I host a radio show on WEUS 810 AM in Orlando, Fla., on Sundays 1-4 p.m. EST. On last week's show, I had firebrand Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as a guest. "Is President Obama better or worse than Jimmy Carter?" I asked her. "Worse. Easily worse," she replied. She went on to say that without question, Obama was the worst president in U.S. history.
Is it true?
There are only two other true contenders for the title of "worst president in U.S. history": Jimmy Carter and James Buchanan. Warren G. Harding's tenure was corrupt but not disastrous, and Andrew Johnson's presidency failed because of his Southern roots and wrongful adherence to extreme states rights concepts in the aftermath of the Civil War, not because his administration effectuated any grave damage to the nation. Only Buchanan matches the record of incompetence, failure and wrongheadedness pursued by Obama.
Take Jimmy Carter, for example. He was responsible for the fall of the Shah in Iran and the subsequent rise of the Ayatollahs. He emboldened the Soviets to invade Afghanistan. He oversaw the Three Mile Island incident and presided over a high unemployment rate of 7.1 percent and staggering inflation and interest rates, both of which topped 18 percent by early 1980. His presidency saw gas rationing and shortages, the surrender of the Panama Canal and the boycott of the 1980 Olympics. Pretty bad by any measure.
During his entire first term, Carter's record doesn't touch the Obama administration's record in its first year and a half. Obama has already tacitly OK'd the Iranian nuclear program and derided Israel's nuclear program. He has allowed Iranian protestors to be slaughtered in the streets without so much as a peep for days on end. Obama has allowed the Russians to sponsor an uprising in Kyrgyzstan that resulted in the removal of a U.S. airbase. He has lent legitimacy to an Islamist Turkish government and sold American debt to a communist Chinese government that supports North Korea. He has presided over the largest oil spill in world history in the Gulf of Mexico and spent his efforts blaming everyone but himself.
He's poised to raise our taxes at the end of the year. He's pushing for comprehensive "immigration reform" that will really act as an amnesty for illegal immigrants. He has denigrated Arizona before Mexico, bowed before the king of Saudi Arabia and the Chinese president and the Japanese emperor, hugged a Venezuelan quasi-dictator, and undermined a constitutional uprising in Honduras. He has pushed carbon taxes and gas taxes and estate taxes. He has propped up unfit mortgage borrowers and penalized those who pay their mortgage on time. He has bailed out his buddies in the banking industry and nationalized the auto and health industries for the benefit of his union friends.
He has insulted the Cambridge police and defended Muslim terrorists like Maj. Nidal Hassan. He has utilized advisers who are Marxists (former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones), anti-Semites (foreign policy adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, special adviser Samantha Power, National Security Adviser Adm. James Jones), racists (Attorney General Eric Holder), sycophantic pro-Islamists (Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan), kooks (Director of White House Office of Science and Technology John Holdren), perverts (Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings), and paid thugs (Rahm Emanuel).
When Obama took office, the national debt was just under $10 trillion. Now it is $12 trillion, and by 2015, it will be at least $19.6 trillion. Unemployment under Obama increased to 9.7 percent, up from 7.6 percent when Bush left office. The inflation rate has yet to explode, but most economists believe it will have to unless Obama drastically raises taxes, destroying the economy even further.
Carter can't touch this guy.
As for Buchanan, the man was a symptom of his times -- an active supporter of admitting Kansas to the Union as a slave state and of Chief Justice Roger Taney's execrable opinion in Dred Scott. He was also responsible for a near-war in Utah against the Mormons, inflation of the currency, and the abominable state of the Union's military position at the beginning of the Civil War.
It would be difficult for Obama to top this record of pure disgrace -- after all, he doesn't have to face down the internal specter of a looming war over a major moral issue like slavery, so his tenure can't be as cataclysmically destructive. But like Buchanan, he'll try to subvert American principles all the same.
In short, Obama may not be the worst president in American history. But he's easily the worst American president in modern history -- and we'll have to reassess the case in two and a half years, because there's no sign Obama will change his ways. There is good news, though. All of America's worst presidents served one term, and American recovered. That's because if any of them had served a second, America could have been utterly decimated. Americans had better wake up and place Obama in his proper context by 2012, or it may be too late for recovery.
Ben Shapiro, 26, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is the author of three books including the national bestseller "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth," and the host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" on 810 AM in Orlando, FL. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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