July 29, 2017

Speaking of educating the youngsters...

These kids today don't know what a real failed presidency looks like.  They'll get one now, kicking off nicely with the veto-proof vote (House 419-3, Senate 98-2) to toughen sanctions on Russia and strip the President of his ability to weaken them.  He's going to sign the paper, because getting a veto overridden would only draw further attention to what a weak man he is.

But, say you're 35 or something...this is all new.

  • Obama, eight years of effective executive leadership.
  • Bush W, eight years of effective executive leadership I did not agree with, by Cheney.
  • Clinton, eight years of wildly entertaining but generally effective leadership.
  • Bush Sr., four years of effective leadership, got caught between Clinton and the recession.
  • Reagan, eight years of LEGENDARY, though revisionist views deserve attention.  Still, whatever you thought of Iran-Contra and all the rest of it, it's hard to argue the Reagan and his team were incompetent.  To paraphrase Marco Rubio, they knew exactly what they were doing.
So, that's five reasonably successful presidencies in a row, from an executive leadership standpoint.  But before that, man, it was rough, four failed presidencies in a row, on my reckoning:
  • Carter, four years, lost Congress - the best comparison with the current executive, I think
People of Monrovia!  The man to my left will be dead in two years!
  • Ford, couldn't get re-elected, noted for Mayaguez Incident, WIN program.
  • Nixon was a competent executive, but of course resigned for various reasons.
  • Johnson, attempting to micromanage his way to victory in Vietnam, was knocked out of the '68 campaign by Eugene McCarthy.
Never forget:  1968-1980, one bad wipeout after another.  As fucked up as Trump has been, us old guys have seen stuff like this before.  The best thing would be for us to come to our collective senses and nip this shit in the bud.  Let's hope that Russia vote starts a trend.

I'm with Lawrence Summers:  we do not want to learn what we can get used to.


Blogger VMM said...

C-SPAN's 2017 Presidential Historians Survey doesn't support your case re: George W. Bush vs. Carter.

Crisis Leadership: Bush 52.3, Carter 40.0
Administrative Skills: Carter 49.1, Bush 45.5
Vision/Setting Agenda: Carter 50.8, Bush 46.3
Overall Rank: Carter 26, Bush 33

Comparing Trump to Carter at this point is tremendously generous to Trump. Trump's ceiling is Warren G. Harding. Only James Buchanan will (I pray) prevent him from being the worst US President in history.

July 30, 2017 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger VMM said...

Here's a dissenting opinion on Reagan's presidency by Michael Render.

July 30, 2017 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger The Other Front said...

I note for the record that Carter avoided collaboration with Russia and nuclear confrontation of various kinds.

July 30, 2017 at 6:46 PM  

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