flabergasted that someone in comments suggested that Obama was the worst American president.
(Tom lives in Oxford, Mississippi which probably explains a lot– LaFayette County is not exactly representative of the Sovereign State of Mississippi.) His candidates for worst American president are: James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Warren Harding.
I must admit that I know next to nothing about these men and their presidencies. And I certainly know far less about them than high school students in 1956 were required to know.
From the end of Chapter 27, “Normalcy,” of Bragdon and McCutchen’s History of a Free People published in 1956 by the MacMillan Company:
1. Who were the presidential candidates in 1920? Explain the nomination of Harding. Who was elected? Why?
3. Why was the Washington Conference called? Summarize its accomplishments and results. What were he terms of the Kellogg-Briand Treaty?
5. What were the chief features of the Fordney Tariff? Study the map… and describe the the geographic pattern of the vote on it. How, and with what success, were taxes reduced in the 1920’s?
6. Why was our immigration policy changed? What were the terms of the Immigration Quota Law?
7. What were the scandals of the Harding administration? Why did they affect so little the 1924 election? Who was elected?
The answer to question #1 is a real doozie! From the entry on Harding in my 1962 Brittanica America I learn that on the first ballot at the 1920 Republican National Convention he received 65 1/2 votes– 39 from his own state of Ohio. (How can there be 1/2 vote?) On the eighth ballot, 133 1/2; on the ninth, 374 1/2; and finally 692 1/2 votes to secure the nomination on the tenth ballot.
The encyclopedia also tells me that the Washington Conference was the “highwater mark” of Harding’s administration. However, Webster’s America Biographies (edited by Charles Van Dorn and Robert McHenry; published by G. & C. Merriam Co. in 1979) asserts that the Conference “came through the initiative of others.”
Excepting Tennessee, representatives of folks in The South voted against passage of the Fordney Tariff. (The map in the text book doesn’t seem to cohere with the discussion. Maybe I’m reading something wrong.)
Well, well, well. Imagine this! Labor unions had demanded restriction on immigration for over 50 years prior to WWI. Do tell. But until 1914, “the only groups excluded were Orientals, anarchists, and incompetents such as idiots, criminals, and paupers” (Bragdon and McCutchen, p. 541).
My sources agree. Harding’s administration was scandalous. Seems his cabinet included many of his “Ohio Gang” cronies, some of whom were not well suited to their offices. His Secretary of the Interior went to jail after he’d collected over $300,000 in bribes. The head of the Veterans Bureau defrauded the American people of $200,000,000! Scandalous!!
In other news… . Jim Geraghty writing March 8, 2012 at The Campaign Spot (National Review) breaks down a spot of current trouble:
The total U.S. public debt will probably hit $15.5 trillion today.
On Tuesday, according to the Department of the Treasury, it was $15,499,023,629,682.44, to be precise.
That figure was $10.6 trillion the day Barack Obama took office.
That is an increase of $4,872,146,580,769.36 — let’s just say $4.8 trillion — over 1,142 days.
That’s an average of $4.26 billion — $4,266,328,004.18 — in new debt per day during Obama’s presidency.
For comparison, the national debt increased $4.9 trillion — $4,899,100,310,608.44, to be precise — during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush.
In other words, when the debt increases another $27 billion — $26,953,729,839.08 — Obama will have run up as much debt in three years and a couple of months as Bush ran up in eight years. Obama will reach that milestone in a few days.