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Is George H. W. Bush The “Best” One Term President In American History, Surpassing James K. Polk, And What About Jimmy Carter?

Now that George H. W. Bush is part of American history, the question arises whether he should be judged the “best” one term President in American history.

We have had the following 12 one term elected Presidents who finished their term, but were not given a second term:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William Howard Taft
Herbert Hoover
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush

Eight of them, all but Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, and Hayes were defeated for reelection, with those four choosing not to run, and all of these four, except Polk, very unpopular and aware that they were not wanted to be nominated for another term.

The usual viewpoint has been that James K. Polk, with the acquisition of the American Southwest by war with Mexico, and acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by the Oregon treaty with Great Britain, was the most successful one term President. Labeled an expansionist and an imperialist by many, the fact that he presided over the greatest expansion of US territory since Thomas Jefferson, has helped him to be regarded by scholars as a “successful” President, rated 12 to 14 in scholarly polls.

Now, some are saying that George H. W. Bush may be greater than Polk, due to his foreign policy accomplishments in particular, including the end of the Cold War, the unification of Germany, and the Persian Gulf War, along with his domestic policies of “A Thousand Points Of Light”, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Some on this list, including Van Buren, Pierce, Buchanan, Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, Taft, and Hoover are seen in a poor light, while J. Q. Adams is seen as not having succeeded in his one term, although a great man, and his father, John Adams, criticized for the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, curbing civil liberties during his term.

The only other one term President who could be seen as competing would be Jimmy Carter, with his Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, the Panama Canal Treaty, his Human Rights advocacy, his creation of new cabinet agencies (Departments of Education, Health And Human Services, Energy), and his exceptional record on the environment, but his negatives, including high inflation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the Cuban Mariel Boat Lift all help to undermine his case.

So, one could argue that Polk and Bush may be competitive as the “best” one term elected President, without a clear cut answer to the question of who was the better President.

It might be best to say that Polk was the best 19th century one term elected President, while Bush was the best 20th century one term elected President, with Jimmy Carter as the runner up in that regard.

Barack Obama Now Insured Of Stature As Historic Domestic Reform Leader With Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Lyndon B. Johnson!

The victory yesterday of ObamaCare at the Supreme Court, by a margin of 6-3, insures that Barack Obama will be listed historically in the company of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson in their massive accomplishments in domestic reforms!

Woodrow Wilson accomplished the passage of the Federal Reserve Act; the Federal Trade Commission Act; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; and the enactment of the first federal labor laws and assistance to farmers. His programs were both the “New Freedom” and elements of Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt accomplished the massive list of reforms known as the “New Deal”, in the areas of banking, the stock market, government intervention in business, labor, agriculture, housing, and most significantly, in Social Security and other aid to the poor, as well as major public works programs. He also took us out of the worst of the Great Depression.

Lyndon B. Johnson accomplished the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, along with immigration reform, civil rights legislation, greatly expanded aid to education, and the “war on poverty”, all part of the “Great Society.” Johnson also enacted consumer and environmental legislation and two new Cabinet agencies. He brought about the greatest amount of domestic reform since FDR, who he idolized.

Barack Obama has now accomplished health care reform to cover all Americans, a massive step first proposed by Theodore Roosevelt in his “New Nationalism” campaign as a third party campaign for President in 1912. Additionally, he has promoted environmental legislation by executive order; advancements in civil rights enforcement; a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Wall Street reform; immigration reform through executive order; and many lesser reforms that all add up to the best domestic record of achievement since the 1960s! He also took us out of the Great Recession, the greatest economic downturn since FDR and the Great Depression! He is the greatest reform President since Lyndon B. Johnson!

Mitt Romney: Obama Needs To Tell Us His Future Plans In Office, But I Will Not Do The Same! The Double Standard!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the likely Republican Presidential nominee, has been highly critical of President Barack Obama over a comment made to Russian President Dmitry Medveded about needing some time until after the upcoming election before he could follow through on plans for agreements.

Romney lambasted Obama, and insisted that he needed to fully reveal all plans, both foreign and domestic, as the American people were entitled to know what his agenda was for the next four years.

In the short run, that seemed to make some sense, but now the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney has emerged, as he was at a Palm Beach, Florida gathering of extremely wealthy people last night, and was unwilling to allow media in to listen.

But some information leaked out anyway, including the general idea, but not specified in detail, that Romney intended to end the Department of Housing and Urban Development cabinet agency, which his own father, George Romney, had headed under President Richard Nixon. He also mentioned a desire to combine other cabinet agencies, but said no details would be given to the American people before the election.

Romney has also talked in broad generalities about foreign policy changes, including a threat to attack Iran, but does not wish to be specific in any way.

So what Mitt Romney is saying is:Trust me, and give me power!

But he insists that Obama must be very specific and out in the open about everything he might be planning.

If such was to be a requirement of any Presidential candidate or President, then all past candidates have violated such a stipulation. That is not the way government works, Mr. Romney, and particularly since you have a double standard, that Obama must reveal everything, but you do not have to, the answer is that you have, for the umpteenth time, totally lost credibility!

Ron Paul’s Libertarianism Gone Amuck!

Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a Republican Presidential candidate well known for his libertarian views, has come up with a new proposal to resolve the budgetary crisis, and makes it all sound simple, as if anything in government is simple: eliminate FIVE cabinet agencies, end other federal involvement and regulation, and cut back defense spending dramatically! He claims he can cut $1 trillion the first year, and with other proposals, balance the budget in one year!

There is as much chance of all this happening as Ron Paul becoming President on January 20, 2013!

Specifically, Paul calls for the following:

1. Close down the Department of Education, Department of the Interior, Department of Commerce, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Energy.
2. Eliminate the Transportation Security Administration, leading to privatization of airport security.
3. Slash spending for other departments to the level of 2006, and cut the federal work force by 10 percent, and congressional salaries and the President’s salary would also be cut.
4. Immediately end all war spending and bring troops overseas home.
5. Cut most federal regulations and cut taxes further.
6. Give Medicaid administration and responsibility over to the state governments.
7. End taxes on capital gains and dividends completely.
8. Repeal the Obama Health Care plan and the Wall Street regulatory reform program.
9. Conduct a full audit of the Federal Reserve Bank, one of his favorite “whipping boys”.
10. Honor Social Security, Medicare and Veterans benefits programs, but allow younger people to opt out of the programs.

To believe that all of the above could be accomplished, and that it would be good for the nation, is to believe in Santa Claus!

In many respects, this series of ideas are extremely dangerous, extremist, and radical, and some would say looney as well. No serious observer can possibly believe that such a program is doable, advisable, and would pass muster in a Presidential campaign!

But then, Ron Paul is NOT going to be the GOP nominee in any case, so it is just a side issue to look at, laugh at, and dismiss as NOT serious in nature!