By Debbie Schlussel
Since it’s Presidents Day, it’s time to take stock of our recent Presidents. By recent, I mean the last 100 years (before that, I like Lincoln and Washington). Who are your favorites and most disliked and why?
In my view, the best contemporary Presidents are Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. The worst are Jimmy Carter, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush. Briefly, here’s why:
* Teddy Roosevelt
: He captured America’s imagination and was, perhaps, the original conservative. He gave so many speeches and wrote so many insightful comments both during his Presidency and after that were brave and courageous. His best: “The Man in the Arena” speech
. Roosevelt recognized the immigration and lack-of-assimilation problems before their time. He took control of the Panama Canal (which Jimmy Carter gave up). He was a real man, who was a cowboy conservationist, not an extremist environmentalist, which we have too much of today.
From my Presidents Day post last year
, check out great quotes from Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech and his other quotes which answer liberal, elitist Hollywood, and those who want illegal aliens to do the work that they themselves refuse to do.
* Ronald Reagan
: Faced with double-digit inflation and a kick-me sign on America’s back from the Jimmy Carter days, President Reagan restored pride in America, domestically, and respect from the world internationally. With key diplomats like UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick and her deputy Alan M. Keyes, we told the America-hating world where to go.
With tax cuts, lowered tax rates, and the like, he brought supply-side economics to the forefront and a booming economy to economically depressed America. Reagan fought Communism abroad–ending the Communist empire of the Soviet Union by building up our nuclear arms arsenal and verbally siding with the human rights prisoners of Soviet hegemony–and in our hemisphere by funding the Nicaraguan freedom fighters against Sandinista Communists, defeating Daniel Ortega (until Bush allowed him back in 2007). And he also liberated Grenada.
Reagan brought important ideas–like missile defense–which were vilified then and are sound, accepted policy now, to the forefront. He was also one of the most pro-Israel presidents in American history, refusing to deal with the P.L.O. and saying no to a terrorist state for this artificially created nationality of Muslim Arabs.
Though he was tough around the world Reagan wasn’t, however, as tough on terrorism as he is given credit for. He pulled America out of Lebanon after Hezbollah murdered over 300 U.S. Marines and civilians in 1983 and trampled to death Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem on hijacked TWA Flight 847
. This cut-and-run, instead of bombing the terrorists and sending them to Allah, is cited by Bin Laden as an example of his view that America is cowardly.
And then there’s the reason the Marines were there in the first place: Instead of helping Israel protect itself against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and usher in a friendly, peaceful Maronite Christian government there, the Marines were brought in to protect the Palestinians from Israel, a big misstep. Reagan–and later Bush, Clinton, and Bush–never let Israel assassinate Arafat, even though he was in their sites and within sniper range.
And Reagan didn’t do much to respond to the hijacking of the Achille Lauro and the murder of passenger Leon Klinghoffer, an American Jew in a wheelchair. He did, however, respond to Libya’s murders of Marines in German discos and its cooperation in the PFLP bombing of the flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.
On balance, both symbolically and in words and deeds, Reagan was one of our best, he restored our own faith in our great nation for a few years.
* Jimmy Carter
: My July 2001 column, “Shut Up, Jimmy Carter
,” sums it up. He pandered to Islamists and helped usher out the America-friendly Shah of Iran in favor of the extremist Ayatollahs’ rule that has dominated this state ever since. American hostages–they were in captivity for 444 days because Carter did nothing, except a failed helicopter rescue attempt. We should have pounced on this country and bombed the heck out of it.
Double digit inflation, “malaise” days, and hundreds of thousands of autoworkers losing their jobs to foreign dumping of autos? Carter told us to bike to work and deal with the fact that we wouldn’t have it as good as our parents. Wonder why he was a one-termer? No-one does. Most of us remember.
With the U.N. and countries around the world in strife, Carter pressured Israel to give up the oil-rich Sinai to those who never really made a real peace. To date, Israel cannot even be in the International Book Fair in Egypt. This is peace? The land for piece of paper formula began under Jimmuh and we’ve keep falling down the slippery slope.
But White House tennis courts? That was something Carter paid close attention to. That, and UFOs, plus a rabbit who attacked him while he was fishing (and under the nose of the U.S. Secret Service).
* Bill Clinton
: Lied under oath. Brought oral sex to the Oval Office, not to mention sleaze extraordinaire. He and the world’s ugliest Secretary of State conferred respect to world’s bloodiest terrorist who murdered countless Americans and Jews (Arafat), and forced Israel into the Oslo agreement that spawned years of homicide bombings and terrorist attacks. How many innocent lives did this agreement snuff out? Far too many to count. Attorney General Janet Reno led jack-booted thuggish raids on Elian Gonzalez’s family, the Branch Davidian David Koresh clan, and on Ruby Ridge. So much for liberal tolerance of other beliefs . . . other than Islam, that is. Ignored the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and did nothing to shore up America’s national security and immigration enforcement after the fact. With co-President wife, spent their time trying to cover up Monicagate, Whitewatergate, Travelgate, and so many other scams and rip-offs they perpetrated. Through secret meetings of co-Prez Hillary, tried to push socialized medicine on America. Still trying to find out what the job/purpose of former bouncer/limo driver Craig Livingstone was. “First Black President” brought sleaze to a new low in the White House and played the race card to try to get away with it.
Conducted military bombings and incursions not based on what was best for America, but, instead, upon when Monica was testifying and/or which Muslim group was whining that they needed to murder Christians in Europe so they could establish a new Islamist beachhead there. Kosovo, anyone? Bosnia? Bill Clinton started the ball rolling on these nations for Muslims who hate us.
* George W. Bush
: Single-handedly brought down the country’s conservative movement and his own party by trying to be more liberal than liberals. Spent like a drunken sailor on bills he supported with Ted Kennedy. Education bill led to America’s decline in math, science, and reading on his watch. Most memorable (and false) slogan of eight years is “Islam is peace.” He was faced with America’s biggest catastrophe in contemporary times and responded by pandering to the Muslim cult that fomented it. Refused to restrict immigration by the religion of the 19 hijackers and instead invited their supporters to the White House for Ramadan dinners. Instead of responding, he listened to Islamist Grover Norquist and hired those with ties to Al-Qaeda to work for him as Muslim advisors, some with access to important national security info.
Had several years to institute a “Manhattan Project” to remove us from the oil-teat of Saudis and other OPEC nations. Instead, hung out with Saudi pan-terrorist buddies Prince Bandar and King Abdullah, all even though Mrs. Prince Bandar paid the rent of some 9/11 hijackers. He even agreed to Abdullah’s demands to remove women from the tarmac and air traffic control tower at the Waco airport on his arrival to visit the Bush ranch. Disgraceful AND disgusting.
Proof that getting into Yale and Harvard is more about who your daddy is than the capacity of your brain, he single-handedly brought down America’s national security by eliminating U.S. Customs and creating the Department of Homeland Security, including ICE and other inept agencies. Instead of responding to terrorists by beefing up the investigation of their fundind, he not only eliminated Customs, but its success Operation Greenquest. Appointed a left-wing lawyer to run Homeland Security and a woman as qualified to run ICE as Flava Flav.
Constantly pushed amnesty for illegal aliens and refused to build a mandated wall on our Southern border. Reduced background checks of prospective citizens to less than six minutes on average and no terror background checks for 47,000 plus of them. Yes, that’s how you respond to a terrorist attack on your country. You make it easier for them to do it again. At least Bill Clinton only did nothing. Bush helped our enemies.
Affirmative action hires of liberals Colin Powell and the incompetent Condoleeza Rice brought us further down in international eyes, as we continued to pander to Islamist nations and the Islamic religion. pressuring Israel to amputate itself and give up Gaza and parts of the so-called West Bank have led to endless bombings on poor, working class Israelis from Arab countries, living in Sderot and elsewhere.
His pipe-dream of “democracy” and “free elections” for Islamic terrorists achieved the predictable and obvious: terrorists came to power. Yes, Bush is the founding father of HAMAS-astan, Hezbollah-stan, and Muslim Brotherabia (in Egypt). Bush also helped the Shi’ite revival and spread Iran’s influence and power by handing Iraq over to their ilk in these silly “free elections.” Oh, and now, he’s the father of Kosovo-stan. And speaking of Iran, you know those nukes Iran is developing? When they get them, we can blame Bush for sitting by throughout his Presidency and doing nothing to take them out.
Feted Syria’s Assad by sending Condi Clueless and Jihad Darrell a/k/a Rep. Darrell Issa to kiss his butt. Legitimized the Ayatollah State by inviting Iran to “peace” conferences over Israel and Iraq and allowed Ahmadinejad on U.S. soil. Nearly gave away control of our ports to Islamists who helped the 9/11 hijackers murder 3,000 Americans. Letting countless potential terrorists into the country, without limit. Made a deal with the Saudi King to bring thousands more here on student visas.
Domestically, gave away millions in wasteful spending. The Carter “malaise” days aren’t just coming back. They’re already here. And in the next administration we will hurt greatly from the Bush “malaise” days.
Bush failed on so many levels. And he still doesn’t know: It’s noo-clee-uhr. Not Nook-yuh-ler. Sadly, that’s all he doesn’t know.