At a time of national crisis, Pierce and Buchanan, who served in the eight years preceding the Civil War, and Johnson, who followed it, were simply not up to the job. Stubborn, narrow-minded, unwilling to listen to criticism or to consider alternatives to disastrous mistakes, they surrounded themselves with sycophants and shaped their policies to appeal to retrogressive political forces (in that era, pro-slavery and racist ideologues).
Far from it. Bush's failures, especially early in his presidency, stemmed from working too closely with the Democrats.
When he was governor of Texas, Bush had a reputation for reaching across the aisle to find solutions for the state's problems. And it worked. When he went to Washington, a lot of conservatives who pay attention to national politics warned him that the Washington Democrats weren't like the Texas breed he was used to working with. They were back-stabbers and they didn't have the nation's best interest in mind. We were right.
This is the president that caved on funding for the totally unscientific embryonic stem cell crap. He's the one that signed the Repeal of the First Amendment Act (oops, I mean McCain-Feingold). He's the one signed Kennedy's No Child Left Behind bill. All this, and the only thing the extreme Left gave him in return was a sharp blade in the back.
If we want to call Bush's domestic policy a disaster, I'm all for it. Those three items, the core of his domestic policy are either immoral, unconstitutional, or failures, but let's not lie about it. Every one of those were parts of the Dem agenda. They wanted them passed. They deserve a large part of the blame.