Listmania Day 3

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader promised you a variation on an old familiar list. Well here tis.

Your Maximum Leader knows that every “President’s Day” (known to civilized Americans as “Washington’s Birthday”) that lists abound enumerating the “Greatest Presidents of the United States.” Well… Your Maximum Leader has decided to enumerate the worst Presidents of the United States. Here you are:

THE 10 WORST PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

(This is an ordered list with #1 being the worst President in the history of our Republic.)

10. George W. Bush
9. Franklin Pierce
8. Zachary Taylor
7. Millard Filmore
6. Jimmy Carter
5. James Buchanan
4. Woodrow Wilson
3. Richard Nixon
2. Ulysses Grant
1. Warren Harding

Honestly, this was a very hard list to put together. One has so many choices it is sometimes hard to split hairs. (And although Richard Nixon is on this list, you very well could put him on a list of the greatest presidents as well. His presidency is schizophrenic that way. So many great accomplishments and so many terrible mistakes.) Your Maximum Leader, in all honesty, feels that although he has just left office we can judge George W. Bush’s presidency negatively. Your Maximum Leader is basing his rating there on the basis of fiscal policy and mishandling early on of Iraq. Your Maximum Leader voted for Bush (twice) and can’t say he regets either of those votes. But in the end, Bush just messed things up.

Carry on.

18 Comments »
Marie Mignonette said:

1) Zachary Taylor doesn’t deserve to be on the list. Not a close call.

2) Wilson was worse than you give him credit for being. Absent American involvement in WWI, there would have been no Nazis, no WW2, no Holocaust — and just possibly, no successful Russian Revolution. A German victory in 1918 or even 1920 would have put Europe on a path towards something like the European Union today, absent the leftist nanny-statism that flows from Brussels. Britain would have kept its Empire, at least until it was ready to let go for its own reasons — and that would have been a great boon for the majority of people who actually have to live in Africa. India might never have been partitioned. The Saud family might never have staged a successful takeover of Arabia. The whole world might have been different — and better — had Woodrow Wilson never drawn a breath. (End of rant.)

3) Grant’s reputation is undergoing a long overdue rehabilitation. (Insert rehab joke >> here.)

4) How about holding a slot open for the incumbent — just in case?



Marie, Thank you for your comments. They are much appreciated. If I may ask? I would be curious to know why Zachary Taylor should not be on the list. He was basically an ineffective dolt who did nothing much for the nation as it slid towards civil war…

As for keeping an open slot open for our current president… If President Obama were to resign from office today I don’t think he’d make the list. Too short a time in office and nothing to show for the time he’s had. Right now he is all sound and fury signifying nothing… Of course, as I check my magic 8 ball and inquire if Barack Obama might soon appear on the list the answer is “Signs point to yes.”



Ed Flinn said:

There’ s always the opportunity to revise such a list, though I suppose if should only be done once an administration is ended.



A victorious Germany in 1918 would not have laid the groundwork for a modern European Union.

The treatment of occupied peoples (particularly the Belgians and the Russians) made it impossible to rule gently later.

Marie’s claim that a German victory would have precluded a Russian Revolution is wrong. German victory in the East was the proximate cause of the Romanov collapse. The Germans smuggled Lenin East to foment revolution. Kerensky and his lot were too weak to hamper the Machiavellian Lenin.

World War II may have hastened the end of the empire by a few years, but the growing acceptance of human rights in the West may it impossible to successfully resist nationalist movements that were not triggered by World War II.

I’m no fan of Wilson (resegregating the government and tarring moderate progressives with the brush of extremist protestant fundamentalism irk me), but Marie’s attribution of the world’s ills to his action is silly.



Mrs. Peperium said:

Maxy? Maxy? To quote Myrna Loy, are you on dope?

Bush’s deficits put him on the list when the current guy has racked up over a trillion in 7 mos?

What about Lyndon B. Johnson? He HAS to be worse than Bush. Gulf of Tonkin resolution and that Rolling whatever thing (Goldwater’s Vietnam plan only much, much worse) he ordered 3 months after winning as a man of peace… Then there’s his whole War on Poverty that we’ve lost big time. Makes Iraq pre-surge look like a positive picnic…

Nevermind.

Guess what? In October they have something - a street festival actually- called “Passion with Pig”. Maybe next year you should fly in for it. That is if O hasn’t taken over the airlines by then.



Now Mrs P… President Obama doesn’t make the list because he is still serving his term. I think that his one accomplishment up to this point is the huge deficits produced by the second stimulus bill. He is proposing a lot of spending… But right now there isn’t anything but talk…

As for LBJ… I contemplated him and decided that while he is probably in the 11-13 range I gave him props for civil rights legislation. It is likely that LBJ and G.W. Bush are pretty close in badness.



Mrs. Peperium said:

Alright, forget deficits. Forget wars. Let’s base this on what the Left thinks makes a president - animal rights.

LBJ’s record is worse than Teddy Roosevelt’s.

LBJ was forced to apologize to animal rights groups after he was photographed on the White House lawn picking up the First Doggie, a male beagle named “His” (how demeaning) by its ears.



Mrs. Peperium said:

Obama’s true accomplishment will be taking down the Democratic party.

Rumor has it Hillary is resigning….



Mrs. Peperium said:


Mrs. Peperium said:

Oh and Maxy, if LBJ’s war on poverty had been as successful as George Bush’s surge with Iraq, then the residents of the 9th district of Louisiana would have been able to drive themselves out of the path of Hurricane Katrina…



Ah Mrs P. I forget what a boring summer its been without you.

I grant you that LBJ is very bad. It was so close to call. As I said, there are so many awful presidents to choose from. I’m sure we could make a strong case for Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, JFK, and others…

If I was to revise the list I’d put LBJ on and take off Zachary Taylor…



Marie Mignonette said:

Smallholder –

Think what you like, but you might enjoy looking at Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War: Explaining World War One, as well as another book he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals.

Cheers,

Marie



Mrs. Peperium said:

JFK??? MAXY!!! WHAT THE $%#&*%#$@$%^$#@%^& WAS WRONG WITH JFK???

MAN, THE GUY USED THE CIA THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE USED. HE USED HIS SECRETARIES THE WAY THEY WERE ALWAYS MEANT TO BE USED ONCE WOMEN DECIDED THEY MADE BETTER SECRETARIES THAN MEN — JFK AGREED BTW. HE TOOK WOMEN FROM THE MOB - JUST TRY TO NAME ANOTHER IVY LEAGUER WHO COULD DO THAT ONE. HE WAS AN ANTI-COMMUNIST, HE CUT TAXES AND HE WAS PRO-LIFE. DAMN, HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST DEMOCRATS AMERICA HAS EVER HAD. EVER WILL HAVE THANKS TO TEDDYS MALIGNANT INFLUENCE ON THE PARTY (AND THE K FAMILY). BTW, DID YOU KNOW THE CHRYLSER K CAR WAS NAMED AFTER THE KENNEDYS? PLUS JFK’S BROTHER-IN-LAW HAD A BEACH HOUSE WITH ALL SORTS OF HANKY PANKY THAT MAKES THE HIDE-THE-CIGAR PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON LOOK LIKE AN EMOTIONALLY ARRESTED 14 YEAR OLD.

Now, if you want to make a 10 worst ever American Catholics list - then there JFK will find his rightful place in American history.

Don’t know much about Zach but I’m glad you’d bump him off in favor of LBJ. And did you read Daniel Henninger’s latest? a snippet:

“It’s been a long time since James Carville said the most famous thing he ever said: It’s the economy, stupid. That famous phrase was in fact part of a sign hung in the Clinton campaign headquarters in 1992. There was a sense among the electorate in the fall of 1992, not entirely accurate, that the economy was foundering under George H.W. Bush. Bush lost control of the public’s perception of the economy, and then he lost the presidency.

“Why with unemployment heading above 10% was Barack Obama on TV Wednesday night draining a dwindling reservoir of presidential capital on health care? Redesigning the 17% of the economy that is health care appears to be the siren song of Democratic presidencies. Mr. Obama’s crew has famously said it wouldn’t make the mistakes the Clintons made on health care. How calling forth both houses of Congress in prime time to join him in betting the ranch on health care qualifies as smarter politics than the Clintons is a mystery.

“Even more so now than way back in 1992: It’s still the economy, stupid.

“To save himself and his party from enduring another health-care debacle, Barack Obama should put his agenda on the back burner, bend his efforts to raising the economy, and rebuild his political capital by taking credit for the inevitable rebound. That just might minimize the impending loss of House seats and allow him to revisit his wish list in 2011. The alternative is promising big, accomplishing little and getting credit for nothing. This could be America’s greatest failed presidency…”

O is going to shoot straight to the top of your list, just you watch. Oh, and it needs to be noted that if G.Bush had not given us 265 billion taxcuts this year, our economy would be truly in the tank…



Ah Mrs P… Among some friends of mine the expression “I’m going to Peter Lawford’s beach house.” was code for “I’m going to go hook up with a girl.” I loved that expression.



Mrs. Peperium said:

Hey, you and I must have the same friends…

It’s a marvelous expression.

BTW, every notice when Kennedy men are having fun, their wives or significant others are never around? Must say something about the type of women they marry…



Speaking of Lawford’s beach house, I miss the days of seeking appropriations from the Commons.



Smallholder - WAR! It must be WAR! (I am sitting here giggling like a giddy schoolgirl…)



bill said:

I would take exception to George W. Bush as 10th. I think we are too close to him to properly place him. I expect a lower (higher number) rank in the future. His failures were 1) communications and 2) Compassionate Conservatism. His problems in Iraq may have been as much his advisors (which he did chose) as his own judgment. If Robert Woodford is to be believed, Bush was the one to initiate or at least champion very early on the Surge strategy. I also would challenge Warren Harding as the worst. I have seen some things in passing that indicate he has suffered as much from bad press as his proper inadequacies. The inbetween Presidents might be argued in order, but not their presence on the list.

I appreciate your placing Woodrow Wilson on the list. Idealist idolize him, at least when I took history. Depending on the criteria, I think FDR could make the list as well. Your comment on Clinton was well taken also. I don’t agree with Andrew Johnson, after all he did encourage Seward’s Folly, one of the great natural resources in this country, and the situation he inherited was fraught with difficulties. He simply wasn’t strong enough for what he had to face.



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