With George W. Bush's Approval Ratings on the Rise, 5 Reasons Why We Shouldn't Be So Quick to Forgive

A new Gallup poll finds that George W. Bush’s favorability ratings are at their highest point since 2005, with 49 percent of Americans approving of the ex-president, and only 46 percent viewing him negatively. Bush left office with ratings in the low 30s. What has he done in the past four and a half years to improve his image so drastically? Very little, it seems: He’s taken up the quiet life, living on his family’s ranch in Texas and learning to paint. Perhaps we’re suffering from a collective case of recession-induced amnesia? Before getting nostalgic about the days of Dubya, let’s remind ourselves of a few of his decisions that no amount of cute paintings of puppies can cancel out. [Image: Getty Images]

Invading Iraq Under False Pretenses

10 years later, we’re still paying the price of Bush’s false claim that Saddam Hussein was harboring WMDs—with the country’s coffers a trillion dollars lighter and nearly 4,500 American families in mourning. [Image: Getty Images]

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Allowing Torture

Bush’s presidency will forever be tainted by his condoning “enhanced interrogation techniques” and saying the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to “enemy combatants.” Guantanamo Bay remains open to this day, in spite of massive international pressure to close it. [Image: Getty Images]

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Precipitating the Financial Crisis

Food for thought: the onset of the recession might be traced back to Bush’s policies of deregulation and tax cuts for the rich. [Image: Getty Images]

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Flying Over Post-Katrina New Orleans

Bush’s decision to fly over hurricane-struck New Orleans on the way back from his ranch, rather than paying a ground visit, confirmed his image as the President who cared more about vacations and eight hours of sleep than the welfare of American citizens. [Image: Getty Images]

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Being...Well, Embarrassing Abroad

Whatever you think of his policies, Bush was terrible for America’s reputation abroad, and still is: His popularity hasn’t been as quick to recover overseas. [Image: Getty Images]

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