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ibstubro's avatar

Who do you think was the worst US president in history?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) March 8th, 2016

Feel free to give reasons for your opinion.

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36 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Depends on your party affiliation and perhaps age. Dems would say W. or maybe Einsenhower. Repubs would say Obama or maybe FDR. I doubt anyone would agree on any one president.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Not clouding the issue with political affiliation and properly looking over the whole history of the Presidency (the only way an answer can have real meaning) it’s generally believed that William Taft was the worst President so far

Some might say Woodrow Wilson as he signed over our monetary system to the private bank cartels. To his credit a letter he wrote shortly after describes his doubt and regret.

ucme's avatar

The winner of November’s election, come January when they’re sworn in.
Until then though, i’m going to say Dubya mostly because he was & remains thick as pig shite.

ibstubro's avatar

Easy for me to understand, @Hawaii_Jake & @ucme. Easy.

Eisenhower is a new one on me, @Pachy. I’ve never heard much vitriol aimed at him. He put the breaks on McCarthy and started NASA.

This is a William Howard Taft quote from the White House web site that I find humorous @SecondHandStoke:
“I don’t remember that I ever was President.”
Said after serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

filmfann's avatar

Grant, while a terrific war hero, sucked hind tit as a president. The list of scandals in his administration is ominous.

My personal choice would be W.
He failed on so many levels.

@Pachy I am a democrat, and I don’t know anyone who would consider Eisenhower in the ten worst list.

stanleybmanly's avatar

As far as long term consequences are concerned, I fear W will probably walk away with the trophy. We’ve been lucky in that our worst Presidents weren’t in place at the times most critical to the country. W is distinguished in that he wasn’t confronted with a crisis. Rather , without provocation he managed to commit the single greatest strategic blunder in the country’s history. It’s difficult to overstate the magnitude of the mistake in Iraq, but there’s no denying the somber and expanding repercussions that are sadly destined only to vindicate my choice. But don’t worry. Judging from current events, a new winner may lurk just around the corner.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I can’t decide between Reagan and Bush II. Reagan, among other things, gave legitimacy to the Christian fundamentalist Right, a ridiculous legacy we are forced to put up with even today. There are so many things about Reagan that jolted this country in the wrong direction, there are not enough picabytes on the internet to hold it all. The popular revisionist history making this shithead a hero sickens me.

Georgie boy for his WMD scam that has resulted in wars that have destabilized the Middle East, given birth to terrorist groups of unprecedented brutality and violence and drained our economy. He not only broke Iraq, he didn’t even try to fix it afterwards and the world has inherited the results. Not enough picabytes for this one either.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Objectively, we should mention James Buchanan. After his time as president, the country actually split in two.

ibstubro's avatar

I looked at Grant, @filmfann, and Reconstruction had to be a near impossible time to govern. He seems to have been high on enforcing civil rights of the time and terrible at economics.

I’m with @filmfann, @stanleybmanly and @Espiritus_Corvus in hoping that there will never be a worse President of the United States than W. Bush.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Reagan, @Espiritus_Corvus because I was young and impressionable at the time. After Nixon, Ford (SNL) and Carter, he seemed to restore the standing of the United States in the world. I’ve since come to reject or doubt many of Reagan’s policies. I have an even greater fondness for Carter, and much the same doubt much of that founded at the time).

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@ibstubro I don’t consider presidents before Teddy Roosevelt in this question because the effects of their decisions rarely affected the whole world. There were some severely inept ones like the alcoholic Andrew Johnson, whom I hold responsible for Reconstruction which continued to divide our country unnecessarily, but his ineptitude only affected us. After Teddy Roosevelt, we became a global influence to be reckoned with. After WWII, we became a Superpower. If it rained in Washington, the rest of the world opened their umbrellas.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Possibly James Buchanan. He was a weak pup who’s policies directly led to the “Bleeding Kansas” crisis and, in turn, to the Civil War.

He’s, I think, largely overlooked because his presidency ended right before the Civil War began, and thus he’s overshadowed by Lincoln and the events of that war.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Andrew Johnson

Calvin Coolidge

Rutherford B Hayes was not much good

And Bush II

Darth_Algar's avatar


Indeed, Teddy’s pretty much the reason we became a would player. While other presidents were content to mostly stay out of the affairs of other countries, Roosevelt was an unapologetic imperialist.

Seek's avatar

I’m with @Espiritus_Corvus. 100%.

jerv's avatar

JFK; we need a calm, collected president who doesn’t crack under pressure, but he completely lost his head.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Harrison Ford.

flutherother's avatar

Bush II for destroying Iraq and for detaining suspects without trial and torturing them.

MooCows's avatar

Obama…..need I say more?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It’s always the most recent President and the current one who gets the blame.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

George W. Bush

filmfann's avatar

@jerv. Just partially.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I think many old people in my country would scream: “Nixon”. He was the center of jokes and ridicule and disgust during the war, for an obvious reason.

Jaxk's avatar

Let’s see, I find it amusing that everyone wants to shoot at Bush because of Iraq but seem to give Johnson a pass for doing much worse. Johnson escalated to war in Veit Nam under false pretenses and we sustain 60,000 casualties as a result. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin? And as far as destabilizing the Middle East, I think much credit goes to Obama for Libya, Egypt and Syria.

Carter was always my pick for worst although Obama has challenged on that and may have surpassed. Still I think I’ll go with Carter. Highest interest rates in history and the worst bumbling of a hostage rescue ever imagined.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yeah that’s right. Jimmy personally flew that helicopter as well as performed all that mechanical work in maintaining it. Johnson was handed the Vietnam war & Obama was handed Bush’s recession. And I feel certain no punishment suitable can be determined for whoever handed W a high school diploma. Johnson’s Vietnam is our 2nd greatest strategic blunder, but the one thing distinguishing all the democratic candidates from W is that George alone is going to wear responsibility for his fiasco, and his boo boo dwarfs all of those ahead of him.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

The current one.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Many of us are under 50 so we don’t really remember LBJ.

Also, as I recall, the hostages were released after negotiations. Granted, it was minutes after Reagan’s inauguration, but if we’re going to give attribution based on who was in office at the time instead of of who made it happen, then that makes who receives credit/blame for anything totally independent from who actually did it.

johnpowell's avatar

Gotta go with Reagan since I honestly believe a friend of mine was murdered by him. When the AIDS/HIV thing started to kick off Ronny chalked it up to a gay thing so no real worries (testing blood is expensive). Except my 12 year old friend who got a blood transfusion and contracted it and I watched die for the next five years.

So fuck off Reagan.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@MooCows “Obama‚Ķ..need I say more?”

Yes, please do.

filmfann's avatar

@johnpowell Here is the cruel post I could not put on a different question:
Nancy Reagan is now in Damnation. Hellfire is licking her knees, and she is cooing: “Ronnie? Is that you?”

Winter_Pariah's avatar

Andrew Johnson

Strauss's avatar

@jerv …he completely lost his head Literally, they can not find his brain!

I think it has to be Reagan, despite the canonization drive on the right. To be sure, he was in office for the fall of the Soviet Union, but I don’t think anything he did caused that fall. He did his best to start the process that weakened unions and collective bargaining when he granted amnesty to all the undocumented farm workers that would work for lower wages than the UFW was trying to bargain for.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

^^^ Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, anyone?

Brian1946's avatar


“The current one.”

I totally agree.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@Brian1946 Cute, but my answer was last year when what’s his name was still in office. :)

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