Monday, February 20, 2006

In Dishonor of President's Day

Scholars Rate Worst Presidential Errors

Associated Press Writer

February 18, 2006, 2:06 PM EST

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- From engaging in sexual relations with an intern to letting the Vietnam War escalate, U.S. presidents have been blamed for some egregious errors.

So who had the worst blunder?
Sadly, out of deference to a sitting President, they don't include Dumbya, which would probably take up the top five spots, off the top of my head
President James Buchanan, for failing to avert the Civil War, according to a survey of presidential historians organized by the University of Louisville's McConnell Center.

[....]Scholars who participated said Buchanan didn't do enough to oppose efforts by Southern states to secede from the Union before the Civil War.

The second worst mistake, the survey found, was Andrew Johnson's decision just after the Civil War to side with Southern whites and oppose improvements in justice for Southern blacks beyond abolishing slavery.

"We continue to pay" for Johnson's errors, wrote Michael Les Benedict, an Ohio State University history professor emeritus.

Lyndon Johnson earned the No. 3 spot by allowing the Vietnam War to intensify, Gregg said.
Obviously, there's a certain amount of Vietnam-era bias in these boomers, as you can see from the rest of the list...
* 4: Woodrow Wilson's refusal to compromise on the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.

* 5: Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate cover-up.

* 6: James Madison's failure to keep the United States out of the War of 1812 with Britain.

* 7: Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Act of 1807, a self-imposed prohibition on trade with Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.

* 8: John F. Kennedy allowing the Bay of Pigs Invasion that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

* 9: Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair, the effort to sell arms to Iran and use the money to finance an armed anti-communist group in Nicaragua.
Believe it or not, the Lewinski affair ranked tenth on this list. You'll note that every other scandal on this list in some way threatened the real security of the United States (save perhaps LBJ's intensification of the Vietnam war,) but a blow job by an intern affected Clinton's marriage more than the security of the country.

No, the real error during that era was the blue-nose reaction of the Republicans, distracting this country on the eve of the global war on terror. Imagine if Clinton, who had done yeoman work keeping us safe from Islamist terror attacks on American soil, had been allowed to focus on his job instead of a job he got?

THERE'S your error!

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