If you read the Washington Post’s Outlook section yesterday, you were told that President Bush is the “worst president ever.”

Lefty Columbia U historian Eric Foner, who made the charge (none of the contributors in the increasingly uniform outlook presented in Outlook gave Bush high marks), did not try to back up his opinion, merely citing examples of failed presidencies of the past and saying that GWB is similar.   

Powerline says that Foner may have won the laurels of “the worst historian ever.”

“It would be nice if such a historian would at least try to make a case. Foner can hardly be bothered. He notes that some of our bad presidents were unwilling to change course even in the face of adversity and strong public disapproval. But so, of course, were some of our great presidents, most notably Lincoln.

“Foner argues that some of our bad presidents were corrupt, and goes on to assert that Bush’s corruption is even worse than that of Harding.”

Yes, it was lefty palaver, which is now so dominant that the case doesn’t have to be made – Bush is Bad is an article of faith. (The one time Foner concentrates on Bush is to say that his is also the corrupt administration — what about Clinton? — that tries to strip citizens of rights going back to the Magna Carter!)

I think history will give Bush a very different judgment. Michael Barone has a good piece that touches on this. Barone notes that, while critics are comparing Bush to LBJ facing failure in Vietnam, he sees himself differently — and (in my opinion) he may be right:

“[M]aybe the Vietnam analogy will not apply. And it shouldn’t, because it’s misleading. The communists’ Tet offensive was a smashing defeat for them, not us, as outlined in Peter Braestrup’s 1977 book ‘Big Story.’ Military historian Lewis Sorley has shown how after Tet, Gen. Creighton Abrams produced a strategy that was proving successful — until Congress prevented the United States from fulfilling its promises of aid against the North Vietnamese offensive in 1975.

“In Iraq, our enemies may not be making all the progress they seek, and changes in our military tactics are likely. Many argue for embedding more U.S. troops in Iraqi Army units. Other recommendations may come from the review commissioned — evidently out of dissatisfaction with current operations — by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace.

“Bush, like Truman and Churchill, seems determined not to concede defeat. And remember that for Truman on Korea and for Churchill after Dunkirk, no promising military courses were immediately apparent. Truman, after firing Gen. Douglas MacArthur, had forsaken the threat — a nuclear attack — that his successor Dwight Eisenhower deployed to get the communists to agree to a truce.

“But Truman’s perseverance despite his 22 percent job approval — much lower than Bush’s — was essential in preserving the independence of South Korea, which now has the world’s 14th-largest economy. Churchill, facing Hitler alone, could promise only ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’ until his enemies’ mistakes — Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union, the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor — gave him the allies that made victory possible.”