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Historians select top 10 presidential blunders

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by thacabbage, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060219/NEWS06/602190433/1012

    February 19, 2006

    Historians select top 10 presidential blunders
    By Elizabeth Dunbar
    Associated Press
    February 19, 2006

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- From engaging in sexual relations with an intern to letting the Vietnam War escalate, U.S. presidents have been blamed for some egregious errors.

    So who had the worst blunder? President James Buchanan, for failing to avert the Civil War, according to a survey of presidential historians organized by the University of Louisville's McConnell Center.

    The survey's top 10 presidential blunders were announced Saturday during a Presidents Day weekend conference called "Presidential Moments."

    Scholars who participated said Buchanan didn't do enough to oppose efforts by Southern states to secede from the Union before the Civil War.

    The second-worst mistake, the survey found, was Andrew Johnson's decision just after the Civil War to side with Southern whites and oppose improvements in justice for Southern blacks beyond abolishing slavery.

    Lyndon Johnson earned the No. 3 spot by allowing the Vietnam War to intensify, Gregg said.

    Where does Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinsky scandal rank? Many scholars said it belonged at No. 10, saying it probably affected Clinton's presidency more than it did American history and the public.

    The rest of the top 10 blunders:

    4: Woodrow Wilson's refusal to compromise on the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.

    5: Richard Nixon's involvement in the Watergate cover-up.

    6: James Madison's failure to keep the United States out of the War of 1812 with Britain.

    7: Thomas Jefferson's Embargo Act of 1807, a self-imposed prohibition on trade with Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.

    8: John F. Kennedy allowing the Bay of Pigs invasion, which led to the Cuban missile crisis.

    9: Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra affair, the effort to sell arms to Iran and use the money to finance an armed anti-communist group in Nicaragua.
     
  2. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    W's NSA spying should push Clinton out of the top 10. Poetic justice?
     
  3. hotballa

    hotballa Contributing Member

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    11. George H. Bush's decision to not get a vasectomy after his first kid.
     
  4. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    No. The decision to invade and occupy Iraq will become the new #3, pushing everything else down a notch.
     
  5. Fatty FatBastard

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    Now, now.

    The fact is we won't know for another 10 years, at least. If Iraq can become a democracy, it will go down as one of the best accomplishments of any presidency. If we fail, and Iraq goes back to its original state, it will certainly go down as a huge blunder.

    Unfortunately, we will have to wait to know.
     
  6. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    That's why they call it history.

    You mentioned if (1) Iraq can become a democracy and (2) if Iraq goes back to it's original state (doubtful, since Saddam is a dead man walking).

    How would you feel about #3.....which is where I believe it is headed:

    Civil War erupts, and Iraq eventually becomes three countries...one Sunni, one Shiite, and one Kurd.

    Fatty, if this happens, would you consider the invasion and occupation of Iraq a success or a blunder?
     

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