At least Richard Nixon negotiated with Russia, opened doors to China and created the Environmental Protection Agency. What did George Bush achieve?

Many historians already name Bush as the worst president in history. I go further: He may well be our nation's first catastrophic President.

It will take years to clean up the financial fiasco that occurred on his watch, a unique combination of incompetence, corruption and massive social inequity. It will take years to clean up the military mess he leaves behind with one war we should not have fought, another war that is not going well and our greatest enemy, who masterminded the World Trade Center attacks, still alive doing his dirty deeds.

While the Vice President goes from interview to interview on his "torture tour," the President desperately tries to rewrite history in one final public-relations failure while his popularity sinks to 22 percent and the nation eagerly awaits his departure.

Karl Rove's dream of a one-party state was so close he could taste it; yet the one party that now controls Congress and the presidency is the Democratic Party.

The pundits, politicians and hangers-on who gave this catastrophic President their undivided support are now reduced to arguing there should be no prosecutions for crimes. How odd; how sad; how ridiculous; how fitting.

This catastrophic President who inherited a budget surplus from his predecessor leaves his successor a disaster of deficits and debt and joblessness and fear and uncertainty and failure.

This catastrophic President who promised modesty in foreign policy and gave us arrogance and imperial attitudes and a blundering war and scandals of wounded troops, yet permitted Osama bin Laden to escape now gives farewell interviews trying to rewrite the legacy it will take a generation to correct.

This catastrophic President who promised to be a uniter and not a divider polarized Americans against each other, allowed the questioning of the patriotism of Americans who were far wiser than he, and only now unites Americans in disgust at what he did and the desire that he leave.

This catastrophic President, who ran on a platform of law and order, gave us White House counsels and an Attorney General who wrote torture memos, corrupted U.S. Attorneys, justified massive violations of eavesdropping laws and left office with the desperate hope that they themselves will not be investigated or prosecuted for crimes.

This President who ran as a CEO gave us the incompetence and bungling of Katrina, the unregulated markets that led to catastrophe from bankers and masters of the universe, and bailouts that spend trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, a vast sum that has helped those who caused the mess without providing help to those who suffered from the mess.

Many historians already call Bush the worst President ever. I nominate him for a higher honor: America's first catastrophic President.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and to Rep. Bill Alexander, then the chief deputy whip of the House. He can be read in The Hill newspaper, where he is a columnist. He can be reached at

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