A “Bias Makes Professionals Stupid And Unprofessional” Update

Trump photo defaced

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck and the resulting mass effort to bring down Donald Trump was the corruption of virtually all of our society’s professions, and the vast majority of their members. Educators, psychiatrists, teachers, judges— journalists, of course, though they were already pretty far gone; broadcasters, of course. Entertainment professionals and performers, heaven knows (That’s the Dixie Chicks and their clever and subtle political commentary above.) In addition to theater professionals, two more of my professions have disgraced themselves: lawyers and ethicists. The listserv of a legal ethics organization I belong to was virtually cackling with joy over Rudy Giuliani’s partisan and dangerous interim suspension in New York, while the same group has been notably unenthusiastic about criticizing out-of court hyperbole by anti-Trump lawyers like the recently sentenced Michael Avenatti. (I may have missed some more balanced attention because I dropped out of the group for about 18 months in disgust over its bias.) Here is a tweet by a conservative attorney that was just offered to the group for comment on whether it raised issues of professional misconduct:

Ronda ad

It’s certainly a cheesy piece of self-promotion, and there are issues with some of her assertions—her credentials as a “law school dean” are dubious—but this isn’t legal advertising, and if any progressive lawyer running for Congress has ever had an ad flagged by the legal ethicists, I haven’t seen it. This is First Amendment speech…just like what Rudy was suspended for. Legal ethics aren’t supposed to be Red or Blue.

Then there are the historians. They have been perhaps the most biased and corrupt of the academics and scholars since November 2016, and again they proved it with a recent survey on C-Span, which periodically asks participating historians to rate the Presidents using a numerical formula that assesses various qualities of Presidential leadership. Not only is that a lousy way to rank Presidents (or any leaders in any field) it is particularly unfair to eccentric leaders like Trump. What matters in leadership is results. A ship captain who scores high in all categories but whose ship sinks is not a great leader by definition: there are no theoretical great leaders. I learned about the survey after reading one of several “nyah, nyah, nyah!” juvenile columns on Trump’s ranking by the Times’ Gail Collins. See, the fact that a group of almost entirely Democratic and progressive historians rated Trump as the 4th worst President proves the resistance was right all along.

Here’s the survey results:

Presidential ranking

The partisan tells are screamingly obvious. Only a Democratic shill group could place Jack Kennedy, who had great style (it was all a lie) but who accomplished little in his three years other to avoid a nuclear war that his own incompetence nearly triggered, ahead of Ronald Reagan. Obama is 10th, which is a joke: he was an affirmatively bad President, even if one rationalizes the achingly slow financial recovery he oversaw. His legacy was the divided America and collapse of racial trust his failures created. Tenth??

Woodrow Wilson placing anywhere but dead last would be an embarrassment, but he’s a jaw-dropping 13th. I guess other than the fact that he energized Jim Crow, spread the Spanish flu overseas, maneuvered the U.S into World War I in which we had no stake at all, helped engineer the disastrous Treaty of Versailles that led to Hitler’s rise, and secretly allowed his doctor and wife to run the country when he was incapacitated, he was pretty great! Richard Nixon was a better President than Wilson, and so was Donald Trump.

These are our “experts.” Bias made them stupid.

And they wonder why so many Americans don’t trust the “experts” about vaccines?

7 thoughts on “A “Bias Makes Professionals Stupid And Unprofessional” Update

  1. It’s sad that this poll of historians didn’t include someone like Victor Davis Hansen who might have straightened them out about ranking Barack Obama so high in the poll. But facts really don’t matter to these left wing historians. So Wilson will remain near the top of the list. I wonder if they recall his enthusiasm about D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”?

    • “I wonder if they recall his enthusiasm about D.W. Griffith’s ‘Birth of a Nation’?”

      Private WH screening, “It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true”…?

      I reckon that should qualify as enthusiasm.

  2. William Henry Harrison and James Garfield both ahead of Trump? Both should probably be excluded because of their brief tenures in which they accomplished little, especially Harrison, who was dead in thirty days. Or are they saying it’s better to be dead in 30 days than to serve a full term as Trump? And James Garfield ahead of both George W. Bush and Gerald Ford? He served a grand total of six months, two of them disabled by the gunshot wound that was later fatal. I don’t know about placing Wilson dead last, but 13th? Not even close, for the very reasons you mention. Jimmy Carter 26th? And ahead of GWB to boot? Are you kidding? What did he do, other than mire the country in inflation, make us look weak, and sit by helplessly while the hostages sat in Iran for over a year? Andrew Jackson barely cracks the upper half? John Quincy Adams #17? It just looks like they randomly threw the presidents onto the list and let them fall where they might.

    You’ll never get any of them to admit to anything good about Trump, or GWB. Frankly you’re lucky they give Reagan anything close to his due, and don’t place him down the bottom of the list for being senile and oblivious to the AIDS crisis. You’re also lucky Washington and Jefferson don’t drop farther down for being slave owners. They do seem to have fallen out of love with Bill Clinton, although whether that’s due to figuring out he was a mediocrity or to him losing points for Metoo is a question mark. These people are Obama worshippers, and you shouldn’t be surprised he is in the top 10. A lot of lawyers I know would rank him #1. Oh, and ranking him ahead of LBJ? LBJ was probably the most politically skilled president since FDR, maybe the most skilled of the second half of the 20th century and better than any since. BHO was probably the LEAST politically skilled, as shown by his inability to get a justice seated after Scalia died.

    • It does look random, and part of that is the methodology, which is bats, and obviously so. To pick one of my favorite underrated POTUSes: Arthur shocked everyone by using the rest of Garfield’s term to pursue Garfield’s agenda, and was pretty successful. Garfield spent most of his short tenure incapacitated. You have to rate Arthur ahead of Garfield. John Adams, meanwhile, was a disaster as President. Jackson redefined the office, his party and the nation, but he’s ranked below Adams. Nuts. The list should embarrass historians, and its obvious incompetence makes its smear of Trump minimal in impact.

  3. FDR is third?

    I will agree that Obama probably does deserve to be just ahead of LBJ, although I would have put both of them much lower.

    • I can defend FDR as third. Navigating through two existential threats to the US took remarkable leadership skills, and even his many mistakes and examples of misconduct can’t (shouldn’t) overcome that. I’d put him third. LBJ shouldn’t even see Obama in his rear-view mirror. The Civil Rights Act was major achievement of leadership skill and courage at that time. What did Obama accomplish that even comes close?

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