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  1. #11
    gerhard dengler gerhard dengler is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCKY View Post
    From a historical perspective, it's too early to be ranking the recent Presidents.

    It takes years, really decades of time to assess their legacies and what lasts.
    This
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  2. #12
    Degeneration X Degeneration X is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by owedtojoy View Post
    OTOH, Polk was a slave trader who bought and sold slaves even while President.

    Even if you hold your nose over that one, many felt the Mexican War was morally the worst war in American history - both Abraham Lincoln and U.S.Grant (who fought in it) thought so - in their view it was a military adventure to gain territory for slavery.

    And the new territory was non-slave (Mexico has outlawed slavery). It opened a bitter dispute between North and South over allowing the new lands to be slave soil or free soil. That dispute produced the Civil War.
    Yes, but the US wouldn't have Texas and California without him - he changed the country utterly forever - it's not as if Washington and Jefferson weren't slave holders who expanded slavery through territorial acquisition.

    And it is not as if Lincoln and Grant gave back the spoils of 1848 when they were President.

    Manifest Destiny and all that.
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  3. #13
    owedtojoy owedtojoy is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degeneration X View Post
    Yes, but the US wouldn't have Texas and California without him - he changed the country utterly forever - it's not as if Washington and Jefferson weren't slave holders who expanded slavery through territorial acquisition.

    And it is not as if Lincoln and Grant gave back the spoils of 1848 when they were President.

    Manifest Destiny and all that.
    It is well in the past now .... but Polk's reputation will always suffer for what he was, and for leaving the job half-done. Once upon a time, America used to believe that it would not start wars for selfish nationalist reasons, up to 2003. Granted some were dubious (like LBJ's Tonkin Gulf Resolution) but at least there was a fig-leaf that someone else was responsible for the aggression.

    Just like Andrew Jackson's will always suffer for the Trail of Tears, which he could have prevented. "Manifest Destiny" meant death and genocide, plus it led directly to the Civil War.
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  4. #14
    gracethepirate gracethepirate is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCKY View Post
    From a historical perspective, it's too early to be ranking the recent Presidents.

    It takes years, really decades of time to assess their legacies and what lasts.
    After Don "Capone" Trump's time Obama will have nothing left of his legacy as it is Fückface Von Clownstick's major goal to destroy as much of it as he can. For no other reason than it was created by Obama.
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  5. #15
    Catalpast Catalpast is offline
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    Richard Nixon deserves his place on the Pantheon

    He ended US involvement in the Vietnam War but most importantly he opened up China to the West

    'Only Nixon could go to China' and all that....
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  6. #16
    Gnobe Gnobe is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by owedtojoy View Post
    I agree.

    Realistically, Presidents from the last 50 years or so should be excepted, with maybe Nixon squeaking in.

    Obama, for example, will be evaluated as the President who took office at a time when the US was deeply divided over Iraq, and suffering the second-worst economic crisis in its history. Reagan will be evaluated at the President given an unparalleled opportunity to end the Cold War.

    How did they do? Both did very well, IMHO, but another generation may beg to differ.
    I'm not sure about Obama personally, I think he had the potential to be a top 10 president, but he kinda blew it. He had huge majorities and a huge mandate, incredibly popular guy, but I'm not convinced what was passed under him ranks as a "all time great" material, (national Romneycare and Dodd Frank?) and even a lot of his legacy (particularly that on climate change for example) is at the mercy of Trump/GOP unfortunately and needed another follow up Democratic president like what with Reagan had with Bush.

    He also escalated the war in Afghanistan needlessly (33,000 troops under Bush, a then record, to 100,000) and never properly ended it. I don't want to be too harsh on the guy, I think overall he was a good president, and his current ranking of a solid 2nd quartile president is correct, but I wouldn't put him any higher.

    I mean compare his 8 years to the 8 years of JFK/LBJ with Civil rights, Voting rights, Great society, Medicare/Medicaid, sweeping Immigration reform, Apollo Moon landing missions etc, I mean that SCREAMS top 10/1st quartile from a democratic perspective, and so I would rank those 8 years ahead Obama's (still very good) 8 years. The 1960s democrats were superb transformational/society changing ones. Obama was quite a competent, but safe president for me.

    It's early days, but there's no guarantee Obama is even going to be ranked higher than Clinton. Its weird because Clinton wouldn't be idolised the way JFK or Obama would be, but his ranking somewhere between 10-15, knocking on the door for the top 10 is very impressive.
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  7. #17
    Dame_Enda Dame_Enda is offline
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    Washington must rank as the best for creating the US in the first place or at least playing the most indispensible role in its creation. Lincoln 2nd for ending slavery. At the time some blamed him for the secession because the South feared losing its slaves. But in fact Lincoln started off on the moderate wing of the abolitionist movement. He offered to leave slavery in place in the existing slave states, but prevent its spread to the new states and territories. After taking office he even supported the Colwell amendment, which passed the House of Representatives. This amendment would have essentially left slavery intact where it was already law. This probably delayed about half the Confederacy from seceding. Indeed originally Virginia rejected secession but the decision to call up 70,000 Virginians for the federal army to suppress the CSA (when it was only a few states) seems to have swung the secession convention in favour when previously it was in the balance between Unionists, conditional Unionists and unconditional secessionists. But he did in the end issue the Emancipation Proclamations which freed the slaves.

    Third would be FDR for defeating the Nazis, beginning the long road to civil rights (in a small way) and introducing the New Deal, which gave America a welfare state for the first time.

    James Buchanan was a failed president because he hardly lifted a finger to prevent secession particularly during the lame-duck period between the election and Lincoln's inauguration. To some extent he was influenced his close friend (and possibly more) Rufus De Vane King (the previous VP), who gave him a sugarcoated version of life in the slaveholding South. Andrew Jackson called them "Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy".
    Last edited by Dame_Enda; 3rd January 2018 at 07:01 PM.
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  8. #18
    Finbar10 Finbar10 is offline
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    Well, there's William Harrison towards the end of the list. He did his inauguration speech in freezing rain and snow without proper clothes, caught pneumonia, and then promptly died of it only a month later. I suppose we can excuse him his low ranking!
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  9. #19
    ZappedCapitalismRotsagain ZappedCapitalismRotsagain is offline

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    Any ranking of American Presidents, should in my opinion, be based on the principle of least harm done.On that basis,Trump is doing all right so far....... with the kicker of course that he has not even served a year yet.
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  10. #20
    Strawberry Strawberry is online now
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    Why's Woodrow Wilson ranked so highly, he was a terrible Pesident.
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