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Thread: Who was the worst US president.

  1. #26
    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Alright, so here's my attempt. Though I'm only doing the last 100 years, because like I said previously it was an entirely different moral landscape in the 19th century that its simply impossible to judge by modern standards. (honestly, i'd say that landscape probably changed twice even since then, post WW2 and post Vietnam).

    So:

    1. Richard Nixon
    The positives? Engagement with China? Ending the Vietnam War? (only after deliberately prolonging it to get elected, and then expanding it illegally?) Signing a couple of progressive bills that a democrat would have been shot for? Nah fuck it, he was a heinous, dangerously ambitious person and he will go down in history as such.
    He birthed the southern strategy (appealing to disenchanted southern democrats who felt the dems had betrayed them on the issue of segregation). He had the CIA doing dirty work all over the globe, sometimes giving consent to genocide (such as in east timor). And he degraded the office to a point where the american people never fully trusted government again. Theres more, but why bother going on? Thoroughly corrupt and amoral to the bone.

    2. Woodrow Wilson The fake "progressive" who basically ended the real progressive movement by comprimising with southern racists (being a huge racist himself). His presidency was bipolar and schizophrenic. WHile I like that he continued some of the trust busting of previous administrations, and I do think that his "14 points" speech remains relevant today. The federal reserve has been a mixed bag (even though I think independent central banking is superior to the alternative), and he entered the united states into one of the most senseless conflicts in history, and became a tyrant against dissent at home. He's the most overrated president in history, and its disturbing that he is still associated with the progressive movement (which he hijacked from Teddy Roosevelt anyways).

    3. George W Bush 2 Wars on a credit card. The war that was justified was botched horribly and undersupported in favor of the second war which destroyed the nations credibility. All while rewarding the people at home with tax breaks (while massively increasing spending). Irresponsible and short-sighted. His legacy is the primary reason for the divisions in America today. Maybe I should move him up to 2.

    4-6. Harding-Coolidge-Hoover Its a cliche to blame their laizze-faire policies on creating the conditions that led to the great depression. Some of it is true, but theres only so much presidents can do when the economy is booming like it was. They were even more progressive on social issues than usually given credit for. I fault them for having too much blind faith in the market, but the field of economics simply was not sophisticated enough then to really blame them too much. Still, their presidencies were hardly impressive and often scandalous.
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  2. #27
    They still play defense? The Real LT's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brokenlamp View Post
    Alright, so here's my attempt. Though I'm only doing the last 100 years, because like I said previously it was an entirely different moral landscape in the 19th century that its simply impossible to judge by modern standards. (honestly, i'd say that landscape probably changed twice even since then, post WW2 and post Vietnam).

    So:

    1. Richard Nixon
    The positives? Engagement with China? Ending the Vietnam War? (only after deliberately prolonging it to get elected, and then expanding it illegally?) Signing a couple of progressive bills that a democrat would have been shot for? Nah fuck it, he was a heinous, dangerously ambitious person and he will go down in history as such.
    He birthed the southern strategy (appealing to disenchanted southern democrats who felt the dems had betrayed them on the issue of segregation). He had the CIA doing dirty work all over the globe, sometimes giving consent to genocide (such as in east timor). And he degraded the office to a point where the american people never fully trusted government again. Theres more, but why bother going on? Thoroughly corrupt and amoral to the bone.

    2. Woodrow Wilson The fake "progressive" who basically ended the real progressive movement by comprimising with southern racists (being a huge racist himself). His presidency was bipolar and schizophrenic. WHile I like that he continued some of the trust busting of previous administrations, and I do think that his "14 points" speech remains relevant today. The federal reserve has been a mixed bag (even though I think independent central banking is superior to the alternative), and he entered the united states into one of the most senseless conflicts in history, and became a tyrant against dissent at home. He's the most overrated president in history, and its disturbing that he is still associated with the progressive movement (which he hijacked from Teddy Roosevelt anyways).

    3. George W Bush 2 Wars on a credit card. The war that was justified was botched horribly and undersupported in favor of the second war which destroyed the nations credibility. All while rewarding the people at home with tax breaks (while massively increasing spending). Irresponsible and short-sighted. His legacy is the primary reason for the divisions in America today. Maybe I should move him up to 2.

    4-6. Harding-Coolidge-Hoover Its a cliche to blame their laizze-faire policies on creating the conditions that led to the great depression. Some of it is true, but theres only so much presidents can do when the economy is booming like it was. They were even more progressive on social issues than usually given credit for. I fault them for having too much blind faith in the market, but the field of economics simply was not sophisticated enough then to really blame them too much. Still, their presidencies were hardly impressive and often scandalous.
    This is pretty solid. although I would have Lyndon Johnson in there as well. He give Wilson a pretty good run for his money on the most overrated president list. The Great Society was a dismal failure, and Johnson more than anyone else was responsible for the escalation of Vietnam.

    Jimmy Carter was another dismal failure, but his honesty just barely keeps him out of the top 5 in my book.

    Barack Obama just BARELY misses the cut, and at the rate he's going he might very well make the top 3 before it's all said and done.
    Last edited by The Real LT; 06-04-2013 at 11:20 PM.

  3. #28
    BringThePain513
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Hoover is by far the worst. He's the one that brought us in the Great Depression in the first place

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    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    This is pretty solid. although I would have Lyndon Johnson in there as well. He give Wilson a pretty good run for his money on the most overrated president list. The Great Society was a dismal failure, and Johnson more than anyone else was responsible for the escalation of Vietnam.

    Jimmy Carter was another dismal failure, but his honesty just barely keeps him out of the top 5 in my book.

    Barack Obama just BARELY misses the cut, and at the rate he's going he might very well make the top 3 before it's all said and done.
    I despise Johnson, but the Great Society programs have been some of the most successful programs at bringing people out of poverty in the history of mankind, so he gets a pass for that, along with the courage to finally break with the segregationists in his party. He lacked the courage to take on the warhawks though, and Vietnam is a complete tragedy at every level.

    Jimmy Carter is a mixed bag. But most of his problems (stagflation) were inherited from the Nixon-Ford/post-vietnam years, and much of the Reagan recovery was due to programs/policies initiated under his watch. His own party defeated him while he was in office, though (despite his reputation he governed as a dead-middle-centrist which pissed off the left wing at the time, hence Ted Kennedy running against him in the primary... which we now know is party suicide).

    Obama has been an overwhelming success from my perspective. He inherited a mess and is on track to leave the country in better shape than when he got it. He's been enormously handicapped by partisanship though, in a way that is historically unique. So perhaps he will go down as the "what might have been" president.
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  5. #30
    El_Jefe
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Here is my list of the 5 worst Presidents ever to serve. Keep in mind my course of study was English with a minor in History.

    5. Millard Fillmore

    4. Franklin Pierce

    3. Andrew Johnson

    2. Warren G. Harding the G standing for Gutless.

    ************************************************** *****
    Drum Rolllllllllllllllllllllllll

    The WORST President in US History (IMHO):

    1. James Buchanan

  6. #31
    They still play defense? The Real LT's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brokenlamp View Post
    Obama has been an overwhelming success from my perspective. He inherited a mess and is on track to leave the country in better shape than when he got it. He's been enormously handicapped by partisanship though, in a way that is historically unique. So perhaps he will go down as the "what might have been" president.

    To me, Obama is just a different shade of Bush II. No fiscal responsiblity whatsoever, expansion of executive power, no respect for the Constitution. Throw in the recent scandals and Obama is just outside of the top 5 worst(20th century and up of course)presidents, especially the way his second term is going. Not to mention the fact that Eric Holder still has a friggin job.

    Obama is basically Arnold to Bush's Gray Davis.
    Last edited by The Real LT; 06-07-2013 at 06:45 AM.

  7. #32
    Werehunter
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    With today's revaluation of the Feds forcing Verizon to hand over data on all of their customers, I'm damn close to putting President Obama in my top five. I've never thought he's been all that great considering much of what he's credited for wasn't really him.

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    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Werehunter View Post
    With today's revaluation of the Feds forcing Verizon to hand over data on all of their customers, I'm damn close to putting President Obama in my top five. I've never thought he's been all that great considering much of what he's credited for wasn't really him.
    People often dont realize how little control presidents actually have over agencies like the CIA, NSA, etc. They do what they want, and they dont ask for permission. They have an utter disdain for elected officials, (especially democrats). Its also true most of our generals who are constantly in the president's ears trying to start the next war. Honestly, the best thing about Obama's presidency so far has been what he has NOT done: ignoring the constant calls for war with Iran/Syria, despite the incessant war drum being beaten in his private meetings every day.

    That said, putting these revelations into historical context quickly makes them look fairly trivial. Especially when you remember who signed the patriot act to begin with.
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    The Devil's Eyes BigRed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    As I said in a previous thread, what troubles me about Obama is his presentation. He's doing much of what Bush started and in some cases more so, but he puts a better face on it all. So, now you have liberals that were previously queasy about war and supported civil liberties acquiescing on those issues because it's Obama.

  10. #35
    merle
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brokenlamp View Post
    I

    Obama has been an overwhelming success from my perspective. He inherited a mess and is on track to leave the country in better shape than when he got it. He's been enormously handicapped by partisanship though, in a way that is historically unique. So perhaps he will go down as the "what might have been" president.
    You mean the guy who less than one year into his second term has had more scandals than any other president? Some (like Benghazi) began in his first term but he hid in order to get a term 2? The man is not only a terrible president but makes Nixon look legit at this point! How can anyone defend him?

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    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by merle View Post
    You mean the guy who less than one year into his second term has had more scandals than any other president? Some (like Benghazi) began in his first term but he hid in order to get a term 2? The man is not only a terrible president but makes Nixon look legit at this point! How can anyone defend him?
    The definition of the word "scandal" in a political context is pretty fluid. Everything the party in power does is a scandal to the party out of power, because its easier to win with scandals than on substance. Of course, I would argue that these "scandals" are very obviously manufactured, and for the most part the american public have agreed with me. Because its just so obvious to anyone who is objectively looking at them that they are. Perhaps you can remember back 5 years ago to the Bush years when everything he did and every mistake he made was evidence of some kind of scandal. Thats just the way the game is played these days because people are thought to be easily manipulated (though I think the evidence is starting to mount that we are slightly more clever than they give us credit for).
    The only "scandal" that has actually affected the president in the eyes of moderates has been his defense of the NSA/Prism. (And this is of course an inherited scandal, and also directly related to the security of the president's own person, since he is the most frequent plot target).
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    It's only '17. Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Woodrow Wilson is my go to, just because he shockingly ends up Top 10 Best on a lot of polls. Guys like Harding, Buchanan, Johnson, Hoover, have no supporters. Everybody knows they're awful. So lets keep saying Wilson so he eventually ends up in that company. I think as a fake progressive, he fooled some actual progressives into thinking he did good things, but also, because he's a fake progressive, he did a lot of things that conservatives agree with too, so you have people on both sides voting for him in these polls, which few presidents get, outside of Lincoln. So he gets a bloated historical ranking even though he was unquestionably fucking terrible, and generally, an enormous piece of dogshit.
    Last edited by Kilgore; 06-18-2013 at 03:18 PM.


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    They still play defense? The Real LT's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post
    Woodrow Wilson is my go to, just because he shockingly ends up Top 10 Best on a lot of polls. Guys like Harding, Buchanan, Johnson, Hoover, have no supporters. Everybody knows they're awful. So lets keep saying Wilson so he eventually ends up in that company. I think as a fake progressive, he fooled some actual progressives into thinking he did good things, but also, because he's a fake progressive, he did a lot of things that conservatives agree with too, so you have people on both sides voting for him in these polls, which few presidents get, outside of Lincoln. So he gets a bloated historical ranking even though he was unquestionably fucking terrible, and generally, an enormous piece of dogshit.
    Along with Lyndon Johnson, Woodrow Wilson is one of those presidents I will NEVER understand how they are rated so highly. Kennedy was (and still is) also highly overrated.

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    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Alot of presidential historians are very traditional. If you only read Wilson's speeches (14 Points, especially) and ignored his contradictory actions you could easily come to the same conclusions. Theres also a bit of historical relativism involved where historians try not to judge people by modern morality (in Wilson's case in regards to his racism). He also gets extra points for being a wartime president, though in my opinion that was where he demonstrated his greatest failure. And I think that "making the world safe for democracy", which was an essential component of liberal interventionism is rapidly losing its modern appeal in light of the utter failure to democratize nations with incompatible cultures.

    Lyndon Johnson was an insufferable prick-ass. And it was his desire to prove to the republican hawks that he wasnt a hippy pansy that led to our escalation in Vietnam. But his Great Society programs are objectively successful by every historical/economic indicator (even as the Boomer generation who stands to benefit the most from these programs tries to convince younger generations that we can no longer afford them).
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    Erect Member William's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brokenlamp View Post
    Obama has been an overwhelming success from my perspective. He inherited a mess and is on track to leave the country in better shape than when he got it. He's been enormously handicapped by partisanship though, in a way that is historically unique. So perhaps he will go down as the "what might have been" president.
    I just don't see how anyone could consider Obama to be an overwhelming success at this point. This is coming from someone who voted him and realized he couldn't to live up to the hype but assumed he could get us moving in the right direction at the very least on social issues. Aside from good decisions involving gay rights I really can't think of anything significant he's done socially. I mean he did help our standing in the world until of course the recent NSA scandal. But aside from that you have Benghazi, drone strikes, continued wars. It sometimes doesn't seem like we elected a new leader considering the continuation of Bush's terrible fiscal policies and his immoral "anti-terrorism" policies.

    Added to that the Affordable Care Act already costing people jobs while and costing more than it's worth, all the while not doing much in the way of providing, you know, affordable healthcare. If politicians really cared about healthcare they would get rid of Medicaid and use the funds to implement a government subsidized health insurance plan. I mean if the people who say they want affordable healthcare and not free healthcare really mean it. You could still have exceptions for people who are in serious financial need but free unlimited healthcare for some people, while people who make slightly too much to qualify, and thusly have to pay out the ass for insurance or doctors bills is ridiculous.

    Keep in mind this is coming from someone who voted for the man, twice. I guess it shows the variety of our political options when I don't have to hold my nose quite as long when I voted for him as I did when considering the other guys.
    Last edited by William; 06-25-2013 at 05:27 PM.

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    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    In comparison with other presidencies. So, from a historical perspective, or a historical standard, the Obama presidency has been very successful. The primary measurement should be: "is the country better off then when his presidency began." And perhaps we all have short memories... but the mess Obama inherited was bad at a level only seen by a handful of previous presidents. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had Obama actually had a progressive super-majority in the Senate for longer than 6 months (from the time Al Franken was confirmed to the time Kennedy died.)
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    Erect Member William's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brokenlamp View Post
    In comparison with other presidencies. So, from a historical perspective, or a historical standard, the Obama presidency has been very successful. The primary measurement should be: "is the country better off then when his presidency began." And perhaps we all have short memories... but the mess Obama inherited was bad at a level only seen by a handful of previous presidents. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had Obama actually had a progressive super-majority in the Senate for longer than 6 months (from the time Al Franken was confirmed to the time Kennedy died.)
    If the President was king(no he'd actually have to be god) then you could make that argument. But it's also completely possible, since as you said earlier about the NSA, people don't realize what the president actually has control over, that the economy would get better no matter who was in office. I'm sorry but Ronald Reagan was very full of shit when he made that quote famous.

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    They still play defense? The Real LT's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brokenlamp View Post
    In comparison with other presidencies. So, from a historical perspective, or a historical standard, the Obama presidency has been very successful. The primary measurement should be: "is the country better off then when his presidency began." And perhaps we all have short memories... but the mess Obama inherited was bad at a level only seen by a handful of previous presidents. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had Obama actually had a progressive super-majority in the Senate for longer than 6 months (from the time Al Franken was confirmed to the time Kennedy died.)
    The country isn't better off, that's the entire point. Obama may have inherited a mess but his administration has done nothing to solve it and in some areas has actually made it WORSE.

    Obama is Arnold Schwartzenegger to Bush's Gray Davis.

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    Senior Member vendrell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Mind is blown that anybody would consider Obama a success or even a good president. He's a far cry from worst ever or Hitler as someone on here likes to liken him to but still it hasn't been pretty. I wanted to buy into his bull shit during the first election but in the end he turned out to be just another puppet.

  20. #45
    merle
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    Quote Originally Posted by vendrell View Post
    Mind is blown that anybody would consider Obama a success or even a good president. He's a far cry from worst ever or Hitler as someone on here likes to liken him to but still it hasn't been pretty. I wanted to buy into his bull shit during the first election but in the end he turned out to be just another puppet.
    Puppet. I actually believe he is just a figurehead. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have their hands so far up his ass, they might as well be Jeff Dunham!

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    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    The country isn't better off, that's the entire point. Obama may have inherited a mess but his administration has done nothing to solve it and in some areas has actually made it WORSE.
    By what measure is the country not better off? The economy has slowly rebounded, unemployment has slowly fallen. While Europe responded to the financial crisis with austerity, Obama and the US responded with stimulus. And Europe has paid the price for it. The national deficit and debt are actually shrinking faster than ever. Our healthcare crisis has finally been addressed (with unknown results as of yet, but infinitely better than allowing it to continue the way it was). Crime is lower than its been in decades. Gay marriage is now federally recognized (thanks to TWO Obama supreme court appointees).

    Just because the media is hyping our imminent demise (to sell toothpaste and gold) doesnt mean its true. We have real problems, but to deny the success of the last few years is petty. Becuase it really could have been so much worse, but instead we are stabilizing, at least for the time being. And this is all with a congress that has been taken over by semi-literate ideologues who care more about damaging the presidents reputation than actually addressing the problems that actually matter.
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    They still play defense? The Real LT's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Gay marriage is now federally recognized (thanks to TWO Obama supreme court appointees
    They replaced Justice Souter and Justice Stevens, both reliable liberal votes. Obama's nominees did nothing to change the nature of the court.

    The national deficit and debt are actually shrinking faster than ever
    The national debt is now up to 11 trillion, that is NOT shrinking faster than ever. It's actually INCREASING faster than ever.

    Crime is lower than its been in decades.
    Crime was falling under Bush and it was falling under Clinton before him. Crediting this to Obama is flat out laughable, especially considering the sheer incompetence of the Justice Department under Eric Holder.

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    Senior Member L F's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    this is from a poll of UK academics that was on the bbc website. Saw it today and thought I'd post to see how much it matches with what has been posted. It's also coming from a british rather than US perspective.

    top presidents

    1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-45)
    2. Abraham Lincoln (1861-65)
    3. George Washington (1789-97)
    4. Thomas Jefferson (1801-09)
    5. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09)

    worst presidents

    36. Andrew Johnson (1865-69)
    37. John Tyler (1841-45)
    38. Warren Harding (1921-23)
    39. Franklin Pierce (1853-57)
    40. James Buchanan (1857-61)

  24. #49
    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    They replaced Justice Souter and Justice Stevens, both reliable liberal votes. Obama's nominees did nothing to change the nature of the court.
    Uh, who do you think would have been appointed by McCain or Romney? Supreme court justices are often the most lasting legacy of a presidency

    The national debt is now up to 11 trillion, that is NOT shrinking faster than ever. It's actually INCREASING faster than ever.
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles...d-nobody-cares I was being hyperbolic. But the trend is very clear.

    Crime was falling under Bush and it was falling under Clinton before him. Crediting this to Obama is flat out laughable, especially considering the sheer incompetence of the Justice Department under Eric Holder.
    You are correct that it has been falling for decades. However, neither of the previous administrations faced a mass unemployment crisis. Its actually surprised many that the trend continued. Does Obama deserve any of the credit? Maybe, maybe not. But when determining a presidents legacy, the crime rate of the era is absolutely one of the barometers that the president is measured by.

    Bashing Eric Holder is a right wing radio cliche.
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  25. #50
    RaulChevere
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    President Woodrow Wilson was one of the worst ever in my opinion. His defense policies were terrible. Also President Herbert Hoover gets a notable mention for leading us into the Great Depression. I think Bill Clinton was one of the better Presidents of the past 30 years. Unemployment was at a record low, he actually helped run a Budget Surplus, no a defecit. Most Americans actually enjoyed a record amount of annual income during that time. President George H. W. Bush was also underrated.
    Last edited by RaulChevere; 07-02-2013 at 11:45 AM.

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