Let me say this again: "Things are not that bad"
Bush is not particularly evil. He hasn't led an unprecedented assault on the Constitution.
He's not the first uber-religious noid as president. But since no one is really going to believe me, here, some proof:
Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.
George Washington's First Inaugural Address. That's right, our first president said that. Washington made Bush look like an agnostic.
John Adams passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798., and betrayed his cause by making criticism of the Government illegal
One of the acts imposed severe penalties on those who criticized the government.
Jefferson's own title to the presidency was not established for some weeks, because he was accidentally tied with his running mate, Aaron Burr, under the workings of the original electoral system. The election was thrown into the House of Representatives, where the Federalists voted for Burr through many indecisive ballots. Finally, enough of them abstained to permit the obvious will of the majority to be carried out. See also Jefferson-Burr Election Dispute.
So Thomas Jefferson was elected by the House, and he attempted to purge the judiciary of any who were appointed by the Federalists:
Jefferson restored party balance in the civil service, but he was relatively unsuccessful in his moves against the judiciary, which had been reinforced by fresh Federalist appointees at the very end of the Adams administration. In the eyes of Jefferson and the Republicans, the federal judiciary constituted a branch of the opposing party and could be expected to obstruct the administration in every possible way. He treated as null and void late appointments by Adams that seemed of doubtful legality, and the Republicans repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801 with his full approval. But he was rebuked by Chief Justice John Marshall in the famous Marbury v. Madison case (1803) for withholding the commission of a late-hour appointee as justice of the peace. The effort to remove partisan judges by impeachment was a virtual failure; Federalists remained entrenched in the judiciary, although less actively partisan.
James Monroe use Andrew Jackson's pursuit of hostile Indians become a justification for acquiring Florida
Monroe's greatest achievements as president lay in foreign affairs. Ably supported by Adams, he made substantial territorial additions and gave American policy a distinctly national orientation. Monroe welcomed an opportunity to press Spain to cede Florida and define the boundaries of Louisiana. His chance came when Gen. Andrew Jackson invaded Florida in 1818. In pursuit of hostile Indians, Jackson seized the posts of St. Marks and Pensacola, acts that many persons regarded as violations of congressional war powers. In the cabinet, Adams, an expansionist, urged Jackson's complete vindication, while Crawford and Calhoun demanded that he be reprimanded for exceeding his instructions.
John Quincy Adams lost the popular vote, and was elected by the House.
John Quincy Adams may have been the greatest U.S. secretary of state, but he was not one of the greatest presidents. He was really a minority president, chosen by the House of Representatives in preference to Andrew Jackson and William H. Crawford following the inconclusive one-party election of 1824. In the popular contest Jackson had received the greatest number of votes both at the polls and in the state electoral colleges, but he lacked a constitutional majority. Henry Clay, one of the four candidates in 1824, threw his support to Adams in the House in February 1825, after secret conferences between the two, thus electing Adams on the first ballot. The supporters of Jackson and Crawford immediately cried "corrupt bargain": Clay had put Adams into the White House in order to become his secretary of state and successor. The judgment of historians is that there was an implicit bargain but no corruption.
Jackson felt that he had the right to military suppression of any defiance of Federal law.
South Carolina's attempts to nullify the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 brought the President and Calhoun into deeper conflict. Calhoun, now a senator after his resignation as vice president, defended his state's Nullification Ordinance of Nov. 24, 1832, and Jackson responded with a forceful Nullification Proclamation and a call for a force bill to authorize military suppression of any defiance of federal law. Only Clay's Compromise Tariff of 1833 prevented a final confrontation.
Martin Van Buren promised to protect slavery and was against its abolition in D.C.
He assured the South that he would protect slavery in the states where it existed and announced his opposition to the abolition of the "peculiar institution" in the District of Columbia.
James K. Polk forced a war with Mexico to get California and New Mexico
The Oregon crisis coincided with a threat of war with Mexico. Mexicans were incensed by the U. S. annexation of Texas, which they considered a rebellious province. Polk, who hoped to force Mexico to cede California to the United States, sent an army to guard the Texas-Mexico border, which he claimed to be the Rio Grande, more than 100 miles (160 km) beyond the traditional boundary. At the same time he threatened Mexico with war unless some large and ill-founded claims by U. S. citizens against the Mexican government were paid, suggesting that Mexico could satisfy the claims by ceding New Mexico and California. When Mexico refused to submit to this browbeating, Polk ordered his army to the Rio Grande. After the U. S. soldiers trained their guns on the Mexican town of Matamoras, a skirmish soon occurred. Polk claimed that American blood had been shed; at his urging, Congress declared war.
Lincoln suspended a good chunk of the Bill of Rights, and blatantly ignored the Constitution regularly
In order to restore order, Lincoln directed that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus be suspended, at first along the line between Washington and Philadelphia and later throughout most of the North, so that known secessionists and persons suspected of disloyalty could be held without trial. At the same time the President, without congressional authorizationand thus in direct violation of the Constitutionordered an increase in the size of the regular Army and Navy. Doubting the loyalty of certain government officials, he also entrusted public funds to private agents in New York to purchase arms and supplies.
Andrew Johnson opposed the Amendment that granted black folks citizenship.
When Congress passed laws to protect the rights of the ex-slaves in 1866, he vetoed them as unconstitutional and broke with the Republican party completely rather than endorse a new constitutional amendment granting blacks the rights of citizenship. Thenceforward Johnson's relations with the congressional majority deteriorated. He questioned Congress's right to legislate without the presence of Southern representatives, and he tacitly encouraged Southern opposition to congressional laws.
Benjamin Harrison lost the popular vote, but won in the Electoral College
Teddy Roosevelt started a revolution in Panama so he could have his canal
Roosevelt's most controversial action involved Panama. He had long recognized an Isthmian canal's importance to American commerce, and early in 1903 he arranged to buy out a French company's rights to construct a canal through Panama, then a part of Colombia. Outraged when the Colombian senate rejected his terms, he tacitly encouraged a revolution in Panama. ("I took Panama," he later declared.) Subsequently, the new Republic of Panama granted the United States full sovereignty over a strip 10 miles (16 km) wide through which the Panama Canal was constructed. Roosevelt took a direct interest in the building of the canal, though it was not completed during his presidency.
and he didn't like people who encouraged "negativity" towards the government.
The reform movement was fueled by exposés in periodicals. Roosevelt denounced the most extreme crusaders as "muckrakers" in 1906. He did so because he felt that they were inculcating an attitude of negativism in the public.
Woodrow Wilson passed another set of antisedition acts during WWI (no link here)
Warren G. Harding's presidency was full of corruption from start to finish, and he was generally considered to be incapable of being any kind of good president.
Under Harding's tenure the White House took on the lax atmosphere of his frequent poker evenings. Among his subordinates corruption grew blatantin Daugherty's Department of Justice and within the (later Federal) Bureau of Investigation, in the Prohibition Bureau of the Treasury Department, and in Forbes' Veterans' Bureau. With the collapse of the war boom, with wage cuts, unemployment, growing farm distress, and urban resentment of prohibition, Harding by midterm found that much of his popularity had slipped away. The 1922 congressional elections were a startling rebuke to the Republicans...Harding's reputation did not long survive his death, as scandal after scandal came to light. After it was discovered that Secretary Fall had received several hundred thousand dollars from oilmen Harry Sinclair and Edward Doheny, to whom he had leased naval oil reserves in California and at Teapot Dome, Wyo., the name Teapot Dome was linked with Harding's as a symbol of corruption. Fall, finally convicted of bribery, went to jail, as did Forbes and others. Daugherty, dismissed by Coolidge, barely escaped their fate. Harding's name was further blackened by a book by Nan Britton and by unfounded rumors that he had committed suicide or been murdered.
Prior to Pearl Harbor, FDR was running an undeclared "Black" war in the Atlantic
To protect the supplies against German submarines, U.S. destroyers began escorting convoys of Allied ships part way across the Atlantic. In the process the destroyers helped pinpoint the location of submarines, which Allied warships duly attacked. Roosevelt did not tell the people about America's unneutral actions on the high seas. When a German submarine fired a torpedo at the American destroyer Greer in September 1941, he feigned surprise and outrage and ordered U. S. warships to shoot on sight at hostile German ships. By December the United States and Germany were engaged in an undeclared war on the Atlantic.
and he essentially gave Stalin Eastern Europe.
Similar practical considerations dictated some of Roosevelt's diplomatic policies during the war. Cautious of provoking the British, he refrained from acting effectively against colonialism. Embarrassed by the delay in the second frontand anxious to secure Russian assistance against Japanhe acquiesced at the Teheran (1943) and Yalta (1945) summit conferences in some of Russia's aims in Asia and eastern Europe.
In 1948, Harry S. Truman had less than half of popular votes, but won in the Electoral College.
Truman also passed a program that attacked communists in this country.
Such arguments failed to rally public support, perhaps because he and his aides had talked so often of the dangers posed by Communists, and, in line with their rhetoric, had developed a loyalty-security program that alarmed civil libertarians and had prosecuted the leaders of the U.S. Communist party.
Nixon's willingness to circumvent the law whenever convenient is too large to list here.
Reagan had the Iran-Contra affair
The most damaging foreign-policy event of 1987 for President Reagan was the Iran-contra affair. Late in 1986 the administration admitted that it had been secretly selling arms to Iran, with some of the profits possibly going to the guerrillas in Nicaragua. Reagan claimed that he had not been informed of the Iran-contra link by national security adviser Vice Admiral John Poindexter or his aide, Lt. Col. Oliver North. The two policiesselling arms to Iran in apparent exchange for hostages and sending arms to Nicaraguatriggered multiple investigations.
A report by a presidential commission, released in February 1987, depicted Reagan as confused and uninformed, and concluded that his relaxed "personal management style" had prevented him from controlling his subordinates. House and Senate committees, conducting joint hearings, heard testimony that Reagan did not know of the diversion of funds. Most committee members signed a majority report in November 1987 asserting that although Reagan's role in the affair could not be determined precisely, he had clearly failed to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Poindexter, North, and others were indicted in the affair in 1988.
Nothing, Nothing bush is doing is new, or particularly extreme. The Constitution always wins out in the end. Sometimes, it just takes a bit.
Everyone calm down, mm-kayy?