View Poll Results: Pick your Poison
George W. Bush 33 27.73%
Donald Trump 86 72.27%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:19 AM
Defensive Indifference is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 6,916

To this point in their admins, who was the worse President: Bush or Trump?


Trump has been in office for about 17 agonizing months. In that time, he's done a lot: cozied up to dictators; enacted ruinous tariffs; bolstered white supremacists; called for the prosecution of his political opponents for crimes up to and including treason; locked migrant children in concentration camps; engaged in all manner of corrupt self-dealing; obstructed justice; undermined the rule of law; lied about everything, big and small, every day; turned his back on NATO allies; provoked a confrontation with Iran; made the US a laughingstock; and other things I can't think of right now. That's quite a record.

Bush's rap sheet in the first 17 months of his horrible tenure is arguably shorter, but contains some doozies of its own. Off the top of my head, Bush: ignored warnings about Al Qaeda in the runup to the September 11 attacks; took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan, allowing Bin Laden to escape; failed to manage the postwar period in Afghanistan; started an unjustified war in Iraq based on a steady stream of lies; used appeals to patriotism to stifle dissent; signed a tax cut during wartime; and other things I can't think of right now. That's quite a record in its own right.

Looking just at the first year and a half of their terms (to keep things fair), which was worse? Use whatever metrics you like to define "worse".

They are both horrible, horrible presidents and people. Bush wins points for maintaining superficial decorum and professionalism. But his political competence allowed him to achieve more of his awful goals than Trump has been able to so far. Trump is a thoroughly despicable human, and I think he'd be the runaway winner of this contest if he were competent enough to do all the things he imagines himself doing in his fevered dreams.

This is a tough call for me, but I'm going with Bush. While Trump is more personally reprehensible, he hasn't racked up Bush's body count. Sure, Trump is getting ready to send troops to the Middle East to counter an allegedly increasing threat from Iran, but we haven't started killing people there yet. By this point in his administration, Bush had already ordered the deaths of untold tens of thousands of people for no very good reason. Trump is hastening the end of American hegemony, and as a patriot, I am honestly pained to see this happening in my lifetime. But as a humanist, I have to say that killing a few hundred thousand people for no very good reason is still worse. American hegemony would have ended eventually anyway. But we didn't have to start that fucking war.
  #2  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:33 AM
Lubricious Integument is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 283
I think you mean 28, not 17.
  #3  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:42 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 33,897
At this point Bush hadn't yet started the disastrous Iraq war, so my vote is for Trump, easily. Ask me again in a year and I'll re-evaluate based on what Trump has done.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-24-2019 at 11:46 AM.
  #4  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:44 AM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,266
I voted Bush, but I would guess that most people in this poll will select Trump because of recency bias.
  #5  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:49 AM
Lubricious Integument is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 283
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
At this point Bush hadn't yet started the disastrous Iraq war, so my vote is for Trump, easily. Ask me again in a year and I'll re-evaluate based on what Trump has done.
I think your timeline is off. The Iraq War started approximately two months into Bush's third year in office.

Right now is four months into Trump's third year in office.
  #6  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:50 AM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 33,897
I had the timing wrong (as did the OP) -- at this point, Bush had actually started the Iraq War. With that in mind, I'll change my vote to Bush, but it's close. Trump has done an incredible amount of harm to the country, but I don't think it's quite Iraq-War level harm, at least not yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lubricious Integument View Post
I think your timeline is off. The Iraq War started approximately two months into Bush's third year in office.

Right now is four months into Trump's third year in office.
You are correct!

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-24-2019 at 11:51 AM.
  #7  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:51 AM
Frodo's Avatar
Frodo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 2,219
Bush's Iraq war blunder is hard to top.
Let's hope Trump doesn't take that as a challenge.
  #8  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:59 AM
DCnDC's Avatar
DCnDC is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 11,930
Bush devastated a foreign country.

Trump is actively trying to destroy his own country.
  #9  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:59 AM
Crotalus's Avatar
Crotalus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chillicothe, Ohio
Posts: 6,027
"Hold my Diet Coke!"

ETA: response to Frodo
__________________
Ad hominem is a logical fallacy when it's used to argue against a concept. But it's perfectly appropriate when your point is that someone is an asshole. TonySinclair

Last edited by Crotalus; 05-24-2019 at 12:00 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-24-2019, 12:35 PM
Defensive Indifference is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 6,916
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lubricious Integument View Post
I think you mean 28, not 17.
Crap. You're right, of course.

ETA: Too fucking long in either case.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 05-24-2019 at 12:37 PM.
  #11  
Old 05-24-2019, 01:47 PM
Procrustus is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Pacific NW. ¥
Posts: 12,021
Bush might have done more to hurt us (short term) but Trump's very existence in that office is an obscenity of previously unseen proportions. Plus, his incompetence and ignorance will probably cause more long term damage.
  #12  
Old 05-24-2019, 02:05 PM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 38,742
It's a tough choice.

The hard part is, both Presidencies to this point had/will have long-term repercussions.

We can see those of Bush, but with Trump, we really don't know how bad it's going to get on account of what's already been set in motion.

Trump's unquestionably done more damage to our own government, having put his lickspittles in charge of the entire Executive Branch, and with Mitch's help, loaded the Federal judiciary with right-wing ideologues and corporate lackeys.

But between Iraq and North Korea, I've got to give it to Bush. His abandonment of the Agreed Framework ("appeasement!") resulted in North Korea resuming and ultimately fulfilling its quest for nuclear weapons. And of course our invasion of Iraq not only resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and millions in exile, but removed the main counterweight to Iran's power in the region, resulted in the rise of ISIS, and generally destabilized the region and created an international refugee crisis.

That's a hard record to beat. Congrats, Dubya. Miss you yet? Fuck off, twerp: we should have impeached you and Cheney simultaneously back in 2007 while we had the chance. And the next Democratic President should open the books on the Bush Administration, and prosecute any crimes that the statute of limitations hasn't run out on yet.
  #13  
Old 05-24-2019, 02:18 PM
Defensive Indifference is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 6,916
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
Off the top of my head, Bush <...> and other things I can't think of right now.
Torture. I somehow forgot that we tortured a lot of people.

I'm a little surprised that Trump is so far ahead. It's early in the polling, but I thought it would be closer. A good case can be made for either, certainly.
  #14  
Old 05-24-2019, 03:09 PM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 38,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
Torture. I somehow forgot that we tortured a lot of people.
Somehow, so did I. And that's probably the strongest argument that Bush and Cheney should have been impeached. Simultaneously.
  #15  
Old 05-24-2019, 03:17 PM
Buck Godot's Avatar
Buck Godot is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: MD outside DC
Posts: 5,732
Bush made mistakes but his mistakes were within normal bounds.
The Iraq war was bad, but I don't agree with the statement "Bush lied people died". Instead I think Bush truly believed what he was saying but was suffering badly from rose colored glasses and confirmation bias. I disagreed with Bush on just about everything, but I never got the impression that he wasn't taking actions that he thought were in the best interest of the country. I never felt that Bush would actively try to make life worse for a segment of the American public purely out of spite. Nor was I concerned that he would sew such division and corruption such that what had previously been unthinkable became normalized and that it may take a generation for our government to return to normal functioning.

It is not so much the action of Trump that bothers me, but the precedent he sets and the legacy he leaves.
  #16  
Old 05-24-2019, 08:37 PM
Sherrerd's Avatar
Sherrerd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 6,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Bush devastated a foreign country.

Trump is actively trying to destroy his own country.
Yes. At the very least, Trump is utterly indifferent to the security, prosperity, and welfare of his own nation---all that matters to him, by the evidence of his words and actions, is his own wealth and status.

Add to that Trump's nutty ideas about trade and tariffs, and the ongoing and future damage represented by the partisan-hack judges (and Justices) being installed by his Administration, and you have a president that will do more cumulative harm to the nation than any other president could hope to accomplish.
  #17  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:24 PM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 8,078
As a non-American, a Canadian, it's not even close. Trump's rise has leveled the American moral high ground. Internationally, he has utterly devastated the US's prestige, credibility, and 'standing'. Merkel now includes the US with Russia and China as threats up to which the EU must stand. We are far from alone in Canada in loathing him. (Okay, he is big in Budapest)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot
. . . it may take a generation for our government to return to normal functioning
A generation to fix? Maybe domestically. But from the perspective of those outside the US, where we once looked to a shining-city-on-a-hill, we see a moated dark castle. He has changed the eyes of the world for generations and they may never see the same again.
  #18  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:27 PM
Defensive Indifference is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 6,916
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I voted Bush, but I would guess that most people in this poll will select Trump because of recency bias.
So far, you're correct. Trump is ahead 3 to 1.

Come on, Bush haters, make your voice heard! Sure, Trump is a criminal, but Bush is a war criminal. That's gotta count for something!
  #19  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:30 PM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherrerd View Post
Yes. At the very least, Trump is utterly indifferent to the security, prosperity, and welfare of his own nation---all that matters to him, by the evidence of his words and actions, is his own wealth and status.
I don't think Trump is indifferent to the state of the nation - it strongly affects his own re-electability, if nothing else, and so he has reason to care about it even if nothing else. He tweets all the time about the stock market hitting highs or job growth or U.S. GDP growth. So yes, he does care about the economy, even if his ideas aren't good.
  #20  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:55 PM
Sherrerd's Avatar
Sherrerd is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 6,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I don't think Trump is indifferent to the state of the nation - it strongly affects his own re-electability, if nothing else, and so he has reason to care about it even if nothing else. He tweets all the time about the stock market hitting highs or job growth or U.S. GDP growth. So yes, he does care about the economy, even if his ideas aren't good.
I think "cares about the economy" is overly-generous to him. He cares about positive headlines (and regards 'stock market up' as one of the most positive).

So long as he can bribe anyone who's hurt by his awful ideas (such as farmers harmed by his tariffs), he's content. To me that doesn't qualify as "cares about the economy."
  #21  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:58 PM
xenophon41's Avatar
xenophon41 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Somewhere up country.
Posts: 4,991
I'd say it has to be Bush, taking into account that the Iraq disaster set up at least half of the foreign policy problems the current maladministration is malhandling. Trump could not be as bad as he is without Bush having done the fuckery he done did.
  #22  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:23 PM
DSYoungEsq is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 14,293
Nothing the current president has done begins to compare to the disaster that was Iraq.
  #23  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:24 PM
XT's Avatar
XT is offline
Agnatheist
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Great South West
Posts: 35,054
No contest, Trump hands down. I think he is arguably the worst US president in history. Bush II? I would go with him being in the bottom 5 for sure, but he's not in Trump's league, especially at this point in his presidency (i.e. 3 years in).
__________________
-XT

That's what happens when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!
  #24  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:50 PM
pool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Inside
Posts: 4,384
Ummm one second of googling reveals that 460,000 Iraqis died, both directly and indirectly as a result of the Iraq War, with 60% directly attributable to the war. That's way beyond anything Trump has done or likely will do. That doesn't even include the American lives lost obviously. Think of the damage he caused to that entire region that is still feeling the consequences, to America.

And that's just one war, he started two and stretched the military so thin.

You could go on and on start talking about policies leading to the 2008 recession, I mean I think it's no contest.
__________________
"You can do anything you set your mind to...But money helps"

Last edited by pool; 05-24-2019 at 10:55 PM.
  #25  
Old 05-24-2019, 10:56 PM
pool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Inside
Posts: 4,384
And hey don't forget the Patriot Act too!!!
__________________
"You can do anything you set your mind to...But money helps"
  #26  
Old 05-24-2019, 11:59 PM
choie is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Like me it never sleeps.
Posts: 4,773
Ooh at first I thought it was a tough decision, but when I realized this would put us in late May 2003 for Bush, I had to go with Bush. Ignorant war criminal beats the narcissistic, corrupt. lying. incompetent authoritarian.

But it's early yet. Sadly I think it's entirely possible--especially with Bolton on his staff--that Trump will pull a stunt one of these days that might be as perfidious as the lies that pushed us to an endless war.
  #27  
Old 05-25-2019, 02:09 AM
Lord Feldon's Avatar
Lord Feldon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 6,373
Not only was Bush worse, the response to his presidency was worse. He was popular, the media was supine, and Democrats went along with it all out of fear (and then lost the Senate anyways).
  #28  
Old 05-25-2019, 02:52 AM
Unreconstructed Man is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 152
Tbh, I’m amazed that anyone is choosing Trump. Yeah, he’s an objectively terrible President, but Bush deliberately lied us into a war! Hundreds of thousands dead. Hundreds of billions wasted. And then the motherfucker has the gall to be all like “Hurr durr those weapons of mass destruction have gotta be round here somewhere!”

No. They aren’t, George. Because you made ‘em up!.

Trump may be a piece of shit, but Bush was a goddamn monster.

Last edited by Unreconstructed Man; 05-25-2019 at 02:53 AM.
  #29  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:40 AM
Mr Shine's Avatar
Mr Shine is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 2,015
I've no idea if this applies to anybody, but the thread title asks you who is the worst but the poll question instructs you to "pick your poison" i.e choose the least worst from some unpalatable alternatives so some may have answered the poll "wrong".
  #30  
Old 05-25-2019, 07:48 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 83,265
The Iraq War was probably the single worst mistake that either of them made. But Trump has made so, so many other mistakes that he wins on sheer quantity.

And putting a drunk rapist who will come up with any absurd ideological result he feels like with insane justification onto the Supreme Court is probably pretty close to the Iraq War.
  #31  
Old 05-25-2019, 11:51 AM
XT's Avatar
XT is offline
Agnatheist
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: The Great South West
Posts: 35,054
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
The Iraq War was probably the single worst mistake that either of them made. But Trump has made so, so many other mistakes that he wins on sheer quantity.

And putting a drunk rapist who will come up with any absurd ideological result he feels like with insane justification onto the Supreme Court is probably pretty close to the Iraq War.
I think his getting 2 people into the USSC and, potentially more is by far the thing that puts Trump over the top. And we don't know what else might happen before the guy is gone.
__________________
-XT

That's what happens when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!
  #32  
Old 05-25-2019, 01:07 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 83,265
Oh, and let's not forget the treason, either.

(And yes, I'm usually the one who's pointing out that treason is very strictly defined in the Constitution, and that most things people call treason aren't. But we've got a guy who was involved with another country taking actions that that other country themselves call an act of war. It fits.)
  #33  
Old 05-25-2019, 04:51 PM
Bijou Drains is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 9,128
Trump has not yet vomited in Japan like Bush Sr.
  #34  
Old 05-25-2019, 06:27 PM
F. U. Shakespeare is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Baltimore or less
Posts: 4,106
He hasn't lied under oath about getting a blowjob either. But I'm sure if he does, the SCOTUS will enshrine a new legal concept, "no-fault perjury".
  #35  
Old 05-26-2019, 04:17 PM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 38,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
The Iraq war was bad, but I don't agree with the statement "Bush lied people died". Instead I think Bush truly believed what he was saying but was suffering badly from rose colored glasses and confirmation bias.
It's worth recalling that Bush had been seeking a war with Iraq since before 9/11.

He and/or Cheney created the Office of Special Plans just to cherry-pick the evidence against Saddam.

There was never any meaningful evidence while Bush was in office that Saddam was on the way to having nukes, which didn't stop Bush from telling us that "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."

After Saddam opened his supposed WMD sites to our inspectors in early 2003, and they found nothing, Bush went ahead and invaded anyway.

And the invasion itself prioritized reaching Baghdad over securing alleged WMD sites to the extent that advancing troops that came across such sites left them unguarded, and by the time special units arrived to check them out, they'd have been looted to the ground.

Other than the exact wording of the "mushroom cloud" quote, that's all from memory. Plenty more evidence of Bush's bad intentions out there that I've long since forgotten.
  #36  
Old 05-26-2019, 05:21 PM
RTFirefly is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Maryland
Posts: 38,742
Oh yeah: forgot Bush's semantic games with Saddam and al-Qaeda, where he worked hard to leave the impression in people's minds that they were in league, but was careful with his phrasing so that if you said that wasn't true, his flacks would point out that he'd never actually said that, which he hadn't. Just said things that made people think that.
  #37  
Old 05-26-2019, 05:36 PM
KarlGauss's Avatar
KarlGauss is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 8,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Trump has not yet vomited in Japan like Bush Sr.
Although he is trying to shit on China.
  #38  
Old 05-26-2019, 10:03 PM
jshore is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 6,958
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
After Saddam opened his supposed WMD sites to our inspectors in early 2003, and they found nothing, Bush went ahead and invaded anyway.
Yeah...This CBS news story from the time discusses this fact about what the weapons inspectors were finding: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/inspect...-tips-garbage/

Quote:
And the invasion itself prioritized reaching Baghdad over securing alleged WMD sites to the extent that advancing troops that came across such sites left them unguarded, and by the time special units arrived to check them out, they'd have been looted to the ground.
That to me was one of the most damning parts of the whole thing because it really showed that, no, they didn't believe their own hype...They knew that anything Saddam might have posed so little threat that it wasn't even worth bothering to prevent them from getting into the hands of terrorists. They actually embarked on a campaign to take WMDs from someone who was a known control freak who the intelligence agencies judged as very unlikely to give / sell them to terrorists and put them in the hands of desperately impoverished people who would be more than happy to sell them to terrorists. So, either they were completely lying or they embarked on on a plan to keep WMDs out of terrorist hands that was only slightly less incompetent than if they had shipped WMDs directly to Bin Laden.

And, essentially noone called them on it. It was bizarre.

[Revisiting this is causing me some pause ... I originally thought that the no-brainer answer was "Trump" but have to admit that my fading memory on how bad the Bush years were are causing me to look back with rose-colored glasses.]

Last edited by jshore; 05-26-2019 at 10:05 PM.
  #39  
Old 05-26-2019, 10:24 PM
SamuelA is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,266
Well in objective, absolute terms, what has Trump done that has actually harmed people?

He's caused some hassle for non-U.S. citizen assylum seekers and illegal border crossers. You can maybe blame him for a handful of kids who died in detention without seeing their parents again - but frankly if those people were still in Mexico, the probability of one of their children dying is probably higher.

He's vented a huge amount of hot air. The various "obstruction of justice" and "hiding his income/everyday tax fraud" crimes, while irritating, don't really affect any American citizens on an everyday basis.

He's passed another tax cut on the rich. This is accelerating the trend towards concentrating the wealth in the hands of the 1% - but it isn't killing people directly.

He's destabilized the ACA. This will kill thousands of Americans eventually but it hasn't yet collapsed. Maybe a few hundred have died from the increased pool of uninsured.

And he's said a bunch of hot air grandiose claims that were basically all lies - but anyone who trusts him and takes Trumps word for anything at this point deserves what they get.

Compared to the Iraq war, yeah, this is basically just a reality TV show set in the White House.

While we talk about whether or not he's guilty of various federal crimes - and he is - none of them compare in consequences to the damage done by the Iraq war. So what if he obstructed a bit of justice against himself? By comparison this is practically a grade-school infraction compared to wasting a few trillion and 10k+ American* lives in a pointless war.

*don't forget the far greater number of maimed Americans with damaged bodies and especially damaged brains as a result of injuries sustained.

Last edited by SamuelA; 05-26-2019 at 10:27 PM.
  #40  
Old 05-27-2019, 03:09 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 41,528
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
As a non-American, a Canadian, it's not even close. Trump's rise has leveled the American moral high ground.
And I'd say he's trying to plunge it even lower, except I don't think he's capable of planning far enough ahead to be able to have such intent. Maybe when he was younger… nah. From every bit of information I've seen, he's always been the kind of guy whose success comes from people refusing to admit that they have conned themselves rather than from any planning.

One of the things about American society which seem strange to people from other developed countries is the extent of distrust for the government and fear of the legal system: Trump's government even distrusts itself, in a way and to an extent that had rarely been seen before. The short-term consequences may be (may be, it remains to be seen) less bad than the Irak war, but the size of the long-term damage, both internally and externally, is already worse than it was with all of Bush's tenure.
__________________
Evidence gathered through the use of science is easily dismissed through the use of idiocy. - Czarcasm.

Last edited by Nava; 05-27-2019 at 03:09 AM.
  #41  
Old 05-27-2019, 03:41 AM
Melbourne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,959
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
As a non-American, a Canadian, it's not even close. Trump's rise has leveled the American moral high ground. Internationally, he has utterly devastated the US's prestige, credibility, and 'standing'. Merkel now includes the US with Russia and China as threats up to which the EU must stand. We are far from alone in Canada in loathing him. (Okay, he is big in Budapest)
As an Australian, Bush. We believed Bush when he went into Iraq. Bush utterly devastated the US's prestige, credibility, and 'standing'. Europe and the UK were dragged in too -- with huge domestic political consequences. Merkel thinks the US is a threat? Why does she think the US is a threat? Because she's already learned that a stupid American President can take the world to war.

Last edited by Melbourne; 05-27-2019 at 03:42 AM.
  #42  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:10 AM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 9,633
Both were/are destructive for different reasons. Bush is part of the reason why we have Trump. His policies destroyed confidence in mainstream conservatism and have given credence to a more extreme alternative, so there's no question that Bush's legacy is a negative one. But what Trump is doing now is fundamentally redefining what this country is at its core. He's offering a new value system to this country's politics, and that will have long-lasting and harsh consequences. Moreover, his policies are essentially conceding America's influence on global politics in many areas, which will undoubtedly tempt bad actors to fill the vacuum. Bush is bad, but Trump is worse - way worse.
  #43  
Old 05-27-2019, 05:01 PM
racepug is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Snohomish County, WA
Posts: 1,003
Do we really have to choose? Republicans are showing that they aren't any better at picking presidential nominees than they are at staying out of other people's business. As far as I'm concerned they were/are BOTH horrible - but Angry Lid'l' Donny is making me forget all the different things that "Dubya" did that made me think that HE was the worst Prez in U.S. history. Way to go, Repubes - (I ask again) "What're you gonna come up with next as a nominee for Prez?" (Don't bother answering - I don't want to think about it)
  #44  
Old 05-27-2019, 05:58 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
Bush made mistakes but his mistakes were within normal bounds.
The Iraq war was bad, but I don't agree with the statement "Bush lied people died". Instead I think Bush truly believed what he was saying but was suffering badly from rose colored glasses and confirmation bias. I disagreed with Bush on just about everything, but I never got the impression that he wasn't taking actions that he thought were in the best interest of the country. I never felt that Bush would actively try to make life worse for a segment of the American public purely out of spite. Nor was I concerned that he would sew such division and corruption such that what had previously been unthinkable became normalized and that it may take a generation for our government to return to normal functioning.

It is not so much the action of Trump that bothers me, but the precedent he sets and the legacy he leaves.
there's no question that trump is the more odious human being. Which is the worse president is a hard call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
As a non-American, a Canadian, it's not even close. Trump's rise has leveled the American moral high ground. Internationally, he has utterly devastated the US's prestige, credibility, and 'standing'. Merkel now includes the US with Russia and China as threats up to which the EU must stand. We are far from alone in Canada in loathing him. (Okay, he is big in Budapest)



A generation to fix? Maybe domestically. But from the perspective of those outside the US, where we once looked to a shining-city-on-a-hill, we see a moated dark castle. He has changed the eyes of the world for generations and they may never see the same again.
Yeah, several years ago I visited Austria. And it was interesting seeing a place that had been the center of the world, and is now a backwater. There were lots of reminders of how important the capital of the holy Roman empire, really, the center of Europe, used to be. And now? It's got a lot of nice art and pretty buildings. Lots of history, some more depressing than other.

That's where I see the US headed, and trump is why.

It's not just our moral standing or political leadership. Trump's immigration policy is killing higher education. The best and brightest Chinese are going to graduate school in China, not the US, and colleges are already failing due to the reduced revenue. And that's going to feed into our industry going forward (or not feed into it, really.) China is poised to replace is as a technology leader. It's already taken the lead in manufacturing. That's obviously not all trump, but he's accelerated the process, possibly by decades.

But Bush did kill a lot of people. Which is worse, destroying your own country, or killing thousands of Innocents? Oh, and there was the torture, and the Patriot act. Bush certainly created the path for trump to follow.

I'm leaning towards Bush, but it's not an easy call.
  #45  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:36 PM
Pardel-Lux's Avatar
Pardel-Lux is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Berlin
Posts: 143
One of the many falatious arguments Trump used to get elected was that the FBI and the NSA had been wrong on Irak, so they could not be trusted when they said he was a liar, a moron and a traitor (those are not the words the FBI and the NSA used, but you get the general idea). So it could be argued that without Bush there would be no Trump in power. Still Trump is the more dispecable of the two, IMHO.
One more thing: as of today, it seems impossible that Bush ever ends up in prison for what he did as a president or to become one, Trump still might. The former is a pity, the latter I very much hope so.
__________________
'Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.' - Charles Darwin.
I am living proof of that.
  #46  
Old 05-27-2019, 06:51 PM
not what you'd expect is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,720
This is a very tough choice. It's awfully close.

I think Bush has been a worse president, but I still hate Trump more.

At least with Bush, the rest of the whole world didn't hate us. As a matter of fact, quite a few of them went right over the cliff with us.
  #47  
Old 05-27-2019, 08:20 PM
Siam Sam is offline
Elephant Whisperer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 40,749
My policy is never vote in a public poll. But I'll tell you here it's Trump. This is a little like asking who was worse, Hitler or Mussolini?
__________________
The two most interesting things in the world: Other people's sex lives and your own money.
  #48  
Old 05-27-2019, 08:34 PM
Defensive Indifference is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 6,916
This is interesting. The poll has been remarkably stable at about 3:1 in "favor" of Trump. I haven't bothered to count, but the comments seem more evenly split.
  #49  
Old 05-27-2019, 09:09 PM
El_Kabong's Avatar
El_Kabong is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Smack Dab in the Middle
Posts: 15,408
I have to go with Bush on this one. The disastrous Iraq war, and it's ramifications for the domestic economy, IMO dwarfs anything negative Trump has actually accomplished so far. Not for lack of trying on Trump's part, you understand; he's just been rather spectacularly incompetent at adhering to the evil genius job description, and at selecting effective, efficient henchmen. He's fortunate he didn't have Cheney as Veep; he'd probably have gotten himself chained up in the White House basement, or an 'accidental' shotgun discharge to the face (with something more substantial than bird shot) by now.

Last edited by El_Kabong; 05-27-2019 at 09:11 PM.
  #50  
Old 05-27-2019, 09:22 PM
pool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Inside
Posts: 4,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensive Indifference View Post
This is interesting. The poll has been remarkably stable at about 3:1 in "favor" of Trump. I haven't bothered to count, but the comments seem more evenly split.
I think the poll is very revealing actually. I think it can be argued with facts and statistics that Bush undoubtedly damaged the United States and the world at large far more than Trump.

However people find Donald Trump the person far more disgusting and reprehensible than Bush as a human being despite the fact that I don't think Trump has caused nearly the damage that Bush did during his two terms as president.

Also I don't think that Trump has fundamentally changed the political system or the way politics is conducted in the United States, he is a symptom, rather than the cause of the current political situation and I have seen that some Democratic candidates are following suit with Trump in this new political environment. We've been headed down this road a long time, and only now are the chickens coming home to roost.

It didn't have to be Trump that changed the status quo, but he read the bones as they fell, and took advantage of the environment. It was a perfect example of right time, right place.
__________________
"You can do anything you set your mind to...But money helps"

Last edited by pool; 05-27-2019 at 09:25 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017