Steve-O-in NJ was inspired by the EA commentary on the Washington Post editors’ batty contention last week that Joe Biden was a “huge” upgrade over President Trump to write this Comment of the Day. I was reminded of it—I had intended to give Steve’s opus COTD honors earlier, but got distracted— when I realized that MSNBC was pushing the same gaslighting, prompting the previous post. The historical truth is that Joe Biden’s White House tenure so far wouldn’t give him a claim to being as a “huge upgrade” over any President using objective standards rather than partisan ones, as in “all Republican Presidents are worse than all Democrat Presidents,” which is the kindest way to explain the Post’s absurd assertion.
I am always interested in the topic of Presidential rankings, so after Steve-O has had his say, I’m going to follow up with an examination of how to assess who is the Worst POTUS Ever. Remember, leadership is also an official area of concentration for Ethics Alarms.
But first, here is Steve-O-of NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post,“Signature Significance: Washington Post Editorial Board’s Fantasy”…
Just more proof that a lot of folks are so blindly partisan that they would not only vote for a ham sandwich if it had a D next to it, but wouldn’t vote for God Himself if He didn’t. Biden is so far headed for being 46th of 46. Grant probably no longer occupies the bottom of the ratings list. Harding was a corrupt, philandering son of a b****, but he had the wisdom to stand back and let the economy correct itself after the Panic of 1921. Obama was pretty feckless, but thankfully didn’t face any big new crises. Clinton was a pig, but the economy didn’t crash on his watch. So far, I can only compare Biden to Carter, the only president in recent history and even not so recent history who I can honestly and truly say has no strengths. Continue reading
One of the more depressing developments during the Post 2016 Election Ethics Train Wreck has been how virtually all of our professions have proven unable to remain objective and trustworthy, instead descending into bias and submitting to peer pressure—exactly the kind of behavior professionals are supposed to have the training and integrity to avoid. Journalists have been the worst in this respect of course, with politicians close behind. However, judges, lawyers, educators, academics, psychiatrists, health officials, performers and, yes, ethicists have also disgraced themselves, among others.
One persistent example of a corrupted profession is historians, and a useful measure of their ethics rot has been Presidential rankings. Here’s one I missed from 2018, when “172 professional historians” were asked to rank the POTUSes from first to last, using a 1-100 scale. A Jimmy Kimmel writer who ran out of current Trump-bashing material circulated this on Twitter, and it is, as they say, “trending.”
“In a new Quinnipiac University Poll, 33% named Barack Obama the worst president since World War II. Only 8% named Obama as the best president.”
1. The conservative blogosphere, and I assume conservative radio and Fox News, are crowing about this. That’s revolting. No citizen or patriot should rejoice at a failed Presidency, which this one surely is.
2.The United States desperately needed–and needs—a uniting, skilled, strong and non-ideological leader with the ability to solve problems while maintaining a positive image of his (or her) iconic office and the United States itself. That a President who promised so much and created such hope has proven to be none of these is no less than a tragedy, and quite possibly a catastrophe.
3. Polls aren’t always meaningless. This one is important, I think, because it shows that the American people are paying attention, and that the incredible covering, bolstering, spinning and enabling efforts by the mainstream media to prop up President Obama and blame others for his inadequacies have failed. This is good news.
4. The bad news, in addition to what I already mentioned above is… Continue reading
“I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president,” President Obama told Diane Sawyer. That is the right attitude, unquestionably. It correctly places responsibility over popularity, accountability over expediency, courage and conviction over cowardice, and generally endorses ethics and duty over unethical considerations.
The statement is admirable, but interestingly, almost completely unrealistic. For historically it has proven virtually impossible for a one-term President to be good, or even successful. Continue reading