COMMENTARY | George W. Bush, former president of the United States, suffers from a popularity problem. A recent national poll shows that more than half of American citizens view him unfavorably. On the other hand, the same poll shows that about two-thirds of Americans think well of Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton. How embarrassing is that for the man called Dubya? Plenty.
Consider this: American seem to like Clinton better than Bush despite the Democrat having gotten busted fooling around with an intern. How in the world do you end up less popular than a guy who is better known for leaving incriminating biological evidence on a dress than for most of his political activities? There are two reasons.
First, Clinton didn't respond to a terrorist attack by plunging America into several unwinnable wars while planting "Mission Accomplished" banners on Navy ships. It's been 11 years since the towers fell and American boots are still on the ground in blistering deserts fighting enemies they can't really defeat.
Every member of our armed services who returns from those regions dead or disabled is a horrible testament to the failings of the second President Bush.
Second, when Clinton was president, the economy grew, the government had a budget surplus, and people had jobs. You could still buy gasoline for less than a dollar a gallon in some places. Clinton's policies were working -- a fact I am sure irritated Republicans to no end.
Bush's policies produced a different outcome. The American economy is in the tank. The nation faces an unemployment crisis. The national debt has soared. Gas hovers between $3 and $4 per gallon. Bush's policies helped the ultra rich while giving the rest of America the short end of the stick. The mess he created is so massive it may take decades to fix.
Every time someone wastes away on the unemployment lines, every home is lost to foreclosure, and every extra dollar is lost at the gas pump, that reminds Americans just how much damage eight years of Bush caused.
Is it any wonder he's less popular than the guy who cheated on his wife?