Reason TV: Worst political decade ever

posted at 12:55 pm on December 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, I’ll grant Nick Gillespie of Reason TV that this decade should have been mailed back to the sender. It started with a terrorist attack the US largely ignored (USS Cole), and ended with one that didn’t succeed but could have been easily avoided (NW253). The Naughts, as I think of them, started with a recession and ended with a much worse recession. We came in with Bill Clinton and we’ll go out with Barack Obama. But is this truly the worst decade? Nick makes a very entertaining case for it:

I’ll offer a few options for worst decade. The 1970s had an impeachment, the sacking of an American embassy, and stagflation that an interim President attempted to fight with … lapel buttons. The 1960s had a series of assassinations and social unrest. We fought a world war in the 1940s, and won it only to be confronted with a Cold War that would last more than four decades. The 1930s brought economic ruin and introduced massive expansions of federal government and authority that still haunt us. And don’t even get me started about the 1860s, which almost tore the country apart.

What would you rate as America’s worst political decade?



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Comment pages: 1 2

Where was the “All of the Above” choice???

di butler on December 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Let’s say “Worst Decade So Far After 1900.” Then the weight of the Civil War won’t pull down the results. It was a different kind of conflict than the ones in the 20th century + the Oughts. If we limit the options to the past 110 years, I would have to say the 1930s. Also the 70s were worse than this decade.

YehuditTX on December 29, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Actually, if you’re on the Left this past decade was pretty bad.

1. 2000-Democrat Algore’s attempt to steal a Presidential election is rejected by a 7-2 vote of SCOTUS. Subsequent media recounts of the contested state show Bush would have won anyway, and besides, Gore’s fate had already been sealed when he was rejected by the voters of his own home state.

2. 2001-Chimpy Bush gets the highest job approval numbers of any President in American history.

3. 2002-Chimpy Bush cons many Democrats into signing off on the Iraq War, using intelligence his Democrat predecessor generated.

4. 2003-Chimpy Bush liberates millions of Iraqis, who prior to his invasion were happily flying kites. Find 3 major WMDs-Saddam and his 2 sons. Sons killed in a shootout, Dad later tried and executed.

5. 2004-Cambodian war veteran Jeanne-Claude Kerri runs for President on the Democrat ticket. Loses to the idiot from Texas. Later turns out he had lower college grades than said idiot.

6. 2005-The evil Bush and Rove flood the Democrat stronghold of New Orleans.

7. 2006-Democrats kick their 2000 VP nominee out of the party-but he runs as an Independent and handily beats their hand-picked “replacement” for him.

8. 2007-Bush and Cheney and Rove get away with outing an attractive blonde female CIA agent. The Left had no problem with hundreds of CIA agents being outed in past decades (see “Philip Agee”), but since this one hated Bush they all fell in lovey with her.

9. 2008-Despite their assurances that the Iraq War was “lost”, Bush’s Surge is a success. To add insult to injury, Leftist hero Philip Agee (see 2007) dies in a Cuban Hospital.

10. 2009-All Bush’s Fault.

Del Dolemonte on December 29, 2009 at 5:44 PM

the 1860s were the start of this unconstitutional monster that is washington d.c.and the federal governments attempt to overturn the plans of the founding fathers

badpenny on December 29, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Richard Nixon was not impeached in 1974–he resigned before the House voted.

ddh on December 29, 2009 at 5:57 PM

I find it unfair to judge Lincoln’s actions relative to the constitution given that all of his actions were during wartime. Lincoln, unfortuantely, never got the chance to be a peacetime President.

WashJeff on December 29, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Hmmm, wasn’t it Lincoln’s election, along with the extreme tariffs on the souths exports/imports, that precipitated the war by forcing the souths seccession? Actually a Lincolnless government more conciliatory to the needs of the south might have saved the union without resorting to violence.

docdave on December 29, 2009 at 6:29 PM

docdave on December 29, 2009 at 6:29 PM

The south had boxed itself into a system that would have eventually collapsed of its own accord. Along with the social escape method of the obsession with tradition, the south eventually chose the economic escape method of armed conflict.

Dark-Star on December 29, 2009 at 6:32 PM

the south eventually chose the economic escape method of armed conflict.

Dark-Star on December 29, 2009 at 6:32 PM

Since it was the north that invaded the south (99 percent of the war was staged in the south) it’s difficult for me to envision the south being the principle antagonist in the war.

I am not championing the south but questioning the need for the war which was instigated by the norths invasion. [Fort Sumpter was merely the souths effort to consolidate it's own territory. The north had vacated all of its other 'tariff' forts but decided to keep Fort Sumpter possibly only to agitate the south to fire the 'first' shot.]

docdave on December 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

Del Dolemonte on December 29, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I would’ve never known about 5 based on the way liberals mock Bush about his grades. That “C” student, as Wright would call him, wasn’t all that bad after all.

Narutoboy on December 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Since it was the north that invaded the south (99 percent of the war was staged in the south) it’s difficult for me to envision the south being the principle antagonist in the war.

docdave on December 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM

You do remember that it was in fact the South that fired the first shots in the war?

Any remaining chance for a peaceful solution went flying off with the angels the moment the cannons opened fire on Fort Sumter. What was Lincoln supposed to do – turn a blind eye to an artillery assault and subsequent defeat of a federal installation?

Dark-Star on December 29, 2009 at 6:49 PM

I would’ve never known about 5 based on the way liberals mock Bush about his grades. That “C” student, as Wright would call him, wasn’t all that bad after all.

Narutoboy on December 29, 2009 at 6:42 PM

That came out after the Boston Fog released some (not all) of his service “records”.

Del Dolemonte on December 29, 2009 at 7:03 PM

You can link political unrest with the popularity of flip-flops

- The Cat

MirCat on December 30, 2009 at 4:27 AM

oops… didn’t notice the 1860s in there till after I voted… what’s that doing in there?

painfulTruthDisciple on December 30, 2009 at 7:59 AM

The 1960s – so many of our current problems can be traced to the prevailing wisdom that ‘these kids’ (the dumbest, whiniest generation ever) and their ‘new ideas’ are our only hope for the future. Read some of the accounts of the time, it’s amazing how indulgent the ‘establishment’ was toward the hippies. Their kids are even dumber, and now they’re voting. And don’t get me started on Gender Feminism, which formed the template for every ‘struggle’ for government handouts since. Bah.

wkgdyw on December 30, 2009 at 1:18 PM

I’m quite surprised that the more than 400,000 US military deaths of World War 2 don’t automatically make it the worst decade for the USA for the majority here. The economic woes of the 1970s pale in comparison.

Jay Mac on December 30, 2009 at 1:29 PM

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