Okay, one last thing for today

In an interview one week ago, straight-shootin' Don Rumsfeld made this curious claim, responding to a question about President Bush's ever-dwindling approval ratings:

I think the biggest problem we've got in the country is people don't study history any more. People who go to school in high schools and colleges, they tend to study current events and call it history. There's never been a popular war. Franklin Roosevelt was one of the most hated people in the country and he was President of the United States."

Um...what? Roosevelt was one of the most popular presidents in American history. The only people who hated him were fat-cat capitalists like, you know, the ones whose grandchildren make up the modern G.O.P. His approval rating during WWII was never lower than 66%, and even before the war it only once dipped below 50% (to 48%). His disapproval rating was never higher than 43%, even after a GOP campaign to make him out as a pocket dictator who might as well be the spawn of Satan, so disregarding was he of the precious principle of free enterprise on which our nation was apparently founded. His average approval rating before the war was 57%, during the war 63%, and throughout the course of his presidency (four terms and 96 APAR/Gallup polls) 63%. Compare this to, say, the wildly if inexplicably popular President Reagan -- it's not even close. I don't know what Rumsfeld is taking about. But then again, I never do.

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