Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Obama Dropping in Scholars' Presidential Ratings

When a progressive president is dropping in liberal scholar ratings things are serious. Obama has been dropping in scholarly rating since 2010.

Obama was rated 15th greatest president in 2010. He has now dropped to 18th. Not much of a drop? Ah, but the content of the ratings is what is troublesome.
Respondents were mixed in their view of Barack Obama. Overall, he was the 18th highest rated president, but only 4 respondents put him among the best, while 11 respondents placed him among the worst. Similarly, 22 respondents viewed Obama as among the most over-rated, compared to 13 who viewed him as under-rated. Obama was also viewed as the second-most polarizing president (after George W. Bush). Of the 19 modern presidents (i.e., back to Teddy Roosevelt), Obama was rated 13th in terms of legislative skill, 11th for diplomatic skill and 10th in terms of both integrity and military skill. (emphasis added)
Among modern Democratic presidents, Barack Obama rates only above Jimmy Carter (26). He is behind Bill Clinton (8), Lyndon Johnson (12) and John F. Kennedy (14) as well as Republican Reagan (11). Now President Obama even rates behind one term Republican George H. W. Bush (17) who in 2010 was rated 22. George H. W. Bush has come up 5 positions while Barack Obama has dropped 3 positions. How the mighty have fallen.

The scholarly predisposition for Obama can be seen in the scholarly ratings that Barack Obama had even before doing anything--sort of like his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize (nine months after taking office and before any major foreign policy success).
First, it is easy to infer that scholars and the public alike expected greatness from Obama early on and awarded it to him prematurely. Compare, after all, the fact that Obama’s first ranking in a major greatness poll was at #15; one must go back a half-century to Lyndon Johnson to find a president who entered the rankings at a higher number (#10), and LBJ was a well-known figure on the national stage who entered office after the national tragedy of his predecessor’s assassination. (emphasis added)


MAX Redline said...

In my view, the selection of Barry illustrated that the Nobel Peace Prize thing has become a sham. Sort of like when they gave one to Arafat.

Fact: Barry has droned more people than anybody on the planet.

Another fact: Americans are so uninformed that many don't know who exhorted Gorbachev to "tear down this wall". The Lefists in the "education" system have done their work well.

T. D. said...

I think that Obama will continue to drop because he's leaving a mess on every front. He has no accomplishments other than being the first black president. Even Obamacare is falling apart and, unlike social security, medicare and even medicaid which had some measure of popularity because they worked for awhile, Obamacare doesn't even have that.

I think George W. Bush will come up some, but not a whole bunch. He left a disastrous economic legacy, and his idea to build democracies in the Middle East has not succeeded. Probably his chief positive legacy is the expanded homeland security system and the Patriot Act, but those have major problems for both conservatives and liberals. No child left behind is a failure and his Medicare part d program is another anchor pulling medicare and social security under (even though it is somewhat popular).
Compassionate conservatism turned out to be a bust. He was a good man, but I think he was wrong on way too many issues.

MAX Redline said...

It was also stupid for Bush to create a new DHS - intention was okay, as part of the problem was lack of data sharing among agencies, but it hasn't worked and has become just another cumbersome bureaucracy. And while I had no problem with going into Afghanistan, I couldn't believe his move into Iraq.

And as you note, "No Child Left Behind" was a complete bust.

T. D. said...

I bought into the Iraq invasion and his democracy building efforts. But, history has proven that he was wrong, and I was wrong. Democracy isn't set naturally in people's hearts. Sarah Palin wrote about that in America by Heart. It takes a populace able to discipline themselves rather than requiring heavy government force or tyranny to keep them in line.

Our system has worked up until now, though it may well be tottering, because the family and religious faith and instruction have tamed the passions and instilled virtue in its citizens.

Palin quotes John Adams: “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” (p. 112) And George Washington:
“Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” (p. 194-195)

Though Muslims in the Middle East have a strong religious commitment, the cutting off of heads and burning of people (not to mention the harsh tyranny of their governmental structures) show that they have no widespread self-discipline. They depend on governmental and societal severity, not personal discipline, to make people follow rules they have imposed.

MAX Redline said...

Washington was apparently unaware of "separation of church and state".

It's widely misrepresented today; the principle bars government from establishing a national religion, but does not bar government from recognizing the existence of religions. Yet lawsuits continue.

T. D. said...

Absolutely right, Max. Neither the modern educational system, media nor political and societal leaders care about educating themselves or the young on what the framers of the constitution had in mind. Just because our republic has lasted two hundred years they think it is inevitable and that religious training and commitment is not essential.

A democratic republic being rare in history, the framers knew it was not a natural condition for mankind. And having seen that all the great republics of the past fell, they knew it was not easily retained even with the best advantages. (You can see how often they refer to past and current republics in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments.)

People nowadays think not only that the love of personal liberty is natural (which it is--look at any two year old), but that it is easy to maintain a society based on it. They really haven't thought out that nations like families can afford to give large swaths of personal liberty to all their members only if their members demonstrate personal responsibility.

In free societies there have not been organs as capable as the family and religion to inculcate personal responsibility. And, looking at the demise of the black family and the resulting chaos in black community life, probably both strong family and religious influences are necessary.

So, they have no clue that outlawing state positive reinforcement for religious commitment and training may have disastrous consequences.

Same with redefining marriage (and in effect, the family). If anything can be a marriage (because marriage is primarily for personal satisfaction), then anything can be a family. And the understanding of what privileges and responsibilities mean in that context wafts away.

When you can't clearly define a concept, it becomes very hard to even think about it let alone plan around it or depend on its salutary impact.

MAX Redline said...

They really haven't thought out that nations like families can afford to give large swaths of personal liberty to all their members only if their members demonstrate personal responsibility.

And that's exactly the point I was aiming for, TD - though you put it far better than me, you silver-tongued devil ;-)

One need only look at the destruction wreaked upon a majority of black families by racist Republicans to understand...oh, wait...Republicans freed slaves and insisted that they had the same God-given rights as any other man. My bad.

Um, yes, if I recall correctly, it was the Democratics who came up with the KKK, the Jim Crow laws, the "Great Society", Planned Parenthood, and every other scheme that targeted black families in order to remove concepts such as personal responsibility and religion from their lives.

After all, if there is no God, then it follows that there is no such thing as God-given rights.

T. D. said...

Yes, I do learn a lot from you, Max!

Without God, the State is the most powerful entity around. And what the State gives it can take away.

A "natural" right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness does not exist in nature. You know this lots better than I do as regards animal life and behavior. It only exists if there is a God who says it is so and calls us to stand against the fallen, violence in nature untamed.

MAX Redline said...

I think we learn a lot from each other, TD - you get me to thinking about things from different angles.

Without God, the State is the most powerful entity around.

And that's the thing: if the state is all-powerful, our lives mean nothing.

Nature, itself, is really unforgiving. And so, left to itself, is government.

T. D. said...

"Nature, itself, is really unforgiving. And so, left to itself, is government."

Which is why all the checks and balances were built in. Unfortunately, they have been eroding sometimes faster (Obama's executive order on immigration that he himself said he didn't have the power to do), sometimes slower. Senators used to be elected by state legislatures to give the states a brake on the federal government. Slowly democratizing the whole system eliminates the checks the founders wanted there to be over popular excitements as well as demagogues.

By the way, I just went up a notch in the eyes of one of my nephews who's a computer geek when I knew about the Lenovo superfish problem. I admitted it was because I read you and you kept me in the loop on lots of interesting and important issues. I mentioned the NSA problem too, but he didn't say much about that either because he thought a lot of people might know about that or because he didn't know much about it. See, you make me look good! :-)

MAX Redline said...

Moving Senate elections to a popular vote was a really bad move in my view as well, TD - there was a reason why we were given a republic rather than a democracy, and it's unfortunate that so few understood the significance of that.

It's always nice to see something good come out of my wide-ranging babble (Lenovo)! Although to me, the NSA installations into disk controllers was much more interesting, as it's such a great piece of engineering.

T. D. said...

I'm with you that the NSA corrupting disk controllers is a much more important issue. I'll have to ask my nephew directly about that. That the government can get into your private data like that is against every jot and tittle of the 4th Amendment.

You are in a small minority of those who understand the dangers of fiddling with the Constitution's balance of powers. Pretty impressive, Max.