Hail to the Grief

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The President-Elect is an easy target for just about anything. Throw it at him; it sticks. In the spirit of easy pickings, time to remember the men who came before him & are remembered/tarred & feathered by history & less than grateful citizens. There are the usual suspects: Warren Gamaliel Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, the One & Only (thank goodness) James Buchanan. These are the winners (?) of about every ranking on who was the worst President. Were they? Well, yes. But surely every President has a “worst” something. Offer suggestions about who defines worst, all categories accepted & acknowledged. Name the miscreant, state your reason.

I nominate John Tyler. Why? Only President laid to rest under a foreign flag.

At least as of January 2017.

More Posts by SJWNY


66 thoughts on “Hail to the Grief”

  1. The spot where William McKinley was shot is now a median; the place where he died is now a parking lot.

    The house where Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in is a National Historic site, internationally known.

    Playing “What if ….” : President McKinley had lived. Imagine how different our history would have been. TR was a game changer. McKinley & his ilk, not so much.

  2. sjwny, thanks for displaying the stages of grief.  very fitting. right now i’m teetering between anger and depression. fear i’ll backslide to denial again.

  3. Two quotes to live by & survive anything (especially politics):

    One of the ways to avoid being beaten by the system is to laugh at it. – Peter Cook

    Deep down, I happen to be very shallow. – Pat Paulsen


  4. Well, one thing I know –  I’ll never turn the final corner on sj’s blackboard.

    On the bright side, our cable went out this morning.  If it stays gone for 4 days I won’t even accidentally see the corangnation. (Too bad it didn’t go out last night before Golden State thumped the Cavs).  Congrats, KC.

  5. Jamie, thanks for finding this and linking it for us.  do hope one of our vip lurkers make public use of it to the point where those in power get the point.  maybe rub a few noses in the dirt they shovel.

  6. “our cable went out this morning”

    pogo, is something mysterious happening out there in rural communications land? my phone and dsl went out also in the wee hours.  been doing that off and on enough over the last month I had to complain to Windstream.  one of their elves based in Louisiana mentioned problems with outages lately in a lot of flyover country.

  7. With apologies to Rebellious Renee, I’ll have to go with conventional scholarly opinion that New Hampshire’s only president, Franklin Pierce, was worst of all. He wimped out on slavery, even helped it spread, and paved the way to the Civil War. Worst in my lifetime: Ronald Reagan. He turned the people against their government for a generation, and it’s still happening.

  8. Inaugural wear: anything gold lamé. Including wigs. Considering the corruption of Trump’s soul and the alleged bedsheet depravity, I’m expecting beauty marks to make a comeback.

    Worst President? I don’t often think in those terms. I hope for another FDR, but it’s not lost on me that some rate him as terrible.

    Reagan ushered in the Age of Lies. At least, to my mind he did.  Talk of puppets today, and I saw Reagan as one of corporations. Yet he had a quip for every travesty. He waited for Gorbachev and time to “tear down that wall,” upstaged them, and took the credit. Now we may see more of Trickle Down, as though we haven’t been trickled on enough.

    So I’ll go for Reagan as worst, because I doubt we would have had either Bush without his stagegraft.

    Roosevelt, as in FD. Hyde Park. I really need another visit to FDR’s Springwood and his library to see the expansion. That little part of the world inspires me. Maybe FDR is still driving those roads in his Ford Phaeton, with Fala riding shotgun. Wouldn’t that be grand.

  9. from the guardian:
    A crude provocation compiled by a fugitive – Lavrov on Trump dossier
    Russia, said Lavrov, stands for “pragmatism and national interests understood in a sensible way, and not messianic foreign policy and the attempt to spread values across the world”. He expressed hope that under Trump, US foreign policy would move closer towards Russia’s ideal, and noted that in prioritising domestic business interests and the fight against terrorism, Trump’s stated foreign policy priorities were “exactly what Putin sees as the priorities for Russian foreign policy”.

    However, he denied reports that a summit between Trump and Putin was scheduled to take place in his first weeks as US president, potentially in Reykjavik, Iceland. “It is not true, and there has been no contact to discuss such plans,” said Lavrov.

    The foreign minister did confirm that officials from the Trump administration had been invited to participate in Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, next week, and said Russia wanted to work with the new US government on global issues.

  10. Buffalo may not think much of McKinley but Canton Ohio  thinks a lot of  him

    I think Shrub co. were pretty terrible  and what about Nixon he didn’t do much to help people’s faith in government

  11. Sort of have to go with William Henry Harrison.  Of course his saving grace was only being in office for 31 days which might come under heading of “Do No Harm”.  Of course that got us John Tyler and the annexation of Texas.  Oops.


  12. Wasn’t Pierce nominated because he was a northerner with southern sympathies?

    In a bizarre way, maybe we owe the 1850s bad Presidents a thank you: not wanting to be the ones to upset the status quo meant eventually passing on that hot potato to someone competent & capable to handle it.

  13. To be fair, KGC, who wants to be known as the place where assassination occurred? Still, as I drove by the McKinley parking lot Sunday my thought was that’s pretty cold 😉


  14. kgc, but at least during Nixon we thankfully got the clean air, water and establishment of epa acts.  all of which under twit are now in jeopardy and  because of that the worst president could be the in-coming (possibly our last one)  gasp, gasp, goodbye planet earth.

  15. Craig…   no apologies needed…. I’m not a native.  Not too far from where I type this, sits a place of higher learning called “Franklin Pierce University”.   It has the reputation of being the last place of acceptance for the rich and idle.  How apropos.

    I agree with those that say Ronald Reagan qualifies as the worst modern day president.  I’m sure Frump will succeed him.

  16. Anyone who didn’t know what we were getting in the almost disaster must have missed this delightful tweet from the beginning of the campaign: “Every time I speak of the haters and losers I do so with great love and affection. They cannot help the fact that they were born fucked up!”

    If I were to view or attend shoveling this excrement on the American public, I would hope there would be long lines of absolutely still and quiet people staring as he rode by (We know he isn’t walking).


  17. “Age of Trump! Post-Truth Era!”


    We are returning to the Age of Hurled Cabbages and Rotten Vegetables, the Age of Boo! Ladies and gents, we have a real villain. And forget that swill about him bring a master of anything. As the late, great Three Stooges might say of him, “What a maroon!”

    Wherever I am Friday at noon, I will be booing a certain foul, orange traitor. Sight unseen, of course.

    I hope my Cousin Joe from Scranton trips him. (He’s prone to gaffes, they say.)

    The absolute nerve of claiming a mandate,  expecting apologies, peaceful anything. The Orange cheek of the puppet-man!

  18. Nixon created the EPA by executive order in 1970 as a sop to the anti-Vietanm war left — not because he thought an EPA was needed.
    Nixon reassigned to the EPA the ongoing environmental protection activities of other federal agencies.
    So Nixon’s move was little more than a cynical bureaucratic reshuffling done to facilitate his Vietnam policies — not some proud legacy of the Republican party.

  19. The shooting of McKinley

    On 15 Sep 01, my Grandfather, a senior at Western Reserve University’s Adelbert College, was in Buffalo playing his clarinet for Pres William McKinley when two shots rang out–the President was mortally wounded.

    Nine days later the President was dead and Grandpa was back in Buffalo, along with the University Band, playing at his funeral. A sad remembrance. On a more cheerful note, he graduated the next Spring, married my Grandma, and my Father was born a year later.

    Oh, he and his Band were originally in Buffalo for the Pan-American Exposition’s Temple of Music.

  20. Irony of McKinley’s death is that the robber barons who elected him picked Teddy R because in the those days the VP was really a useless post and they wanted the trust buster out of their way.

  21. Trump returns this late morning to insulting John Lewis via tweet: calls him either “WRONG!” on Lewis saying this is the first inaugural he’ll skip. Or, or it is a “lie!”

    Good grief. If he’s going to have conniptions over these minor slights (for a President) he’ll be in a straitjacket in two months.

  22. Craig, I love the delicious irony of President TR served to those robber barons. But now we have Barron Trump.

  23. vanity fair reviews last night’s late night humorists takes on the twit/lewis tweet:

    ….all three comedians pointed out the absurdity of calling a civil-rights leader like Lewis “all talk.” As Meyers put it, “All talk, no action? John Lewis was getting beaten by police for protesting for voting rights while you were starting your first failed business.” Noah was equally bewildered: “Saying John Lewis isn’t a man of action is like me saying ‘Donald Trump is all tax returns, no tweets.’“ Colbert, on the other hand, actually agreed: “Yes. Well said. John Lewis is all talk, talk, talk. Unlike a real leader like Trump, who’s all tweet, tweet, tweet.”
    From there, though, the arguments diverged. Meyers went ahead and pointed out that Trump’s assessment of Lewis’s district might be more than a little bit racist—”If you’re wondering if it’s racist to assume that Lewis’s district is, quote, ‘crime-infested and falling apart’ just because he’s black, the answer is a hard yes“—
    On Comedy Central, Noah compared Lewis’s Trump feud with Steve Harvey’s visit to Trump Tower, which made waves of its own. “If Steve Harvey’s way of dealing with Trump isn’t your flavor,” Noah said, “we got the exact opposite way of dealing with Trump this weekend from Georgia congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis. . . . What Steve Harvey and John Lewis did this weekend perfectly captures the debate abut how to respond to the Trump presidency. Do you resist him, or do you work with him? This weekend we saw examples of both. And it’s appropriate that we’re talking about this on Martin Luther King Day. Because Dr. King also stood for both approaches.”
    The fact that all of this happened during the weekend of Martin Luther King Day is the biggest source of irony. As Colbert noted on Late Show, Trump canceled his visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture—”although I guess in a way that might be good,” Colbert said. “The last thing we need is Trump learning more about segregation.”
    He added later: “So, Trump spent the Martin Luther King weekend attacking a civil-rights leader who marched and was beaten with Dr. King. What’s he going to do on Easter? ‘Loser Jesus dead for three days, and then we’re supposed to believe he just wakes up? Fake news. I like gods who don’t die. Where’s the rebirth certificate?’“

  24. mr ddog, well the twit IS an expert when it comes to lies…. absolutely world class at it.

    but unlike his history of untruthiness, there was accountability and correction immediately forthcoming according to usatoday:

    Lewis’ office acknowledged Tuesday that the congressman also skipped Bush’s inauguration in 2001.

    “His absence at that time was also a form of dissent,” spokeswoman Brenda Jones said. “He did not believe the outcome of that election, including the controversies around the results in Florida and the unprecedented intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court, reflected a free, fair and open democratic process.”

  25. I, for one, have yet to visit Mr Trump’s ‘effluence du jour’ as poured through to his Twitter account. I don’t think that I ever shall. Why should sentient human beings be forced to lap at his canal?

  26. West Wing character Ryan Pierce, related to pres. Franklin Pierce.

    Reagan, Bush II, Nixon, so many modern day presidents who were real bad are r’s.

  27. Only tweeter I follow is LP. Gotta keep up with the boy.

    My sis did a paper in high school about WHHarrison’s term.  Always kidded her about taking the easy way out.

  28. been watching josh earnest do his final presser.  sure gonna miss him.  can’t imagine being able to sit thru a session with spicer.

  29. “Franklin Pierce, was worst of all. He wimped out on slavery” -CC


    …so did the founding fathers.  They knew slavery was a wicked institution, but it made them rich.

  30. I’ll second Andrew Jackson.  He authorized the theft of ancestral homelands from indigenous peoples, then had them resettled on some of the worst land in this country, i.e. barely-habitable deserts.

  31. My thinking is that Mr Carter is so much better, truly a great human being, out of office than in. From my point of view, as a person responsible for people and programs, classified in nature, he was detached from the effect of his decision making. I was very relieved when he was given the boot.

  32.  “Why should sentient human beings be forced to lap at his canal? [Trump’s Twitter acct]” -Flatus

    …because his dumb tweets now equate to official state policy.  Hey, I’m not thrilled about it, either.

  33. I’m pretty well convinced that Trumplethinskin will have plenty of TV & tweeting time since he seems to be delegating everything to others while he does figure head “Hail To The Chief” appearances.  Considering his total lack of competence at just about everything, this might turn out to be his only saving grace.


  34. President…..POLK….for stealing 44% of Mexico…..Andrew Jackson for what Champ (Bink) said……the founders for the same reason…..

  35. Please consider senile bush:

    1. He pushed the training and arming of the gang later known as al qaeda, despite warnings from our friends in the Northern Front.

    2. He called saddam hussein “Our best friend in the Middle East,” and armed him with poison gas and some advanced weapons. Through Ambassador April Glasby he invited saddam hussein to invade Kuwait. Then george called the dictator “worse than hitler” for invading Kuwait, assembled a vast alliance, and invaded a burning Kuwait himself.

    3. bush wanted the tough and highly trained Turkish army to join his alliance. For a quarter century the Turks had poured their treasure into a navy to match the Greek threat. They did so at the expense of logistical support for their army, as they saw no national threat to the south. bush promised a $B!LL!ON to upgrade Turkish logistics if only they would join the coalition. The Turks agreed and entered the war. The $B!LL!ON bush promised Turkey never showed up.

    4. The bush invasion of Kuwait was an instant success. So was the bush invasion of Iraq. Tens of thousands of Iraqis died, but then senile bush pulled the plug and allowed the man “worse than hitler” to remain in power, and his army to retain the weapons they hadn’t used or dropped. The moderate Arab Muslim nations, in the coalition and out, such as Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, Oman, and Tunisia, could have overseen the reassembly of Iraq as a bulwark against Iranian aggression. Instead, bush allowed “worse than hitler” to gas 10,000 Kurds, and complete his extermination of the Marsh Arabs. 

    5. bush also aided the murderous manuel noriega to gain power. Of course, we had to fight noriega. You can see the pattern forming as the American taxpayers and servicepeople have to suffer because of senile bush proteges.

    6. As VP, bush employed a Cuban anti-castro terrorist who, during the bush presidency went to Caracas and put bombs on a British ship and French airplane, both going to Cuba. bush may not have been involved with that, but his administration allowed the terrorist to hide out in the US.

    7. As a WWII pilot bush bailed out of a plane without warning his weapons officer, who died.

    8. As a Congressweasel, old bush was able to eliminate the paper evidence of his insane son babygeorge’s military desertion. babybush was too busy helping the drug addicted and criminous lee atwater on a senate campaign to work at the airbase.

    9.Senile bush also pardoned his bank embezzler brother neil, so that the lifetime prohibition against neil ever again working in the financial industry was about 2 months.

    Senilebush Legacy :

    With a record cleansed of his desertion, babybush was almost able to become president himself. Thanks to the evil daddybush, babybush’s record was clean enough for him to become Usurper-in-Chief, aid al qaeda by ignoring all the warnings and preventing the arrest of moussawi. With the success of 9/11, babybush was able to stampede Americans into both foreverwars, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    On the plus side, for oilmen like the bushes, baker, cheney, schultz, mccain, and the kochs, the two bushes got the price of oil from less than $10.00/bbl to more than $145/bbl, and gasoline from 65c/gal to more than $4/gal. This triggered the real estate market collapse and depression that were so good for financial vultures and Big Insurance. They also increased the Federal Debt by more than 300%, an accomplishment unrivaled in US ‘peacetime’ history.

    Sorry, I cannot put poor old Andy Johnson and (probable murder victim) warren harding in the same class as senile bush and his less evil but insanely successful son.

  36. cbs news: Obama commutes Chelsea Manning’s sentence

    As one of his final acts as outgoing president, Barack Obama commuted the sentence being served by Chelsea Manning, a transgender soldier who is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the WikiLeaks website.

    Manning’s attorneys released her commutation application in November, asking Mr. Obama to shorten her sentence to the time she’s already served.

    The president granted commutation of sentence to 209 individuals and pardons to 64 individuals on Tuesday. Manning’s prison sentence is commuted to expire on May 17, 2017.

  37. solar, this for you from
    garrison Keillor: Trump has me searching for a new religion

    And so the Boy President heads for Washington to be sworn into office, pumping his fist, mooning the media, giving the stinky finger to whomever irks him, doing his end-zone dance, promising to build the wall, cut taxes, create jobs, provide great health insurance for EVERYONE and send his son-in-law to the Middle East to solve that little problem, and the rest of us will sit in a barn and keep ourselves warm and hide our heads under our wings, poor things. Discouraging.

    So I’ve been shopping around for a new religion to see me through the next four years. Too many of my fellow Christians voted for selfishness and for degradation of the beautiful world God created. I guess they figured that by the time the planet was a smoky wasteland, they’d be nice and comfy in heaven, so wotthehell. Anyhow, I’m looking around for other options.

    Buddhism involves way too much sitting still for my taste; the Dalai Lama basically says, “Be gentle. Listen to the universe. Live in the moment. Let happiness flow through you.” And I think to myself, “This man has never had children.” Hinduism includes sacred cows, and my experience with cattle makes it impossible for me to revere them; they are stubborn and stupid, and letting them wander loose in the streets — why? Prime rib is their proper destiny.

    Islam is great and so is Judaism but they’re so complicated! You can’t just walk into a temple and listen to a holy person and burst into tears and throw yourself down on the floor, as you can with Christianity, and say, “I believe!” and get dunked in water and, shazam, you’re in.

    And spirituality is no go for me, like what you read about in books with sentences like “Creativity is the journey of channeling connectedness and realizing the potentiality of being.” Don’t want that. I want a religion.

    At the moment, Zoroastrianism is looking good to me. Compared with other religions, it feels comfortable, something a guy could get used to. (It has nothing to do with the masked adventure hero Zorro, by the way. Or his ass.) Zoroastrians believe in one Great Almighty Spirit of Good who is in combat against evil forces, and Goodness prevails in the end. There is no self-flagellation or staring at the sun or snake-handling. In the afterlife, you will basically reap what you sowed in life. If you were industrious, generous and kind, you’ll be okay, and if you lied and cheated and didn’t pay your bills and plastered your name on big buildings, beware.

    If I embraced it, I’d be one of the few Zoroastrians in Minnesota and I could start my own First Reformed Zoroastrian temple and pretty much write my own ticket. This is a huge advantage over the old system of adopting the religion of your forefathers. My parents were Bible-believing Christians, but I don’t get the parable where the latecomers get the same pay as the early birds and also the part about lust in your heart being the same as committing adultery itself: Where did that come from? A Christian who believes in those things is not going to be a happy person.

    But then I stop and think about all the work involved in starting up a religion and deciding on dogma and having mystical visions, and proclaiming the truth to people who don’t care, and dealing with the oddballs and misfits who’d be attracted to the thing, and I think, “No way.”

    So I am left with Confucianism, accepting the sacredness of confusion. Life is messy and it always has been. We work hard to earn money, we neglect our health and then we pay the money to restore our health, meanwhile we forgot how to enjoy life, so what good is health anyway, and now 80,000 people in three states have elected a president who can’t focus on anything for more than a couple of sentences and who contradicts himself every other day. So it goes. Have mercy.

  38. Please pardon me for the band width violation. I am truly sorry that I upset some or all of you.

  39. Keillor could give Sufism a try. Sufi meditation doesn’t involve sitting until your arse becomes petrified pain. Among the most popular forms of Sufism mediation involves plenty of singing and dancing.

  40. Chelsea manning will be freed.  Her sentence was extraordinary for the crime.  Her incarceration showed to the world what happens to transgender people in custody, the wrong side (male/female), forced to endure harassment and torture due only to gender, and prison officials refusing to follow even the most basic of prisoner conditions. She was forced to live without clothing at times.

    She released everyday traffic which would be a sentence of one to three years.  But, she is trans, they went for the almost life sentence.  Along with elements of torture.

    Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is another option for those looking for a religion which is not one of the standards.  It is one which makes sense in this world of competition for money.

  41. Great piece well worth reading.  Thank You, Donald Trump 

    Oh and I wasn’t watching it, but apparently Betsy DeVos crashed and burned during her hearing.  Since she is probably even more unqualified for the position that Donald Trump is for his, this should not be surprising.


  42. Pat….there are so many religions….as many as there aretaverns….and all stocked with vino and pan…..the bartender’s and priest use it to perform magic tricks to get to heaven….they both use certalin cerimonies to mesmserize…..all very entertaing to me…….but if I were looking for a new religion…….I would start with an old one. The original one……the religion of silence….the multiple god religion just confused the hell out of us…then we inventedthe ….moral one……but only the immoral teach it…..cows are not sacred…….but the poop they provide to use in many.many ways are…cooking with..flooring…lots more…,same with buddisom..Hindi….sp tho leads us back to the original religion Ods slience….waaaaay before the first holy spell binder weaved his bs magic….the originals……no.no… not the singers …..the original huneter

  43. My kindle is actiing up….so I had to post what I had…..the original hunter gathers at night would look up at the universe and start a fire…bang the skin dem….and chant…..don’t know if it W’s ommmmmmm…..but I do know that it was not trying to get to heaven…..just chanting on wonderment of it all……today’s religions…one and all all claim to. To be the original. And will send an armed army to prove it…….xr … Bush crime family…yes

  44. Why isn’t Manning getting out right away.   May is a long time from now

  45. Had to buy a brand new Landmark Thucydides……..gonna read it again and then send it to my grandchild over in Europe at 11 or so visiting all the old familiar places with his mom and Air Force dad stationed in England…….I think he’s gonna like it…….

  46. Great idea, Mr. Sturgeone ! You might also want to send him a copy 0f Froissart’s Chronicles, with a caveat note about the class hatred therein. Or, some Brother Cadfael history mysteries.


    This is labeled as “STOLEN” but is making the Twitter rounds to cheers.  It pretty well gives my attitude towards Hillary vs. Bernie


  48. Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Odinism, and  Sikhism all say that there were earlier religions. The pagan religions of Africa and non-Odinist Europe, Tao, Hinduism, Shinto, Christianity, Islam, and Bahai, and all claim to be the first. I don’t know about Zoroastrianism, marxism, scientology, or Flying Spaghetti Monsterism.

  49. Right now, I’m listening to the re-run of the devos hearing and could use a big dose of Elvis sacrament.

    Bernie and Franken nearly knocked the nice out of devos. Bennett was sweeter, but also deadly to her mythology.

    Whitehouse is also peeling the parental choice/charter school myth. “Downward spiral” !

    You’d think that the actual purpose of education is to give parents choice. Too bad the devos gang doesn’t believe in women’s choice.


    Tbe Daily Mail reports that “The Donald and a Stunning KellyAnne Conway” hit D.C. for party time. KellyAnne draped her carcass in a tight, white sheath and had a fur over her arm.

    Here’s hoping it was a live Grizzly.

    Craig, yes, that was my point. None of the Presidents, not even Abe or TR, worked to get women the vote. Other priorities. Creatures of their time, I guess. Now we have a real creature, right out of The Twilight Zone, smirking and oozing billionaire privilege, groping women by their genitals. He’ll be our President 100 years after women got the right to vote. I don’t know that even Rod Serling could have written this.



Comments are closed.