A group of college professors just ranked Obama as the 15th greatest president of all time. They voted him two places lower than Bill Clinton and three ahead of Ronald Reagan, with FDR sitting on top once again. Isn't having college professors rate the quality of presidents somewhat like pedophiles judging a children's beauty pageant? Most of our university professors have not shown themselves to be unbiased in their political slant, now have they.
How in the world can Obama rate higher than Ronald Reagan? Where is George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, if FDR is number one? For that matter, how can Obama rank above any previous president today, at least until something he does actually work and improve the lives of the majority of Americans? So far he is batting zero on that.
An argument could be made that Obama is one of the top 15 best Democrat presidents, whom I would rank in this order.
1. Grover Cleveland, a strong fiscal conservative, a strong Constitutionalists who refused to tax and spend money he didn't believe that the federal government had the Constitutional authority to do.
2. Harry S. Truman, a man whose "The Buck Stops Here" motto is sorely missing today. Truman had the intestinal fortitude to do what was right. He won W.W.II and saved possibly millions of lives by making the tough choice.
3. John F. Kennedy, understood to make economic growth happen he needed to use supply side economics, he cut taxes and created an economic boom in America. He was a great leader, who dreamed a dream and sold it to America. He then put a date on it and created our moon landing allowing Neil Armstrong to take "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
4. James Knox Polk, broke from the Jacksonian Democrat machine and governed as his own man. Polk announced that his administration would achieve "four great measures": reduction of the tariff; reestablishment of the independent treasury; settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute; and the acquisition of California. All were accomplished. His policies with regard to annexation of Texas did lead to the Mexican/American War where not only Texas came into the United States but also California and the entire South West.
5. William Jefferson Clinton, from here on it becomes very difficult to rank the Democrat presidents, but Clinton rises to the top of those remaining due to his brilliant ability as a politician. After a disastrous first two years in office when he, his wife, and the Democrat controlled House and Senate over reached and terrified the American people who for the first time in 46 years gave the House and Senate to the Republicans. What I have to give Clinton credit for, is his desire to be liked overruled any ideological leanings. He would fight the GOP controlled House and Senate until he saw public opinion and the inevitable passing of the bill, he would then jump in front of it and claim it as his own. By doing this he had a very successful final six years and it allowed the conservative controlled House to give "Clinton" balanced budgets.
6. Andrew Johnson, taking over after Lincoln was assassinated, he tried to hold together Lincoln's vision of "With malice toward none, with charity for all, ...let us strive on to finish the work we are in, ...to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." However, he was turned on by both parties, the Democrats and the Radical Republicans who were out for revenge against the South. He stood his ground, he stood on principle holding the the Constitution with his veto of legislation trying to strip the president of his chartered powers. He was impeached, but not removed from office.
7. Martin Van Buren, this is a tough one to place. He was the actual architect of creating the Democrat Party and it's spoils systems. It was his design that Andrew Jackson took full advantage of in his own presidency, one of the most corrupt in history. Van Buren created the Democrat Party for the expressed purpose of assuring that slavery would always be a safe institution by making sure that only Southern or "Southern leaning" men would ever hold the White House. However, he was moved up in this list due to his change of heart later in life, while in the White House. He then became a strong opponent to the advance of slavery into new states.
8. Franklin D. Roosevelt, this was a very tough call, his economic policies were truly disastrous they drove us much deeper into the Great Depression and held us there for many years longer than we would have had he not put them in place. His attack on the Constitution and the freedoms and liberties of all Americans, his attempt to completely dismantle the free market capitalist system and bring in a Socialist agenda was devastating to America. Problems he created are still plaguing us today. With that said, he was a brilliant leader, and he was a great war time president leading us through W.W.II, holding Americans together with his fireside chats and resolve. So in my mind his war time leadership moves him to the best of the rest.
9. Jimmy Carter, talk about a tough call, putting Jimmy Carter above anyone is difficult, however, it shows the quality of those who remain. Jimmy Carter was completely incompetent. Going into this blog I expected I would choose Carter the third worst president due to his economic, foreign policy, and domestic policies were all failures. His administration was the embodiment of the Peter Principle were the only competent member was Cyrus Vance, who was a crook. What put him ahead of the next two on this list is that his policies didn't lead us into a Civil War. Granted that isn't high praise, but it is the difference maker.
10. Franklin Pierce, came into office promising to be the president of peace, however, his policies actually inflamed the embers of war with the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealing the Missouri Compromise with Senator Stephen Douglas. He was so unpopular that his party didn't want him to run for a second term, turning to our next on our list.
11. James Buchanan, was the Neville Chamberlain of American Presidents. As the anger on both the North and South continued to rise, Buchanan tried to pretend that it would all just calm down. He likely conspired with Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney about the Dred Scott decision trying to make slavery in every state Constitutional, the decision enraged the anti-slavery North, the Republicans, as well as the anti-Slavery Democrats. Buchanan can easily be said through inaction and poor decisions guaranteed that the Civil War would happen.
12. Andrew Jackson, was one of the most tyrannical men to ever sit in the White House. He wanted to get rid of the Electoral College, he used the spoils system that Martin Van Buren created for him to expand his political power with "With the victors goes the spoils" partisan handouts of jobs and largess with government contracts.
Basically the trouble was the 19th-century cyclical economy of "boom and bust," which was following its regular pattern, but Jackson's financial measures contributed to the crash. His destruction of the Second Bank of the United States had removed restrictions upon the inflationary practices of some state banks; wild speculation in lands, based on easy bank credit, had swept the West. To end this speculation, Jackson in 1836 had issued a Specie Circular requiring that lands be purchased with hard money--gold or silver.
In 1837 the panic began. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed. Thousands lost their lands. For about five years the United States was wracked by the worst depression thus far in its history.
13. Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the most corrupt presidents in history along the lines of Andrew Jackson. His policies in Viet Nam were a disaster, he kept escalating the war, but without giving the military the ability to fight a war without unreasonable restrictions. His Great Society programs are plaguing us yet today, they undercut the American family, it is the fault of these programs that has so devastated so many of the African American families by driving the husband and father out of the home for economic reasons.
14. Woodrow Wilson, a radical progressive who tried to strip America of our Constitution. He was a devout racists whose five volume American History he authored was the first to remove all accounts of the contributions of black Americans from the founding of this nation, and in each of our wars. This racist history became the slant that our schools started teaching after his presidency. Wilson was a nightmare, it would take books to lay out the case against him.
15. Barack Obama, who marries the radical progressiveness of Wilson, the Socialist expansionism of FDR, and attacks the Constitution as much or more than either, with the total incompetence of Carter, Buchanan, and Pierce. His overall place in history will be determined by the election this fall. If the Democrats remain in control, he will go down as the worst president in history because his programs will be allowed to do their damage. If however, the GOP takes back the House and Senate, he may move up to just an incompetent president along the lines of Carter.