Fight Lost: Barack Obama is the Worst President in the Last Half-Century

Richard E. Vatz

     Below is a blog I wrote months ago (see below) which argued that, in a close contest with Jimmy Carter, President Barack Obama was only the second worst president of the last half century.

     I now concede I was in error.

     Their domestic policies were equally horrendous.

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     Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy, however, never threatened the actual long-term safety of the United States, even though he caved to Iran and did not assiduously pursue our military and foreign interests.

     President Obama’s jeopardizing the freedom of our allies and the power of the United States to do anything about it in conjunction with his fecklessness and inconsistency in foreign policy is indefensible.  Faithfully promising “no troops on the ground” is politically criminal malpractice.

     I am not an alarmist, but unaddressed threats from ISIS and other terrorists and nuclear proliferation are the gravest threats to the United States since World War II.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

President Barack Obama: the Worst President of the Last 60-plus Years

Richard E. Vatz

    The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan writes some unmemorable columns, wherein she lets her poetic self take flight, but sometimes she pens a “Eureka!” column, prescient, perspicacious and precise.

    Today’s column is such.

           Back to Ms. Noonan presently… 

    My conservative listserv has had a long-standing debate regarding whether Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama is the worst president of the last half century.

    I have argued, to this point, that the clueless and weak malaise-perceiving Carter is worse between the two, due to his lack of insight, but I may have been blinded by President Obama’s heretofore engaging personality, now wearing thin.

    For those of us who have liked the president personally but see him as taking a destructive left turn domestically, increasing governmental centrality, destroying small business and taxing all business and well-to-do Americans to death and forging weakness in foreign policy, encouraging enemies to aggression and expansion, Noonan crystallizes why Obama may be newly fiddling while America burns.

    She writes today that President Obama no longer cares about policy failure or criticism of such policy.  He “thinks he is right about his essential policies. He is steering the world toward not relying on America.  He is steering the America toward greater dependence on and allegiance to government.  He is creating a more federally controlled, Washington-centric nation that is run and organized by progressives.  He thinks he’s done his work, set America on a leftward course, and though his poll numbers are down now, history will look back on him and see him as heroic, realistic, using his phone and pen each day in spite of unprecedented resistance. He [believes he]  is Lincoln, scorned in his time but loved by history.”

     More and more, those of us appalled by President Obama’s increasingly clueless leadership — including foreign policy debacles, empty threats and announced military withdrawals independent of conditions on the ground — complemented by his abjuring of domestic compromise and undemocratic power plays to support more executive power and American dependency, are losing the fight to claim that the president is not the worst president who will have the worst legacy of any president in the last 60-plus years.


Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University

Prof. Vatz teaches political persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2013)

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