Bush is Number Two
...literally as well as figuratively.
The annual USA/Gallup poll asking just over 1000 people whom they admire the most offers results both predictable and amazing. President-Elect Barack Obama was the runaway favorite, with 32% of respondents saying they admire him more than anyone else.
What's astounding is that Bush finished second. A distant second, at only 5%, sure, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that after everything he's done to this country, to the world at large and all with a shocking lack of humanity he still finished second. What's even more amazing is that he was first during the last seven years of the poll, even after the economy began tanking, long after Iraq turned into a nightmarish, never-ending quagmire, long after news broke that he was spying on us and that he ordered the detention and torture of human beings.
Finishing behind Bush were other champions of progressive causes, with John McCain showing, trailed by the likes of Pope Benedict XVI and Billy Graham, who, except for when his wife Ruth died last year, hasn't been in the limelight since the Nixon administration. Rounding the pack of the top five was Bill Clinton, whose own sloppy return to the limelight was marred and marked by bitterness, nastiness and even racism.
You have to wonder who Gallup is calling and why they keep voting more often for the guy who's either in the White House or about to enter it.
What's even more amazing was that Sarah Palin, who wasn't even known in GOP circles until two months before the election, finished a fairly close second to Hillary Clinton (20%) with 11%. Michelle Obama? A mere 3%. Condoleezza Rice finished way ahead of her with 7%.
I guess I shouldn't be too hard on the good ole boy as he's moving his boxes out of the Oval Office because Obama did beat him by 27%. But it's just amazing to me that a war criminal and economic and environmental terrorist like Bush even placed, to be followed by an Alzheimer's candidate, a homophobic pederast-protecting papist and an anti-Semite when there are so many other worthier candidates.
No Al Gore, who in rapid succession earned an Academy Award then a Nobel Peace Prize, someone who has done more to raise our awareness about the very real dangers of global warming than any other single human being on the planet. No Dennis Kucinich, who was one of the very few people in Congress who didn't get dry heaves at the thought of impeaching Bush and Cheney. No Cindy Sheehan, who for at least a brief time gave the antiwar movement a face and a story and who courageously ran against the same Nancy Pelosi who'd stonewalled Kucinich and Wexler during their own impeachment resolutions.
I suppose we ought to take what we can get and breathe a sigh of relief that Dick Cheney didn't crack the top five but you have to wonder about the collective long and short-term memory and powers of rational thinking of our people when 50 out of a 1000 of us still admire George W. Bush more than Barack Obama after his historic capture of the Presidency.
(Update: Go to my diary of this post on DKos and take the poll.)