Calvin Coolidge

I have come to believe Coolidge was one of our best presidents ever. Which gives me the urge to have a look… Naturally he is ranked in the bottom 1/3-1/2, generally worse than Hoover, surprisingly. In thinking about going through presidents and finding something good and bad each did, I had no idea what Coolidge did that might be considered bad, and knew I’d need to research. Ended up spending time reading about Harding instead, finding that he did little wrong and important things right, yet is famed for being horrible because of scandals associated with appointments of people for political reasons rather than competence. Which makes his big failure a managerial/oversight one. But I digress. Ironically, I found Taft to be reprehensible when I looked for bad things, and you just don’t hear anything about him. Granted, by now that’s ancient history. It’s easy to say what Carter did wrong (and right), but he’s still recent. From my perspective, the demarcation from modern to historic presidents is at Eisenhower or Kennedy. Before that point, they tend to be caricatures of whatever traits history has assigned, however accurate or complete. Which is probably why liberal and conservative rankings of historic presidents tend to be closer than you might expect, flipping a few places at most. For instance, Wilson at 6 for liberals and 8 for conservatives, when conservatives ought to be ranking him near the bottom. It becomes about knowledge-free impressions.

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