Best/Worst Presidents?

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

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Sorry, couldn't resist the wurst pun temptation.

    Back on track, though, assuming there is such a track: I have heard that the best ways to measure executive effectiveness is to look at how well the president is able to broker compromise in congress, and also if the president is re-elected or not. Meaning- Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush are good candidates, and Gerald Ford is an excellent candidate (since he was never elected in the first place and then lost re-election) for worst president.

    Interestingly, Quinnipiac polls seem to bring up a dichotomy - the presidents ranking near the top of the list for "best" are also near the top of the list for "worst."

    Most recently:
    Best Six:
    1. Reagan
    2. Obama
    3. Clinton / Kennedy (tie)
    5. Trump
    6. Eisenhower

    Worst
    1. Trump
    2. Obama
    3. Nixon
    4. Carter
    5. GW Bush
    6. Clinton

    And the older poll:
    Best Six:
    1. Reagan
    2. Clinton
    3. Kennedy
    4. Obama
    5. Eisenhower
    6. Truman

    Worst
    1. Obama
    2. GW Bush
    3. Nixon
    4. Carter
    ...

    So, it looks to me like Bush hate has simply become Trump hate, and Clinton hate has become Obama hate. Same goes for love.

    On the other hand, Carter, who lost re-election, and Nixon, who resigned amidst controversy, are universally viewed in these polls as a bad presidents, but the amount of hatred for them amongst the general population is eclipsed by the more recent flavor-to-hate-of-the-week.

    Oh, and Taft lost re-election, too, only managing to win Vermont and Utah, which is pretty embarrassing for an incumbent, especially considering that his successor was not very popular at the time.
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Doppelwurstposten
     
  3. possumkiller

    possumkiller SS.org Regular

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    I heard Grant was pretty bad. Hoover as well.
     
  4. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    I lived in the US during the George W Bush era, and back then I was Just discovering politics and couldn’t stand him or his administration. But shit, compared to now, he’s looking just fine! I say fuck it, Bush 2020!
     
  5. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    ^So, I get it - back then we thought it couldn't get any worse, ha ha, and stuff - but, seriously: America will still be dealing with the legal/economic/social/international affects of W's administration for another century; maybe longer. My largest disappointment with the Obama administration was that they didn't do much of anything to counteract that. I respect that they wanted to 'go high', but, damn: Least they could have done was taken a stab at The Patriot Act?!

    Don't get me wrong; I've said similar stuff.. It's just completely bizarre that the situation has gotten so bad that we're collectively getting nostalgia goggles for W's administration. Like, if one really follows the thought through, it can only get as far as 'aww, he's just old and feeble, now' before the details start to kick in: Dick "I shot my friend in the face and made him publicly apologize for it" Cheney; Donald "there are known unknowns" Rumsfeld; Condoleeza "Why We Know Iraq Is Lying" Rice.. Starting a war under false pretenses and without Congressional approval, the butchering of language/grammar; the butchering of humans, making an entire election about "I broke it, I bought it; also gay marriage is icky"..

    I get that the bar is somehow even lower, now, but let's not forget how we got here, either.

    Hindsight stings hard on this one: Obama showed up as a Statesman, basically saying "I'm not here to erase the Bush years; I'm here to move forward", but then, Trump ripped in there like a tornado in a trailer park, basically saying "Damn right I'm here to erase Obama! Sit and spin, motherfucker!"
     
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  6. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    ^ but that’s it, I wasn’t being serious.

    I just meant that about Trump as a person, of whom I’ve never been fond of. But again, it wasn’t really that serious.

    For me, the audience is out on the Trump administration, for now at least.
     
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  7. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    I didn't necessarily think you were being serious. I guess I'm just worried about the amount of similar sentiments I've been seeing expressed in my travels through the 'Net these last couple years.
     
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  8. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    Yes, I know what you’re talking about. When Trump came into office, people suddenly became very warming towards W. I think it’s part the unusual personality of Trump and part W looks older, thus less crazy Texan. Plus, elder Bush’s are passing away, so there’s a sympathy motive there too.

    People did the same for Clinton after Bush was elected, for similar reasons. W (at the time) was unusual for a president, so people started warming to Clinton, while largely forgetting how much he sucked ass.
     
  9. narad

    narad Owned a Zune

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    Well he also spends his time painting pictures of vets, and even speaks of his term like something he acknowledges as not the greatest presidency, just something he did his best at. Both are much more admirable directions than continuing to fuck up the country. The thought of Trump being even in some way modest about his shortcomings is something to save for fanfiction.
     
  10. synrgy

    synrgy Ya ya ya I am Lorde

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    So, I was just watching a mini-doc on the Clinton Presidency yesterday. :lol:

    In terms of polling, anyway, Clinton was mostly well-loved during his tenure, whether deservedly, or otherwise. He eventually earned the nickname 'the comeback kid' because no matter how great his missteps, the majority of The People still loved him. Even after the impeachment, whenever polls were split on 'personal life' versus 'governing', the latter was in the upper 70th percentile approving him though only 10 percent approved of the former. His legacy (at the time) was that he was a great President but shitty husband.

    I was 13-21 during his tenure. What I feel like I remember during those years, was mostly approval, outside of the Bible-thumping circles. The situation between us and Congress was a lot different, then. Part of his shtick was that we was willing to reach across the aisle, and we bought into that. The People - at the time - punished a Congress that refused to work together. These days, we seem to be rewarding obstinance.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    ...which is ironic, of course, because part of the beginning of the end was Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America, where the GOP really began acting like a unified opposition bloc.

    Clinton benefited greatly from inheriting a good economy and having the common sense not to fuck it up. I'm not sure how much of the bull market run of the 90s was his doing, nor am I entirely sure how much of the market crash in '07 was his fault (certainly, policies to encourage home ownership in this country made the labor market a lot less liquid than it would have been in prior years, after the crash), but with the market going up he was given the benefit of the doubt a lot more than most.

    That said, I too remember the 90s as a pretty good time to be an American.
     
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  12. Randy

    Randy Sous Chef Super Moderator

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    Going WAY WAY WAY into the weeds on this one but decided to snip it for context. I agree with most of what you're talking about, in what types of behaviors were rewarded or reviled at the time, and how things are "different" today. Hard as it might be (not accusing anyone of this, just speaking generally) it's sometimes hard not to have an apocalyptic outlook because of the level of divisiveness but still, I try to make it a point to regularly remind myself that the news of the day ALWAYS feels pressing at the time you're living it. Not to diminish what we're going through now but I suspect we'll still have "OMG! What now?!" moments after this clown is gone.

    Anyway, I wanted to grab the "bible-thumping" quote because that's the one item that is sorta framed (in a lot of people's minds, anyway) as a linear or at least attempted consistent position, but the outrage on that end is as manufactured and selective as anything else; maybe worse. I grew up in a "Christmas and Easter church attendance only" household but my best friend (who's family was like my second family) were WAY down the rabbit hole mega-Christians. They were (and still are) completely unapologetic of the fact they follow guys like Billy Graham and Pat Robertson, and will openly admit that their position on any issue comes directly from them. They will say one item is a matter of life and death and they'll pivot 180 degrees without the faintest hint of hypocrisy or embarrassment, even if that shift is full acknowledged.

    And you know, most people honestly don't have the time or patience to be politically aware as a full time position. So you have people that'll be indifferent to politics, then have "an awakening" that lasts maybe long enough for one election, or maybe through one guy's term, and most people fall off of it, some forever and some until the next thing that their chosen leader tells them to be mad about.

    So to a lot of people, yeah, their leader tells them Bill Clinton is an immoral rapist or Barack Obama is the anti-christ and THAT becomes their calling in life. You have a lot of people who are either enraged about Trump or enraged at the left for being enraged at Trump, and THAT is their first foray into politics. They don't necessarily have the gift of 20+ years of this ebbing and flowing for them to be as apathetic and measured as the rest of us.

    I say that because, the really dishonest things are people like the Billy Grahams and Pat Robertsons that HAVE the benefit of 40 or 50 years of perspective on these things and knowing damn well what their position was 20 years ago or 10 years ago and how that runs counter to their position now. And the answer is, they don't care because the morality argument is a smokescreen for lining their pockets. They made their blood pact with the Republican Party some time ago, and they know that their policies will enrich them, and they in turn, offer the party new Acolytes every two to four years.

    That's especially relevant to the news of the day because Trump certainly sets a new bar for how immoral a public official can be, and the contorting to find ways to frame supporting the guy as a matter of saving your soul are ASTOUNDING. It also serves as a scale model for the 'cult of personality' Trump has built for himself. At this point (love him or hate him), he's outgrown the GOP and even the christian faith, when it comes to being a bellwether for what people consider true/false, right/wrong.
     
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