Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Senator Boxer on the Colbert Report

California's Senator Barbara Boxer was the guest on tonight's Colbert Réport, and, as is his custom, Stephen Colbert asked her whether she believes that George W. Bush is

  • "a great President," or
  • "the greatest President."
Senator Boxer emphatically answered "neither," but I believe it is time to concede that in a very important sense George W. Bush is the greatest President America has ever had — far surpassing Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Wilson, Roosevelts 1 and 2, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 1 combined!

Look at the impressive list of superlatives that Bush has already racked up in just five years:
  • most treaties abrogated
  • Bonus: more treaties abrogated than all 42 predecessors combined
  • biggest budget deficit
  • Bonus: bigger deficit than all 42 predecessors combined
  • most weasel clauses ("signing statements") added to bills he signed into law
  • Bonus: more weasel clauses than all 42 predecessors combined
  • only President ever to serve a full term without vetoing a single bill
  • most historic allies disrespected
  • most foreigners taught to hate America
  • most pollution laws weakened
and that's without even starting on areas like Katrina/Brownie, wiretapping, torture, secret CIA prisons, or corporate and/or lobbying scandals.

The term "great" when applied to a leader does not reflect moral goodness, it reflects the magnitude of his or her lasting consequences in history. By that standard, George W. Bush has eclipsed even the Founding Fathers as the greatest President in U.S. history, just as Saddam can claim to be the greatest leader ever in Iraq. For that reason, I pledge today to cease referring to "Alleged President Bush," even though technically that description is accurate, just as it is accurate to say that San Francisco is alleged to be in California, or that Jake Gyllenhaal is alleged to appear in Brokeback Mountain.