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All Hail…King George? The Power and Quality of U.S. Presidents

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posted on Mar, 17 2005 @ 11:21 PM
Before you jump on me, read the link and the article, I found it very interesting indeed. I guess you know where it seems all my favorites fall within this list.......except for Nixon.

All Hail…King George?

President George W. Bush draws fire from many quarters. That’s hardly surprising: Presidents who surround themselves with pomp and ceremony, or who claim new or controversial powers, always provoke strong criticism. But the intensity of the criticism directed at Bush is explained in part by its roots—a fear that the president sometimes exhibits monarchial or imperial tendencies. The lavish fanfare surrounding Bush’s January inauguration sparked howls of protest, as did the revelation that Bush’s lawyers believed that the president could, as commander in chief, unilaterally suspend U.S. treaty obligations and statutes, including one banning torture. John Dean, once a lawyer in the famously power-hungry Richard Nixon administration, has derisively said Bush’s reign “may be the most imperial Presidency our history has yet seen.” Bush is not, however, the first U.S. president to aggressively expand the authority of the Oval Office. Charges of presidential lawlessness date back to the first presidency.

Finally, many are concerned that the great imperial presidents set the stage for the awful ones. The familiar argument is that FDR established precedents that would be used by Nixon. But FDR also established precedents that would be used by Truman, Eisenhower, and Reagan.

None of this is to say that presidents should be unconstrained. They would then be dictators. Popular elections, a two-term limit, congressional participation in ordinary legislation, and judicial limitations are all good and necessary, and no one today would object to them. But much of the structure of the presidency—especially in foreign affairs—is hampered by 18th century restrictions that were motivated by fears of monarchy. By pushing against these restrictions, Bush is not bolstering a dangerous and all-powerful executive as much as he is further modernizing the office of the presidency and preparing it for the challenges ahead. Bush’s critics should argue with the way the president is using his powers, not the fact that he is expanding them.

The Power and Quality of U.S. Presidents

The Power and Quality of U.S. Presidents

Republican (acknowledges limited powers)
Low quality (1-2)
Warren Harding
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Ulysses S. Grant
Jimmy Carter

Medium quality (3)
James Madison
Gerald Ford
John Quincy Adams
Bill Clinton
Herbert Hoover
Calvin Coolidge
James Monroe
William Taft
Benjamin Harrison
Martin Van Buren
Chester Arthur
John Adams
George H.W. Bush

High quality (4-5)
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Imperial (claims expansive powers)
Low quality (1-2)
Andrew Johnson
John Tyler
Richard Nixon

Medium quality (3)
John F. Kennedy
Grover Cleveland
Rutherford B. Hayes
William McKinley
Lyndon B. Johnson
Thomas Jefferson

High quality (4-5)
Andrew Jackson
James Polk
Harry S Truman
Teddy Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Ronald Reagan
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Abraham Lincoln
George Washington

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 06:57 AM

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 01:55 PM
I agree with your analysis 100% percent. Jefferson is my favorite president, and I think you put him in the perfect place. I couldn't of done it that much better myself!

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 07:52 PM
Yeah I had a few surprises, especially Nixon, but the more I think about it the more I understand it........But I disagree with the FDR and Woodrow Wilson part.

[edit on 18-3-2005 by edsinger]

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