Thursday, November 5, 2015

President's Rankings - Worst Ten

And now, to complete the list, here are the ten worst:

10. William Henry Harrison, Whig. Known for: Shortest Presidency.

Presidential Legacy: Died within the month. That’s it.

Perhaps it’s not fair to critique a President who died of flu 30 days in. He is the first of the (terrible) Whig Presidents (on this list).

09. Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853. Whig. Known for: A lot of the bad stuff before the Civil War.

Presidential Legacy: Oversaw the Compromise of 1850, and the Fugitive Slave Act. Failed Presidency saw the dissolution of his party into the aptly-named ‘Know Nothings’.

The last (terrible) Whig, Fillmore inherited the position when Zachary Taylor died. Much of the tension that would lead to the Civil War began heating up under his tenure.

08. Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857. Democrat. Known for: Hating abolitionists.

Presidential Legacy: Kansas-Nebraska Act / Bleeding Kansas, Gadsen Purchase, Using federal troops to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. Halted the building of the Washington Monument.

Granted only one term, Pierce made the secessionist situation, begun under Fillmore, a whole lot worse. This is a man who appointed Jefferson Davis Secretary of War.

07. Andrew Johnson, 1865-1869. Democrat. Known for: Screwing up Reconstruction.

Presidential Legacy: Fought nonstop with Congress leading to his Impeachment, Purchased Alaska, Veto of the First Reconstruction Act. Oversaw 14th Amendment passed, and 15th begun.

After Lincoln’s assassination it fell to Southern Democrat Johnson to carry out the late Northern Republican’s vision. Needless to say, it went very badly, largely due to his megalomania.

06. Herbert Hoover, 1929-1933. Republican. Known for: Hoovervilles.

Presidential Legacy: Lack of intervention during the Great Depression/'Volunteerism', Most policies not enacted, Bonus Army - Firing on US troops demanding benefits. But helped Glass-Steagall pass.

The classic example of laissez-faire theory gone wrong, Hoover did little to help as Americans tried to cope with the Depression. One of the few examples of trying to help was to create Hoover Dam.

05. Warren G. Harding, 1921-1923. Republican. Known for: Dying in office.

Presidential Legacy: Established Veteran's Bureau, Teapot-Dome Scandal, Administrative corruption/fraud. He had a number of affairs, some only recently confirmed.

Harding had the odd view of letting each member of his cabinet do what they was best, and basically running amok. With his administration’s failures the beneficial Progressive era officially ended.

04. Ronald Reagan,1981-1989. Republican. Known for: Being an actor.

Presidential Legacy: Iran-Contra Affair, Reaganomics: widening of rich and poor gap/greatest national debt in history/Wall Street deregulation, 'Star Wars' Defense Project, War on Drugs.

Reagan revitalized a Republican party that could have died out with Nixon. Although charismatic, he damaged the middle class economy, ruined international standing, and fought organized labor.

03. Richard Nixon, 1969-1974. Republican. Known for: Watergate.

Presidential Legacy: Escalation of Vietnam to include Laos and Cambodia/Removal of troops from Vietnam, Equal Rights, Chinese and Soviet Diplomacy. Used the ‘Southern Strategy’.

For a man to openly court white supremacists to get elected is bad enough. His lying, paranoia, megalomania, and attempts to sabotage peace talks with Vietnam under Johnson put Nixon near the bottom.

02. James Buchanan, 1857-1861. Democrat. Known for: The collapse of the Union.

Presidential Legacy: Dred Scott Decision, Panic of 1857, Utah War, Deadlocked Congress. Also, you know, watching the country fall apart at the Southern States began secession.

In 1860 the Confederate States split from the Union. For the rest of his term Buchanan did: nothing – not getting troops ready for the now inevitable war, excepting the attack on Fort Sumter.

01. George W. Bush, 2001-2009. Republican. Known for: War on Terror.

Presidential Legacy: Response to 9/11 by invading Afghanistan, War in Iraq and “Weapons of Mass Destruction”, PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo, Homeland Security/Wiretapping, No Child Left Behind, Hurricane Katrina response, Environmental Record - Refusal to implement Kyoto Protocol, Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, Stem Cell Research Veto, Secure Fence Act, Economic Crisis of 2008. All of this of course ballooned the deficit and national debt, while giving tax breaks to the wealthy.

He began as a lame duck, with record-breaking vacation days following the total lack of a mandate caused by the disastrous 2000 Election. Then he destroyed pretty much everything.

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