Well its round four and finally getting to the point where the Final Four failure Presidents get their just due.
We know the last two posts were a bit long but you try covering 230-something years of the US Presidency and condensing accomplishments and failures into something more succinct.. Not so easy a task..
Good news is today's read will be a tiny bit shorter for we already expressed for the most part who these men are for better and mostly for worse. It doesn't make the task to analyze the battles any easier..
So let's begin..
A couple criteria we've used in evaluating the Presidents is the economy when in office and how many lives (if any) were needlessly lost due to that President's foreign or domestic policies.
What makes this battle between Buchanan and Bush so difficult to figure is both were in office during severe financial crisis.
For Buchanan, the economy collapsed in the Panic of 1857 meaning his entire term was that of financial suffering and it took until the Civil War to get out of the small-d depression (war has a way of doing that)
~ artwork depicting runs on banks - 1857
With Bush, it was mostly policies of the Fed i.e. extremely low interest rates that encouraged speculative lending and those parasites known as home-flippers and only in the last few months of his Presidency did it all finally come to bite him in the bum.
But in truth it was not Buchanan's fault for the Panic. Explaining as concise as possible, when the Supreme Court passed the Dred Scott decision stating that black slaves taken into free states were still property of their masters, it absolutely freaked out the silver miners in Arizona who now feared southerners would migrate west with their slaves, open mines of their own and undercut them...
So these miners in a panic dumped their silver in the open market in such mass quantities so they could recoup its value, they ultimately devalued the entire US currency where you could no longer value paper to the metal.
~ Dred Scott
So now we go to lives lost.. Yes it is true a couple thousand US soldiers' lives have been lost in Afghanistan and Iraq but to be fair and non-revisionist, Afghanistan was hugely popular war when we entered.. Bush was still carrying 90% approval at the time.. And most Americans supported invading Iraq to get rid of Saddam..
Only when it got messy and become a prolonged nation-building did the public opinion turn..
But without sounding cold, these were men and women who volunteered to serve.. they did know there would be risk..
With Buchanan however, many people needlessly died in Kansas and Nebraska because he lacked the strength or courage to decide which state would enter as slave or free to maintain the vital 50/50 balance in the Senate..
Because of Bloody Kansas, the utter impotence and cowardice to take a stand one way or another on secession and his need to appease at every turn, Buchanan is a worse President than W. Bush and he moves on to the Final Four of Failure...