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Gary Younge
Who can compare to George Bush?

Today is President's day a day when George Bush's record bears comparison with other former White House occupants. Bush would like to be compared to Truman. USA Today founder Al Neuharth has argued that Bush is beyond comparison.

It won't come as much of a surprise that I find Bush's politics both obnoxious and dangers. But I find portrayals of him as an idiot - which I concede I have myself stooped to on rare occasion - tiresome. Not because they might not be true but because they are rarely funny (this), too easy and miss the point. There are plenty of idiots in the world. The point about this one is that he is armed to the teeth and desperate for a fight.

But a recent Pew survey poll does reveal both the polarised perceptions of his performance and the way in which his image has degraded in the US.

When asked what one word best describes their impression of the president, the top 10 words in February 2004 in order of popularity were: honest, fair, leader, liar, arrogant, strong, excellent, good, Christian and integrity. When asked the same question earlier this month the answers in order were: incompetent, arrogant, honest, good, idiot, integrity, leader, strong, stupid and ignorant.

What, one wonders, does that make of the people who elected him?

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