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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Official: Obama Worst President in U.S. History

Until yesterday, Obama was merely "in the running" for worst president in the history of the United States, competing with such erstwhile favorites as James Buchanan, Warren Harding and Millard Fillmore. Only a year and a half into his first term, Obama could field such notable accomplishments as:

• Failure to revive the U.S. economy;
• Escalation of the war in Afghanistan;
• Enactment of a health care plan opposed by a majority of Americans;
• Indifference to a major ecological disaster;
• Alienation of U.S. allies around the globe;
• Creation of a Middle East power vacuum threatening world peace;
• Repudiation of campaign promises, e.g., recognition of Armenian Genocide by the Turks;
• Estrangement of supporters, i.e. gays and Hispanics;
• Avoidance of news conferences and unscripted Q&A.

Had you asked me yesterday morning concerning Obama's chances to top the list of all-time worst American presidents, I would have told you that notwithstanding this impressive list of credentials, he is not even midway through his first, and presumably last, term of office, and a final determination must wait.

Yesterday evening, however, Obama placed himself at the top of the chart, when, at a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan, he used the occasion to declare his support for the construction of a 13-story, $100 million mosque and Muslim community center at Ground Zero.

Obviously, if this issue were to go the Supreme Court, there is nothing to prevent the erection of the complex, notwithstanding the fact that it amounts to a thumb in the eye for families of 9/11 victims. Moreover, New York Mayor Bloomberg has also already voiced support for the mosque, so why should Obama's advocacy for the project propel him to the top of the worst presidents list?

Answer: Still shackled with his inane decision to expand involvement in Afghanistan and desperately struggling to win the hearts and minds of its hostile civilian population, Obama could not have concluded otherwise. In addition, Obama continues to seek rapprochement with the Muslim world, and his declaration is entirely in keeping with his foreign affairs policy. But instead of making this pronouncement at a White House iftar dinner before a friendly group of Muslim invitees, Obama should have first sought to explain himself to the families of those who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center.

Cowardice on Obama's part? Stupidity? Certainly an absence of leadership, which has become the hallmark of his administration.


  1. "Still shackled with his inane decision to expand involvement in Afghanistan and desperately struggling to win the hearts and minds of its hostile civilian population, Obama could not have concluded otherwise. In addition, Obama continues to seek rapprochement and tolerance with the Muslim world, and his declaration is entirely in keeping with his foreign affairs policy"

    It appears, you find his decision justified, you just do not like the location of announcement.

    I do not agree with this justification. Afghans do not care about locations of mosques in US: they have much more urgent problems. Even if they would care, we should not bend to their will at our soil. His pandering to Muslims can not justify his decision: he is still President of the US, not an advocate for Muslims. He could take into account that most of Americans, not just the 9/11 families, are offended by this Temple of Victory on the Ground Zero. He shows his contempt for the 68% of Americans who oppose the mosque.

    Despite trying to soften the relationship with Israel (pre-election?) here he shows his true allegiance again.

  2. Marina,

    I don't justify Obama's support for the mosque complex.

    First, it is indeed offensive to the families of 9/11 victims, and an alternate location, if needed, should have been found by those seeking to build it. Alternatively, as a gesture of conciliation, those building this complex should have devoted the funds to a center for multicultural education and understanding - but we both know that this would never happen.

    And now allow me to be poltically incorrect: I observe Muslim furor accompanying the reconstruction of the Hurva synogogue destroyed in the Old City of Jerusalem by the Jordanian Legion in 1948, given that it is too close to "Haram esh-Sharif" (the "Noble Sanctuary" or Temple Mount). I also note the violence accompanying the erection of a mosque in front of the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

    Liberals such as Bloomberg do not understand that the construction of a mosque is often not intended as a message of brotherhood or tolerance.

  3. Hi, Jeffrey

    I never heard about this violence in Nazareth. Now I found the link:
    Muslims build the mosque, and Muslims are violent and do rioting against Christians. We are lucky they do not riot in NY yet.

    If you ask me, I have nothing against being politically incorrect.

  4. "Liberals such as Bloomberg"
    Liberal indeed.On a separate issue,regarding "illegals", I recently heard him to say "The more,the better"...What happened to the legal process,support of same,voice of the majority.I have nothing against immigration,as long as it's done in accordance of existing laws,laws that should be repected and enforced.

  5. What Obama said at the White House Iftar fast-breaking meal:
    "Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities – particularly in New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

    But let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure."

    Yes, the setting of a Muslim Ramadan dinner was inappropriate.

    The real absence of leadership on the prayer space intended to be part of a still not quite defined site because it was severely damaged on 9/11 (what so many forget to mention as the heart of the controversy) - the real absence of leadership is Mayor Bloomberg, who disdains the opinions of anyone who challenges him, especially when he decides what gets built (or not built).

    No modern president will ever be as bad as Andrew Johnson, the drunk who followed Abraham Lincoln. Obama does have a good shot at the bottom five on the 1996 Schesinger poll of presidential historians if anyone ever does another one.

    After all, the increasingly partisanized debate over what gets built at 45 Park Place is almost as heated as the debate that led to a genuine Civil War. New York City tried to secede from the Union because the cotton trade was so important to the economy centered in downtown New York. In fact, the original owners of 45 Park Place were cotton traders who bravely refused to violate the Northern naval blockade of the South during the Civil War. Lucky the building was not burnt to the ground during the Draft Riots of 1863.

    One of the reasons why Mayor Mike made sure that his appointed commissioners voted against landmarking 45 Park Place??

    Such a complex, multi-layered controversy.

    Obama should have stayed silent.