Sunday, January 18, 2009

Remembering W

And now begins a host of books, magazine articles, online stories, and no doubt a glob of academic journal pieces on remembering President George W. Bush.

In a recent CBS News/NYTimes poll, 93 percent of Dems disapproved of how W did his job in the past eight years. No real surprise there, but 34 percent of Republicans disapproved. A third of GOPers. If we turn to the self-described "independents" for an answer, we find nearly three-fourths disapproved.

All in all, it's gonna be a tough few years for Bush's legacy.

Asked where W will rate historically, an ABC/WashPost survey found nearly a third described his two terms as "poor" and one-in-five said "below average." Only 4 percent said history will judge Bush as "outstanding." Hell, Bill Clinton gets an "outstanding" from 13 percent of adult Americans in a recent poll. Time heals all wounds. A quarter of adult Americans said Reagan will be remembered as "outstanding."

The journals I read, in political science and mass comm, will soon be filled with retrospective studies of what people know about Bush and his presidency and what they think and what it all means. It's the last part that matters, whether the attitudes people have about Bush and his two terms translate into something else -- confidence or lack of confidence in the political system, faith in the U.S. economy, and hope for Obama's presidency.

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