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Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by theorangebluewinagain, Aug 13, 2013.
A lot of truth.
Nate Silver on the subject
Current presidential scholars rank him in the top half
Forget statistics. I look at damage done to country and prestige lost. Obama has passed Carter in modern times.
But if you have no use for numbers, how can you possibly measure "damage done" and "prestige lost"?
How do you measure ineptness? How do you measure incompetence? How do you measure corruption? How do you measure graft?
Prestige? Putin spit in his face. Other world leaders aren't listening to his lectures. He's drawn a line in the sand and done nothing. He won a Nobel Prize. Huh?
So you just your intuition to decide "damage done"? The problem that I have with that one is that I just have this feeling that this type of analysis is going to closely reflect left-right political alignment of the analyzer, which seems to hardly be a proper judge for 'greatness'.
Shocking that a bunch of bed wetting liberals rank the biggest liberal of all Presidents in the top half. Shocking I say.
Gee, it's gotta' suck to start a thread proposing a hypothesis which is then thoroughly trashed by expert opinion. Ouch.
Phew. I feel better now.
It's definitely settled. Obama is the worst ever.
Any measure of greatness is opinion. You have yours, I have mine. You think you are correct. I "know" I'm correct. His entire campaign and presidency beginning with the Roman temple @ Invesco field at the DNC convention (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/08/28/us/politics/20080828_OBAMA_PANO.html?_r=0), has been a major charade and scam on the American people. Propped up by Publicists masquerading as media who did not vett him properly nor do they scrutinize his policies.
Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all before - like 8 times a day and no matter what the thread is.
As to the thread, some opinions are better than others and those who actually study presidential history and, you know, like know what's happened in the past, put Obama pretty high. So, we know in downeast's home he'll be rated the worst in history, at least until Hillary's 2nd term, but among those who, you know, know what they are talking about, he may end up pretty high.
Look, these subjective rankings can't possibly determine the rightful champion. We need a playoff. And maybe a computer that factors in strength of schedule.
First- I was actually hopeful when Obama was elected. Sadly, Porkulus (graft to unions) and Obamacare (passed with zero pub votes) dashed my hopes. It has gone downhill from there. Carter was inept, but loved the US. I have my doubts re Obama's loyalty.
Second- In my family we have 2 in healthcare, 1 military pilot, 1 military spouse, a housewife and me. Fortunately we've raised our 2 kids to read, question and reason. They married spouses from similar backgrounds. They did not fall for libbly, lefty BS in either HS or College. Good for them. They can judge for themselves after they have a few more presidents to compare.
History will judge Obama, just as it has the others. I seriously doubt he ends up in the top 40. Maybe I will be wrong. We shall see.
Of course it is going to be subjective. That is accepted, but what worries me is persistent bias, like that to which Row is alluding. I can handle people disagreeing that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made. Based on diverse criteria, thoughtful arguments can be made for Vertigo, The Godfather, or even something weird like The Big Lebowski.
But where I lose faith in the process is when we have a person that ranks Star Trek movies in every slot in the top 10. Now we have a subjective ranking that is presupposed by one or few superficial characteristics (e.g. Vulcans are present, president is republican, etc.), which undermines the entire meaning of the ranking.
+1. However, among the presidential historians who ranked them in the link above, strength of schedule does seem to be weighted pretty high in most cases. TR didn't have quite the same challenges as Lincoln. FDR, and Washington so maybe he's an outlier on that. Andrew Johnson OTH was in at a rough time but still comes off as the worst.
I wonder if these type of rankings are a product of our time, or if people in the 19th century felt obligated to pass judgement in such a comprehensive and quasi-scientific fashion. Seems like for a good part of our history, the president was expected to be the most shameless and least objectionable party hack chosen by fellow cronies in insanely corrupt and non-democratic conventions, and people were pleasantly surprised if a competent executive emerged from the process. I guess the question is, are we in the late 20th earlt 21st century far more obsessed with executive competency than our ancestors were? Especially given that we expect the president to be an expert in so many areas.
With your description, instead of strength of schedule, it seems maybe even more like a 'difficulty' rating from Olympic diving or gymnastics, which ends up in our equation as a multiplicative factor. So while Andrew Johnson scores very low from 1-10 on his dive, his multiplicative factor is higher.
My guess would be that naivete ruled and that lionizing leaders was more prevalent then than now. At least I think that has been the trend since the early 20th century to the point where some are convinced now that we are in the worst of all possible worlds. I recall the U2 incident as a big shock in that Americans realized Ike had actually lied about something. With the Kennedy assassination and Nixon, cynicism became the rage and continues I think.
I don't know. Some of the most vicious invective I've read was things I've read from 19th century newspapers. I think the time period you mention (mid 20th century) was a time of a relatively consolidated and authoritative media, so it doesnt surprise me if an event or statement deviated from the authority or statements of power there would be much more shock than today or in the more distant past.
I think the thread was started to get a "feel" for where he stands among TH readers, so it will be totally based on opinion vs the sub set we know. Naturally, most of us don't have time to compare against the Buchanons, Clevelands, A. Johnson etc.
In the modern era that I'm most aware of, I would rank as follows:
1. Reagan (by a mile)
3. Clinton (should have been #2 but wasted opportunity with scandals)
4. Bush 41 (has moved up)
6. Bush 43
8. Nixon (would have been higher without Watergate)
Carter was horrible and Obama does not govern...he just gives speeches. And he is philosophically way left of anyone who has held the office which is damn scary.