Best and Worst US Presidents

onedomino

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Name, if you’d like, the three best (or favorite) Presidents, and the three worst Presidents. My choices:

Best:
Abraham Lincoln - a true genius, saved America.
George Washington - could have been King, yet preserved the Republic and transferred power.
Franklin Roosevelt - lifted America from the Depression, defeated the Nazis and Japanese and saved the World.
Honorable mention: Ronald Reagan - helped nail the coffin of the Soviet Union shut. Knew we were the “last best hope.”

Worst:
Andrew Johnson - racist oppressor of the South after the Civil War.
Lyndon Johnson - created the ill-conceived “Great Society” program, micro-managed Viet Nam causing defeat.
Richard Nixon - continued Johnson’s tactics of defeat in Viet Nam, lied and covered it up, resigned in disgrace.
Dishonorable mention: George Bush 43 - blew 500 billion, disregarded the advice of his generals, delivered no viable energy policy when it was desperately needed.
 

Annie

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Name, if you’d like, the three best (or favorite) Presidents, and the three worst Presidents.
My choices:

Best:
Abraham Lincoln kept the Union together.
George Washington established precedents that have served the country well, especially his advice on foreign entanglements; lasted through WWI.
Andrew Jackson was both one of the best and worst, much like Nixon. He truly represented the power and determination of what it meant to be an American. His treatment of Native Americans and the Bank were deplorable.
Honorable mention: Ronald Reagan - help nail the coffin of the Soviet Union shut. Knew we were the “last best hope.”

Worst:
Jimmy Carter made a mockery of the Presidency. From sweaters to the helicopter debacle.
JFK might have been better in a second term, then maybe not as the drug use may have taken a toll. It was he that set the stage for what LBJ did, only revisionists via Camelot believe he was going to take the US out. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a result of his mishandling of the Bay of Pigs.
Woodrow Wilson his own hubris caused him to entangle the US in WWI; deny what was written on the wall regarding both the European machinations resulting in the terms of the Treaty of Versailles; his inability to get it and the League of Nations approved by the Senate, which probably led to his stroke.

Dishonorable mention: George Bush 43 - blew 500 billion, disregarded the advice of his generals, delivered no viable energy policy when it was desperately needed.[/QUOTE]
 
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onedomino

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You are right about Carter. It was hard to keep him off my worst list. Of all the bad US Presidents, I think that Andrew Johnson was the only one who was deliberately malicious. That’s why I ranked him number one on the worst list.
 

Annie

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You are right about Carter. It was hard to keep him off my worst list. Of all the bad US Presidents, I think that Andrew Johnson was the only one who was deliberately malicious. That’s why I ranked him number one on the worst list.
Personally, I think A. Johnson has been maligned in many ways. Result of Republicans and Democrats really not understanding him. Republicans most of all. (I know, heresy and all that.)
 

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Name, if you’d like, the three best (or favorite) Presidents, and the three worst Presidents. My choices:

Best:
Abraham Lincoln - a true genius, saved America.
George Washington - could have been King, yet preserved the Republic and transferred power.
Franklin Roosevelt - lifted America from the Depression, defeated the Nazis and Japanese and saved the World.
Honorable mention: Ronald Reagan - helped nail the coffin of the Soviet Union shut. Knew we were the “last best hope.”

Worst:
Andrew Johnson - racist oppressor of the South after the Civil War.
Lyndon Johnson - created the ill-conceived “Great Society” program, micro-managed Viet Nam causing defeat.
Richard Nixon - continued Johnson’s tactics of defeat in Viet Nam, lied and covered it up, resigned in disgrace.
Dishonorable mention: George Bush 43 - blew 500 billion, disregarded the advice of his generals, delivered no viable energy policy when it was desperately needed.
I do have to disagree with the Reagan mention. He had a very small role in the Soviet collapse. He gave America a smooth, soothing appeal. But I don't know what he actually did that makes him so honorable.

Also, I would take LBJ off the worst list. Yes, he did screw up Vietnam, but his contributions to civil rights are overlooked too often.

And I just love Andrew Jackson because he was fucking nuts.
 
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onedomino

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I do have to disagree with the Reagan mention. He had a very small role in the Soviet collapse. He gave America a smooth, soothing appeal. But I don't know what he actually did that makes him so honorable.

Also, I would take LBJ off the worst list. Yes, he did screw up Vietnam, but his contributions to civil rights are overlooked too often.

And I just love Andrew Jackson because he was fucking nuts.
Yes, Reagan is questionable. That's why I did not list him in the top three. But I think his role in bringing down the Soviets was substantial. The Soviet defeat in Afghanistan was a major element in the collapse, and Reagan helped engineer that. Although the blow-back has been something from a horror movie. There was a line from a film about terrorists, wherein a US military guy looks up exasperated and says, "God, I miss the cold war." Sometimes I understand that sentiment exactly. Further, Reagan spent the Soviets into the dirt. His military buildup, after the Carter decline, led the Soviets to try to keep pace and that accelerated the end game.

LBJ did salvage some decent opinion of his Presidency with his campaign for civil rights. But his massive blunders in SE Asia, the failure of his will to win and setting the stage for defeat, ultimately cleared the way for millions of innocent deaths in Cambodia and Viet Nam. This may well be happening again in Iraq.
 

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Yes, Reagan is questionable. That's why I did not list him in the top three. But I think his role in bringing down the Soviets was substantial. The Soviet defeat in Afghanistan was a major element in the collapse, and Reagan helped engineer that. Although the blow-back has been something from a horror movie. There was a line from a film about terrorists, wherein a US military guy looks up exasperated and says, "God, I miss the cold war." Sometimes I understand that sentiment exactly. Further, Reagan spent the Soviets into the dirt. His military buildup, after the Carter decline, led the Soviets to try to keep pace and that accelerated the end game.

LBJ did salvage some decent opinion of his Presidency with his campaign for civil rights. But his massive blunders in SE Asia, the failure of his will to win and setting the stage for defeat, ultimately cleared the way for millions of innocent deaths in Cambodia and Viet Nam. This may well be happening again in Iraq.
I have to disagree with the notion that Reagan played a "substantial" role. Generally, this is the conservative fantasy that has been promulgated for years. Yes, the US did play a role in Afghanistan that undermined the Soviets, but to imply that that was one of the overriding factors that brought down the USSR is wrong (to me). The secession of most of Eastern Europe, which was plagued by labor exploitation, intense censorship, and incessant Leninst rhetoric, was a huge blow to the USSR. It was Gorbachev who absolutely refused to use military force to reel these states back into the Soviet orbit. He could've done so like Khruschev did during the Prague Spring (which he literally put down in two weeks).

Ultimately, Reagan did, shrewdly, attempt to outpace the Soviets technologically and, consequently, financially. But Gorbachev knew all along that he could not keep up and really wasn't trying to at the end. It was Gorbachev who brought communism in the Soviet Union once he introduced Glasnost and Perestroika. Both of which were inevitable with or without Reagan.
 

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Name, if you’d like, the three best (or favorite) Presidents, and the three worst Presidents. My choices:

Best:
Abraham Lincoln - a true genius, saved America.
George Washington - could have been King, yet preserved the Republic and transferred power.
Franklin Roosevelt - lifted America from the Depression, defeated the Nazis and Japanese and saved the World.
Honorable mention: Ronald Reagan - helped nail the coffin of the Soviet Union shut. Knew we were the “last best hope.”

Worst:
Andrew Johnson - racist oppressor of the South after the Civil War.
Lyndon Johnson - created the ill-conceived “Great Society” program, micro-managed Viet Nam causing defeat.
Richard Nixon - continued Johnson’s tactics of defeat in Viet Nam, lied and covered it up, resigned in disgrace.
Dishonorable mention: George Bush 43 - blew 500 billion, disregarded the advice of his generals, delivered no viable energy policy when it was desperately needed.
I disagree with everyone on your "worst" list.

Andrew Johnson was NOT a racist oppressor of the South. He tried to carry out Lincoln's plan of reconciliation. Radical Northern Congressmen and power brokers who hadn't yet had their bloodlust quenched impeached him for it and it was THEY who installed the authoritarian and punitive Reconstruction on the South.

Lyndon Johnson did more for the cause of Civil Rights and racial equality than ANY other President in US history. It's a shame his inheritance and mismanagement of Vietnam completely overshadows it.

Nixon got us out of Vietnam by forcing the Vietnamese to the table. He basically bombed them into submission. He hardly continued Johnson's policies in Vietnam. Had he not been a paranoiac and gotten caught up in Watergate, he could arguably be one of the BEST Presidents in US history.

Bush 43, handled an oncoming recession brought on by 8 years of Clinton's taxing us to death. He handled 9/11 as good as ANYONE could. His policies have kept our economy out of the basmement for 6+ years.

He was stuck with the Iraq situation because it was not handled when it should have been by his predecessor.

I just have to wonder where you got your idea of history from, but then, I recall you DO live in the land of fruits and nuts.;)
 

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Fruits and nuts?


I disagree with everyone on your "worst" list.

Andrew Johnson was NOT a racist oppressor of the South. He tried to carry out Lincoln's plan of reconciliation. Radical Northern Congressmen and power brokers who hadn't yet had their bloodlust quenched impeached him for it and it was THEY who installed the authoritarian and punitive Reconstruction on the South.

Lyndon Johnson did more for the cause of Civil Rights and racial equality than ANY other President in US history. It's a shame his inheritance and mismanagement of Vietnam completely overshadows it.

Nixon got us out of Vietnam by forcing the Vietnamese to the table. He basically bombed them into submission. He hardly continued Johnson's policies in Vietnam. Had he not been a paranoiac and gotten caught up in Watergate, he could arguably be one of the BEST Presidents in US history.

Bush 43, handled an oncoming recession brought on by 8 years of Clinton's taxing us to death. He handled 9/11 as good as ANYONE could. His policies have kept our economy out of the basmement for 6+ years.

He was stuck with the Iraq situation because it was not handled when it should have been by his predecessor.

I just have to wonder where you got your idea of history from, but then, I recall you DO live in the land of fruits and nuts.;)
Your military career taught you plenty about intimidation but you never learned a thing about history. But, I admit that you got some of it fairly close.
 

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Worst Presidents

Clinton... The most corrupt person we have ever had in office. He did more than anyone else to shred the image of what a President is.

Carter.... An amiable idiot that got elected because no one knew him.

Franklin D. Roosevelt .... He sold out eastern Europe and Nationalist China, setting the Stage for the cold war and Korea.




The Best Presidents

George Washington.... he set the example and refused the attempt to crown him King.

Abraham Lincoln..... He saved the Union.

After those two it is a long drop to anyone in third place.

Maybe Wilson for how he handled our involvement and initial lack of involvement in WWI, but I don't know enough about his other policies to say.
 

Gunny

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Fruits and nuts?




Your military career taught you plenty about intimidation but you never learned a thing about history. But, I admit that you got some of it fairly close.
Who precisely am I "intimidating"?

You wouldn't know if I was right or not, so what's your point?
 

Dirt McGirt

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One of the most underrated Presidents:

George H.W. Bush

He had the foresight to leave Iraq and he raised taxes in an attempt to be fiscally responsible. He's also proven to be a goodwill ambassador during W's administration. I have a lot more respect for HW now then I did back then.
 

liberalogic

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Worst Presidents

Clinton... The most corrupt person we have ever had in office. He did more than anyone else to shred the image of what a President is.

Carter.... An amiable idiot that got elected because no one knew him.

Franklin D. Roosevelt .... He sold out eastern Europe and Nationalist China, setting the Stage for the cold war and Korea.




The Best Presidents

George Washington.... he set the example and refused the attempt to crown him King.

Abraham Lincoln..... He saved the Union.

After those two it is a long drop to anyone in third place.

Maybe Wilson for how he handled our involvement and initial lack of involvement in WWI, but I don't know enough about his other policies to say.
Roosevelt did not sell out Eastern Europe. He had to make concessions to Stalin, which actually made the cold war colder rather than battling for control over Eastern Europe.

Plus, the economic reforms were absolutely brilliant. Every older person that I've ever met who lived during Roosevelt's time thinks him to be a savior.
 

Kagom

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Personally, I think A. Johnson has been maligned in many ways. Result of Republicans and Democrats really not understanding him. Republicans most of all. (I know, heresy and all that.)
Not heresy, really. His own party wanted to punish the South a million times over and the Democrats were just unwilling to work together.

Mine:
Best:
Abraham Lincoln: For reasons mentioned by Kathianne.
Bill Clinton: Got the US out of a recession and raised employment. However, the blunders of Kosovo and other such issues are laughable.
FDR: Methinks the reason has been said.

Worst:
Herbert Hoover: Refused to really do much to help us from suffering horribly during the Great Depression.
JFK: Being beloved is great and all, but he did a lot of harm.
Carter: He had potential, but he blew it.
 

liberalogic

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Not heresy, really. His own party wanted to punish the South a million times over and the Democrats were just unwilling to work together.

Mine:
Best:
Abraham Lincoln: For reasons mentioned by Kathianne.
Bill Clinton: Got the US out of a recession and raised employment. However, the blunders of Kosovo and other such issues are laughable.
FDR: Methinks the reason has been said.

Worst:
Herbert Hoover: Refused to really do much to help us from suffering horribly during the Great Depression.
JFK: Being beloved is great and all, but he did a lot of harm.
Carter: He had potential, but he blew it.
How much damage did JFK actually do and what would've other presidents done in his situation? The Bay of Pigs and the beginning of Vietnam were, of course, disasters, but within the context of the Cold War, I see almost any other President taking similar actions. I wouldn't argue that he was a great president or anything, but people in this thread seem to just throw him in the "worst" category without explicit justification.
 
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onedomino

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I disagree with everyone on your "worst" list.

Andrew Johnson was NOT a racist oppressor of the South. He tried to carry out Lincoln's plan of reconciliation. Radical Northern Congressmen and power brokers who hadn't yet had their bloodlust quenched impeached him for it and it was THEY who installed the authoritarian and punitive Reconstruction on the South.

Lyndon Johnson did more for the cause of Civil Rights and racial equality than ANY other President in US history. It's a shame his inheritance and mismanagement of Vietnam completely overshadows it.

Nixon got us out of Vietnam by forcing the Vietnamese to the table. He basically bombed them into submission. He hardly continued Johnson's policies in Vietnam. Had he not been a paranoiac and gotten caught up in Watergate, he could arguably be one of the BEST Presidents in US history.

Bush 43, handled an oncoming recession brought on by 8 years of Clinton's taxing us to death. He handled 9/11 as good as ANYONE could. His policies have kept our economy out of the basmement for 6+ years.

He was stuck with the Iraq situation because it was not handled when it should have been by his predecessor.

I just have to wonder where you got your idea of history from, but then, I recall you DO live in the land of fruits and nuts.;)
Thanks for the slam against California; I guess you thought that was necessary and added to the quality of debate.

Historians view Andrew Johnson as a white supremacist that opposed extending basic human rights to freed slaves. He opposed the 14th Amendment which provided for due process and equal protection for Blacks under the law. Moreover, he issued numerous vetoes of equal rights bills. That is what I meant by oppressing the South, since more than 40 percent of the South was Black. When I used the term "South," I was referring to the polulation as a whole. I was not thinking only of former Confederate officials and white land owners, to whom Johnson showed much compassion. The House impeached Johnson and he came within one vote of impeachment in the Senate. Those are historical facts. And for those reasons, Johnson is number one on my worst list.

Lyndon Johnson had success passing civil rights legislation and that is why he did not make it to number one on my worst Presidents list. Otherwise, his Presidency was a stunning failure that had profoundly negative effects for years after he was gone. Johnson’s ill-conceived “Great Society” program helped to create a generation of welfare dependents. Instead of integrating the economically disadvantaged into their cities and communities, the program concentrated poor people, many of them Black, in Federally funded housing ghettoes infested with crime and drug abuse. The “Great Society” program swallowed billions of taxpayer dollars while actually widening the gulf between the poor and the rest of society. Was that Johnson’s intention? Of course not, but it was the effect.

It was Johnson’s massive failure in SE Asia that vaulted him into second place on my list. Like Bush 43, he did not trust his generals, and disregarded their advice. Far more damaging than his tactical blunders was the failure of his will to win. By 1968, US soldiers were dying at a rate of 1000 per month while being under the command of a President that did not take the steps advised by his generals that were necessary to win. Johnson’s stated policy was the “containment” of the communists, not their defeat. Johnson did not want to lose the war, but he never took the steps necessary to win; such as a ground assault of North Viet Nam, or intradiction of supplies from China and Russia. A truly deplorable situation. Nixon continued Johnson’s failed policy of containment, and while his bombing of the North got the enemy to pretend to negotiate peace, his end game included the abandonment of the SE Asian battlefield by US ground troops. Instead of a policy designed to win, Nixon substituted the process of Vietnamization, which led directly to outright defeat. That defeat, accelerated by the US Congress when it rejected Ford’s request for continued funding, led to many thousands of deaths in North on South retribution, and cleared the way for sociopaths like Pol Pot to grab power in Cambodia at the point of a gun. He, of course, committed one of the greatest genocides in world history. Had Johnson jettisoned his failed policy of containment and showed the will necessary to defeat the communists in SE Asia, then perhaps many millions of lives would have been spared the fate that resulted from Nixon’s abandonment of the battlefield.

Your defense of Bush 43 is less than convincing. You mentioned that he dealt with an oncoming recession. Here is the reality: Bush has borrowed far more money than any US President in history. He has increased the US National Debt by $3 trillion dollars! That’s trillion with a “t.” Meanwhile he came up with GDP growth rates of 2 to 3 percent. You could go outside right now, pick the first person walking by on the street, give him $3 trillion (of his children’s money) to spend, and he could do better than Bush’s pathetic 2 to 3 percent growth rates. Bush, like Johnson, disregarded the advice of his generals. This time it has cost us $500 billion. If Bush had put in the 400,000 troops that his generals told him were necessary, then much of that expense might have been avoided. Who knows? What we do know is that the path that Bush and Rumsfeld chose has been disastrous economically, and led us to the brink of political defeat. We can only hope that General Petraeus can reverse four years of failed Bush policy in Iraq.
 

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It was Johnson’s massive failure in SE Asia that vaulted him into second place on my list. Like Bush 43, he did not trust his generals, and disregarded their advice. Far more damaging than his tactical blunders was the failure of his will to win. By 1968, US soldiers were dying at a rate of 1000 per month while being under the command of a President that did not take the steps advised by his generals that were necessary to win. Johnson’s stated policy was the “containment” of the communists, not their defeat. Johnson did not want to lose the war, but he never took the steps necessary to win; such as a ground assault of North Viet Nam, or intradiction of supplies from China and Russia. A truly deplorable situation. Nixon continued Johnson’s failed policy of containment, and while his bombing of the North got the enemy to pretend to negotiate peace, his end game included the abandonment of the SE Asian battlefield by US ground troops. Instead of a policy designed to win, Nixon substituted the process of Vietnamization, which led directly to outright defeat. That defeat, accelerated by the US Congress when it rejected Ford’s request for continued funding, led to many thousands of deaths in North on South retribution, and cleared the way for sociopaths like Pol Pot to grab power in Cambodia at the point of a gun. He, of course, committed one of the greatest genocides in world history. Had Johnson jettisoned his failed policy of containment and showed the will necessary to defeat the communists in SE Asia, then perhaps many millions of lives would have been spared the fate that resulted from Nixon’s abandonment of the battlefield.
I'm not well-educated on the Vietnam War, but out of curiosity, do you think it was actually possible, even if Johnson had followed his generals' directions to actually "win" that war? The French tried with all their might to hold onto it and basically had to hand it off to us. With all of the insurgents and the brilliantly constructed tunnels that they had, I can't help but think it to be sort of a repeat of Iraq.
 

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militarily we DID win. Our troops were no longer involved in ground combat at all by 1972 and the South Viet Namese were able to contain the North with just our support from the air and naval forces.

I suggest you read what actually happened. The South defeated a Northern Invasion in 72 and was in the process of recovering the lost provinces when the democraticly controlled congress cut off funding. In 1975 the North conducted a probe in force and were shocked when the US did not aid the South with air power or naval support, they switched from a probe to an all out Invasion sending 25 Divisions against the 10 to 12 the South had. Outnumbered, with no supplies, no repair parts and no replacement ammo the South fought for a month against this invasion before surrendering.

If you don't believe me, do a little research on what the North Vietnamese generals and leaders had to say about it. Start with how they knew they had lost after the Tet offensive and were surprised the US couldn't see it.

Nixon did EXACTLY what people on the left are demanding be done in Iraq. he made the South take responsibility for their own defense, and yet we have these same people claiming he failed.

Some theorize that by 1988, if we had continued to fund and support the South they would have basicly won the so called insurgency as well. An interesting term, since after Tet there were almost no South Vietnamese insurgents, they were almost all North Vietnemese regular soldiers slipped into the country to pretend there was still an insurgency.

As for Invading North Viet Nam, umm you are aware of who borders them right? The Chinese hate the Viet Namese, but there is no way they would have allowed a US invasion of that buffer country.

Nixon had cut off ( virtually) the Ho Chi Mein trail and forced the North to talk. Sure the talks were a bid for time, but Nixon had also forced the South to do its own fighting.
 

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Thanks for the slam against California; I guess you thought that was necessary and added to the quality of debate.

Humor dude. I forgot you have none.

Historians view Andrew Johnson as a white supremacist that opposed extending basic human rights to freed slaves. He opposed the 14th Amendment which provided for due process and equal protection for Blacks under the law. Moreover, he issued numerous vetoes of equal rights bills. That is what I meant by oppressing the South, since more than 40 percent of the South was Black. When I used the term "South," I was referring to the polulation as a whole. I was not thinking only of former Confederate officials and white land owners, to whom Johnson showed much compassion. The House impeached Johnson and he came within one vote of impeachment in the Senate. Those are historical facts. And for those reasons, Johnson is number one on my worst list.

Thank you for the clarification. Of course it made perfectly good sense to take illiterate slaves and put them immediately into positions of power and give them responsibilities they had no concept of how to handle.

That explains why they were so welcomed in the North.


Lyndon Johnson had success passing civil rights legislation and that is why he did not make it to number one on my worst Presidents list. Otherwise, his Presidency was a stunning failure that had profoundly negative effects for years after he was gone. Johnson’s ill-conceived “Great Society” program helped to create a generation of welfare dependents. Instead of integrating the economically disadvantaged into their cities and communities, the program concentrated poor people, many of them Black, in Federally funded housing ghettoes infested with crime and drug abuse. The “Great Society” program swallowed billions of taxpayer dollars while actually widening the gulf between the poor and the rest of society. Was that Johnson’s intention? Of course not, but it was the effect.

Johnson merely tried to update Roosevelt's obsolete handout programs. I gues it would have been far more acceptable to leave people on the street where they are instead of at least trying to provide them shelter.

It was Johnson’s massive failure in SE Asia that vaulted him into second place on my list. Like Bush 43, he did not trust his generals, and disregarded their advice. Far more damaging than his tactical blunders was the failure of his will to win. By 1968, US soldiers were dying at a rate of 1000 per month while being under the command of a President that did not take the steps advised by his generals that were necessary to win. Johnson’s stated policy was the “containment” of the communists, not their defeat. Johnson did not want to lose the war, but he never took the steps necessary to win; such as a ground assault of North Viet Nam, or intradiction of supplies from China and Russia. A truly deplorable situation. Nixon continued Johnson’s failed policy of containment, and while his bombing of the North got the enemy to pretend to negotiate peace, his end game included the abandonment of the SE Asian battlefield by US ground troops. Instead of a policy designed to win, Nixon substituted the process of Vietnamization, which led directly to outright defeat. That defeat, accelerated by the US Congress when it rejected Ford’s request for continued funding, led to many thousands of deaths in North on South retribution, and cleared the way for sociopaths like Pol Pot to grab power in Cambodia at the point of a gun. He, of course, committed one of the greatest genocides in world history. Had Johnson jettisoned his failed policy of containment and showed the will necessary to defeat the communists in SE Asia, then perhaps many millions of lives would have been spared the fate that resulted from Nixon’s abandonment of the battlefield.

Your knowledge of history as far as the Vietnam War is concerned leaves MUCH to be desired. You seem to have quite a few facts mixed and matched. Instead of doing a page long response right here, I will address Vietnam as a separate issue and we can have us a discussion. I'll even try to not slam that state you're from.

Your defense of Bush 43 is less than convincing. You mentioned that he dealt with an oncoming recession. Here is the reality: Bush has borrowed far more money than any US President in history. He has increased the US National Debt by $3 trillion dollars! That’s trillion with a “t.” Meanwhile he came up with GDP growth rates of 2 to 3 percent. You could go outside right now, pick the first person walking by on the street, give him $3 trillion (of his children’s money) to spend, and he could do better than Bush’s pathetic 2 to 3 percent growth rates. Bush, like Johnson, disregarded the advice of his generals. This time it has cost us $500 billion. If Bush had put in the 400,000 troops that his generals told him were necessary, then much of that expense might have been avoided. Who knows? What we do know is that the path that Bush and Rumsfeld chose has been disastrous economically, and led us to the brink of political defeat. We can only hope that General Petraeus can reverse four years of failed Bush policy in Iraq.
The fact is, we were in the onset of a recession when Bush took office and he staved it off. I don't care if he borrowed the money. The fact is, on 9/11 and succeeding days, our economy could have gone straight down the tubes, and it did not.

I agree with you that Bush did not listen to the military where Iraq is concerned. However, NO politician would have listened to the REAL answer, nor would any politician be willing to be the one giving the orders that would be required in order to remove Saddam from power AND simultaneously secure Iraq.

I'm not making Bush out to be some great guy. He just isn't as bad as Bush-bashers try to make him out to be, and there are far more deserving Presidents who sucked a lot worse than he to make the 5 worst list.

You want to villify him; yet, revere a President who violated the Constitution at will, invaded a sovereign nation and forced its continued inclusion in the United States when he had absolutely NO legal right to do so.

Interesting.
 
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onedomino

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I'm not well-educated on the Vietnam War, but out of curiosity, do you think it was actually possible, even if Johnson had followed his generals' directions to actually "win" that war? The French tried with all their might to hold onto it and basically had to hand it off to us. With all of the insurgents and the brilliantly constructed tunnels that they had, I can't help but think it to be sort of a repeat of Iraq.
Thanks for your thoughtful response. If you want to learn about the American effort in Viet Nam, I recommend Triumph Forsaken, by Mark Moyer, and for the countervailing viewpoint, Fire in the Lake, by Frances Fitzgerald.

After WW2, France tried to reclaim its SE Asian colonies. They did not have either the economic or military capacity for such an effort. At the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 (where Americans provided ineffective logistic support), the French were soundly defeated by the Viet Minh communists. Then France surrendered its SE Asian colonies to the people with the guns, and fled North Viet Nam after the 1954 Geneva Accords, which divided Viet Nam in two. For awhile, the French administered the South, but ran away for good in 1956. This left the Americans in support of the South and trying to hold the line against the Communists. America took over the responsibility of training the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (the South). Then JFK increased the number of American support troops from 500 to 16,000. And then finally Johnson dispatched very large numbers of combat troops. People forget that the French had been influential in Hanoi, and the people there were by no means enthralled with communism. But the communists had the guns. Johnson did not try to liberate the North. Instead, he confined US combat operations to the South. Thereby allowing the northern areas to be a base for communist combat operations against the South, and a collection area for supplies sent from China and Russia. Had the Americans attacked North Viet Nam when Johnson first sent in combat forces (or especially had JFK done it earlier), and pushed the communists back to the border with China, then the course of SE Asian history would have been completely different. Would the Chinese have counterattacked? Probably the same way they did in Korea. But they would have been pushed back just like Korea. But our politicians had no stomach for another Korea. As I mentioned in the post above, Johnson favored communist “containment,” and did not show the will and political determination necessary to defeat them.
 

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