Why do some people think Obama was the worst President in History

Sailor.X

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I ask this because I am becoming aware that some people on the far Right don't know as much about history as they think they do. I see in comment sections on the internet "OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY!!!" While totally downplaying.

Chester Arthur
Andrew Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
James Buchanan
Andrew Jackson
George Bush
George W Bush
and the Granddaddy of Worst of the Worst Woodrow (Fucking ) Wilson.

These people need to crack open a History Book. While Obama was bad. He ain't got shit on Woodrow Wilson.
 

Lord Invictus

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Thing about Obama is that he was president in a time when the country became more overtly polarized. I recall reading on Freerepublic, there was a thread listing the weekly actions, failures, statements and agendas of the Obama administration.

For social conservatives he was awful, for non interventionists he was awful, for interventionists-Obama was feckless, the red line and the whole pivot, and the Libya mess, there was also the fact that Obama was just grating. With his high sounding speeches and paeans to whatever-the media loved it, and right wing folks despised it, both its content and pretentiousness. And the media gushing.

Under his administration, we saw the rise of SJW and identity politics going full throttle, a slow and declining economy, among other things.

Better perhaps to say Obama was the worst president in living memory.
 
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Airedale260

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I think it’s largely because they see a lot of negative coverage and still have memories of when Obama was in office (even though we’re now talking over a decade since he was first sworn in). Probably self-reinforcement in echo chambers as well.

Plus a lot of history classes don’t actually go into detail about how shitty a president Wilson was; they only cover the fact that he was president when a World War I started brewing and that’s it. No mention of re-segregation, no mention of why he was such a departure from the general U.S. policy of neutrality, etc.

I don’t think I’d really put either of the Bushes up there in terms of “worst.” The elder made a couple of mistakes but he was also dealing with an economic slowdown coupled with twelve years of Republicans in the White House. W kind of got dragooned into the war on terror because of how much of a shock it was to the country, and then he and his foreign policy team were faced with a couple of extremely difficult strategic decisions in the Middle East and royally screwed up.

As far as Arthur goes, what about his time in office did you not like? He didn’t do that much of note, granted, but it’s not like he was a do-nothing like Buchanan, someone who expanded government way too much like Johnson, or tried to undermine Congress and the courts like Jackson. He did manage to get Congress to start buying the Navy some desperately needed ships, and also was the one who enacted the Civil Service Reform Act of 1881 (which was the big factor in breaking the spoils system). In fact, Mark Twain even commended him as being a solid president. Sure, not one of note like Washington or Lincoln, but that didn’t make him a bad president. And personally I’d include Harding for having a ridiculously corrupt presidency or maybe Carter for bungling Iran.
 

Sailor.X

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I think it’s largely because they see a lot of negative coverage and still have memories of when Obama was in office (even though we’re now talking over a decade since he was first sworn in). Probably self-reinforcement in echo chambers as well.

Plus a lot of history classes don’t actually go into detail about how shitty a president Wilson was; they only cover the fact that he was president when a World War I started brewing and that’s it. No mention of re-segregation, no mention of why he was such a departure from the general U.S. policy of neutrality, etc.

I don’t think I’d really put either of the Bushes up there in terms of “worst.” The elder made a couple of mistakes but he was also dealing with an economic slowdown coupled with twelve years of Republicans in the White House. W kind of got dragooned into the war on terror because of how much of a shock it was to the country, and then he and his foreign policy team were faced with a couple of extremely difficult strategic decisions in the Middle East and royally screwed up.

As far as Arthur goes, what about his time in office did you not like? He didn’t do that much of note, granted, but it’s not like he was a do-nothing like Buchanan, someone who expanded government way too much like Johnson, or tried to undermine Congress and the courts like Jackson. He did manage to get Congress to start buying the Navy some desperately needed ships, and also was the one who enacted the Civil Service Reform Act of 1881 (which was the big factor in breaking the spoils system). In fact, Mark Twain even commended him as being a solid president. Sure, not one of note like Washington or Lincoln, but that didn’t make him a bad president. And personally I’d include Harding for having a ridiculously corrupt presidency or maybe Carter for bungling Iran.
I included Chester Arthur for some of they well more shady behind the books things he did. He was a sneaky man as historians have mentioned in his none official out in the public dealings. There is a Ken Buns documentary that goes into some of it.
 

Airedale260

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It's all me me me?

When you live in the moment and it affects you the most?
Also I think there's a tendency to believe that Obama was far more consequential during his tenure than he actually was. 99% of what he did has already been reversed by Trump and the healthcare mess is still being hotly debated. And he's as much of a lightning rod as Trump because of all the media coverage.
 

Random Username

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Also I think there's a tendency to believe that Obama was far more consequential during his tenure than he actually was. 99% of what he did has already been reversed by Trump and the healthcare mess is still being hotly debated. And he's as much of a lightning rod as Trump because of all the media coverage.
Personally Obama is just one of the many leaders who come and go. It's only how bad or good they do before they leave is what matters to the US citizens and everyone else abroad.

I'm sure the Iranians like him because he gave them billions of dollars.

The Libyans affected by the war to lower their quality of life definitely hate him.

Al Qaeda definitely definitely hates him for their leader's death.

The Mexicans and American border security affected by the Fast and Furious scheme don't like him.
 

ShieldWife

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When it comes to choosing worst presidents, there is a gigantic bias towards more recent presidents. Most people are pretty ignorant of history and largely think in the moment. We are all awash in a sea of partisan propaganda focusing on how the current or most recent president from the opposite party is terrible. Ask a Democrat who the worst president ever is, they will say Donald Trump. Ask a Republican who the worst president ever is and they might say Obama. Both of those answers are likely irrational and/or ill informed. I'm not fan of Obama, but I don't think he was especially bad, he's up against really stiff competition in the badness category. As time goes by, Republicans will probably become a little more objective about accessing Obama as a president.
 

Culsu

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It's probably a mix of increased political polarization and the proliferation of the internet coming to fruition. Suddenly every rumor that only the utter fringes would have known of or cared about gets dragged through the spotlight.
 

Sailor.X

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It's probably a mix of increased political polarization and the proliferation of the internet coming to fruition. Suddenly every rumor that only the utter fringes would have known of or cared about gets dragged through the spotlight.
Which does not help the Right get people to hear the message. Because if you are someone that knows history and really studies US History. Hearing that fly Obama is the worst President ever will make those with decent knowledge just paint them as a bunch of nutters. And I have come to that conclusion on the Obama is the worst ever crowd. They are just as bad as the TDS crowd.
 

S'task

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Which does not help the Right get people to hear the message. Because if you are someone that knows history and really studies US History. Hearing that fly Obama is the worst President ever will make those with decent knowledge just paint them as a bunch of nutters. And I have come to that conclusion on the Obama is the worst ever crowd. They are just as bad as the TDS crowd.
Given some of the things starting to come out of the Flynn case and the potential that Obama may have been in on the entire thing, staging for Sedition against the incoming duly elected President is, to be frank, the worst political crime a President has been involved with. Way, way worse than anything involving Nixon and Watergate. If it pans out that Obama was in the know about that, or worse, actively participated in organizing it, people will be able to make a very strong case that he WAS one of the worst presidents in US history, as that kind of activity undermines the peaceful transfer of power that the US is built on.

But that is dependent on what turns out from all that mess. When it comes to actual policy, Obama was just your run of the mill Dem with, perhaps, a higher than average antipathy to Christians. As such by that measure he's not really worse than many other Presidents who had much more actively bad policies.

But I think you may actually be underestimating just how corrupt the Obama administration was. Scandals that would have seen a Republican administration put through hell were quietly swept under the rug, to the point where you, to this day, have people claiming that the Obama administration was "scandal free" with a straight face. It wasn't scandal free, the media was just complicit in covering things up. That also may be why in part people on the right say make the claim: they are reacting to the utter insanity of how major scandals were covered up, blown over, or silenced by the media and the administration.
 

Bear Ribs

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I agree with @ShieldWife. I can't find it online ATM but I recall a study I read that had people catalogue major historical events, and something like 70% of the major events people recalled were in the last twenty years. There's a tremendous bias towards what happened last week compared to what happened thirty years ago. This is especially true now when we have a very political generation who's also extremely young and inexperienced. People are convinced Bush/Trump/Obama is the worst president ever because that's the only Republican/Democrat president in the living memory of a teenager/early 20yo.

Millenials with parents who were Democrats grew up hearing about the dark times under Bush when they were little children, followed by a new golden age brought in by Obama, and now the evil times have returned with Trump. Interestingly that's exactly what the Sequel Star Wars movies have as their timeline.

Meanwhile those with Republican parents heard about how Bush fought valiantly against the terrorist threat, then Obama came and ruined everything, but Trump is setting matter's straight. The Prequel Star Wars movies actually had a similar narrative with the President of their times, leaving the golden age of Clinton as a new threat to peace and order in the form of Bush came to overthrow the government and establish a conservative military junta that would take over everything.
 

Sailor.X

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Given some of the things starting to come out of the Flynn case and the potential that Obama may have been in on the entire thing, staging for Sedition against the incoming duly elected President is, to be frank, the worst political crime a President has been involved with. Way, way worse than anything involving Nixon and Watergate. If it pans out that Obama was in the know about that, or worse, actively participated in organizing it, people will be able to make a very strong case that he WAS one of the worst presidents in US history, as that kind of activity undermines the peaceful transfer of power that the US is built on.

But that is dependent on what turns out from all that mess. When it comes to actual policy, Obama was just your run of the mill Dem with, perhaps, a higher than average antipathy to Christians. As such by that measure he's not really worse than many other Presidents who had much more actively bad policies.

But I think you may actually be underestimating just how corrupt the Obama administration was. Scandals that would have seen a Republican administration put through hell were quietly swept under the rug, to the point where you, to this day, have people claiming that the Obama administration was "scandal free" with a straight face. It wasn't scandal free, the media was just complicit in covering things up. That also may be why in part people on the right say make the claim: they are reacting to the utter insanity of how major scandals were covered up, blown over, or silenced by the media and the administration.
Even if everything pans out Woodrow Wilson is still worst. All of his shit affected the US for over 107 years. Woodrow Wilson's policies did way more damage and is 90 percent of what the far right and liberty movement complains about. Obama at worst is just mediocre as far as Presidents go.
 

Tyanna of Pentos

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My own list of Presidents worse than Obama is:

Tyler
Pierce
Polk
Buchanan
-- I rank them in the first category, which is "Ineffective Presidents of a particularly bad era in American history in which our politics were fatally damaged and heading for the civil war", as opposed to Presidents whose policies were actively malicious, see below:
JFK
Jimmy Carter
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Jackson
Woodrow Wilson
 

Abhorsen

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My own list of Presidents worse than Obama is:

Tyler
Pierce
Polk
Buchanan
-- I rank them in the first category, which is "Ineffective Presidents of a particularly bad era in American history in which our politics were fatally damaged and heading for the civil war", as opposed to Presidents whose policies were actively malicious, see below:
JFK
Jimmy Carter
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Jackson
Woodrow Wilson
I think people are underrating how bad Buchanan was. He wasn't just ineffective, he made everything worse through his appointments and other choices. For just one example, he got into a war with the mormons, then lost it. I can go on for a while about this.
 

ShieldWife

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Saying that a particular president is really bad usually involves a lot of oversimplifications. A bad president isn't solely responsible for the bad things he does in office. Very often a president part of a national zeitgeist were lots of sweeping changes are happening for the worst and the president is just one part of that. I would, as an example, put Lyndon Johnson in that category. He was terrible and caused lots of lasting harm to the nation that we are experiencing now - but the Western world was going through a massive shift to the left at that time and many other Democrats likely would have done the same things.
 

JagerIV

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While I tend to agree, Its also early in history: a lot of Wilson's issues took a really long time to really understand just how badly he mangled things.

Like, could one have reconized how badly what Wilson did really was, say, in 1925? What about 1935? How obvious would Wilsons role in WWII actually be, and would it be clear what his mistake actually was? I've after all seen people who were critical of Wilson say his biggest mistake in how he handled WWI was by not getting involved in 1915! That the issue was he didn't intefer in WWI enough!

Like others have also said, many of the worst things to happen during the Obama administration were continuation and acceleration of existing trends, trends where still in the middle of and its not clear where those go, and to which Obama's administration clearly played some role, but its not easy to determine how much of a role he played.

Like, from my understanding Lyndon Johnson was against the black civil rights movement before he was for it, and Obama was against gay marriage before he was for it. But, obviously both Presidents and their adminstrations were heavily involved in those radical changes and determining the exact form that that implementation took place. But also likewise, they were the final implementer of projects and movements that had been building for decades.

The eternal difficulty of separating cause and effect in leadership: is the leader causing something to happen, or reacting to something already underway?
 
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Knowledgeispower

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Obama isn't even remotely close to Woodrow Wilson.

Woodrow Wilson was a complete piece of shit who firmly deserved the slow agonizing death he got after his stroke.
I wonder how the timeline would look if he got hit by a car the day before he was nominated or Teddy Roosevelt didn't run for some reason or another.
 
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Lanmandragon

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While I tend to agree, Its also early in history: a lot of Wilson's issues took a really long time to really understand just how badly he mangled things.

Like, could one have reconized how badly what Wilson did really was, say, in 1925? What about 1935? How obvious would Wilsons role in WWII actually be, and would it be clear what his mistake actually was? I've after all seen people who were critical of Wilson say his biggest mistake in how he handled WWI was by not getting involved in 1915! That the issue was he didn't intefer in WWI enough!

Like others have also said, many of the worst things to happen during the Obama administration were continuation and acceleration of existing trends, trends where still in the middle of and its not clear where those go, and to which Obama's administration clearly played some role, but its not easy to determine how much of a role he played.

Like, from my understanding Lyndon Johnson was against the black civil rights movement before he was for it, and Obama was against gay marriage before he was for it. But, obviously both Presidents and their adminstrations were heavily involved in those radical changes and determining the exact form that that implementation took place. But also likewise, they were the final implementer of projects and movements that had been building for decades.

The eternal difficulty of separating cause and effect in leadership: is the leader causing something to happen, or reacting to something already underway?
What people "believe" isn't relevant pretty much ever. What's true and real is what matters.
 
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