historians Rate the Bush Presidency Worst". April 1, 2008. [http://hnn.us/articles/48916.html Available online.] ] This quote from one of the respondents is an example of historians' reasons for the low ranking: quote|No individual president can compare to the second Bush. Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he has bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the world’s goodwill. In short, no other president’s faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.

ee also

*Movement to impeach George W. Bush

References

External links

* [http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/worst_president_in_history/page/1 "The Worst President in History?"] , 2006, "Rolling Stone" article by Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/01/AR2006120101509.html "He's the Worst Ever"] , Dec. 3, 2006, "The Washington Post" column by Columbia University historian Eric Foner
*Halberstam, David, [http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/08/halberstam200708 "The History Boys",] "Vanity Fair", August 2007; Halberstam's final essay ("debunks the Bush administration's wild distortion of history")
* [http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=309706&sid=WOR "Faux Pas"]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2064157,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1 "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps"] : "The Guardian" argues that Bush is destroying constitutional freedoms.
* [http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/CaughtonFilm.html "Caught On Film: The Bush Credibility Gap"] ; Originally found at http://www.house.gov/appropriations_democrats/caughtonfilm.htm, but eventually removed.


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