Former president Harry S. Truman left office with a 22% approval rating in 1951, the lowest in presidential history. Why? Two things: First, Washington's spy in China, Chiang Kai-Shek, was quickly losing ground to Chairman Mao back in '49. Truman, knowing that rescuing his spy would involve the US in an unwinnable war, declined to interfere, despite protest from McCarthy and other reactionary folk. Then the gossip started that the State Department was full of Commies and McCarthy's 15 minutes began.
Second, Truman wanted to defeat the Communists who had invaded South Korea in 1950. The idea was that he'd push them right back to the Chinese border and both North and South Korea would be liberated. But he was not counting on the fact that China was horrified at the prospect of having American troops at their doorstep, which is why they joined the North Korean forces, and that was when Truman decided to throw out the idea of unifying Korea. General MacArthur demanded victory and wanted to drop a gang of bombs on Manchuria to prove his point, but instead, got canned, and thus the 38th parallel was born and the troops went home.
Ronald Reagan, well, most will agree. He sucked. But even he had sense enough to recognize that there are limits on the US' ability to save the world, and that some people just don't want to be saved. In '83, he sent about 1,000 troops to Lebanon to fight the terrorists there who had bombed their headquarters. But 4 months into it, he took back the troops and that was that.
Bush the Minor idolizes these guys. However, he fails to take the necessary lessons from them. One would think Bush crazy enough to be hearing voices from the beyond, telling him to throw down his weapons, but no. Instead, he seems to be competing with Truman to see who can leave office in the most disgrace. See, Truman was eventually exonerated of his "crimes" and now makes all sorts of Presidential "top 10" lists. Why's that? Because historians found that, at the end of the day, Truman exercised pretty good judgement, which is one of the necessary talents for the post of "Decider-in-Chief". Bush expects the same to happen with him. He would be like a painter, and once dead, everyone would realize he was the bee's knees. For all I know, it could happen that way. I would then have to go looking for another, less insane planet to live on, but it might happen.
So that's the history lesson/commentary for today, kids. By the by, Bush's approval rating is now something like 34-35%, meaning that this country is only using a litte over 5% of its collective brain. Let's pray for better days over the weekend.