Monday, February 21, 2005

Ranking the Presidents

In honor of the holiday which keeps me at home instead of in class this Monday I thought I would rank the presidents.


1. Lincoln: kept the border states from leaving, won the bloodiest American war, freed the slaves, had a crazy wife, and still managed to lead in tough times.
2. FDR: lead us out of the Great Depression, won WWII (at least with against the Nazis), created Social Security and many other New Deal programs.
3. Madison: saved the US from destruction at the hands of the British, Dolly risked her life to save Washington's portrait, created national pride and indirectly the national anthem.
4. Teddy Roosevelt: took on big monolopolies and other robber barrons, fought in the Spanish-American war. Downside: he named Taft his VP and ran as a "BullMoose" in 1912, ensuring Wilson's victory.
5. Kennedy (vis vis Johnson): his death and vision laid the foundation for most of what Johnson actually accomplished including the Apollo mission and Civil Rights.


1. George W. Bush: plunged us from surplus into deficit, reversed safety measures and other sound policy to reward donors, ignored Al-Qaeda until it was too late, bungled the war on Terror, started an optional war and bungled that too, allowed a gay prostitute into the white house to ask slanted questions, organized a propagana effort that would make Kim Il-Sung blush. Plus: Signed McCain-Finegold, but then again he never vetoed a single bill.
2. Nixon: showed what the framers were worried about with tyranny and blind lust for power, started illegal wars in Laos and South America. Plus: signed bills keeping cigarette ads off TV.
3. Grant: twiddled his thumbs while the temporary progress in civil rights for blacks was underminded, a setback that would last a century. He also was ignorant of scandals going on all around him. plus: signed feckless anti-lynching bill
4. Andrew Jackson: personal slaughtered and promoted the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans in the biggest corrupt land grab of American history, destroyed the bank of US and set back commerce for decades.
5. Coolige/Hoover: sat around while the impeding/imploding doom of the Great Depression came.

HONERABLE MENTIONS (good and bad):

Washington: first president, walked away from life tenure to create the office. But was ineffectual to the growing partisan divide in his own cabinet and the nascent country.

Reagan: Conservatives love him, but do they know he raised taxes, unleashed homeless people upon our streets in the form of the mentally ill, was good pals with Saddam Hussien and Augusto Pinochet (at least his allies in Honduras), picked easy victories against weak dictators, funded and armed the Proto-Tailban in Afgahnistan, balloned the deficit, and was senile towards the end?

Clinton: Is the most talented and brilliant politican of our time and arguably the best American in these fields of all time. But couldn't make a decision promptly, couldn't control his desires, and tried too hard to please everyone-- leading to the 1994 debacle which cost the Democrats the house for at least a dozen years. On the other hand, he figured out foriegn policy by 1996 and created the environment for the longest lasting boom in American history.

Jefferson: bought 2/3s of this country from cash strapped France at a great price, promoted exploration and learning, pardoned those emprisioned by the Alien and Sedition Act. Minuses: the author of the Decoration of Independece fathered mullato children via his slave, never freed them like Washington did, and was deeply in debt from his Clintonian overexuberance.

Wilson: his 14 points presaged World War II. His arguments to the French and British, though they feel on deaf ears, where dead on. He stupidly hung his hat on the League of Nations which had no teeth and had a stroke towards the end.

1 comment:

ossidog said...

Your a idiot, personally subjective and zero insights for the time at hand. I want my 2 minutes I invested into this back.