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vcczar

Presidential Misconduct

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I just finished a book called Presidential Misconduct. It covers all investigations into administrative misconduct from Washington through Obama. The book was written and published within Trump's presidency, but the author states that he only wanted to cover presidencies that have concluded. He makes no mention of Trump in the book. 

I gave each president letter grades in regards to the level of corruption. An F is the most corrupt and an A is relatively corrupt free. The book only counts investigations, so any scandalous behavior or dubious policies not investigated do not count. 

Here were the only three presidents that received an F from me:

  • Warren G. Harding - One scandal after another. 3 appointees were jailed, one escaped impeachment by luck, two members of the administration committed suicide. 
  • Richard Nixon - Watergate, wiretaps, coverups, enemies lists, impeachment threat and resignation
  • Ronald Reagan - grant rigging in two departments, illegal lobbying, pentagon bribes and kickbacks, Iran-Contra Affair, 138 Reagan officials investigated, indicted, or convicted in the Iran-Contra Affair alone. 
  • Honorable Mention (Those that got D-range grades): James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. 

The book makes it seem like scandal is the new norm, but I think a lot of it has to do with the greater the size of government, both the greater the chance for scandal, the greater the chance of it being found, and the more politicized the scandal becomes, even when the investigation is highly warranted. Nixon is kind of a pivot here, possibly creating the need for investigations as a norm. We've had 9 presidents since and including Nixon. Of these 9, only Ford, Carter, Bush I, and Obama had relatively untarnished administrations. That is, their investigations and scandals are considered minor and few. This means THE MAJORITY of our presidents have had unusually high levels of scandal and corruption since Nixon. Clinton and Bush II are half of the D's I awarded! Nixon and Reagan are 2/3 of the F's I awarded! I think even a Republican, unless they're drunk with Trump, would award Trump a D or F. Thus, we can say that possibly 75% of the F Presidents in regards to misconduct are since Nixon. 

One may wonder why Grant isn't an F considering his scandalous presidency. The primary reason for this is that he was active in investigating his own corrupt administration. He played no role in it and wanted it out. He just had no capacity for heading a government. I gave him a D-. Had he been as passive as Reagan during his scandals, I would have given him an F. If not for lying under oath, Clinton likely would have received a C-range grade. 

If anyone is curious, we don't really get a corrupt administration (at least one that was investigated) until Zachary Taylor and not a major one until Grant. Lincoln did a lot of questionable things seems to have avoided investigation because of the Civil War. I've awarded him a C-range grade. 

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1 hour ago, vcczar said:

I just finished a book called Presidential Misconduct. It covers all investigations into administrative misconduct from Washington through Obama. The book was written and published within Trump's presidency, but the author states that he only wanted to cover presidencies that have concluded. He makes no mention of Trump in the book. 

I gave each president letter grades in regards to the level of corruption. An F is the most corrupt and an A is relatively corrupt free. The book only counts investigations, so any scandalous behavior or dubious policies not investigated do not count. 

Here were the only three presidents that received an F from me:

  • Warren G. Harding - One scandal after another. 3 appointees were jailed, one escaped impeachment by luck, two members of the administration committed suicide. 
  • Richard Nixon - Watergate, wiretaps, coverups, enemies lists, impeachment threat and resignation
  • Ronald Reagan - grant rigging in two departments, illegal lobbying, pentagon bribes and kickbacks, Iran-Contra Affair, 138 Reagan officials investigated, indicted, or convicted in the Iran-Contra Affair alone. 
  • Honorable Mention (Those that got D-range grades): James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush. 

The book makes it seem like scandal is the new norm, but I think a lot of it has to do with the greater the size of government, both the greater the chance for scandal, the greater the chance of it being found, and the more politicized the scandal becomes, even when the investigation is highly warranted. Nixon is kind of a pivot here, possibly creating the need for investigations as a norm. We've had 9 presidents since and including Nixon. Of these 9, only Ford, Carter, Bush I, and Obama had relatively untarnished administrations. That is, their investigations and scandals are considered minor and few. This means THE MAJORITY of our presidents have had unusually high levels of scandal and corruption since Nixon. Clinton and Bush II are half of the D's I awarded! Nixon and Reagan are 2/3 of the F's I awarded! I think even a Republican, unless they're drunk with Trump, would award Trump a D or F. Thus, we can say that possibly 75% of the F Presidents in regards to misconduct are since Nixon. 

One may wonder why Grant isn't an F considering his scandalous presidency. The primary reason for this is that he was active in investigating his own corrupt administration. He played no role in it and wanted it out. He just had no capacity for heading a government. I gave him a D-. Had he been as passive as Reagan during his scandals, I would have given him an F. If not for lying under oath, Clinton likely would have received a C-range grade. 

If anyone is curious, we don't really get a corrupt administration (at least one that was investigated) until Zachary Taylor and not a major one until Grant. Lincoln did a lot of questionable things seems to have avoided investigation because of the Civil War. I've awarded him a C-range grade. 

This is now on my shopping list.I will buy it as soon as i go shopping for books next time.

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