Yesterday, President Barack Obama revealed the most sought after document in American history since the Constitution -- his birth certificate. The likes of Donald Trump and other 'birthers' have long claimed Obama was not born on American soil, and thus would be disqualified from holding the office of president.
In the wake of this revelation, critics of the president were already spewing out negative comments pertaining to Obama is 'ruining the country.' I made the comment today I could name several presidents who were worse than Obama, so now I'm going to do just that. The list isn't yet complete because Obama's time in office is yet to expire. But, here is my list, in no particularly order ...
Lyndon B. Johnson -- This knucklehead Texan was responsible for escalating the Vietnam War to apocalyptic proportions. Incidentally, to gain the authority to boost the number of Americans serving in the fight, he misled Congress to secure their permission (see: Gulf of Tonkin Incident) into an armed conflict he knew to be unwinnable. Johnson took America's involvement from 16,000 military advisors to over 600,000. Ask veterans what they think of that.
Johnson also drove up government expenditures with a slew of government programs in his 'War on Poverty.' While intentions were great, programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, HUD housing, etc. remain controversial and expensive.
James Buchanan -- Do nothing president of the 1850s. Believer in exercising 'restraint.' This restraint served the country poorly when Southern states started to secede under his watch. His policy of appeasement towards open rebellion was deplorable. He also failed in stabilizing 'Bleeding Kansas.'
Warren G. Harding -- Corrupt president of the early 1920s who campaigned for a 'Return to normalcy.' His cabinet appointments were those of his infamous 'Ohio Gang.' One of those rascals -- Sec. of Interior Albert Fall -- is infamous for being the first cabinet officer to ever be convicted of a felony (for his part in the Teapot Dome scandal). Harding did little to stop lynchings that were commonplace in America to prevent from alienating his Southern base and has consistently been recongized as one of the presidents who pushed for virtually no meaningful legislation.
Franklin Pierce -- Recognized a government in Kansas that was elected through clear voter fraud. His one bright moment? The Gadsden Purchase from Mexico. On a level with Harding.
Millard Fillmore -- Supported the ill-fated Compromise of 1850 that served as a temporary plug in the dam of sectionalism. That's about it. Does receive credit for opening trade relations with Japan -- by threat of large naval ships from Commodore Matthew Perry.
Richard Nixon -- Despite his success in foreign policy with China, Nixon conducted secret military operations in Laos and Cambodia, and prolonged the Vietnam War. He scored no points with constituents with the Watergate Scandal and remains the only president in American history to resign.
Benjamin Harrison -- Kept tariff rates dramatically high, slowing down trade. Allowed a coup in Hawai'i that led to its annexation by the United States. Won the presidency comfortably in the Electoral College but lost the popular vote by 90,000. Voter fraud helped Harrison carry the day.
Gerald Ford -- Gave Nixon a carte blanche pardon. Fell down the steps of Air Force One ... twice. Presided over an era marked by inflation, increasing deficits, tax reductions and overall poor economy that resulted in a slight recession.
Jimmy Carter -- Nice man, bad president. More famous for his Habitat for Humanity work than his presidency.
George W. Bush -- Became the first president to pre-emptively strike another nation (Iraq) and did so under false pretenses (still looking for WMDs). His unilateral approach to foreign policy alienated other nations and squandered worldwide sympathy after 9/11. Domestic policy achievements? No Child Left Behind Act and a failed attempt at Social Security reform. I wouldn't want to hang my hat on those.
William Howard Taft -- Overaggressive in his breakup of large businesses, even those who complied with the law. His 'dollar diplomacy' in keeping foreign nations dependant upon the U.S. was deplorable, yet seems to be making a comeback in today's terms.
Calvin Coolidge / Herbert Hoover -- The alliterative presidents of the 1920s who both had a 'hands off' policy toward big business and the economy. This failure to provide adequate regulations and stop-gap measures led to a poor response to the stock market crash of 1929. Oh, and Coolidge was known to sleep in excess of 12 hours a night and still need a nap in the afternoon.
Rutherford B. Hayes -- Also known as 'His Fraudulency' and 'Rutherfraud' for his shady victory in the Election of 1876. He prematurely ended Reconstruction as a sop to Southerners in exchange for his election, dooming that region of the country to suffer under Jim Crow.
John Tyler -- The only president who was actually expelled from his party while he was in office. He actually had to fight and scrap to have Texas officially annexed. This was his only real accomplishment and would have happened regardless of who was president.
Martin Van Buren -- President during the Panic of 1837, regarded as one of the worst financial crises in the nation's history. He also refused to intercede on behalf of the fledging Mormon movement persecuted in Missouri. He also refused to allow Texas' petition to become a part of the United States. In another sad example, Van 'Ruin' oversaw the march of Native Americans on the tragic 'Trail of Tears.'
Ulysses S. Grant -- My respect for Grant as a general makes this difficult for me to write, but Grant's major problem as president stemmed from his estimation that everyone was as honest as he was. The good points of his administration were overshadowed by numerous scandals involving his advisors.
William Henry Harrison / Zachary Taylor / James Garfield -- They all died into their first term and did very little in office.