Best/Worst Presidents?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by TedEH, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    MOD EDIT: This is a new thread based on the derails from http://sevenstring.org/threads/unpopular-opinions.289482/

    This reminds me of an ad I saw the other day -> was a banner ad for a book titled "The Worst President In History" or something like that, with a pretty clear photo of Obama on the cover. I can't think of any particular president and think "yup, from what I know (which is very little), this guy was a great president", but the worst in history? My gut reaction is that you could twist any president into "the worst ever" by manipulating or creatively interpreting statistics and deconstructing their failings in isolation, outside of the context of the fact that no politician I've ever heard of has ever delivered 100% of what they promised. The second gut reaction is that I assume people are predisposed to think very little of him because of his race, and will gladly combine that with gut reaction #1.

    I dunno what this adds to the conversations, just thinking out loud.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2018
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    "best president in decades" Truly an unbiased opinion there. I'd love to see some quantitative data showcasing how he was the "best".
    I heard an interview with a political science professor on NPR a few years back who was explaining how people equate the president with both the good and bad things that happen during their terms (ie Trump rallying the construction stocks with his talk of improving infrastructure, Obama getting credited with killing Osama, Bush getting blamed for the 2008 economic depression, Obamacare, etc). The vast majority of people lack the initiative to look into events more deeply and see how there's so many other variables besides some talking head who lives in a white house.
     
  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Is there such a thing as an unbiased opinion? If there was no bias, it wouldn't be an opinion, would it?
     
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  4. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    In fairness, we don't have nearly as much hindsight on the Obama Administration's cumulative effects as we do any Admin prior, but considering we barely average two Presidents per decade, to say 'best leader in decades' only has to put him ahead of Slick Willy and The Bushes, and I don't figure that'd be too much of a stretch.
     
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  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    The self-identified democrats have him ranked in the top 10. Neither the self identified independents or republicans in the survey you cited have him in the top 10 or higher than Eisenhower. I could talk all about how that data isn't really statistically useful since there's an inherent self-selection bias with any surveys that target specific groups. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-selection_bias

    Looking at the earlier 2014 survey NYT created, he barely breaks the top 20. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2015/02/13/measuring-obama-against-the-great-presidents/
    from the 2014 survey:
    "First, President Obama ranks 18th overall, but beneath the surface of the aggregate figures lurks evidence of significant ambivalence. For example, those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin. Similarly, nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated. One area where there is significant expert consensus about the president, however, concerns how polarizing he is viewed as being – only George W. Bush was viewed as more a more polarizing president.

    Next, Obama does not perform well on more specific dimensions of presidential greatness, often viewed as average or worse. For example, he is the midpoint in terms of both personal integrity and military skill (e.g., 10thof 19 in both categories), but falls to 11th when it comes to diplomatic skill and 13th with respect to legislative skill. Even so, when asked which president should be added as the fifth face of Mt Rushmore, Obama ties with James Madison as the 7th most popular choice.....Scholars seem to hold Barack Obama in high regard personally, but view his skills and performance as mediocre to poor. Few think of Obama as an excellent president, while many more rate his presidency quite low, with the bulk of experts appearing to give him a passing grade but not one that would get him on the Dean’s list."

    From the HNN survey of historians:
    https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/153229
    "Barack Obama was a promising presidential candidate and possesses sterling personal leadership qualities, but his administration has merely been adequate in delivering results. "
     
  7. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The 2014/2015 article you linked brings up that he still has about two years left of his presidency.

    And the current 2018 article, brings up the importance of looking at the context of the presidential terms after they've concluded and how policies shape the following presidency.
     
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  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I guess I'm missing your point.

    The same survey conducted years earlier, superseded by the link I posted, ranked him worse? ... okay. That really doesn't make a point, for me. I mean, if, in 2000, I said that the Ibanez RG7620 was a good guitar, but then, in 2005, I said that it was a great guitar, which is more accurately my final opinion of the guitar?!

    And again, I'm comparing his administration with GWB, WJC, GHWB, and DJT - we aren't exactly shooting for the stars here. GHWB got us involved in the Iraq debacle, promised not to allow congress to raise taxes (which he knew very well that he couldn't stop), and lost reelection. WJC was impeached, got us into the quagmires of Bosnia and Somalia, and let Janet Reno loose on tons of domestic issues that she handled very poorly and yet he allowed her to continue. GWB was a trainwreck of a president who governed by cluelessness his entire two terms, allowing our military spending to run rampant, and not pulling the handbrake on any of the economic steroids WJC injected into policy, which caused the banks to get overbloated and burst. DJT is still in office, so we will see how he does - he's not been very popular and I think there are a lot of good reasons why, but, ultimately, the jury is still out. What did Obama do? Well, he tried to clean up a lot of the messes GWB and WJC left behind, and was partially successful. The ACA was at least a band-aid over the gaping wound that is the American Health Care system. It's not difficult to be the star batter on your ball team when the average batting average is .002 :lol:
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    I stated exactly what my issue is with the more recent survey. That survey is inherently flawed due to self-selection bias and only the self-identified democrats had him in the top 10. I thought I made that point pretty clear. Also I wasn't trying to get into a whole discussion about who's "great", I was merely showing that other scholarly surveys contradict your claims about Obama somehow being objectively great.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Actually, you asked for some citation. When I provided it, you continued to disagree (in general, not on any given specific argument) by posting older surveys.

    The survey, as I originally pointed out, ranked Obama as I claimed, based off of the aggregate of all scholars who participated. Your "bone to pick" seems to lie in the fact that the data was also presented, a la carte, broken down by political affiliation.

    Did I say Obama was objectively great? No. On the contrary, I said he was comparatively better than the shit leaders we've had lately. I'm not sure how we arrived at this misunderstanding, particularly considering how tangential that statement was to the main idea of the post from which it was picked.
     
  11. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Illuminati puppet #44 is better.
    No, illuminati puppet #whatever is better!

    Seriously, who gives a shit? They're all shitters.
     
  12. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    That's adorable you still think Illuminati are credible to being the real rulers, we all know Reptilians are what's really behind the curtain!
     
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  13. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    Had you said he was "comparatively better" from the beginning, then I wouldn't have bothered commenting asking for quantitative evidence of his greatness. I was just bothered by the hyperbolic phrasing and how people give presidents way too much credit for things that happen during their presidencies.

    If the data is skewed, then the result will be too. The author never addresses how many of the self-identified historians were in his data pool, or how he mitigates self-selection bias/bias in general (ie purging all that data from the average and only using data from people who did not self identify). Just based off of what I've seen in that survey, I'd hazard to guess that the majority of respondents swing democrat (they do teach at colleges after all) which would inherently skew the results.
    It's a poorly performed survey that doesn't break down its methodology, data or user demographics and doesn't mitigate self-selection bias via a stratified sampling of the historians. Getting an average from 3 unequal and biased groups is not going to give you any kind of truly useful data.
     
  14. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Did you read the articles? Both surveys identified the who they questioned.

    From your own link:

    Then the later survey:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Political_Science_Association
     
  15. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire grossly incandescent

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    Of course I read that, I'm talking about specific breakdowns in the sample. ie x number of self-identified democrats, y number of self-identified republicans, z number of self-identified independents and what percentages those groups make up of the total sample. It is very useful data for determining if there's an even distribution among those groups, since uneven populations/non-stratified sampling would lead to skewed/biased data. If the survey was mostly of democrats (which is what it looks like from the comparison of the aggregate to the democrat specific data), then the data is less useful for statistical analysis, since it might be too skewed to give an accurate representation of that particular population.
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Since this is an opinion thread, who was the best president, in your opinion, in the past 30 years?
     
  17. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Illuminati is an umbrella term for a bunch of weirdo subgroups. And if Reptilians exist, then David Icke is one of them. But to be honest, I think it's meant to discredit anyone who thinks there is something nefarious going on behind the scenes. Case in point: Your reply to my comment.
     
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  18. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Trump. C'mon, you had to have known someone would say it just to rile you lot up.
     
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  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    As much as I'm not a fan, I will reserve judgement until he's done. I will hand it to him that he is taking a different approach, for whatever that's worth.
     
  20. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Mad Maxine is a very low IQ person.
     

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