July 08, 2004

Worst President Since Hoover Sweepstakes

Kevin Drum piles on:

The Washington Monthly: BUSH vs. HOOVER....George Bush will probably be the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs during his first term in office. Guess what else he has in common with Hoover?

President Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP's annual convention, the group said.... NAACP spokesman John White said Wednesday that Bush has declined invitations in each year of his presidency — becoming the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention.

But at least Hoover had a distinguished pre-presidential career, including yeoman work feeding starving Belgians. At the same point in his career, Bush was being bailed out of failed businesses by dad's Saudi pals. Quite a guy, our 43rd president.

If this goes on, it will no longer be enough to have a single Ancient and Hermetic Order of the Shrill. We will have to introduce degrees and circles...

Posted by DeLong at July 8, 2004 11:01 AM | TrackBack | | Other weblogs commenting on this post
Comments

I call 33rd degree Venerable Lieutenant Grand Commander.

As for the main story, I guess there are brown-skinned people ready for self-governance and official recognition, and some that aren't.

Posted by: Norbizness on July 8, 2004 11:06 AM

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No, Norbizness, there are brown-skinned people who are fit to illustrate Bush's "compassion" by becoming the subjects of photos at his website, and some that aren't.

Posted by: Steady Eddie on July 8, 2004 11:29 AM

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I actually don't think it is too shrill to point out that this guy sees the U.S. population in terms of voting constituencies and not as a civil society for governance and that his administration takes this whole complete loyalty, with us or against us attitude a little too far.

Posted by: Bubb Rubb on July 8, 2004 11:30 AM

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How should we distinguish those who were shrill before shrill was cool?

Posted by: Kip Manley on July 8, 2004 11:30 AM

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I'm never one to defend Bush, but what could he possibly say to the NAACP, even as a meaningless gesture? He knows that only 6% of black people plan on voting for him, he knows they're still smarting over the 2000 election, he knows that the four years on his presidency have had devistating effects on the black community economically. Speaking to the NAACP would just end up as more fodder on THE DAILY SHOW.

That said, I think he should have gone through with it. I'd love to see how hilarious it would have been.

Posted by: Brad Reed on July 8, 2004 11:37 AM

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"How should we distinguish those who were shrill before shrill was cool?"

We get badges. Maybe something with the old Eschaton asterisk/flower. (We have to do something to honor the person (I assume) who attached "the Heathers" to the media - such a apropos appropriation of pop culture).

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim on July 8, 2004 11:40 AM

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I'm the OG of shrill. I abolished Godwin's law a year ago, for one thing. After y'all are declared normal, I'll still be shrill.

Posted by: zizka / John Emerson on July 8, 2004 11:43 AM

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Badge? Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!

There is a quasi-official list of Bush lies. There are books of Bushisms. There is apparently a project underway to identify all of Bush's policy f@#$-ups. We really need a list of all of Bush's symbolic gestures - a sort of emperor's new clothes thing.

1) Decline invitations to speak at the NAACP.

2) Never attend the funeral of a soldier fallen in battle.

3) Avoid veterans' hospitals.

4) "Mission accomplished."

5) "Bring 'em on."

That sort of thing.

Posted by: kharris on July 8, 2004 11:55 AM

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"I'm never one to defend Bush, but what could he possibly say to the NAACP, even as a meaningless gesture? He knows that only 6% of black people plan on voting for him, he knows they're still smarting over the 2000 election, he knows that the four years on his presidency have had devistating effects on the black community economically.

Posted by Brad Reed at July 8, 2004 11:37 AM"

Well, I would hope that the President of the U.S. would have something to say to all Americans regardless of who they voted for. The fact that Bush has never addressed a single audience in his Presidency who could be potentially hostile or adversarial to his message is stunning. And I include his handful of press conferences and SOTU speeches, because neither the press nor the Congressional Democrats can be considered adversarial to W. How can you be President of all the people when you cannot speak to all the people?

Posted by: Bubb Rubb on July 8, 2004 11:59 AM

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I was shocked, shocked to find that
http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3AHermetic+&sourceid=mozilla&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8"
Hermetic
does not also mean mercurial

I like "sealed" as in Power Struggle in the Degenerate Ottoman Sultanate

Posted by: marc sobel on July 8, 2004 12:03 PM

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Hmm well Paul Krugman gets a the title of grand screech owl
http://www.owlpages.com/species/otus/asio/Default.htm .

Brad gets a Western Screech owl http://www.owlpages.com/species/otus/kennicottii/Default.htm, because hey he's our host.


I'm afraid Zizka only gets a rusted hinge (sorry but you know celebrity culture and all). Brother Levy get's a photo of a newborn baby, brand new shrillness.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on July 8, 2004 12:05 PM

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Posted by: ron on July 8, 2004 12:29 PM

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Posted by: ron on July 8, 2004 12:34 PM

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Posted by: ron on July 8, 2004 12:34 PM

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Hey Brad, fyi...you're moving up in the world...Mr L is takin another pot shot atcha..congrats!!!

Posted by: ron on July 8, 2004 12:34 PM

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Hey Brad, fyi...you're moving up in the world...Mr L is takin another pot shot atcha..congrats!!!

Posted by: ron on July 8, 2004 12:34 PM

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Hey Brad, fyi...you're moving up in the world...Mr L is takin another pot shot atcha..congrats!!!

Posted by: ron on July 8, 2004 12:34 PM

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Again, it is flawed to imply that Hoover was worse than Bush. Bush is the worst president since the very first Republican president, Lincoln, who hopefully will remain the worst President of all time.

Posted by: Joseph on July 8, 2004 12:52 PM

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Hip-hop slogan: It's ill to be shrill!

Posted by: Lee A. on July 8, 2004 01:09 PM

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Actually not polite to speak ill of the dead. Its not fair to use Hoover and Bush's name in the same sentance. Hoover was merely the worst president of the 20th century. Bush is the worst president ever.

Posted by: Tutu Kanu on July 8, 2004 01:14 PM

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Bubb Rubb writes:

"How can you be President of all the people when you cannot speak to all the people?"

You can't. But this is the president whose base is the "haves and the have-mores." I'd be disappointed to see him even bother trying to be PC. It doesn't fit with his character.

For the same reason, I DON'T want them to replace Cheney with a moderate Republican just to get swing votes. I want Bush to run on his true record. If he had the chutzpah to make so many bad decisions during his first term, he should at least have to courage to stand by 'em.

Posted by: Brad Reed on July 8, 2004 01:18 PM

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http://data.bls.gov/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?data_tool=latest_numbers&series_id=CES0000000001&output_view=net_1mth

Funny, it looks like half of the loss was under Clinton, and the other half during Bush's first six months.

Partisanship trumps economics?

Posted by: am on July 8, 2004 02:13 PM

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am, i have to wonder sometimes if you are really as clueless as you appear, or if you merely are playing a clueless person while posting on left/liberal blogs.

Go back to the data you cited, look at the table, and you will discover that in Clinton's last year, 2000, we had 25K job loss in june and 28K job loss in august, after years and years and years of net jobs gains.

Then, in january, a partial clinton, partial bush month, we had 53K loss, followed by gains in Feb. and March, and then the bottom falls out.

But the fact that you misrepresent your own cite is rather besides the point; far more important (for the millionth time) is that it's not George Bush's fault that we had a recession. Recessions are part of the ecology of market capitalism.

It is george bush's fault that we haven't had a better job performance during what is now a 30+ month recovery; he chose the wrong policies to produce substantial job gains.

Posted by: howard on July 8, 2004 02:37 PM

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umm, howard, as has frequently been pointed out, the labor market requires >100k growth per month just to keep up with population growth.

Please try to be at least vaguely correct before calling people "clueless", OK?

Posted by: am on July 8, 2004 02:53 PM

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bush the worser due to a staged uncalled for adventure not even called a war because most of the death has taken plcae after declared "over";jobs are not even on his radar screen except as a sound bite, what would he know about work, labor, a job? no clue but the real crime is the total secrecy, control of information, lies supported by media performances, which show a complete disreard for anything like democracy or the people or the country or the earth it is so sad, so awful it is almost beyond comment

Posted by: michael olden on July 8, 2004 03:05 PM

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bush the worser due to a staged uncalled for adventure not even called a war because most of the death has taken plcae after declared "over";jobs are not even on his radar screen except as a sound bite, what would he know about work, labor, a job? no clue but the real crime is the total secrecy, control of information, lies supported by media performances, which show a complete disregard for anything like democracy or the people or the country or the earth it is so sad, so awful it is almost beyond comment

Posted by: michael olden on July 8, 2004 03:06 PM

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Um, am, your comment to which howard responded used the term "loss." You said nothing there about net gains or the relationship of jobs to population growth.

Please try to be at least minimally honest if you want to have any factual basis to avoid being fairly labelled a troll, let alone clueless.

But it's probably much too late for that.

Posted by: Steady Eddie on July 8, 2004 03:14 PM

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Eddie, I think you'll understand that a job growth rate which is less than workforce growth will lead to increased unemployment. Please don't play hair-splitting games.

Bottom line is that you're pretending that the worsening in employment is somehow Bush's fault, and that is patently untrue.

Your argument really is that "Bush didn't fix the Clinton recession as fast as I think he could have". Fine, say that then.

Posted by: am on July 8, 2004 03:38 PM

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am, don't be frickin' ridiculous. I called you clueless because you, sadly, are. I understand full well that the labor force is growing.

This, however, isn't at all what the reference to Hoover is about. If anyone is playing hair-splitting games, you are, but this is not a surprise: your comments are a continuing demonstration of misinformation.

But fine, let's play the game on your terms: during the last 6 months of clinton's presidency (and we'll just skip over january, '01 and not count it for either president), we had 840K labor-force population gain and 558 job gain.

During the first 6 months of Bush's presidency, we had 840K labor-force population gain and 416K job loss.

During the second 6 months of Bush's presidency, we had 840K labor-force population gain and 1.478M job loss.

During the third 6 months of Bush's presidency, we had 840K labor-force population gain and 199K job loss.

During the fourth 6 months of Bush's presidency, we had 840K labor-force population gain and 105K job loss.

During the fifth 6 months of Bush's presidency, we had 840K labor-force population gain and 376K job loss.

Would you please explain in which universe your comments make any sense whatsoever? I can only guess, as people noted when you posted this same piffle over at Political Animal, that you didn't understand the graph correctly and think it shows something that it doesn't.

BTW, am, since i noted that the issue isn't recession, it's bush's failure to pursue policies that would lead to job gain, you might have bothered to read it, since supposedly it's "fine with (you)" if someone believes that.

But i don't think it's fine with you; i think you picked up a chart from somewhere that you misinterpreted, you misunderstand the fact that bush is the first pres to have net job loss since hoover (which is why the hoover analogy is appropriate here), and instead of recognizing that you were clueless about this, you lashed out at Steady Eddie and me for correcting you.

Very impressive, all in all: keep up the good work....

Posted by: howard on July 8, 2004 03:58 PM

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Hey, didn't, according to the good Professor's research, the World War I reconstruction fail abysmally?

So didn't Hoover screw that up somewhat as well?

Posted by: asdf on July 8, 2004 07:04 PM

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Don't worry, Howard. AM was just the secret initiation test for the next Circle of the Shrill.

Posted by: Sandals on July 9, 2004 01:22 AM

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I think Hoover, unlike Harding or Coolidge, was a good guy without a damn clue about what to do when faced with a really, really bad business cycle downturn.

Bush, though, I think is just a jerk. I don't doubt that he's sincere about being a Christian, but that doesn't mean he's seriously moral. It's just how he thinks the world works. I think that the Earth was formed through the accretion of space dust from the sun or something (I haven't studied it in detail), he thinks that it was created by God: we both are sincere, but that doesn't make either of us good people.

Posted by: Julian Elson on July 9, 2004 06:54 AM

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Hey, Hoover wasn't a bad pres - if he was overwhelmed by the depression he wasn't alone. He consulted widely, got the most respected economic advice he could get hold of, and acted on it. The fact that the economic orthodoxy was wrong wasn't his fault; there's no comparison with frat boy, who has done gratuitous and immeasurable harm to the US' long term interests.

And he certainly wasn't responsible for the failings of Versailles and for his predecessors' short-sighted attitudes to war debt. IIRC he argued against much of it at the time.

Posted by: derrida derider on July 10, 2004 08:53 PM

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I would say Bush Jr. is even more worthless than Harding, since he took us to war and gave the French a real reason to hate Americans.

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