Which president has done more harm and damage to America, George W. Bush or Donald Trump?

Thom plus logo With a new NPR documentary about George W. Bush and a recent video clip from the former president calling for national unity, it appears there's a full-court press on to try to clean up his legacy.

Yet George W. Bush lied us into two wars that killed hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis, over 15,000 American soldiers and contractors, and inflamed the Middle East, leading to over 10 million refugees and a hellish existence for those in the region. Bush left over 52,000 Americans with shattered bodies, and an epidemic of suicide that continues to this day.

And Bush had been planning the Iraq war for a while. In 1999, he told Mickey Herskowitz, the guy his family hired to ghost-write his autobiography, A Charge To Keep, "One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade...if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

Donald Trump, however, ignored intelligence as far back as November about the virus out of China, continued to ignore the intelligence throughout January and February while he refused to order the production of test kits, masks, or personal protective equipment for our front-line healthcare workers. He spent March golfing and going to rallies, and now we learn from the Washington Post that he spent the entire month of April trying to figure out how to crank up protests and re-open the economy so that it would be humming by November for his reelection.

Now we're on track to a minimum 100,000 dead Americans by the end of the year as a result of Trump's lies and incompetence. And he appears to have done as much damage to America's reputation through his hatred, racism, and xenophobia as George W. Bush did with torture, extrajudicial murder, and the PATRIOT Act.

Which raises the question: Who is worse, Bush or Trump? And why?

-Thom

Comments

avn013's picture
avn013 14 weeks 1 day ago
#1

I'd rather read about "who was a better president, Lincoln or Roosevelt? And why?"

I am looking forward to an analysis comparing Rep. and Dem. parties in the 1860s, or even an intracomparison of the Rep. party between 1860s and more recent times, like for example today.

Worn out door knobs's picture
Worn out door knobs 14 weeks 1 day ago
#2

According to the CDC in the USA, over 800,000 potential human beings are destroyed each year by abortion......Democrats, who largely favor abortions, have a "lot of blood on the hands". https://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/

deepspace's picture
deepspace 14 weeks 1 day ago
#3

Boom -- another lie! Democrats don't "largely favor" aborting a fetus (which is not a viable human being). That painful decision is a very private one for each individual woman, consulting her god, her doctor, and the law of the land. It has nothing to do with someone else's religious, political, or personal opinions.

The big election is just six months away, and Republicans are still advocating against women's rights? Noted.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 14 weeks 1 day ago
#4

But let's talk about who has real blood of real human beings on their hands. Hello? Can you hear us now? We're in the midst of a deadly pandemic that by definition impacts everyone everywhere; hence, the biggest question on everyone's mind is, "Why are Republicans so f*cking stupid?"

Maybe nature's way to achieve the elusive "herd immunity" is to cull the herd of the dumb ones first. By all means, let's open those crowded assembly lines, offices, stadiums, beaches, bars, restaurants, gyms, theatres, tattoo and massage parlors, nail and hair salons, churches, back-alley abortion clinics, dens of iniquity, meth labs, Trump rallies, and funerals -- lots of funerals.

But all those wonderful virus breeding grounds will only be opened to those who swear a blood oath to der Führer to get him reelected at any cost. Upon entering a Trumpian "death zone," his enraptured acolytes will also receive a free can of disinfectant spray to "inject" down their throats to cleanse their lungs of that evil DemocRAT virus hoax "...in a minute. It does a tremendous number on [the lungs]."

Sooner or later, a small but growing minority in the Republican rank and file who are filled with shame and guilt (if that's possible) and are disillusioned and disgusted with Dr. Trump's macabre medicine show, will have to admit that they voted for a "f*cking moron," a "f*cking liar," and an unfeeling, murderous lunatic -- a triple whammy. For a true-blue Trumpite, can you imagine the horror of that realization?

So how much more deranged and dangerous can a moron and liar possibly get before the Republican Party as a whole finally fesses up to its colossal mistake? When it's too late? Coming clean and being honest with themselves, if not with the rest of us, is the highest psychological hurdle that so-called "conservative" voters must overcome deep within. Probably most can never bring themselves to admit the ugly truth. Denial is the coin of their realm. "Mentally unwell leaders influence their followers to behave the same way."

Four Americans died in Benghazi during a vicious attack. For months on end afterward, lying Republicans wasted precious legislative time and taxpayer money politicizing this national tragedy to ruin Hillary even though she was exonerated repeatedly by every investigation they could throw at her. (Talk about a partisan, witch-hunt hoax!)

Yet, a carnival barker, malignant narcissist, sexual pervert, bankrupt faux-billionaire deep in debt, Putin toady, prolific liar, breaker of treaties, impeached president, an enemy of friends, a friend of enemies, and now a democidal maniac answerable for a staggering death toll of his own people in the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands, deserves four more years. Of course he does. Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi!

Alas, the facts beg to differ. Let the evidence show that Donald John Trump and his Republican enablers are responsible for what history will likely record as the greatest collection of dead citizenry ever accrued by any U.S. president (if all the lost souls are counted), and for only God knows how much anguish suffered by survivors. Obamacare's notorious, nonexistent "death panel" isn't even a pimple on Trump's gigantic ass.

But to hear the egomaniac-in-chief tell it, he is the one who is suffering the most. With political foes and fake-news saboteurs on his left flank foiling his genius schemes, he feels sorry only for himself: “They always said, ‘Lincoln, nobody got treated worse than Lincoln.' I believe I am treated worse.”

...Because you see, actual assassination is preferable to character assassination (which, in Trump's case, is just telling the objective truth about deviant behavior). In a country teeming with whacked-out gun freaks and white nationalist bigots itching for bloody civil war, why would he allude to how Lincoln was treated? Not very smart, not very "stable" as far as genius goes, is it? Maybe it's that whole bottled-up death-cult thing again, escaping the subconscious, crying out for intervention.

So, who will have done more harm in the long run to the country and indeed to the world, Bush or Trump, the pot or the kettle? A Republican is a Republican is a Republican -- the saboteurs of democracy and decency everywhere. Don't forget to throw Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Pappy Bush into the same witches' brew. Trump is just the latest villain/court jester in their serial, made for TV, tragicomedy horror show.

Susimardom72's picture
Susimardom72 14 weeks 1 day ago
#5

Thank you! I believe the time of painting Democrats as evil has expired. That's just not gonna work for elections anymore. We see what having GOP in charge has done. This pandemic has opened our eyes and our minds.

Legend 14 weeks 1 day ago
#6

How ironic..... A world where Cinco De Mayo falls on taco Tuesday only to be ruined by a virus named after a Mexican Beer.

Worn out door knobs's picture
Worn out door knobs 14 weeks 1 day ago
#7

Mr Deepspace:

Here's a simple question. Why would someone abort a fetus?

Answer: to keep the fetus from becoming a viable human being.

BTW it's Thom specious argument that President Trump and the Republicans are responsible for the deaths in the pandemic, that opened the door for my argument that Democrats are responsible for 800,000 + deaths annually as a result of abortions.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 14 weeks 19 hours ago
#8

Conflation going on here!

Are we not trying to compare Trump with Bush and their EGO trips?

By simple observation... they both display dictatorial trait and inclination

Paying lip service to democracy and love of humanity

Total lack of integrity

Godless

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 14 weeks 18 hours ago
#9

The door is never opened by another for conflation or deflection. Worn_out, you opened that door on your own.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 14 weeks 18 hours ago
#10

Now, responding to the irrelevant distraction, were any of the 800,000 in the 3rd trimester? If not, why is worn_out trying to change our "democracy" into a theocracy?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 14 weeks 6 hours ago
#12

(springboarding off #s 9-10-11)

Ms. Doorknobs #7:

Well, you answered your own question, which is fine. But to continue down that path of logic, shouldn't the next question be: Why would someone keep the fetus from becoming a viable human being? Answer: Haha, I'm a stallion and don't want to get kicked in the teeth again by the mares for butting into their business, other than to state that the answer is not as simple as the question since the reasons are so complex and varied from one individual to the next. It's also a good bet that if men got pregnant then abortion would have been fully legal with no hidden hurdles a long time ago in every state.

The reasons for or against abortion run the gauntlet from a profound sense of spirituality all the way to the outward issues of physical existence, such as horrible mutation, the mother's health, age, rape, incest, professional career choices, severe poverty, homelessness, no insurance, lack of access to adequate social safety nets, unaffordable child-care infrastructure, underfunded adoptive services, abusive relationships, dysfunctional family life, mental and emotional issues, a psychological inability or unwillingness to take on the burden of a lifelong commitment and responsibility, and countless more justifications, some good, some bad.

But regardless of the reasons, it's the law; like it or lump it. Under the First Amendment, the rest of us are certainly entitled to judge and to comment on other people's public rationalizations as either right or wrong according to our own perspective -- it's an important debate to be had. But my right to speak out and protest should not infringe upon your right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment, including the choice of whether to keep an unviable fetus while in the first trimester.

Anyway, both major political parties don't seem to have much influence one way or another on either the rate of abortions or on the ratio to live births, despite all the futile clamoring to change the boilerplate ruling of the Supreme Court. (Ain't gonna happen even with McTurtle ramming right-wing judges through.) Perhaps it's best to separate the debate from politics as much as possible.

Moreover, what's wrong with trying to change people's minds and behavior, or better still, to explore the mysteries of life and death as a joint adventure by focusing the argument on the merits and discussing it the staid, old-fashion way without all the vitriol from the right raining down fire and brimstone? Isn't that what inquiring minds are supposed to do? Why tether the quest for higher truths to the bygone musings of obscure theologians memorialized in dusty old books when the feeling of life is always happening nonstop, before fragmented thought has a chance to catch up, qualify, and then slice and dice everything into nice neat packages that mean nothing?

In actuality, we are always living at the cutting edge of awareness beyond all the endless words and conflicting ideas -- inherently a unique, firsthand experience of ongoing wonderment and inspiration that constantly changes from moment to moment in a timeless state of awe. Life -- the greatest of all mysteries and the first and most critical of our "unalienable Rights" -- defies capture by any description. It is immensely sad and disturbing when a fetus is aborted. That's a profound feeling of loss and conflict -- an outcome that no one in their right mind would "favor" -- but it does not mean that a soul is being aborted. Or does it?

Talking through such intractable positions and difficult subject is a better strategy than always raising the specter (not Doorknobs, but as some radical Christianists tend to do by constantly threatening to rescind Roe v.Wade) of the long arm of the law dragging doctors and nurses and mothers off to jail, or otherwise ruining their lives for failing to comply with the radicalized whims of whatever religious zealots happen to be in power at the moment. To most ears, presumedly, building impossible walls to surmount sure doesn't sound very "pro-life" or consistent with the usual winger rhetoric about "Big Guvmunt" interference in our private lives.

Beyond laws and politics and institutionalized dogma, however, there are more fascinating questions fundamental to the intrinsic human yearning for an understanding of the bigger picture: When does the soul enter the fetus? And if the soul survives death does it precede birth? Would that imply an elegant process of reincarnation linked to evolution? Have fun with those unanswerable esotericisms.

I was raised Catholic and attended a Maryknoll junior seminary for two years back in the day before leaving the Church, mea culpa. (Okay, being a horse I was just hobbled in their pasture.) They taught that life on Earth is a one-off and that the spirit enters this world at the moment of conception. (I dunno, though, that seems rather cruel and counterproductive for God to cram a living soul, a vortex of budding awareness, into a tiny barely-developed fetus trapped in a pitch-dark water balloon for nine long months. What -- asleep, in a coma? Weird.) Several countervailing passages in the Bible indicate that we may enter the corporeal plane when we draw our first breath and exit when we draw our last (hopefully not in an ICU unit infected with the "Trump virus").

Does that mean that a fetus is a mere template in waiting or does our animated lifeforce develop along with the fetus? If we precede birth and our intended fetus is aborted, does God then pick another fetus for us to inhabit, or are we out of luck for the chance at individual sentience and are reabsorbed by a universal consciousness with the amorphous title of "God?"

Who am I to tell The Almighty Boss how to run His little shop of souls? But (if He doesn't mind His humble servant's lowly input ...In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sanctus. Amen.) incubating a soul in a clump of mindless cells in the hope that the host doesn't abort it seems like a haphazard way of doing business and probably generates a lot of extra paperwork for secretary angels, considering the vagaries of a species run by warring tribes of feces-flinging monkey-people hoarding bananas? Why not wait for the right viable birth to come along and for the Doc to slap the slimy little bugger first (or put him/her on a ventilator) to receive that sacred "breath of life" before sentencing some poor bastard to nine months in a dark hole for no good reason?

And hey, God, (as long as I'm bitching and whining, er, "praying") unless there's leftover really bad karma from a previous life and You're still pissed off, could You please try to avoid implanting my, granted, insignificant consciousness into some one-eyed, three-legged freak with scrambled DNA and a shrunken brain that couldn't be aborted for whatever reason? Also, Your little horse joke this time around ain't all that funny either. Just saying...

Amen.

BTW: Thom's argument is not specious because it is based on an abundance of irrefutable evidence, links to which are also provided throughout these various threads by various posters for your convenience to peruse.

And while I respect your contention after the door was opened, you are nevertheless conflating the "termination" of unviable fetuses in their first trimesters with the agony and deaths of viable human souls wrenched from this physical life needlessly and on the cusp of facing eternity (whatever that may mean). That's an apples-to-oranges comparison according to the law, the majority view of both women and men, and numerous other religious sensibilities that are not your own.

Let's be honest: No one on Earth really knows WTF despite all the so-called sacred texts from a quintillion religions down through the ages. Consequently, the Supreme Court essentially compromised on all of these existential questions, which Homo sapiens aren't really equipped to answer, even when claiming to know the mind of a preferred cloud being. Does an ant comprehend a whole city to navigate its tiny section of the sidewalk or to live its life to the fullest within the constraints of its form?

All we can do is ask the questions and hopefully understand at least a sliver of a wider, truly astonishing reality. Some of the most serious injuries within a society occur when arrogant pissants (again, not talking about Doorknobs here) think they know all the key answers and then use them as cudgels against all those evil nonbelievers. Roe v. Wade seems fair enough in my humble opinion even though it has torn our nation apart with yet another unbridgeable political schism. So what's new?

deepspace's picture
deepspace 14 weeks 5 hours ago
#13

#6: Just read that. Good one, Legend. }:--)))))

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 13 weeks 5 days ago
#14

Only in America!

Avoiding verbosity

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Trump has now done this with the Justice Department, the Post Office, the Department of Homeland Security, The Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Reserve, and our intelligence agencies.
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