Since it's President's Day, who do you think was the best?

Now that’s honest debate!

Hey, I have very mixed feelings about the Iraq thing, but I read that article and say “Go Jimmy!”

“To disagree with what we are doing internationally is treasonous, and is an affront to our soldiers in the field fighting for our country’s best interests.”
– Leonid Brezhnev

(Okay, he didn’t really say that. But I bet you could imagine him saying it!)

Tough call between Washington, Lincoln and the two Roosevelts. I’ll put my money on the guy with the stovepipe hat. To fight and win a major war that a lot of his advisors didn’t want to fight took guts and insight into the chaos that would ensue if the South was allowed to leave just because it lost an election.


Frosty the Snowman?

Not sure which is best overall, but I think Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Truman are the five best in our history.

There shouldn’t really be any debate about FDR.

The man who sent 120,000 Japanese off to concentration camps and did more to turn the United States into a socialist country than any president before or since? Damn right there shouldn’t.

Damn right. I prefer the fascism of our nation today under Dubya and Ashcroft.

Well, Bush has only sent a couple thousand people off to be held without trial. By that standard, he’s a great improvement. Definitely a lesser-of-two-evils thing, though.

I can’t give it to FDR. The new deal changed the way our government worked forever in ways that have let directly to the state we live in today where if the government were to act fiscally responsible the nation would collapse. I would say Lincoln with a nod to Washington and Nixon…Yes Nixon. The man did many great things before he walked into Watergate. Vietnam, China, etc. He made bold steps in foreign and internal politics. Remember he presided over the country during the time when race was the major domestic issue as well. AND when he was caught with his pants down and the evidence to back it up he accepted impeachment and walked away from it. I admire him for those qualities even while I detest the corruption and sleaze that came with it.

I hope you’re shitting us on Nixon & Vietnam.

Graller’s hero growing up was Alex P. Keaton, too.

David Rice Atchison

Graller’s also an admirer of Kissinger’s peace work.

Nice pokes - too bad none of you actually answered. Did they eventually get the US out of Vietnam? Something the American public really wanted. You guys can’t really be all that blinded by Watergate not to see that that administration did some things well? When he took over at the end of 1968 there were tens of thousands of US troops committed to Vietnam. We were dabbling in Cambodia and getting more embroiled in the conflict by the second. LBJ and Kennedy were the ones who got the country in, Nixon got them out. He may not have wanted to, he may have tried to resist public opinion. But in the end he did what the public wanted. Isn’t that part of leadership? Lets compare that to our good pal W. Bush wants his little war and dammit he is gonna get it…And no I am not saying there are not good reasons to go into Iraq - thats a different thread.

LBJ and Kennedy were the ones who got the country in, Nixon got them out.

My ass Nixon got us out; we got out because Congress cut off funding for the war. Nixon was planning ever-increasing escalations until we could be sure that South Vietnam could survive on its own, including use of nuclear weapons.

Actually, even Mr. McCullough is being too kind to Nixon/Kissinger. Kissinger conducted informal shuttle diplomacy prior to the 1968 elections, and was instrumental in scuttling a deal that might well have ended the Vietnam War in 1968 (he offered the North Vietnamese the promise of more favorable terms if they delayed a settlement until after the election).

Then, after the presidential election, Kissinger backed out of his deal, and he and Nixon rolled out increasingly atavistic strategies (including, but not limited to, carpet bombing of Laos and Cambodia) before finally acceding to the same peace terms North Vietnam had offered in '68.

To their record in Vietnam, one could add East Timor, Indonesia, the hit on Allende in Chile, the granting of permission to the Greek government to murder one of its own dissidents on the street in Washington D.C. …yeoman’s work all the way around.

Bush still hasn’t led us out of a depression, or at least been in charge when the market righted itself. And I’m not quite sure he’ll get that WWII kick by invading Iraq, but I could be wrong. And there’s that whole, “He couldn’t carry FDR’s jock” thing. And then there’s his lack of vision. And lack of intelligence. Etc.

Other than that, yeah, Bush and FDR are equals.

I had not heard of the Greek hit - do you have a reference? Seriosuly sounds interesting. You guys missed my point to some extent. I never said they did not want to continue the war effort. I am saying when they realized how strongly sentiment ran against it they did the right thing in the end. And I am sorry but JFK is way more to blame for Vietnam then Nixon/Kissinger.

I am saying when they realized how strongly sentiment ran against it they did the right thing in the end.

Uh, and we’re saying: no they didn’t. They wanted to get out, but only if they basically won - if South Vietnam could stand without us from either internal strength or weakness of the opposition.

Again, US involvement in Vietnam only ended when the Democratic congress cut off funding for the war.