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In List of Presidents: Bush Worse Than Buchanan « The Washington Independent

John Morton Blum, esteemed professor emeritus at Yale University and one-time teacher of George W. Bush, has spent a lifetime studying presidential politics. So an assessment he made this week as his former pupil navigates the twilight of his White House tenure stands out as particularly damning.

“The Bush presidency is so bad,” Blum said Wednesday, from his home in New Haven, Conn., “I don’t know if the next generation will even believe it. He makes James Buchanan look heroic.”

James Buchanan?

The folks who haven’t recently brushed up on their 19th-century U.S. history might be left scratching their heads (I was.)

But a quick study reveals the depth of the comparison: Buchanan preceded Abraham Lincoln and did nothing to alleviate the Southern secession. In fact, Buchanan claimed it would be illegal for him to do so. His party fractured. And, in 2006, historians ranked that inaction the single worst blunder in the history of the presidency.

Then again, Bush might not get the reference: He was a student of Blum’s 20th-century survey of American politics.

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