19 February 2006

Blunders from On High

It is easy to blame US Presidents and deservely so, but what to blame them for? That's harder, so a group of American scholars have made it easier!

The list, from most egregious to least egregious:

1. James Buchanan (1857-1861), for failing to keep the Union together before the Civil War.

2. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869), for failed post-Civil War reconstruction policies.

3. Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969), for letting the Vietnam War escalate.

4. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), for refusing to compromise on the Treaty of Versailles after World War I.

5. Richard Nixon (1969-1974), for his involvement in a Watergate cover-up.

6. James Madison (1809-1817), for getting the United States into the War of 1812 with Britain.

7. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), for the Embargo Act of 1807, a self-imposed prohibition on trade with Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.

8. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), for the Bay of Pigs Invasion that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

9. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), for the Iran-Contra Affair, an effort to sell arms to Iran and use the money to finance an armed anti-communist group in Nicaragua.

10. Bill Clinton (1993-2001), for his involvement with White House intern Monica Lewinsky."

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