Last weekend on Fox News’s “Beltway Boys” program, co-hosts Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes brought up the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, on February 12. “I’m glad you pointed this out,” Kondracke said to Barnes. “Well I’m a great Lincoln fan,” Barnes added.
Barnes, of course, is also a great George W. Bush fan and thus seized the opportunity to boast about how much Bush is just like Lincoln:
BARNES: Not only was he America’s greatest president, I think he was America’s greatest political leader. He was so incredibly shrewd. Well, Obama has made — he was from Illinois and Lincoln was from Illinois and that’s fine. But in some ways, you know what was more like Lincoln in his presidency? George W. Bush.
But Barnes may be disappointed by a recent analysis from a group of — what some might probably argue — more objective observers. On Sunday, C-SPAN released a survey in which 65 presidential historians ranked the former presidents “on ten attributes of leadership.” While they ranked Lincoln first, Bush came in at number 36.
Moreover, many historians “are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.” Indeed, according to an informal poll of historians last year, 98 percent rated Bush’s presidency a failure while 60 percent said Bush is the worst of all U.S. presidents.
Nevertheless, the loyal Bushies like Barnes (and Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Newt Gingrich, John Gibson, David Brooks, Glenn Beck, Rudy Giuliani and even Bush himself) will continue to fog the mirrors trying to make you believe Bush is one of the best presidents ever — just like Lincoln. But as legal scholar Garrett Epps once noted, “George W. Bush is Lincoln the way Dan Quayle is Jack Kennedy.”