What the Actual Fuck (Historians’ Ranking of Presidents)?

FireShot Screen Capture #010 - 'Our Worst Presidents Came In Wi_' - fivethirtyeight_com_features_our-worst-presidents-came-in-with-a-lot-of-experience

It’s kinda hard to consider Wilson and Truman in the top ten presidencies when their approval ratings at the end of their presidencies were worse than George W. Bush’s, and their successors’ opponents got higher percentages of the popular vote than Lincoln in 1864, with their electoral college maps looking like this (blue):

Hell, Wilson got traditionally Democratic Manhattan Island to vote for Harding! Yet, Harding is considered the second-worst President, despite succeeding Wilson with a popular vote margin higher than that of Reagan in 1984! And Harding’s absolutely stellar performance in the White House was rewarded in 1924 by the lowest percentage of the vote being cast for the Democratic presidential candidate in the history of the Democratic Party, with the last ever Republican presidential victory in Manhattan! By any reasonably measure (i.e., not an idiotic one as that above), Harding should be rated much, much higher than Wilson, not over 80 percentiles below!
Similar with Harry Truman: after coming into the Presidency without winning the majority of the popular vote as a candidate for President (same as Wilson and Bush II), Truman won re-election in a race that’s still remembered for the inaccuracy of those forecasting it (same as Wilson and Bush II), and then became wildly unpopular as a result of a disastrous war combined with a weakening economy (same as Wilson and Bush II).

Compare McCain’s performance in 2008 (red):

Conclusion: Truman and Wilson are rated highly only because they had Ds after their names, despite the fact they were viewed very similarly to George W. Bush in 2008 by all sensible persons at the time they left office. Also, Obama vastly unperformed as a presidential candidate in 2008, given two years of an extremely unpopular war combined with the worst recession since the Great Depression and a presidential disapproval rating approaching 70%.

How much crack cocaine does it take to become a professional historian these days? This calls for an immediate investigation by the FBI!

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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