Debunking George W. Bush’s Resume

There’s an e-mail that’s been going around for quite a while called “Bush’s Resume” which lists a few dozen “accomplishments” of the president, stuff like “I replaced Los Angeles with Houston as the most smog ridden city in America,” “I attacked and took over two countries.” and “I am the first president in US history to have all 50 states bankrupted at the same time.”

It’s an absolutely huge list, and I won’t reproduce it here. There’s some truth to it, quite a few outright lies, plenty of distortions, all of which is smothered in a hefty dose of partisan politics.

Lists like this — there was another one during Clinton’s reign listing all the people he’d offed — aren’t all that different from the hoaxes and urban legends that Nuketown normally covers.

Like hoaxes, they are so long that they are all but undebunkable simply because it would take so much time to verify each fact. At the same time, they include just enough easily verifiable facts — i.e. the U.S. did invade the two countries, the U.S. did get removed from the human rights commission — for people who agree with the writer’s politics to rationalize forwarding it.

At the same time, because its such a huge list, most people (like me) don’t take the time to fight it. I’ll guess that it’d take 40 solid hours of work to thoroughly and adequately debunk this thing. So we just leave it be, and don’t forward it … and feel slightly guilty about not fighting it.

Fortunately though, a few intrepid individuals have attempted to tackle this monster (but even they have found themselves unable to refute every point … and not because those points are irrefutable).

First, there’s this blog entry from Questions and Observations which does a very good job of refuting the resume from a libertarian perspective.

Second, there’s this one, which is a 45-page PDF that attempts to debunk every aspect of the “resume”. It’s written by a George W. Bush fan, and doesn’t apologize for that bias, but is at least up front about it.

There’s also to this page on Worshipping at the Altar of Mediocrity…, but I don’t recommend it. Many of the sources are from left-wing or progressive Web sites that are as biased as the original resume although there are the occasionally governmental or mainstream news links. Yes, the other debunkings have their own biases, but for the most part they draw on more legitimate sources.

I’m always looking for other pages that attempt to debunk this resume (or hell, even prove it’s points). If you know of any, send them to me at and I’ll add them to this page.