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Thread: Who was the worst US president.

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    Default Who was the worst US president.

    Whenever I see Obama or Bush Jr listed as the worst president in US history I have to wonder if people even know who the former presidents were.

    Compared to say Grant, Obama and Bush Jr are average presidents at the worst. Grant pretty much was favor for hire and his scandals over graft are almost unmatched. Then you have say Fillmore who signed the fugitive slave act, making it basically illegal to be black and setting the stage for the civil war. Of course you also have Pierce who saw the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed.

    My pick has to be Buchanan though. During his term the nation tore itself into two. No other president's actions lead to such bloodshed. From the Dred Scott case to his final speech before congress Buchanan, he witnessed the US descend into chaos that would end with the costliest war the US ever fought.


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    The Devil's Eyes BigRed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    I'm far from an authority on presidential history. I certainly do not have the breadth of knowledge to do a credible and comprehensive list. Admittedly, most presidents prior to the twentieth century kinda fell to my intellectual peripheral after history classes in secondary school ended. Therefore, full disclosure, my list will include mostly twentieth century presidents, as those are the ones I am most familiar with.

    1. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953): He tops my list for dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even outside of the almost instantaneous deaths of thousands (mostly civilian), there is the near half century afterwards of deaths associated with those bombings. Also, Truman oversaw the Korean War, which seems to have fallen through the cracks of history. I find that peculiar given the death toll on all sides. Not to mention, that was an undeclared war.
    2. Abraham Lincoln (1860-1865): Some, I'm sure, will oppose this one quite vehemently. However, he presided over the worst conflict in American history, as well as was an awful president on the civil liberties front (going after civilians, his political opponents and newspapermen in the Northern states).
    3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945): He exacerbated the Great Depression and instituted economic policies and institutions which are still with us today that are doing harm to the economy. Lincoln contributed to this notion of a strong central-state and FDR took that notion and greatly expanded it to include an enormous bureaucratic government domestically and abroad. Then there is the obvious point about Japanese, Italian and German interment during World War II. Moreover, FDR's attempt to expand the Supreme Court are dubious and a mark against his presidency as well. Hell, there was wiretapping going on, even back then during the War.
    4. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): Dude's a nightmare for libertarians. He oversaw the Federal Reserve, the income tax, brought us into World War 1 to "make the world safe for democracy" and was awful on civil liberties, which the latter seems to be a common theme thus far.
    5. George W. Bush (2001-2009): Where do I begin? He essentially built this awful "War on Terrorism" apparatus that included Abu Ghraib/torture, rendition, the negation of civil liberties, wiretapping, a perpetual global war, etc. Oh, and he invaded a country (Iraq) unnecessarily resulting in thousands of dead Iraqis, Americans and the like, as well as costing a shitload of monies. There's FEMA and Hurricane Katrina, Medicaid Part D, No Child Left Behind, bailing out banks, etc., as well. Additionally, there's the Plame leak that's awful.
    6. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969): He didn't start Vietnam, but he oversaw the escalation of it, as well as the draft. I also find his "Great Society" to be right there with the Neal Deal as further government intrusion into the economy.
    7. Richard Nixon (1969-1973): Elected to end the Vietnam War, but instead continues it and bombs the shit out of Cambodia on top of that. Then there's Watergate and general corruptness. Plus, the War on Drugs begins with him, I believe.

    After that, I'd probably have Ronald Reagan (mostly for Iran-Contra) and Barack Obama (for continuing/escalating the "War on Terrorism" apparatus that Bush began, continuing the bailouts, and not prosecuting anyone in the Bush administration).

    For comparison sakes, this link here has the top listed presidents and the bottom listed presidents in U.S. history.

    I get a kick of the fact that Lincoln and FDR are in the top three for "best" while they are in the top three for "worst" on my list. Likewise, Truman and Wilson also make an appearance in the top ten.

    And just for fun, I'd say Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) is my favorite president of the twentieth century, if I had to pick one.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    1. James Buchanan
    2. Franklin Pierce
    3. Andrew Johnson
    4. Warren G. Harding
    5. Rutherford B. Hayes.

    Obama and Bush II aren't anywhere near the top 5. As Engel has pointed out their have been some REALLY bad presidents in this nation's history.


    Not to knock your list Big Red, but you do realize there were US Presidents before the 20th Century don't you? None of those guys is anywhere near as bad as the guys on my list.
    Last edited by The Real LT; 05-24-2013 at 02:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    1. James Buchanan
    2. Franklin Pierce
    3. Andrew Johnson
    4. Warren G. Harding
    5. Rutherford B. Hayes.

    Obama and Bush II aren't anywhere near the top 5. As Engel as pointed out their have been some REALLY bad presidents in thius nation's history.


    Not to knock your list Big Red, but you do realize there were US Presidents before the 20th Century don't you? None of those guys is anywhere near as bad as the guys on my list.
    I prefaced my post with the admission that I'm not too familiar with them in specificity. I do recognize that most scholarly and academic lists feature those usual names -- and maybe rightfully so. However, I would contend, that while things like supporting slavery, corruption and all that is obviously noteworthy as marks against a president, immoral and so forth; I have a hard time placing anything above dropping two nukes on two cities.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Personally I don't think Truman dropping those bombs was a bad thing. It was that or invade the Japanese mainland, which would have meant the death of FAR more US military personel.

    Plus, for all the ink Hiroshima and Nagasaki got, the bombing campaign of Tokyo and other Japanese cities was far more brutal. Not to mention the bombing of Dresden in Germany.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Harding gets a crap rep I think. I think mostly people list him near last because historians will never forgive his wife for burning his presidential papers.


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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by Engel View Post
    Harding gets a crap rep I think. I think mostly people list him near last because historians will never forgive his wife for burning his presidential papers.

    Not to mention the sheer amount of corruption in his administration. Much like Grant and Hayes before him, he surrounded himself with absolute scoundrels.

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    The Devil's Eyes BigRed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    Personally I don't think Truman dropping those bombs was a bad thing. It was that or invade the Japanese mainland, which would have meant the death of FAR more US military personel.

    Plus, for all the ink Hiroshima and Nagasaki got, the bombing campaign of Tokyo and other Japanese cities was far more brutal. Not to mention the bombing of Dresden in Germany.
    Agreed that the Tokyo/Dresden firebombings were atrocious and brutal, but I'm not sure what that means in relation to the nukes dropping on Hiroshima/Nagasaki, as they're both bad.

    Also, the utilitarian justification for dropping the bombs does not do it for me. For one, I'm not quite sure how much truth is in the claims that 1.) an invasion was necessary and 2.) that if we did invade the number, which varies in magnitude, of military personnel killed would have been as such.

    If you apply that cost-benefit analysis as a standard in warfare conduct, then that allows for really any atrocity to be committed if it "saves lives."

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    Not to mention the sheer amount of corruption in his administration. Much like Grant and Hayes before him, he surrounded himself with absolute scoundrels.
    But that would rate him with the pack and not above and beyond as many, many places name him the worst US president.


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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Generally the worst presidents are considered to be the those preceding Lincoln (with the worst being Buchanan) and those who followed him (during Reconstruction). No president in the 20th century can even touch the ineptitude, corruption, and elitism of the presidents from that era. Its an entirely different moral paradigm (post Theodore Roosevelt, I would say).

    BigRed, your list looks like a parody or something
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    I can't tell you the worst US president. I know Jefferson was the greatest American to ever live and the best president we could ever have hoped to have. Outside of that, my bottom tier would look a lot like BigRed's, including Lincoln. Respect him as a man but as an American and a leader he made the worst "bad call" he could have possibly made. Of course we're taught it was the right call, because that's what the winning side thought.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    1. George W. - Patriot Act, the "War on Terror", Katrina - I'm sorry, but any list without George W. Bush in the top 5 is criminally underestimating how awful an effect that man had on not only the country, but politics altogether.

    2. Truman - The dropping of the nuclear bomb is a stain on the "American Dream" that still hasn't been washed away. It's the one historical event that put everything I was taught about America as a child into conflict and made me realize that we weren't that great of a country after all.

    3. Woodrow Wilson - Although remorseful for his decision, Wilson is to thank for the wonderful Federal Reserve Bank that we're still dealing with to this day, privatizing America's wealth and leaving us helpless at the feet of an elite banking cartel.

    4. FDR - Reportedly ignored warnings from other countries about the Japanese deploying bombers en-route to Pearl Harbor in what I can only assume was a ploy to earn the country more money from the ensuing war in order to stabilize the weak economy post-Great Depression. Instituted interment camps for the Japanese, and we were supposed to be a more moral state than Germany, apparently...

    5. Reagan - Took Nixon's model for the "War on Drugs" and fed it steroids, making incredibly harsh sentences for first-time offenders commonplace. Instituted "Reaganomics" which was a catchy way of saying "to hell with poor people of color."

    6. Nixon - Started the War on Drugs, though his efforts to treat it from the viewpoint of a social health problem rather than a criminal one were far ahead of their time. Unfortunately, once election time came, Dick had to radicalize these views for a hungry populace that wanted stiff sentences and overall law and order. Responsible for the destruction of Cambodia, Watergate and... owning a dog named Checkers.

    7. Grant - One of the dirtiest players to ever play the game. Have the suspicion that he didn't really even care to be President in the first place. Ripe in corruption with a cabinet that was almost more corrupt than he, the guy seemed more concerned about being wealthy and drinking bourbon than running the oval office.


    Honorable mentions: George H.W. Bush, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore, Barack Obama, Lyndon B. Johnson

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    That fat guy. I think it was Taft. I always see caricatures of him in a bathtub. I guess I'd pick him just because he is always depicted as a joke.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    Agreed that the Tokyo/Dresden firebombings were atrocious and brutal, but I'm not sure what that means in relation to the nukes dropping on Hiroshima/Nagasaki, as they're both bad.
    It's relevent because in order to force a Japanese surrender without invading would have meant a similar bombing campaign on a greater scale. This would have cost EVEN MORE Japanese lives.
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Red View Post
    Also, the utilitarian justification for dropping the bombs does not do it for me. For one, I'm not quite sure how much truth is in the claims that 1.) an invasion was necessary and 2.) that if we did invade the number, which varies in magnitude, of military personnel killed would have been as such.
    The only sure thing we have to go on were the casuaties sustained in capturing the surrouding islands of Japan and the fronts in Southeast Asia, and the casualties of those battles were horrendous. The Japanese made us pay for every square inch of land we took from them, and there is no reason to have believed they would have done any different in Japan.

    With all due respect to the great generals who argued against the A-bomb dropping (Most notable Eisenhower, McArthur and Nimitz) they weren't the ones would have had to bleed the ground red to take those territories, THEIR MEN would have been.
    If you apply that cost-benefit analysis as a standard in warfare conduct, then that allows for really any atrocity to be committed if it "saves lives."
    This may sound a little cold-blooded on my part, but as far as I'm concerned, when the country goes to war the lives of our soldiers should come before the lives of our enemies every damn time, especially in a war the nature of WWII.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    I'm far from an authority on presidential history. I certainly do not have the breadth of knowledge to do a credible and comprehensive list. Admittedly, most presidents prior to the twentieth century kinda fell to my intellectual peripheral after history classes in secondary school ended. Therefore, full disclosure, my list will include mostly twentieth century presidents, as those are the ones I am most familiar with.

    1. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953): He tops my list for dropping two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even outside of the almost instantaneous deaths of thousands (mostly civilian), there is the near half century afterwards of deaths associated with those bombings. Also, Truman oversaw the Korean War, which seems to have fallen through the cracks of history. I find that peculiar given the death toll on all sides. Not to mention, that was an undeclared war.
    2. Abraham Lincoln (1860-1865): Some, I'm sure, will oppose this one quite vehemently. However, he presided over the worst conflict in American history, as well as was an awful president on the civil liberties front (going after civilians, his political opponents and newspapermen in the Northern states).
    3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945): He exacerbated the Great Depression and instituted economic policies and institutions which are still with us today that are doing harm to the economy. Lincoln contributed to this notion of a strong central-state and FDR took that notion and greatly expanded it to include an enormous bureaucratic government domestically and abroad. Then there is the obvious point about Japanese, Italian and German interment during World War II. Moreover, FDR's attempt to expand the Supreme Court are dubious and a mark against his presidency as well. Hell, there was wiretapping going on, even back then during the War.
    4. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): Dude's a nightmare for libertarians. He oversaw the Federal Reserve, the income tax, brought us into World War 1 to "make the world safe for democracy" and was awful on civil liberties, which the latter seems to be a common theme thus far.
    5. George W. Bush (2001-2009): Where do I begin? He essentially built this awful "War on Terrorism" apparatus that included Abu Ghraib/torture, rendition, the negation of civil liberties, wiretapping, a perpetual global war, etc. Oh, and he invaded a country (Iraq) unnecessarily resulting in thousands of dead Iraqis, Americans and the like, as well as costing a shitload of monies. There's FEMA and Hurricane Katrina, Medicaid Part D, No Child Left Behind, bailing out banks, etc., as well. Additionally, there's the Plame leak that's awful.
    6. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969): He didn't start Vietnam, but he oversaw the escalation of it, as well as the draft. I also find his "Great Society" to be right there with the Neal Deal as further government intrusion into the economy.
    7. Richard Nixon (1969-1973): Elected to end the Vietnam War, but instead continues it and bombs the shit out of Cambodia on top of that. Then there's Watergate and general corruptness. Plus, the War on Drugs begins with him, I believe.

    After that, I'd probably have Ronald Reagan (mostly for Iran-Contra) and Barack Obama (for continuing/escalating the "War on Terrorism" apparatus that Bush began, continuing the bailouts, and not prosecuting anyone in the Bush administration).

    For comparison sakes, this link here has the top listed presidents and the bottom listed presidents in U.S. history.

    I get a kick of the fact that Lincoln and FDR are in the top three for "best" while they are in the top three for "worst" on my list. Likewise, Truman and Wilson also make an appearance in the top ten.

    And just for fun, I'd say Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) is my favorite president of the twentieth century, if I had to pick one.
    Not a single mention for Herbert Hoover with the whole Great Depression running rampant during his time at presidency? Granted no president would have stopped what had happened and all but it did fall under his presidency.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    It's relevent because in order to force a Japanese surrender without invading would have meant a similar bombing campaign on a greater scale. This would have cost EVEN MORE Japanese lives.
    Some revisionists have argued that the key point in the Japanese surrender was that we were asking for "unconditional surrender," which would have meant prosecuting the Japanese Emperor for war crimes and so forth. They obviously didn't like this, even though reportedly they were sending out feelers that they're compliant with a conditional surrender (keeping their Emperor). Well, we dropped the bombs, they surrendered and still were allowed to keep their Emperor sans war crimes prosecution as well (and stayed in power until his death in '89). So, the revisionists' question, as well as mine, is, "Why did we drop the bombs, then?"

    I maintain that the dropping of the bombs was a strategic decision in the beginnings stages of the "Cold War" with the Soviet Union and not as some utilitarian cost-benefit analysis to enable their surrender.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    The only sure thing we have to go on were the casuaties sustained in capturing the surrouding islands of Japan and the fronts in Southeast Asia, and the casualties of those battles were horrendous. The Japanese made us pay for every square inch of land we took from them, and there is no reason to have believed they would have done any different in Japan.
    This is a fair point in that, surely, casualties would have been high. That said, I've heard figures of a million or more, which just seems ludicrous on the face of it given that we didn't even get close to losing that many in the entire war and all the theaters we fought in. For the Pacific Theater of war specifically, I've seen the number of U.S. military casualties a shade over 100,000. While that is obviously a helluva number, would it have reached into the millions, as many historians and government officials suggested? Or even half a million?

    My revisionism is influenced in part by my skepticism of governmental assertions, especially in wartime.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Real LT View Post
    This may sound a little cold-blooded on my part, but as far as I'm concerned, when the country goes to war the lives of our soldiers should come before the lives of our enemies every damn time, especially in a war the nature of WWII.
    Then why drop the two bombs on a mostly civilian population? At least, if you're going to do it, horrendous as it is, target the military.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindy View Post
    Not a single mention for Herbert Hoover with the whole Great Depression running rampant during his time at presidency? Granted no president would have stopped what had happened and all but it did fall under his presidency.
    Hoover was essentially FDR-lite. I'd have him somewhere in the 10-15 range.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    Some revisionists have argued that the key point in the Japanese surrender was that we were asking for "unconditional surrender," which would have meant prosecuting the Japanese Emperor for war crimes and so forth. They obviously didn't like this, even though reportedly they were sending out feelers that they're compliant with a conditional surrender (keeping their Emperor). Well, we dropped the bombs, they surrendered and still were allowed to keep their Emperor sans war crimes prosecution as well (and stayed in power until his death in '89). So, the revisionists' question, as well as mine, is, "Why did we drop the bombs, then?"
    In hindsight it looks pointless, but we had every intention of "unconditional surrender" before dropping the bombs. And quite frankly, the Emperor deserved to hang. Especially for what the Japanese did to rest of the Asian continent under his rule. The fact that he did not is a blight on the honor of the US.
    I maintain that the dropping of the bombs was a strategic decision in the beginnings stages of the "Cold War" with the Soviet Union and not as some utilitarian cost-benefit analysis to enable their surrender.
    While politics may have been a factor (politics is ALWAYS a factor with this type of thing) I do believe Truman dropped the bomb with the primary purpose of trying to end the war swiftly. In any rate it was NOT an easy decision and I think Truman gets quite a bit of unfair monday-morning QBing about it.

    This is a fair point in that, surely, casualties would have been high. That said, I've heard figures of a million or more, which just seems ludicrous on the face of it given that we didn't even get close to losing that many in the entire war and all the theaters we fought in. For the Pacific Theater of war specifically, I've seen the number of U.S. military casualties a shade over 100,000. While that is obviously a helluva number, would it have reached into the millions, as many historians and government officials suggested? Or even half a million?
    100 to 200 thousand would have been in the easy realm of possibilty. To me that is still entirely too much.



    Then why drop the two bombs on a mostly civilian population? At least, if you're going to do it, horrendous as it is, target the military.
    Hirohshima was also a miltary industrial center of Japan. Fair target IMO. That leaves Nagasaki. I agree it was targeted mostly to terrorize the Japanese leadership. While it was ugly, keep in mind that the Japanese government had essentially tried to write off Hiroshima, claiming that we didn't have another bomb, and even trying to convince their populace the bomb was not atomic. Still though Nagasaki is one where the revisionists may have a legit point.

    Hoover was essentially FDR-lite. I'd have him somewhere in the 10-15 range.
    Hoover is in the bottom half of my top 20. He wasn't the cause of the depression, but he did very little to try and remedy it. Still though he takes entirely too much blame simpy because he was in office at the time of the crash.
    Last edited by The Real LT; 05-27-2013 at 03:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    If I'm going to answer this correctly for me I have to go with who I know since I've been around. Reagan was responsible for a lot of business closing their doors. Jimmy Carter owned him on economics during their debates that I saw on YouTube. Not to mention that the guy probably didn't have a good memory seeing as how he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease a few years after leaving office. George Sr. was a continuation of Reagan's failed policies. Not to mention stirring up shit with Desert Storm by having a well coached actor give a woe is me tale. But friends and neighbors in my honest opinion, in MY lifetime, the worst president of all time is and will forever be George W. Bush. From the War On Iraq that saw him accuse Saddam Hussein being in ties with Osama Bin Laden (false) to claims of weapons of mass destruction (never found), to claiming on a aircraft carrier MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, and the fact that we are still there a decade later, was a whole gigantic clusterfuck thanks to him. Let's not count putting a total idiot in charge of FEMA during and after Hurricane Katrina: "Heck of a job Brownie" indeed. The economy crashed under his leadership. He didn't just drive the bus over the cliff on the economy, he totaled the motherfucker like a stunt from Jackass. We may never get out of debt thanks to him. His brother and that bitch Katherine Harris, may she forever burn in hell, got him elected president. Think its a coincidence that his brother is the GOVERNOR of the one damn state that determines if he's elected to the nations highest office? Seriously only a fool could look at all that and say it wasn't rigged or nothing screwy happened there. He should have never been president in the first place. I'm firmly convinced that the only reason that nobody put a bullet through his head during his 8 years in office was because that the alternative was Satan Incarnate Dick Cheney would have become president.
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRed View Post
    Also, the utilitarian justification for dropping the bombs does not do it for me.
    Deontology has its place in warfare. Usually on the losing side

    For me the ethical question comes down to whether the bombs were a) necessary, and/or b) purely punitive. Punitive action has no place in warfare, as it is an act of revenge rather than an act of justice. That said, I believe that US's actions post-bombing reflect a non-punitive nature, considering with US help Japan was able to rebuild and achieve an economic ascendency that world had never seen before, all while having their defense needs subsidized.

    But war is hell. And its impossible to know how things would have turned out if other decisions were made. The intention counts though.

    Which is why we should be looking at the Pre and Post Civil War presidents exclusively in this thread. Because many of them were truly evil people with evil intentions (while many also combined this evil with gross ineptitude.)
    Do you remember lying in bed?
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  20. #20
    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 KBC View Post
    If I'm going to answer this correctly for me I have to go with who I know since I've been around. Reagan was responsible for a lot of business closing their doors. Jimmy Carter owned him on economics during their debates that I saw on YouTube. Not to mention that the guy probably didn't have a good memory seeing as how he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease a few years after leaving office. George Sr. was a continuation of Reagan's failed policies. Not to mention stirring up shit with Desert Storm by having a well coached actor give a woe is me tale. But friends and neighbors in my honest opinion, in MY lifetime, the worst president of all time is and will forever be George W. Bush. From the War On Iraq that saw him accuse Saddam Hussein being in ties with Osama Bin Laden (false) to claims of weapons of mass destruction (never found), to claiming on a aircraft carrier MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, and the fact that we are still there a decade later, was a whole gigantic clusterfuck thanks to him. Let's not count putting a total idiot in charge of FEMA during and after Hurricane Katrina: "Heck of a job Brownie" indeed. The economy crashed under his leadership. He didn't just drive the bus over the cliff on the economy, he totaled the motherfucker like a stunt from Jackass. We may never get out of debt thanks to him. His brother and that bitch Katherine Harris, may she forever burn in hell, got him elected president. Think its a coincidence that his brother is the GOVERNOR of the one damn state that determines if he's elected to the nations highest office? Seriously only a fool could look at all that and say it wasn't rigged or nothing screwy happened there. He should have never been president in the first place. I'm firmly convinced that the only reason that nobody put a bullet through his head during his 8 years in office was because that the alternative was Satan Incarnate Dick Cheney would have become president.

    Ummmm. No

    The economy friggin BOOMED during Reagan's terms of office. The number of new buisnesses that opened far outnumbered the ones that closed. Innovation was at an all-time high (at least before the IT boom under Clinton)

    Not sure about the first two debates, but Carter got smashed on the third one. Not to mention he got smashed during the election as well.

    Katherine Harris didn't do a damn thing but follow the law. The idea that she and Jeb got Bush elected is laughable at best.

    Now if you want to argue the US Supreme Court got him elected, then that's a debate worth having because they stepped in and removed any doubt when there was still honest doubt to be had. Gore may have edged by if the hand count had continued. Or Bush may have won that recount like he won the first two that were run. We'll never know.

    But Gore won the popular vote!!!. Yes he did, and he wasn't the first president that won the popular vote and lost the election. And the way the electoral college works it is entirely possible without chicanry. If you look at the electoral map for that year, you pretty much saw a sea of red in terms of states being carried. But Gore was able to surpass Bush in popular votes because

    A. He won the high population states.(except for Texas, Georgia, and Florida from my recollection)
    B. He won the high population states by HUGE margins
    C. Many of the states Bush won he won by much closer margins.

    The way the electoral college works you get ALL the electoral votes of a state you win, whether you win by 1 vote or you win by 10 million. So when you run the numbers it is ENTIRELY possible in a very close election to win the popular vote and still lose.
    Last edited by The Real LT; 05-28-2013 at 01:37 AM.

  21. #21
    House Frey Brokenlamp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Funny that you use the word "Boom". Because the Reagan years were exactly when the boomers (which represented a HUGE population boom) were at their peak years of productivity. Those years were also very much so beneficiaries of the IT boom (think IBM), especially the credit card revolution. Oh and there was also all that militarized keynesianism that Reaganites loved (massive increases in defense spending).
    I dont rate Reagan low as far as presidents go. In fact, I bregrudgingly would rank him in the top 15. But lets not give him too much credit for the economic boom. For the most part markets really dont care who the president is, and people who tell you otherwise usually have an agenda (either in the form of a subsidy or a tax break at stake).

    As for Bush, I used to think that the Gore campaign were sore losers. But when you look at the data in south florida, it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that a revote in Palm Beach county (without the butterfly ballots) would have yielded a different winner.
    Pat Buchanan in south florida 2000:
    St. Lucie - 124, .16%
    Martin* - (4) 112, .18%
    Palm Beach - (4) 3411, .79%
    Broward - 795, .14%
    Miami-Dade - 560, .09%
    Monroe - 47, .14%
    Collier* - 122, .13%
    Lee* - 305, .17%
    * counties bush won

    4x the percentage from any other county, in the second most pro-Gore county in the Miami metro area. Certainly more than 1000 of those votes were meant for Gore, which would have put him ahead. It hurts just to think about it. especially since so many young people in 2000 bought into the whole "theres no difference between Bush and Gore! Rage against the Machine man!" bullshit. (hell, I'm ashamed to say that I did). A costly error for those of us who then sat helplessly watching Baghdad being shocked and awed a few years later.
    Do you remember lying in bed?
    With your covers pulled up over your head?

  22. #22
    merle
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Truman deserves credit for having the balls to drop the bomb.

    Lincoln united a nation divided.

    Harding, our first black president.

  23. #23
    Justin Valuable
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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    Quote Originally Posted by merle View Post
    Truman deserves credit for having the balls to drop the bomb.

    Lincoln united a nation divided.

    Harding, our first black president.
    I remember my professor losing it because the class was like "oh yeah... he was black" when it was presented by another student during a class discussion.

  24. #24
    The Devil's Eyes BigRed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    The Real LT, I came across this article from FP, "The Bomb Didn't Beat Japan...Stalin Did." As a man interested in history, I think you'll find this a very interesting read and relevant to our discussion. Some key points I extrapolated while reading...

    Initially, few questioned President Truman's decision to drop two atomic bombs, on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    I definitely find that troubling from the start. If you're going to drop two nukes, there should be much discussion and debate about it beforehand. From a power-wielding standpoint with respect to nuclear weapons, I find it troubling that more or less, the decision to utilize them is in the hands of one man.

    Your point before that there were worse fire-bombings of Japenese (and German) cities actually seems to be the author of the article's case for arguing, "If they surrendered because a city was destroyed, why didn't they surrender when those other 66 cities were destroyed?"

    He goes on to say:

    General Anami on August 13 remarked that the atomic bombings were no more menacing than the fire-bombing that Japan had endured for months. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki were no worse than the fire bombings, and if Japan's leaders did not consider them important enough to discuss in depth, how can Hiroshima and Nagasaki have coerced them to surrender?
    Then he gets to the thrust of his article about why they did in fact surrender and it's quite compelling:

    One way to gauge whether it was the bombing of Hiroshima or the invasion and declaration of war by the Soviet Union that caused Japan's surrender is to compare the way in which these two events affected the strategic situation.

    It didn't take a military genius to see that, while it might be possible to fight a decisive battle against one great power invading from one direction, it would not be possible to fight off two great powers attacking from two different directions. The Soviet invasion invalidated the military's decisive battle strategy, just as it invalidated the diplomatic strategy. At a single stroke, all of Japan's options evaporated. The Soviet invasion was strategically decisive -- it foreclosed both of Japan's options -- while the bombing of Hiroshima (which foreclosed neither) was not.
    And as the author states towards the end, it wasn't just strategic for us (our positioning after the war with the Soviet Union, the cost of the bomb, etc.), but for Japan's leaders as well. It helped them to save face with their citizens and somewhat took an eye off of the barbarism they deployed in other countries.

    If you accept this reading of the end of the war, which I would be quite intrigued to see a counter-argument to the author (he uses quotes from the leaders of Japan and his timetable makes sense, as well as the juxtaposition of the fire-bombing with the use of nukes), then you have to grapple with the morality of using the nukes. I also think the fire-bombing, which is unbelievably devastating to read about when presented as such, muddles the oft-presented narrative that WWII, even more than "The Great War," was about "good vs. evil." Atrocities were committed on both sides. The only reason we're not considered war criminals for much of our actions is because we won. Such an ugly reality of war.

  25. #25
    Electro-pop music Leper Messiah's Avatar

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    Default Re: Who was the worst US president.

    I would probably go with Nixon or Fillmore. George W and Obama are far from the worst.

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