By Rick Morris
We at The FDH Lounge love to take non-traditional angles on different subjects. It’s all about being creative, yo.
Having said that, with President’s Day upcoming here in the US of A, we are conducting a segment on Episode #136 of THE FDH LOUNGE web TV program on SportsTalkNetwork.com Tuesday, February 22 – the day after President’s Day. The subject? Crowning the worst president in American history.
Some of our valued show contributors will be ranking the following nine presidents – and adding one of their own as a “write-in” to complete a list of the ten worst presidents of all time. In alphabetical order, here’s the nine presidents on our ballot with a hit parade of their lowlights (keeping in mind that they can be ranked in any order along with the write-in that each balloter will submit):
James Buchanan – rendered the Civil War inevitable by refusing to act to prevent secession.
George W. Bush – fractured post-9/11 policy consensus with war of choice in Iraq, presided over weakest economic expansion in decades, massive unfunded Medicare expansion, Hurricane Katrina mismanagement, doubling of national debt, worst economic crash since the Great Depression and federal bailouts to combat it.
Jimmy Carter – Iranian hostage crisis, explosion of the “misery index” (unemployment plus inflation), finalizing the Panama Canal giveaway, acceptance of anti-American revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua, lack of concrete moves against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Millard Fillmore – Compromise of 1850 that expanded slavery, the harsh Fugitive Slave Act, started move towards foreign adventurism in Hawaii, endorsed the Know Nothing movement by joining it.
Herbert Hoover – publicly supported Prohibition while secretly imbibing, Smoot-Hawley Tariff that helped bring about the Great Depression, raised other taxes dramatically in early days of Great Depression, started the undermining of the Tenth Amendment with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
Andrew Johnson – impeached for undermining the rationale of the Civil War by cozying up to the Confederacy with the Black Codes.
Richard Nixon – Watergate, wage & price controls, move off of the gold standard that allowed the rampant inflation of the 1970s, first gas crisis of the 1970s.
Franklin Pierce – expanded slavery in the West with the Kansas-Missouri Act, military adventurism to take Cuba from Spain and extend slavery with the Ostend Manifesto.
Warren Harding – presided over almost unprecedented corruption with Teapot Dome.
The link for each prez takes you to Wikipedia for a fuller account of the background of each administration.
The list of nine presidents was compiled by consulting a number of historical sources, including rankings by historians – with the latter factor certainly being suspect in terms of weighing too heavily due to the leftist nature of many professional historians. Additionally, I expect some heat from some of my Republican friends about including George W. Bush on the ballot and leaving off Barack Obama; I can only say that personally, my ballot MAY even have Obama higher on the list as a write-in – stay tuned! But in my capacity as a more or less neutral arbiter in terms of compiling the ballot, placing Obama on the list and/or omitting Bush would have reeked of the kind of partisanship that would have made even Sean Hannity blush.
I look forward to tallying the results as they come in and running through the results with our panel on Tuesday, February 22.