Posted by: Jim | June 9, 2008

Want to Make a Bet?

This article is a doozy.

In an informal survey of scholars this spring, just two out of 109 historians said Bush would be judged a success; a majority deemed him the “worst president ever.” President Bush, however, believes that history will vindicate his policies. He has often used Truman as his example. Truman had a very poor approval rating when he left office, but is viewed within the top-10 Presidents of all time by almost every historical poll taken today.

Will this happen to Bush? Anything is possible, since the victors write history. If the trend toward totalitarian rule continues, and thought crimes become punishable, and criticism of the President is considered a “thought crime” then yes, history will be very kind to George W. Bush. But there is still a sliver of optimism left in these old, craggy fingers that continue to type a dissenting blog. I believe that we will still have freedom of speech, and thought, in 20 years, 30 years, and 50 years from now. To be fair, Bush’s policies might also pay off. Iraq might become a democratic nation, and a catalyst of reason, peace, and virtue on the Middle East. Terrorism might be quelled, and the rest of the world will love the U.S. for waging war against it.

I just peed myself with laughter, so maybe my opinion is biased, but I believe that in 20 years, George W. Bush will still be considered in the bottom third in a ranking of all US Presidents. I would say the “bottom 5” but there will be potentially 5 more presidents in the next 20 years, and they might be hella bad. Or, “made of lose” using the parlance of our times.

I would extend that belief beyond 20 years, but how many of us will be alive? But George W. Bush will never make it out of the bottom third, as long as history is not trifled with, and as long as we don’t continue electing men of equal or lower caliber.

Here’s an interesting quote:

Cheney recalled that former president Gerald R. Ford was “attacked from every conceivable angle” for pardoning Richard M. Nixon, but he said that “the consensus now is that Gerald Ford did the right thing.”

That’s funny! Dick Cheney said that! This consensus obviously did not involve me. Do I think that Gerald Ford did the right thing? Hell no! Richard Nixon should have been held accountable for his crimes. Thirty-five years after his ouster, Richard Nixon is still viewed in the bottom 3-4 presidents by almost every poll. Maybe not enough time has elapsed for people to see the true genius of Nixon’s incumbency.

SO … I will make a bet to anyone willing to take me up on it. I’ll bet $1000 (adjusted for inflation/depression) that in 20 years, George Bush will still be ranked in the bottom third of Presidents. If he’s in the bottom third, you give me $1000. If he’s above that, I will give you $1000.

The following conditions apply:

1. This page on Wikipedia, still exists (or an evolved form), or the information represented here is still available. It will be considered the data of record.
2. The polling organizations have not seen a change in influence, (i.e., sources of funding, criminal recriminations for dissent, etc.) Disputes on this point will have to be arbitrated by a neutral 3rd party agreed upon by both.
3. You have to agree to it now, and subsequently let me know your contact information (address, etc. and a way to get ahold of you in 20 years. I will provide the same.) Skipping town is not allowed!
4. Only the first 5 people to make this bet will be taken. I don’t want to go broke in case I’m wrong. Does this reveal weakness in my stance? Then bet me!



  1. In 20 years, $1000 will be the price of a Big Mac, which will probably be made out of stem cells harvested from homeless people who used to be middle class. Or perhaps scraped from the scalps of Detention Center inmates…who used to be middle class.

    * * *

  2. There was a guy with some bad cancer who last month won a big pay-out, betting he’d live longer than the best prognosis.

    Remember, too, Bush is going to be under pressure from McCain for most inept President, should he win. The GOP is picking candidates like those Russian dolls, somehow their intellectual and moral stature just keeps getting smaller and smaller.

  3. You guys are silly. If you choose to make light of Republican candidates, I will make light of the fact that since Reagan in 1980, there have been merely two terms in which other than a Republican has served as President.

    You have yourselves as a party, and as voters, to blame for that. Well, I guess you *could* blame it on Dubya.

    :::scratching head:::

  4. How about you give me the money to hold for 20 years. I’ll be sure to pay the winner……..

  5. Bri — did you miss “adjusted for inflation”?

    KingFelix — I like the metaphor

    Todd — I totally agree that the voters are to blame. Or the Diebold machines. Still not sure which … but my point is that GWB was one of the worst, and that history won’t change that. He makes Reagan look like Mother Theresa by comparison.

    Bubbagut — LOL … the winner would be *you*!

  6. Actually Reagan looked a lot like Mother Teresa anyway. Of course, he didn’t much ACT like her, but the facial resemblance was uncanny.

    * * *

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