Has Barack Obama been the greatest president ever for the US? If not, who has been better?
Not since FDR has a President so flagrantly tried to evade and ignore the restrictions and Separation of Powers imposed on government by the Constitution.
No president EVER has so continuously violated the Constitution by his Executive Orders.
Obama, as Commander in Chief, tied the hands of the military in the field with ridiculously extreme rules of engagement, resulting in the continuous expansion of ISIS to over 30 countries on three continents during his Presidency.
Trump showed how ineffectual Obama was by destroying the ISIS Caliphate in less than 90 days once Obama was out of office.
Obama gutted the senior officer corps for giving him good advice he didn’t like, and reduced the size of the Army and Navy to pre-WW2 levels while capitulating again and again to Putin, Assad, China, North Korea, and Iran.
As the first half-Black President, he presided over the highest Black unemployment rate in decades, lowest Black household income, and did absolutely nothing about the ongoing massacres of Black citizens in major cities like Chicago, while the same time stoking a resurgence of racism across the nation and a resurgence of urban crime directly traceable to his oppression and threats to police officers in major cities.
He weaponized the NSA, FBI, CIA, IRS and State Department against his political enemies, and evidence is emerging that he was directly aware of and may have personally orchestrated the abuse of the FISA Court system and leaking of intelligence information to try to rig the 2016 election for Hillary Clinton.
His Administration records are so incriminating that they were all shipped off to the non-existent Obama Library to hide them from the American public, FOIA requests, or Congressional scrutiny.
He willfully abandoned the US commitment in the Budapest Memorandum to protect Ukraine from invasion in return for their release of nuclear weapons to Russia, and stood by quietly allowing Putin to invade and annex Crimea.
He refused to confront Russia, and refused to give lethal weapons to Ukraine to defend itself, offering only blankets and meal rations.
These actions caused our allies around the world to rightfully fear that America, for the first time in our history, refused to honor its solemn international commitments.
He also stood aside ineffectually as China occupied disputed Spratley Islands in the South China Sea and built military bases to directly threaten The Philippines and Southeast Asia.
He did absolutely nothing to stop Chinese predation on the US economy, including massive dumping of commodities like steel, and rampant theft of intellectual properties.
Then there is the capitulation to Iran under the scandalous “Iran Deal” and the betrayal of US interests by his unauthorized signing of the Paris Climate Accord, a scam that even the architects of the deal at the UN have admitted was all about undermining the United States economy and redistribution of our wealth to other UN member nations who made absolutely no commitments to any actions under the agreement except to take American cash.
And let’s not forget he doubled the national debt, leaving a legacy of hardship for all who follow.
I could keep going much longer, but I have made my point.
Obama was far from the greatest President… he is demonstrably the worst President America ever had.
The best day for America was the day Obama finally left the White House.
Look, I'm a fan of his, and the way a delusional 1/3 of the population talks about him being one of the worst presidents is crazy.
But "One of the Best Presidents" puts him in very elite territory.
I would personally confine that phrase to the first 5*.
6-9 have presidents that were close to the top, however they fell short because of one or two noticeable problems with their tenure (Eisenhower with the run-up of the Military Industrial Complex, LBJ getting us into Vietnam, Truman dropping the bomb, Wilson failing to get the US into the League of Nations.
10-15 have noticeable problems but get rated this highly because of the good feelings the nation experienced in their tenure.
16+ Once the first 15 are passed by, you get presidents that were solid caretakers of the nations, but did little to stand out (i.
e Grover Cleveland or Chester Arthur).
Or Presidents that did some good for America, but had overwhelming negatives (George HW Bush starting the US vs.
Middle Eastern Wars or John Adams with the Alien and Sedition acts)
Now Obama, on the merits of the Iran Nuclear Deal and the Affordable Healthcare Act has some claim to push past the Presidents who get up here primarily because of a robust economy and good will.
If there was any cooperation in the Congress, he could have been be higher.
And the obstruction he faced, coupled with inheriting what could not be, by any of stretch of the imagination, any better than the second worst situation in Presidential History (Possibly the worst, but FDR's First Term with the Depression merits consideration), what he has done has been pretty incredible.
There is no rational argument that keeps him out of the top 15, though early lists of the best Presidents in history probably won't place him in the top 10.
If top 15 makes him "One of the Best Presidents in History," then your answer is yes.
And this is without counting any credit for the racial barriers he broke, which Historically might jump him into the top 5.
A friend of mine said he's the "Jackie Robinson" of politics.
I like this analogy because it's more than simply he was the first black President.
There is no doubt there were better players than Jackie Robinson (Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig); there were even more talented black players (Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige); but considering that Jackie Robinson put up stellar numbers, while facing the pressures of a racially divided nation, amplifies his accomplishments.
He may be the 50th best player in the Hall of Fame (Please don't take this as an insult, this is a statement of greatness), but in terms of significance, he jumps to top 5.
Because he did what he did in the face of what no one ever had to endure, and he did it so well.
I see Barack Obama the same way.
Could he have been better? Sure, and Jackie Robinson could have hit 50 home runs in a season too.
But to accomplish as much as has been accomplished in the last 8 years, starting from such a low point in American History, and with such grace in the face of what I hope is the last gasp for fervent overt racism on the political level in the United States, Barack Obama is special to the nation and its' history.
How special is he? He's Jackie Robinson Special.
In time we may see a push putting Barack Obama in the super elite class of Presidents.
Right Now, it's hard to tell how these things will play out.
But the possibility exists that your kids might see South Dakota looking for a space for a 5th head on Mount Rushmore somewhere down the line.
[*The ranking of Presidents I placed above is meant to demonstrate what it would take to be a top five President, and a Top 15 President, which would go toward the idea of "all-time greatest Presidents.
" I thought it would be a good idea to really see who you'd have to put ahead of him to keep him out of the Top 20.
I consulted a few lists to pick the top 15, trying to eliminate any President that couldn't make the top 10 on anyone's list.
It's not my personal opinion completely, but is influenced by my opinion.
I personally would place FDR ahead of Washington, LBJ ahead of Eisenhower, and Reagan would fall into the bottom half — primarily because he was the philosophical leader of an ideology that wreaked mayhem on the Nation for 30 odd years, to name just a few.
Edit: I wrote Oscar Robertson, where I meant to write Oscar Charleston.
Wish I caught that sooner.
Thanks to the commentor who pointed this error out.
Has Barack Obama been the greatest president ever for the US? If not, who has been better?
Much of what he did either won’t last or was a bad idea in the first place.
During his 2016 State of the Union address, he touted his achievements.
Among them he talked about:
Overall, Barack Obama was a lame-duck president: someone whose administration will leave only a little mark in U.
About the second part of your question, the answer would be most of them.
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Teddy Roosevelt, Bush Senior, practically anyone.
what has he accomplished of value?
Obamacare is a disaster that will be repealed.
It was NOT affordable for the people or the government.
Race relations have deteriorated disastrously under him, caused by his constant blaming of whites.
That method will never work to bring people together.
That is personally my biggest disappointment in him.
By all measurements America was close to being non racist when he came in.
Now we are angry at the aggressive anti white antagonism by black groups and their leadership in this country.
Most people voted for a black man at least once.
Now those same people are angry at the black antagonism and aggression against police and whites in general.
This is disastrous and is now caused by black racism against whites.
That’s what Obama created.
The economy has had the slowest recovery ever seen in history.
He has caused thousands of corporations to flee to overseas locations because of the taxes on corporations here.
Causing loss of jobs everywhere.
He is anti private business and has added 7000 new ‘regulations ‘ on them in his time in office, causing so many to close.
Again causing millions of job losses.
The reason so many are now holding TWO jobs to make ends meet is a result of the Obamacare rules on businesses causing full time workers to have to be given the full insurance, so the businesses take on only part time workers.
Employment is ACTUALLY astronomically high.
In their current method of counting they don’t count the ones who have been on unemployment for more than six months and given up.
Just wait till Trump is in.
They will start counting the REAL way, which includes those, just to make him look bad.
He has endangered the US by not recognizing radical Muslim terrorism.
And by giving up everything on the Iran deal.
He has increased the debt to levels that are so destructive to us that we need a miracle now to save us.
He is like the child in the family that just spends.
He has enlarged the size of government to the point that it HAS to be reduced to survive, which will have to be brutal.
It wasn’t nice of him to do that.
Blacks are now WORSE off than they used to be.
There are many more.
obviously I don’t agree with his policies, and no one has been able to tell me what good he has done.
I am open to hearing it, even though we may disagree that some of them are ‘good’ for us.
Without question George Washington was the best president ever.
Among the others in the top 5, I would out Jefferson, Harding, Coolidge and Reagan.
Obama is the 3rd worst president in US History, behind Woodrow Wilson and FDR respectively numbers 1 and 2.
Let’s go through a laundry list of why I believe this to be true, facts only, that are sourced by mostly left wing / media outlets.
I have broken them down into the following categories: Lawlessness / Unconstitutional, Corruption, Cronyism, Hypocrisy, Waste and outright lies — you may notice some are repeated because they belong in more than one category.
Unfortunately, with as long as this took to research, I must confess I believe I am missing several large aspects under the “lawless” / “unconstitutional” section.
LAWLESSNESS / UNCONSTITUTIONAL
For a list of 1180 documented examples, please feel free to use this list from an author who took the time to source them all using mostly left leaning sites.
I give credit to this author for those of the examples above which I leveraged from his article.
This answer comes from much my own writings.
Don't get me wrong, Obama wasn't completely awful and he received a poisoned chalice from Bush, who hadn't been able to completely recover from the Clinton Administrations mistakes; however, he is not the best in comparison to other presidents such as
Jefferson was a Political Genius.
He had a lot of experience from being Secretary of State and Vice President before he was elected President, he was also Ambassador to France.
He was no stranger to foreign affairs.
Obama was sworn into office while there was a war going on in Afghanistan.
Not a great kick start for Obama.
Jefferson doubled the Size of the US, due to his relationship with the French and Jefferson also wrote the Declaration of Independence, establishing The US as it's own fully-functioning Country, while Obama just has some good trading arrangements with Europe and some Asian Countries and passed some laws that the US citizens didn't like.
Madison was a military leader and a good one at that.
He fought in the War of 1812 and, despite the White House being burned down by Canada and Britain, lead his Country through thick and thin.
While Obama didn't need to worry about things like Canadian invasions, he seems like the kind of guy who wouldn't be the best during an invasion on his homeland.
Madison also wrote the Bill of Rights and was known as “The father of the Constitution” and is definitely one of the better presidents.
If there was one thing Lincoln achieved that instantly makes him better than Obama, he freed American Slaves.
Once again, while Obama didn't need to worry about Slavery, his biggest achievement was the killing of Osama bin Laden and Obamacare.
Equality for all people in America is a slightly bigger achievement than killing a terrorist mastermind and better American health care.
Washington was a national hero.
He defined what it is to be “American” and was essential in the victory during the American Revolutionary War.
He saved the Country at several times through the War before he was elected President, and alongside the other Founding Fathers established a high-functioning and effective form of Republican Government.
He is definitely a Saint for the Americans, and definitely one of the greatest Presidents, or THE greatest President ever.
He might be the worst.
Slowest recovery in Modern American history
Only President ever without a single year of 3.
Most warmongering President ever – most days at war of any President, most bombs dropped, hundreds of war crimes, 7 illegal wars
Claimed and practiced the right to murder American citizens for their political speech without ANY due process, based only on his own decision making
Caught lying about his SOS’s illegal homebrew server
Crippled the Inspectors General across the federal government
Caught weaponizing the IRS, FBI, BLM, BATF and other federal agencies against his political opponents
Rewrote bankruptcy law to steal money and give it to his supporters
Ran the least transparent administration in history
Handed 1/6 of the economy over to lobbyists, initiating a death spiral for the American healthcare industry
Added as much to the debt in 8 years as every President before him combined
Prosecuted as many whistleblowers using the Espionage Act as every President before him combined
Overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court more often than every President before him combined
Left basically no legislative legacy behind, because of his complete refusal to obey constitutional procedure; bragged about his ability to (unconstitutionally) write law without Congress
Prosecuted 0 people responsible through corruption and graft for causing the largest economic crash in 80 years
Exploited the crisis to enrich his buddies
Printed money nonstop for 8 years, handing it to the rich to enjoy and profit off of before the trailing inflation arrived, creating the largest wealth inequality in over a century
Created the largest welfare state in history while overseeing the largest drop in workforce participation of any President
Barack Obama’s most similar comparison a s president would be Woodrow Wilson – a smooth-talking, bigot of a college doofus with no real-life experience, whose narcissistic belief that his intellect is special and profound allowed him to ignore the constitution and rule of law, fucking up basically everything he touched, at home and abroad and he left behind a world FAR more dangerous, and on the edge of financial and societal collapse.
Wilson gave us Hitler, a great depression and a century of violence and hate.
Obama’s legacy is less than 2 years old, and the world seems to be barreling at a break-neck speed toward the same conclusion.
We won't know for a while.
Some things which may turn out to be noteworthy:
I agree with that our definition of Great is reserved for those who overcame a great crisis.
If you mean the president that did more to get the country back on the right track, I nominate Rutherford B.
All he is remembered for by most now is that he “stole” an election from Democrat Samuel Tilden and had one term as president before being beaten.
There is so much more to it than that.
The nation had just survived one of the worst presidencies ever: US Grant was a great man, but a horrible president, and corruption ran rampant, though Grant never really knew it.
If he had run for a third term, the electorate would have voted for him again, because, after all, he was US Grant!
In the election of 1876, the nation was divided by a thick black partisan line, much like today, except that the Republicans and Democrats didn’t even resemble their namesakes today.
Hayes was a compromise candidate at the Republican convention because there was so much infighting among the corrupt inner circle of the party.
On the day of the election, Tilden probably won fair and square.
He DID win the popular vote.
Hayes did not “steal” the election, but his party probably did.
Two sets of electoral votes were turned in by several states, and it boiled down to a settlement by an electoral commission of 7 Republicans and 7 Democrats, plus a Supreme Court justice.
They all voted strict party line, including the Republican-appointed justice, and Hayes “won.
Hayes said he would not seek a second term so he would not have the compromise of a campaign during his administration.
He put several Democrats in his cabinet, which angered fellow Republicans who had hoped for the positions.
He fired the corrupt customs commissioner in New York, a favorite of the Tammany Hall bosses.
They were determined to make him pay.
Hayes spent his administration trying to destroy the “spoils system,” and tried to set some form of civil service reform in place.
He was incorruptible and open and honest about everything.
When the 1880 Republican convention began, the party insiders wanted to make sure he was not renominated, but it didn’t matter since he wasn’t running.
So they nominated James Garfield, and as a special thumb to the nose, they nominated the fired customs commissioner, Chester A.
Arthur, to be vice president.
Garfield won, and was subsequently assassinated by — surprise — a disappointed office seeker, and the corrupt Arthur was suddenly president.
Arthur had an overnight conversion, and pushed several of Hayes’ reforms which had been rejected by a vindictive congress.
He actually managed to dismantle much of the corrupt system of which he had been a member.
Hayes probably should not have been president.
He had the daunting task of facing a party that resented his winning, in addition to his own party who felt betrayed by him.
But if he had not been president during that corrupt time, we would all be worse for it.
Wow! First a disclaimer.
I believe Bush and Trump, while different from Obama, are about equally as bad.
I judge rulers by how much liberty (or tyranny) they advocate and directly support first and foremost, and by how they inspire and encourage the best for humanity, both through rhetoric and how they behave.
I believe Obama (and Bush Jr.
& Trump so far) are somewhere on the 6th – 10th worst presidents the US has had.
The top spots on the worst presidents list are, in order, FDR, Wilson, LBJ, Lincoln and Hoover.
After that, there are several candidates for the #6 spot, and while both Obama & Bush could be contenders there, I think they more or less followed a script that was already written, so get a pass to a few slots lower (but still really bad for going on along with it).
Specifically about Obama:
Was pre-emptively given Nobel Peace Prize.
Many later regretted that shameful and erroneous gesture.
He was hardly a president of peace and was one of the worst foreign relations presidents the US has ever had.
Completely sold out on his campaign promise to reduce deficits.
You can watch videos of many times he aggressively (and correctly) condemned Bush Jr’s deficit spending only to, once in office, double down on Bush’s malfeasance, “besting” by a wide margin Bush’s horrific record of deficit spending.
The impact of Bush’s & Obama’s deficit spending is already being felt, but will significantly and deleteriously impact the US economy and the younger generation well into the future.
ACA was both a priori predictably, and in practice, an abysmal failure.
US healthcare is far more expensive, treatment more scarce, and quality of treatment on the decline.
Institutionalized coercive wealth transfer and restrictions on peaceful/ethical choices cannot enrich society.
Obama et al proved this…again.
Guantanamo: failure by his own defined standard.
Iran & Middle East.
I already said he was one of the worst foreign relations diplomats in US presidential history, but his lack of clarity around a (not even sure he had a) vision for US policy in the Middle East was especially weak.
Look at the content of his acts and the the level of stability and violence in the Middle East.
He turned a Bush created bad situation and managed to make it worse.
Doubled down on Bush’s arming of Govt agencies and beefing up the DHS.
This is last, but certainly not least: He actively stirred up racial hatred, palpably increasing racial tension during his reign.
The only notable positive things he did for society during his reign were:
I have ZERO idea how one can come to the conclusion that Obama was even in the top half of our 45 presidents.
I mean just seeing how his own party has come unraveled since his election should tell you volumes.
He came into office with the goodwill of most of the country.
He came into office with most of the country (even his opponents) starving for change.
He came into office with his party practically monopolizing US government, holding both houses.
Now, both houses and the presidency and most state government are in the opposite hands.
I mean this guy, with the celebrity smile, athletic persona, good looks, and adorable family, could go nowhere but up.
Yet his presidency was bland at best, political discourse has been at an all time low, racial tensions have so badly regressed, I would imagine that one could awaken from a coma after 50 years and think that nothing changed.
Now, not all of this is because of him even indirectly, but it still weighs under his admin.
I am going to have to assume that the person who fielded this question is not just an Obama fan, but a die hard religious fanatic of the man.
So I will attempt to answer this from the viewpoint of one that would like Obama or his promises,
War— He took office when America was war weary and sick of the name Bush.
He was elected to be the Anti Bush.
Instead we have had the longest span of war, actually topping the war in Vietnam, we did manage to get out of Iraq, but with such disastrous results as to be negligible.
In fact, he has actually invaded other countries (perhaps not on the same scale as Bush's Iraq fiasco), displaced Quadaffi thus leaving another dangerous power vacuum in another dangerous region of the world.
Which leads me to the next disastrous aspect of Obama's foreign policy,
foreign policy— As stated above, Obama managed to do the exact thing for which he often scathingly criticized republicans—- unplanned, ill advised, ill knowing interventional policies that all too often left countries in far worse shape than before.
(See Libya example above) There was not a drone attack that he did not like.
His immediate withdrawal from Iraq, was ill advised, and so he simply fired the Generals that cautioned him against it.
Guess they were right, ISIS formed right under his nose, and in mere weeks, expanded to swallow up two countries, occupy a substantial presence in many more.
Obama, by his own admission, had zero answer, "JV" and "We will simply contain them" comes to mind.
And with his team of strict obedient "yes men" around him, they only got bigger.
Syrians and Iraqis, desperate not to live a horror that would nearly make Rwanda look like a circus, fled to Europe.
This caused a migration crisis not seen since WWII, and resulted in its own frightening wave of grassroots right wing activism that nearly saw Holocaust deniers be elected in places like France.
I still don't think people see the morbid irony of Obama's failed policies turning one of the most liberal corners of the globe nearly uber right.
Not to be outdone, after watching his lovely creation of ISIS douse gasoline on a kid and burn him alive, our president who had no problem calling our servicemen 'torturers', simply told Americans at a Christian breakfast "get off of our high horse".
I could never imagine Truman or FDR saying such a thing after uncovering the horrors and atrocities of the Nazi death camps.
Economy/Obamacare—Again, I know I am going to get inundated with "84 months of job growth" but what kind of jobs were they? I mean sprinkling 200 burger King and Walmart jobs out there following a near depression was probably not going to cut it.
The food stamp and federal assistance numbers were the highest since the Carter admin ( another jewel of executive governance), or maybe since the depression itself.
consumer and investor confidence were at all time lows.
Aside from Obama's "you did not build that" comments venomously hurled at business owners, (a disturbing indicator of what he truly felt about the free market), his TTP and other horrid policies to send substantially paying jobs overseas to reward countries that still practice child labor.
Obamacare– Again, I lived in France for a while.
I know what socialized medicine looks like.
And yes, while it has its drawbacks, 90% of it works and for the most part, people are relatively happy with it.
I don't think it would fly here so much, not due to its lack of effectiveness, but too many well off people (of both sides) wont want to relinquish their john Hopkins, Bethesda, or Northside Medical, state of the art, top notch technological care.
I fail to see how Obamacare even remotely resembled that which liberals wanted to see done.
Basically, you took the middle class, erased them from their plan, many with which they were content.
You eliminated their doctor, and raised their premium five fold, and increased their deductible to an amount, so unrealistic it eradicated the very point of having insurance.
OH but wait! They were forced to purchase, as enforced by the IRS.
SOOO liberal! lol
Even Bill Clinton could not help inquiring as to the insanity of this bill.
And please with the comments about "how congress would not help him" They did not need to, Obamacare did a great job of vindicating every doomsday prediction.
Oh and having the architect of that bill laugh about the "stupidity of American voters"
Legacy— This is the most important one.
How can a president be even close to the best, whose legacy and whose main accomplishments have already been flipped and eradicated not even a year after leaving office.
Say what you will about FDR, but many of the programs of the New Deal still remain in place.
(yes, I realize some of them could be broke or bankrupt) Say what you will about LBJ, conservatives hate him for apparent reasons, and liberals hate him for the Vietnam war, but most of the Great Society is still intact.
Obama's Iran Deal, Paris Accord, and parts of Obama care are already reversed, leaving Obama bereft of a legacy.
And good for it! Never should a president sweep aside the branch of government that represents the people, making laws via his "pen and phone".
Never should we let a president turn our country into his own African Dictatorship.
While I personally applaud the Iran Nuclear Deal, I hate the way it was passed, and a bit frightened by it.
It is my sincere hope that Trump's being able to erase Obama's legacy sends a resounding message to future presidents that attempt likewise.
In sum, Obama had one of the grandest opportunities ever to be not only an effectual president, but a landmark historically iconic president, one to even over shadow JFK.
Instead he was kind of a pariah, angered half the country, added and multiplied the division he promised to heal.
Everything I hated about G Bush, his attack on civil liberties, his war mongering, and his unraveling of his own party-by moving them to such an extreme, Obama outdid brilliantly!
Obama rendered his party irrelevant, when given their appeal over a broad array of demographics, should be monopolizing our government.
And even more so, Obama made way for Donald Trump.
Obama's abysmal failures in the economy, healthcare, and on the world stage, created a hopelessness, frustration and anger that led to the election of Trump.
Actually, the states that really tilted the election toward Trump (Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania) were all solid democrat states.
The election of 2016 was defined primarily by 'hopelessness' and 'frustration'.
wonderful legacy! In fact, one could say that Trump is the Frankenstein created by Obama's abysmal presidency, in the same manner Obama was the creation of Bush's failure.
With the country on its knees in 2008 President Obama delivered:
– Unemployment Rate below 6%
– Housing market back from the dead
– Stock market rocking
– American car industry brought back from the gates of hell
– Two wars ended
– Osama Bin Laden taken down not with an entire army – but with a team of 12 navy seals; Israeli style, clinical.
– American Economy rocking unlike the rest of the G8 (Canada is not doing too bad :))
Do I need to go on .
Healthcare for all who need it like other wealthy nations .
, after 50 years.
!! For me, he is the best President since Lincoln.
I get it .
for some folks he's Black so these amazing unbelievable achievements don't really mean much.
Not by any stretch of the imagination has Barry been the greatest.
Of course any answer I give is my opinion only.
What are you smoking?
The greatest presidents as ranked by various groups of scholars and historians are generally thought to be:
— George Washington, who saved the US at least three times before he became president, and pretty much defined what it means to be president.
— Abraham Lincoln, who held the country together during the Civil War and was murdered for his trouble.
— Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and virtually defined American Values; doubled the size of the US and prohibited the importation of slaves.
— Theodore Roosevelt, war hero and outdoorsman, responsible for the National Park System and numerous progressive reforms.
— Franklin Roosevelt, who battled both the Great Depression and the Supreme Court, over the justices' slavish devotion to the robber barons.
– Harry Truman, who turned the US from isolationism into a world power.
— Woodrow Wilson, who introduced the income tax, governed during WW I, introduced numerous progressive policies that benefited working Americans, and campaigned for the League of Nations.
— Dwight Eisenhower, war hero, five-star general, first commander of NATO, creator of NASA; He battled Joseph McCarthy, and warned of the growing power of the military-industrial complex, which he presciently predicted would drag the nation into war after war.
You think Barack Obama walks with these giants?
He was one of the least effective Senators, and spent his earlier life in academia.
He campaigned on a promise of "Hope and Change," but has delivered little of either.
The economy sucks, the big banks were never checked and he never brought anyone from the Bush Administration to justice.
Not only has he not reformed the civil liberties abuses of his predecessor, he's expanded some, making official propaganda legal and authorizing the military to detain without trial American citizens on American soil, a proposal a federal judge called "Unconstitutional on its face.
" He's ignored the growing problems with terrorism and illegal immigration, opening the door for clowns like Trump.
He didn't close Guantanamo as he promised and expanded the surveillance state.
He promised to lead the most transparent administration in history, and instead cracked down on federal whistleblowers to an unprecedented degree.
He promised single-payer health care for all and instead came up with a plan that mostly enriches the insurance companies.
The "transparency" president spent seven years secretly negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has been decried by civil libertarians on both sides of the aisle.
True, he received the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he had any conscience, he would have returned it, because he did nothing to earn it.
He was awarded it simply because he was not George W Bush, generally regarded as one of the absolute, all-time worst presidents.
I'm not saying he hasn't done some good things: Increased recognition of rights for people regardless of sexual orientation is one.
The Iran deal will help ensure that the Ayatollahs don't foment a nuclear cloud over a Western city anywhere in the immediate future, and that's a very good thing, but the broader question is, have his policies overall led to a world where terrorists are less of a threat than when he took office? Only an idiot thinks so.
So is he one of the best? Only in his dreams.
Is he one of the worst? Probably not.
I'd put him somewhere in the middle, below Bill Clinton, in my opinion.
No, I don't think so.
As to who’s been better: plenty.
Heard of Lincoln? Washington? FDR? T.
? Truman? Eisenhower? Reagan? Many more.
I voted for this president (once), and I still do support him on several social issues, but I certainly wouldn't rank him among the best presidents.
I'm not a rabid partisan, but felt that someone should hop in on this lovefest and introduce some balancing points to consider.
So, here are some elements of the counterargument:
1) National debt will have doubled on his watch.
By all projections, he will depart office having overseen a doubling of the national debt, an all-time record increase, to $19-20 trillion.
When he entered office, the national debt was approximately $10 trillion.
Think about that for a moment — during his administration, we will have added as much to the national debt as all other administrations combined.
Just like a household's debt, that level of national debt accumulation can present the illusion of prosperity yet mask deep-seated problems that sooner or later can come home to roost, reducing future options and/or prosperity.
We have enjoyed historically-low interest rates for the majority of his presidency.
When interest rates inevitably rise by just a percentage or two, it's going to be a huge fraction of annual national outlays.
Our national debt is roughly equal to our GDP.
And here's the bad news: this doesn't even accurately measure the increase in going-forward liabilities, such as major new entitlements already set in motion during his administration, as well as the ones he's proposing.
He's done essentially nothing to change the trajectory of this curve, though he's had opportunities.
Who criticizes debt expansion? Well, Senator Obama.
During the 2008 campaign, he characterized adding "just" $4 trillion to the national debt over 8 years as "unpatriotic.
" The tally he will have overseen over the same timeframe will be roughly $9-10 trillion.
I don't think it's "unpatriotic", but I do think it's avoidable and unwise.
2) He's done nothing significant to rein in entitlements, the biggest driver of the trajectory of the graph above.
He's had at least two clear opportunities to do so, and did nothing.
Though he formed the Bowles-Simpson commission, he let their very reasonable, bipartisan recommendations about entitlement reform fall completely flat.
A major lost opportunity in my view.
And he let the "Grand Bargain" opportunity slip away — even the Washington Post (no right-wing rag, that) said it was because the president moved the goalposts: .
Erskin Bowles (D) himself explains the lack of any progress from the Bowles-Simpson commission this way:
And perhaps more fully this way:
In fact, a solid argument can be made that the president is not only not trying to structurally reform entitlements, he's making the long-term economic picture far worse.
The ACA puts huge pressure on Medicare, Medicaid, as the vast majority of recipients of the ACA get subsidies, and "risk corridors" ensure big payouts to insurance companies in many scenarios.
The president was wrong about the sequester — though the idea emanated from the White House, he later fought bitterly against it, and repeatedly characterized the modest cutbacks as a looming disaster.
Yet when it went into effect, he was proven utterly wrong; we're still "living with" the sequester today, and very few people notice it.
3) He dramatically underestimated the rise of militant Islamism, and has done little to reduce the threat.
After calling ISIS a "JV team", and not pushing harder for a status of forces agreement with Iraq, and passing on opportunities to head off the growth of ISIS in its early stages in Syria, we've seen a marked increase in world terror organizations and the territory they control.
His administration conflates/obfuscates the issue (e.
, "violent extremism", "workplace violence") rather than confronting the issue by galvanizing allied support, standing up for freedom of speech, staunchly defending western values.
The killing of bin Laden was a resounding success, but do we really think that al Qaeda is on the run? Do we continue to believe that Yemen is the model of future success, as he claimed? Do we really believe that ISIS is being rolled back? Is he doing us any favors in confronting the challenges by downplaying them or failing to characterize them accurately?
4) He repeatedly misrepresented (some would fairly say, lied about) his signature achievement the ACA, and deferred to Democratic Congressional leaders to ram it through in such a partisan way that it had no bipartisan support.
The way in which this was rammed through Congress left it with enormous holes with no chance of being fixed in Congress, putting it in real jeopardy of being significantly cut back by future administrations, the Courts and Congress.
No, "if you like your healthcare plan", you cannot keep it, "period".
No, "if you like your doctors" you cannot keep them.
No, it will not save the typical family of 4 $2500/year.
No, we cannot do all this without adding "one dime to the deficit".
Regardless of whether you may think the ends justified the means, has there ever been a social program of such magnitude so deeply, repeatedly misrepresented in its selling phase?
He also botched the rollout, dramatically, wasting hundreds of millions, and eroding confidence in his signature achievement.
5) He's missed several opportunities to improve foreign relations.
Honestly — in which parts of the world do we have better relations than we did before he took office? (Cuba, certainly, and I happen to support him on that.
) But where else? Whether it be not standing strong with the people of Ukraine, doing the brain-dead "Russian Reset" or telling Medvedyev that "he'd have more flexibility after the election", naively underestimating the Russian geopolitical ascendance, coursening our relations with Israel at virtually every opportunity, being asleep at the wheel (or nowhere to be found) during the deadly embassy attacks in Libya (and deeply mis-characterizing them later), spying on Germany, not standing up for freedom of speech or standing with the people of Paris.
he pushed for involvement in Libya (albeit "leading from behind") and called that a new model for intervention, yet it's hard to applaud in hindsight.
It's hard to find a single major power in the world where we truly have better relations than we did six years ago.
6) The majority of Americans don't feel we're on the right track, nor do they feel the president is fundamentally truthful.
It's hard to be one of the "best presidents ever" if you end with a majority of Americans feeling that we're on the wrong track, and a majority of Americans viewing you as untruthful.
7) He's not demonstrated he's a good negotiator.
Whether it be the negotiations in the ACA (which saddled his administration with zero chance of legislative fixes and huge risks of major subsidy components being overturned in via the King case via SCOTUS), or the Bowe Bergdahl trade, or the "red line" in Syria (where he gave Putin a chance to step in and forge a deal), or other instances, I don't think the president has shown that he's a great negotiator.
In the opening of relations with Cuba (which I do support and think is long overdue), he got virtually no important concession for a set of benefits that the Cuban government has desperately wanted for decades.
In fact, his administration negotiated with terrorists; kinda thought we said we never do that – not sure that move makes us safer in the long-run.
8) It's hard to point to direct actions he took that spurred economic recovery — it's much more likely these were the result of Fed low interest rate policies, expansion of debt (see #1), inevitable economic secular recovery, low oil prices (which occurred despite his policies), perhaps aided slightly by TARP and auto-recovery efforts pushed on by his predecessor.
To those that disagree, can you name the specific economic policies the president pushed that resulted in the gradual recovery? And is it really a strong recovery, when median incomes have actually declined on his watch, and economic inequality expanded?
I was not one that believed that the president was responsible for economic downturn (he inherited a huge one), but I also can't really create a very long list of actions he did that helped the recovery.
"Shovel-ready-jobs" were a chimera, and certainly didn't pull us out of a slump, though this stimulus perhaps made it a little softer.
The dreaded "sequester" wasn't anywhere close to the "sky-is-falling" disaster he forecast it to be.
Rather, it was the continued low interest rates, plummeting oil prices, and inevitable secular rebound that most created an unevenly-recovering economy.
And, with respect to low interest rates, see #1.
9) This is more of an opinion than based in hard facts, but in my view he has chosen to make the office of president far more partisan and in many cases unilateral than I've seen it my lifetime, with the only exception of Richard M.
The president appears to be perpetually in campaign mode, even when he had large majorities in both houses of Congress.
He's missed very real opportunities to bring us together: classes, races.
In my view, he has a destructive, corrosive penchant for misrepresenting and strawman-arguing the other side's point for them, which evaporates any chance for compromise before it even begins.
I don't like the combative, frequently divisive tone that this president is taking.
I don't like the stiff-arming of reasonable proposals, or the constant campaign-mode as opposed to sitting down with the other side and engaging with them behind closed doors, socially, what-have-you.
I don't like the overreach in some things that might be unconstitutional (for instance, his many constant modifications of the ACA, which were not allowed by statute, and are actually modifications of settled law.
Like Jonathan Turley, a left-leaning constitutional scholar, I think this is a very dangerous precedent being set.
10) During his watch, his own party has suffered tremendous (historic) losses at the Congressional, Gubernatorial, and State Congressional levels.
His own personal popularity aside, it's hard to make the case that he's one of the greatest presidents ever when voters have fairly resoundingly rejected his party up and down the ballot over eight years.
He also left the DNC more than $24 million in debt by introducing OFA (Obama for America), which sucked a lot of money out of the DNC.
This had the side-effect of the DNC signing a very shady deal with Secretary Clinton’s campaign, letting the latter basically control the DNC well before a nominee was chosen.
UPDATED, POST MUELLER REPORT
11) During his watch, the Russians interfered in both the 2014 and 2016 elections.
President Obama knew about it, and did little.
(opinion piece for CNN)
12) During his watch, the Clinton team paid for opposition research and somehow it managed to get to the Obama FBI and DOJ, who then used it as the basis for a FISA warrant, which included electronic surveillance of the political opposition.
It is hard not to be very troubled by how flimsy the basis was for evidence which allowed this to occur.
Our national security apparatus should not be weaponizable by any administration.
There are things I do like about the president, but at a minimum, this list must be considered in evaluating his legacy.
Mr, Obama was the worst President in modern history, eclipsing even Jimmy Carter.
He was and is a post-American globalist, dedicated to the abolition of our national sovereignty and the removal of our rights as citizens from inherent to government-granted.
He opened our borders to all-comers, among whom were terrorists and criminal gangs, and increased our national debt more than the cumulative total of all the debt increases of all the Presidents in our history.
He took the Bush recession (a fellow Globalist, who set the stage for him) and turned it into a near depression, with record unemployment and record numbers of people on public assistance.
His goal was to “transform” us fro what we are to a Euro-socialist state, with a health care system modeled on Britain’s (and look how well theirs is doing) and a top-down government model a’la Canada.
He was the most pro-abortion (that is to say, hr most well-disposed to the slaughter of infants in the womb) President we’ve ever had, and he used he instruments of government (particularly, a’la Mr.
Nixon, the IRS) as political weapons against those who disagreed with him.
He got along well with the EU types, because he was of common mind with them: the State is supreme, the people are children to be cared for but kept in check and national borders and cultures are obsolete.
Obama is a post-modernist, denying the objective character of reality.
Ideologically, he is, again, a Euro-socialist who was mentored by hard-core Communists.
If one’s vision of America is its destruction, replaced by a socialist autocracy under a totally different constitution,, Mr.
Obama was the greatest President we’ve ever had.
By any other standard, he was the worst.
The best? The best are the ones who kept us strong and stable under the rule of law as guided b7y the Basic Law of the Land, the Constitution.
I’d look to FDR, JFK and messers.
Eisenhower and Reagan.
Trump, despite the fact that it has somehow become fashionable to bash him, and despite all the gratuitous garbage that’s being dumped on him by the entrenched D.
bureaucracy and their vassals in the media, will be up there with them.
Everyone on my list has made mistakes.
Humans do that.
But under their leadership, the nation recovered from extreme conditions and prospered.