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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bush Vs Brezhnev

posted by on July 10 at 14:55 PM


Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union from about 1964 to 1982, is widely regarded as one of the worst leaders of the modern era. His bungling has served as an inspiration for other aspirant incompetents, a sort of absolute zero for national leadership of a dominant nation.

The miraculous years under W, however, bring risk to this title! Both men were/are preening, self-lauding fools, and would care deeply who holds the legacy. A pressing question awaits us!
Who wins the title of absolute zero for leadership, George W Bush or Leonid Brezhnev?

A handy comparison table:

Personal Accomplishments before rising to power: Destroyed the Texas Rangers. Ran several oil businesses into oblivion. Fails to commit suicide due to rigorous unthinking about everything. Studied metallurgy. Successfully retreated from Germans. Survived purges through rigorous unthinking adherence to Stalinist ideals.
Wartime Service Faked Air National Guard records. Drank heavily. Drafted into Red Army during the Great Patriotic War. Served only in a political capacity.
Wartime Record as National Leader: Invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Lost. Invaded Afghanistan. Lost.
Response to economic troubles: Tax cuts for the wealthy. Cuts in research funding. Promoted increased consolidation of industry. Gutted regulation. Massive deficit spending on the military, leading to the collapse of the currency. Ignored the fundamental economic problems underlying the decline. Promoted increased consolidation of industry. Massive deficit spending on the military, leading to the collapse of the currency. Ignored the fundamental economic problems underlying the decline.
Drug addictions: Alcohol. Probably cocaine. Nembutal (a narcotic)
Cult of Personality: Prone to giving out medals to himself and close political allies. Prone to giving out medals to himself and close political allies.
Overall Legacy: Lazy, short-minded, self-centered and dishonest leadership imperils the entire teetering substructure of the gluttonous American society. Inept, short-minded, dishonest and self-centered leadership directly lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union and collapse of communism worldwide.

I say, winner Bush! USA! USA!

RSS icon Comments


Well, of *course* it's Bush. Duh.

Posted by Sachi Wilson | July 10, 2008 3:05 PM

Yes, but Brezhnev had way cooler eyebrows.

Posted by Lobot | July 10, 2008 3:07 PM

And Brezhnev inspired the best jokes in Soviet times. Bush is positively unfunny.

Posted by rb | July 10, 2008 3:24 PM

Lenoid??!! How about Leonid?

Posted by seattle mike | July 10, 2008 3:25 PM

rb, in communist russia, Brezhnev inspires jokes about YOU!

Posted by jon c | July 10, 2008 3:36 PM

Ack! Thanks seattle mike.

I think Bush shaves his eyebrows, Lobot.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | July 10, 2008 3:40 PM

Too bad Obama won't come close to beating Khrushchev as most awesome leader ever.

Posted by vooodooo84 | July 10, 2008 3:51 PM

As a former Materials Engineering student, I just want to say that I always love seeing the word "metallurgy" in print.

I worked for a few months as a metallurgist, right out of college, and every time I told someone my job title, I'd get the puppydog-head-tilt, like "wuh?"

Posted by bill | July 10, 2008 3:52 PM

Jonathan, you sir, are the man.

I can't wait to send this to all my W loving friends & family. (I live in goddamn MO, what am I supposed to do?)

I have a feeling a lot of them would give the puppydog-head-tilt @ "metallurgist" too. And "Brezhnev", for that matter.

Posted by Mike in MO | July 10, 2008 4:03 PM

Also, Brezhnev went to Expo 86 - Bush didn't cause he didn't travel back then, other than drug/alcohol runs to Mexico.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 10, 2008 4:21 PM

Remember that the brilliant Cold-War strategy employed by Reagan and company (and endlessly trumpeted in all the subsequent hagiographies as a sign of Reagan's brilliance) was to draw the USSR into a spiralling arms race that would cause them to spend themselves into insolvency. They reasoned correctly that the Soviets would go broke first.

Too bad they never asked who would go broke second.

Posted by flamingbanjo | July 10, 2008 4:39 PM

Brezhnev did not go to Expo 86, having died 4 years before. :(

Posted by David | July 10, 2008 4:57 PM

In this same line of thinking, here's a pretty cool article comparing the US and the Soviet Union, in terms of who is/was better prepared to survive economic collapse. Ironically, and not through any clever planning on their part, USSR won the debate.

Posted by MyDogBen | July 10, 2008 4:59 PM


That link is *excellent*. I'll have to slog it later. Thanks!

Posted by Jonathan Golob | July 10, 2008 5:29 PM

I love that "Failed to commit suicide..." is listed. You know, Bush won't manage to bring the country to the brink of total demise like Brezhnev did, BUT he probably did do more harm in just 8 years than his competition.

Posted by Dougsf | July 10, 2008 5:41 PM

It took Brezhnev 18 years to do the same sort of damage Bush did in 8. Team USA!

Posted by Andy | July 10, 2008 5:54 PM

Did anyone else look at their side-by-side pictures and think "Wow. Separated at birth." ?

Posted by yucca flower | July 10, 2008 6:00 PM

How many vacation days did Brezzy take? Bush probably has him beat on that. (Were there vacations in the Soviet Union?)

Posted by Andy Niable | July 10, 2008 7:22 PM

There were definitely vacations in the Soviet Union, to faaaabulous destinations like the Black Sea. There are also dachas (cottages) outside most cities, where people would spend their summer weekends gardening (and "clearin' brush", no doubt).

Posted by Andy | July 10, 2008 8:06 PM

This post is beer-ad beautiful.

Posted by Amelia | July 10, 2008 10:53 PM

Hmm, ok, not a Bush fan, but "Invaded afghanistan and iraq. Lost"?

How are we defining a loss, here? Saddam displaced (yeah he was America's buddy in teh past but he was an identified target before invasion) American troops all over the place, shooting people up (to expend some of that munitions stockpile and justify their inflated budget), American contractors everywhere making a damn fortune.

I think he won that one.

Posted by Toby | July 11, 2008 6:46 AM

Under "Wartime Service" -- you can't tell me that a good Russian boy didn't drink the hell out of some vodka whilst in the Red Army.

Posted by Al | July 11, 2008 6:57 AM


I honestly don't think anyone could call what happened and is currently STILL happening in Iraq a "win" or a "loss".

A quagmire, maybe. A disaster, sure. A mess? Seems pretty accurate. A massive money pit where our political leaders openly lied to get us into? Why not!

What cannot be said, however is that we've "won" or "lost". Because neither work in this situation. And we likely will never truly be able to define what we were in this conflict, no matter how many years we distance ourselves from it, no matter when our troops can finally pull out. It, frankly, solved very little, and has likely solidified us as the Big Evil to the Middle East. But it also dethroned a rather cruel dictator. Unlike WW1 or WWII I doubt we will ever see a clear victor in this "war"- most likely because the enemy here, outside Saddam, was an idea. A form of Guerrilla Military Tactic. We were fighting Terrorism. And how, exactly, can you label yourself the loser or victor against an idea that is easily taken up by someone new the minute previous practitioners are silenced?

Posted by Johnny Liverwerst | July 11, 2008 9:38 AM

At the opening of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Brezhnev stands up to greet the athletes. He takes his speech and begins to read: "O! O! O! O! O!" His speechwriter leans over and says, "Leonid Ilyich, those are the Olympic rings. Your speech begins down below".

Posted by Bah-dum-bum | July 11, 2008 9:55 AM

From the front page of Pravda:

"The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, The Politburo and the Council of Ministers of the USSR announce with deep regret that, this morning, after a protracted illness and without regaining consciousness, Comrade Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev returned to work."

Posted by Shady Tree and His Acorns | July 11, 2008 10:01 AM

But - has Bush been namechecked yet in an R.E.M. song along with Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs?

Posted by Nicole | July 11, 2008 10:03 AM

jonathan, you get a gold star for the chart.

Posted by jim bexley-speed | July 11, 2008 11:58 AM

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