Episode 134: George W Bush: The Most Loved, Hated President

On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush. Though he ranks as one of the most hated presidents of the modern era (with a job approval rating as low as 19% before he left office), he is a polarizing figure that is perhaps symbolic of the increasing divide between the left and right wings of American politics. “W” was the son of George HW Bush and grandson of the infamous Prescott Bush, so power and money ran in his family.

After his time at Yale (where he was in the Skull and Bones secret society), he went to Harvard and eventually created an oil business in Texas, which he flipped for a profit. Then, he did the same with the Texas Rangers baseball team. While he co-owned the Rangers, he became a fixture in Texas life, and it helped him win a big for the governor of that state, though everyone thought he would lose the election by a landslide.

From there, his path in politics was set. After a term and a half as governor, he ran for the Oval Office and ended up becoming president. Note that I didn’t say he won the election because by most accounts, he simply didn’t. He lost the popular vote by half a million people, and he only won the electoral vote because of voter fraud and mishandling of ballots in Florida (a state that his brother Jeb—coincidentally—was governor of at the time). Oh, and did you know that the Diebold family who ran the voting machines in Florida is close friends with the Bush family. Funny…

The rest of his career was as controversial as the election itself, from the way he handled 9/11 (or caused it, according to some theories) to the way he sent America to war with faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. He supported torture, founded the Department of Homeland Security, eliminated civil rights with the Patriot Act, and started the system of mass surveillance that Edward Snowden alerted the public to years later.

Then, there was the mishandling of disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina and endless other flubs, fiascos, and controversies. Many people love this man and have good things to say about him; many people think he was the devil himself; and others think he was a pawn to his father and other members of his cabinet. What do your intrepid hosts think? Listen, laugh, learn.

Our Sponsors