Is it possible that Donald Trump is the least bad president of recent memory? That’s Matthew Walther’s claim at The Week:
This should not be such a hard argument to make. Iraq alone should and ultimately will seal George W. Bush’s reputation as one of the least qualified men ever to hold the title of commander-in-chief. Nice guy. Would love to catch a ball game with him or talk about painting at a Houston barbecue. Charismatic, too — but also pollyannish, a failson, and a poor judge of character. If only Jeb were less of a dork.
Barack Obama was, at least initially, a brilliant rhetorician. But his achievements in office were few. The Affordable Care Act was at best a stopgap and at worst a sop to insurance companies, whose stranglehold over the provision of medical care is now all but unbreakable. On the advice of Hillary Clinton, he overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, the mad eccentric who had ruled Libya for many years. The result is the migration crisis that has destroyed European social democracy. No president has done more to speed up the destruction of the post-war world order than Obama, albeit unwittingly. His only significant attempt at diplomacy, the nuclear deal made with Iran, was a meaningless formal exercise in making a deal for its own sake.
You don’t need to stop with George W. Bush. Bill Clinton granted China Most Favored Nation trading status and promoted its membership in the World Trade Organization without adequate preconditions, moves which resulted in the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs. George H. W. Bush laid the groundwork for the attacks on 9/11 by stationing American troops in Saudi Arabia. And on and on back to the Kennedy Administration. We’ve had execrably bad foreign policy over the period of the last more than 50 years.
The connecting link in all of these errors is that they did not promote American interests. I can’t say along with Mr. Walther that they were based on sentiment. I don’t know what they were based on.