Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our Worst President Ever

I recently read that Ron Paul’s son, Rand, who is running for Congress in Kentucky has denounced Barack Obama as the worst president in American history. (Give me a freakin’ break. I have been hearing that said about every president since I can remember, which would include John Kennedy.) I will venture that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy all had the chance to be America’s last presidents: had they failed in their respective challenges, the United States would no longer exist. A few months ago, I had lunch with my favorite history professor from OSU, Allen Byerchen, and we discussed this very matter. He asked me who I thought had been America’s worst president. I stated that it depended on your definition of worst. There is no doubt in my mind about the worst human being to have ever been president. Say what you like about any of his colleagues, only one president has ever been accused of being a serial rapist.

As far as who did the worst job of discharging his duties as Chief Executive, I told Professor Byerchen that it would very difficult to top either Abraham’s Lincoln’s predecessor or his successor. James Buchanan sat on his hands for seventy days as a lame duck president, taking no action after South Carolina seceded from the Union. Had Buchanan acted decisively, America might have been spared a bloody civil war. And our 17th president, Andrew Johnson, arrived at his inauguration as Vice President on March 4th, 1865 staggering drunk, much to the chagrin of Lincoln and the entire inaugural crowd. A month later, Johnson became president and proved to be so abrasive in his dealings with Congress that he wound up being the first President ever to be impeached. I then asked Professor Byerchen whom he would pick, to which he replied, Dick Cheney. Prof Byerchen is a brilliant man with a very sharp sense of humor.

No comments: