How bad a president is Bush? Is he as bad as Nixon? These are questions that everyone has an opinion on, but for which there is no objective measure. Oh sure we can say that Bush is a disaster, but by what metric? I would propose that the public is the best measure of the President, and on that scale Bush is not only worse than Nixon, he's likely to the be the worst president in the history of this nation. But let's not speculate. Let's bring mathematics to bear...
Nixon entered off office in January, 1969 with a 65% approval rating, and despite equaling it just after his reelection in 72, he was never any better. When he resigned, after 64 months in office, his approval rating stood at about 26%. That means his approval declined an average of .61 points per month.
Bush, in contrast, had a peak approval rating of 91% one month after the September 11 attack. From there he's declined to a miserable 29%. So in 55 months, Bush's approval has declined by 1.13 points per month, almost double Nixon's rate. Is Bush twice as bad? Well, I'd say that the numbers don't lie, and at this rate Bush might manage to hit zero before he leaves office.
The numbers do lie, Bush is one million times worse!
Leaving aside the poll numbers, I think it's the key elements that are more stiking. An unwinnable war with "light at the end of the tunnel" pep talks. Giant protests in the streets against policies. Illegal acts committed in an effort to squelch critics. Extreme claims of executive powers.
And, I might agree that Bush is worse than Nixon. At least Nixon had decent environmental policies.
Numbers aside, comparing Nixon to Bush is like comparing a zit on one's nose to a brain tumor. Nixon needlessly extended a pointless war, but he didn't start it.
Nixon lied to cover up a third-rate burglary intended to scare up dirt on a domestic political opponent. Bush hoodwinked us into a war that has killed tens of thousands of people, ruined the country's global reputation and made our future far more precarious.
I'll take Nixon over Bush any day. In fact, that statement holds true even though Nixon is dead. A decomposing dead guy in the Oval Office would do less harm than the current occupant. We could call it "Weekend at Dickie's."
Well, I think twice as bad is generous. Certainly he is much worse - at least Nixon had the integrity to resign. Integrity is a foreign word to W - more like temerity is his theme.
Oh, and I have seen bumperstickers that say "I never thought I would miss Nixon." Says a lot, doesn't it.
Jason Leopold states today(saturday) that Krazy Karl has been served with the indictment of perjury and lying to investigators..
are they trying to get him to turn on someone higher? Whos the damn leaker?
but still..krazy karl in cuffs..rich! :P
Nixon was never a sympathetic character, so it was relatively easy to let him do most of his own damage. Just observing I would say the sheer scope of the Bush admin’s incompetence easily outweighs the Nixon machine’s foibles.
I’m just waiting to see Fox do a flip and follow their master into the Hillary camp. That will at least show what the dollar is saying. Murdoch is fond of his dollars.
HA! Numbers don't lie, do they? Brilliant post.
The other major difference between Bush and Nixon is the press investigated Nixon's crimes.
Lew, well there's no posibility of an investigation while the Republicans control the House. Nixon had to deal with a House full of Democrats. So doesn't that make the Republican leadership at least as culpable?
Helen, many thanks.
All the rest of you...OK, OK, you're all correct, but what have we got without some demonstrations of exactly how bad Bush is? Definitely not in the spirit of the thing. :-)
I don't see how it makes the repubes culpable generally speaking. If the public starts screaming for their heads(their elected reps)then perhaps it would be a far fetched possibility that the right would impeach the Shrub.
People are far more informed than during Nixon's era. There are so many more outlets disseminating information, and current events.
One common thread for me is the small band of merry pranksters it took for both these men to wreak their havoc. If they hadn't had the close knit relationships with haldeman,erlichman and the others, it wouldn't of been possible..same goes for the Shrub and his minions..
Bottom line is...Bush sucks the big one!
Nixon... eh, what can one say? Mistakes were made. I do think he truly cared about America. W truly does not. While the comparison is fascinating, the differences are equally compelling. Some needs to make this subject into a documentary. Just the comparisons of the wars is interesting. What Nixon went down for seems so trivial in comparison to all the shit Bush will never be held accountible for--outside a history book.
By the way, you guys gotta get your butts over to C & L to see Al Gore's appearence on SNL. Priceless.
Nixon really set the model as a candidate for Gore. Former VPs who lost close (stolen?) elections and came back...
Yikes. If he keeps going at that rate, he'll be at -6% by the time he leaves office!
S.A, I think that Bush does care an "some" American, just not this America.
Xsociate...welcome. No truer words my friend. Look at this morning's post.
Hmmm, looks pretty grim for Nixon- Negative Six ???? does that include Dead People Approval votes...
Nixon wanted to be above the law. He hated the law. But he recognized there was such a thing as the rule of law.
Bush? When you're chosen by God there is no such thing as "law".
Nixon was power-hungry but insecure. Bush thinks he is all powerful and secure in his self-image beyond all bounds of reason.