By Ben Hart
The Case for Buchanan Being the Worst . . .
James Buchanan was President from 1857 to 1861. Most historians regard Buchanan as the worst President in American history because he did nothing to stop the Civil War, which lead to at least 620,000 American deaths. Some historians now say the number was more like 750,000 dead — in a country of 31,000,000.
Buchanan argued that the Confederate states had no legal right to secede, but also that the federal government had no legal right to stop secession.
Buchanan also made no argument against slavery. He even contributed to a mini-civil war in Kansas by admitting that state to the union when it was a slave state and allowing the slavery to continue. Again, not good. Kansas should have been admitted to the union on the condition that slavery would be abolished in that state.
He did nothing when South Carolina seceded from the union on December 20, 1860. This was quickly followed by six more southern states leaving the union. By the time Buchanan left office on March 4, 1861, the Confederate States of America had been formed and all U.S. army forts and garrisons in the seceded states were lost, with the exception of Fort Sumpter.
On Buchanan’s final day as president, he remarked to the incoming Abraham Lincoln, “If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man.”
Buchanan was a man who just did not want the responsibility that goes with being President.
The President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief. His job is to prevent the destruction of the country — to stop foreign invaders, also to stop the country from falling a part. Stopping a civil war in America is the President’s responsibility.
Buchanan did not do any of this. He was the quintessential do-nothing President.
Often doing nothing is the right course of action. The first responsibility of a President is to do no harm. Buchanan took this principle a bit too far. He should have acted.
He also presided over a serious recession — actually a depression. The bad economy (really bad) was another reason the South was so unhappy.
James Buchanan is the very definition of a failed Presidency, with catastrophic consequences.
If actual results are what matter, it would be tough to top Buchanan as the absolute worst President.
But is Obama even worse?
The Case for Obama Being the Worst . . .
James Buchanan, as bad and as incompetent as he was, at least was not using the Presidency as a weapon to destroy America on purpose, as Obama is. Buchanan did not hate America. Buchanan did not use his power to try to undermine and transform America’s system of government, the way Obama is.
Buchanan’s sins were sins of not doing enough. Again, Buchanan thought secession was illegal, but he did not think he had the Constitutional authority to stop it.
At least he was wrestling with the Constitution as he honestly understood it. He was honestly trying to follow it.
Let’s face it — there is a legitimate question as to where federal authority stops and where the sovereignty of the states trumps what the feds want the states to do.
But Obama could not care less about the Constitution. He ignores it completely, doesn’t even consider it — in fact, actively and openly opposes it.
Obama is like a human wrecking ball, destroying the rule of law, America’s governing institutions, and capitalist economic system. He wants to radically transform the American Republic into something completely new — some kind of Swedish-style socialism at best, but more likely a Hugo Chavez-style Marxist dictatorship (if Obama can get away with it).
ObamaCare is, of course, the main engine and strategy by which Obama seeks to usher socialism to America. Obama simply ignores the Constitution and the Congress to do whatever he feels like doing.
For example . . .
Congress rejected the DREAM Act. But that didn’t stop Obama from simply declaring an even more radical version of the DREAM Act as the law of the land — by dictatorial fiat. So now we have amnesty for illegal aliens by unilateral decree, just like a dictatorship.
We might also call this Obama’s Undocumented Voter plan — by which he wants to create as many new voters for the Democrat Party as he possibly can. Again, Obama cares nothing for the rule of law. He just wants what he wants, no matter what the laws say.
Buchanan never did anything like that.
Congress rejected Obama’s cap-and-trade plan. But that didn’t stop Obama from using the regulatory power of the EPA to enact cap-and-trade by dictatorial fiat.
Poll after poll showed that the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to ObamaCare.
But that didn’t stop Obama from imposing his will on America. He doesn’t care about the “consent of the governed” — a cornerstone principle of a constitutional democracy.
Despite overwhelming Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, he still almost could not get ObamaCare passed.
He did it only through legislative trickery and by bribing Senators (Ben Nelson with the Cornhusker kickback and Mary Landrieu with massive pork for Louisiana). And he had to do it by lying to Congress about how much Obamacare would cost — costs that the states, businesses, and individuals would be forced by law to pay for on their own (outside the federal budget) so it wouldn’t make federal spending look even more out of control than it is.
That’s what the individual mandate is all about (which the Supreme Court is likely to rule unconstitutional).
Remember, Obama and Nancy Pelosi told us they would just “deam” ObamaCare passed into law if they could not actually get enough votes — which they eventually did through bribes, threats, and flagrant lies.
Buchanan never attempted anything like this. He never tried to just steamroll over the American people and the Constitution to get what he wanted.
Obama likes to blame Bush for the bad economy and take credit for any economic recovery we’ve seen, meager though it is. In fact, we appear to be heading back into a recession.
But remember, the Obama Administration declared the recession over in June of 2009 — before a single Obama policy had kicked in.
The recovery was going along pretty well until March 24, 2010 — the day ObamaCare passed into law. That’s the day the economic recovery stopped. We’ll call the economic recovery that stopped in March or April of 2010 the Bush Recovery . . . because that’s what it was (had nothing to do with Obama).
Here’s the Heritage Foundation chart that proves it:
Joe Biden kept telling us the summer of 2010 would be the “Summer of Recovery.”
He told us the U.S. economy was poised to produce 500,000 new jobs per month for as far as the eye can see.
Well, that certainly didn’t happen. The day ObamaCare passed into law was the peak of the so-called recovery. It’s been down hill since then.
ObamaCare introduced uncertainty into the U.S. economy. ObamaCare killed the recovery.
No one (including businesses) has any idea what ObamaCare will cost. There’s the direct financial out-of-pocket money cost of ObamaCare. Then there’s the regulatory cost, which is tough to calculate. Obama is now hiring some 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce ObamaCare. And he having to build some 153 brand new government bureaucracies to administer ObamaCare.
So this should give you a clue as to the likely future drag of ObamaCare on the American economy.
That’s why the economic recovery stopped on March 24, 2010.
We’re about to go into a “Lost Decade” period like in Japan, which is actually onto its “Lost Two or Three Decades.”
We’ll be lucky if we end up that well.
But Obama really doesn’t care about the economy. He’s out to destroy capitalism and replace it with some form of top-down government bureaucratic despotism. Obama wants a command-and-control economy. He wants a command-and-control society — because, in his heart and soul, he’s a Marxist.
It’s no accident his closest pals were the likes of the unrepentant terrorist William Ayers, the America-hating pastor Jeremiah Wright, and the Obama was a member of socialist New Party in the 1990s because he did not feel the Democrat Party was Left enough for him.
Remember, he told us in 2008 that he was out to “fundamentally transform” America.
Obama doesn’t like the old America — the America established by our Founding Fathers and codified in the Constitution of the United States. He prefers the Russian Revolution to the American Revolution. He prefers Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Buchanan wasn’t trying to destroy the country, wasn’t trying to replace the Constitution with dictatorial fiat, wasn’t out to destroy capitalism, wasn’t running up massive budget deficits to pass onto future generations to pay, wasn’t trying to collapse the system. Unlike Obama, Buchanan was not, on purpose, trying to bankrupt the country.
Buchanan, in his own mind, was at least trying to honor the sovereignty of the states. He believed he was being true to the Constitution. He forgot the fact that the Constitution does permit strong executive action to protect the country. President Thomas Jefferson understood this when he acted to protect commercial sea lanes by going after the Barbary Coast pirates.
Obama has zero respect for the Constitution. He constantly mocks the Constitution, calling it flawed. He tells us that capitalism and free markets have never worked. No Mr. Obama, it’s socialism that has never worked — which is why most socialist countries are trying to move away from socialism.
When you think about it, Buchanan had some similarities to Bill Clinton — who also did nothing as President. Clinton saw being President as little more than the greatest pick-up line in history. We know about Clinton’s escapade with a White House intern (Jerry Sandusky, call your office).
But what did Clinton every actually do of substance for the country?
Pretty much nothing. He used the White House Lincoln Bedroom as a fundraising prop. He turned down at least two opportunities to get Osama bin Laden, which in turn led to the 9/11 attack on America. He allowed the transfer of U.S. nuclear missile guidance system technology to Communist China in exchange for about $5,000,000 in campaign contributions (funneled through front entities). This allowed China to leap a decade ahead with its nuclear missile arsenal.
Bill Clinton was America’s Party-Boy-In-Chief. He was certainly venal. But at least Clinton (unlike Obama) was not actively trying to destroy the country. As far as I can tell, Clinton likes America, hopes America will do well — in stark contrast to Obama. Unlike Obama, at least Clinton did not see America as the enemy.
Buchanan, of course, was not anywhere near as thoroughly corrupt as Bill Clinton. Buchanan seems not to have been corrupt at all. Buchanan seems to have been a decent and honorable person.
Clinton was just luckier than Buchanan. Clinton had the good fortune of living in a post-Reagan America when the economy was still pretty much booming and the Cold War over. Clinton really had no responsibilities. He could just leave well enough alone . . . and coast on Reagan’s achievements.
But if Clinton had had the misfortune to be President in place of James Buchanan, he might well have suffered the same fate — might well also have just allowed the Civil War to happen. Probably would have, just like he let bin Laden get way.
The Verdict . . .
For all these reasons, I would have to rank Obama a long ways behind Buchanan as the worst President in history.
Obama set out to destroy America on purpose. Buchanan did not. Buchanan was not deliberately malevolent. Obama is. Obama is by far the worst.
One Response to “A DEBATE: Is Barack Obama or James Buchanan the worst President in U.S. history?”
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