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The American Presidency

From building a brand new nation, to safeguarding the ideals of liberty and democracy around the world, to moving on her like a bitch, The Onion takes a closer look at each of America’s presidents.

George Washington

Love Of Hunting Would Sew Up NRA Vote

First president of the United States and legendary military and political leader who would have had to play up the fact that he led the Continental Army to victory over the British in the Revolutionary War to have any chance of winning key swing states like Florida and Ohio. A Founding Father of the United States and a framer of the U.S. Constitution, Washington would have really needed to hammer those talking points home unless he wanted them to get lost in the 24-hour news cycle, especially since there are a number of voters out there who would think of him as a Washington insider. Baptized in the Church of England, Washington was not especially religious, so he would have had no shot of winning the Evangelical vote, but then again, a few photo ops of him coming in and out of church, a high-profile dinner with Billy Graham, and his decisive victory at Yorktown certainly couldn’t hurt with white Christian males. The cherry tree thing would have gotten younger people to the polls. Even if it wasn’t true, kids would’ve remembered it. No matter what, though, because Washington honorably stepped down from the presidency in 1797 after two terms in office, he would constantly have to beat back accusations from the Right that he was un-American.

Donald Trump

Abusive Stepfather Of The Constitution

Forty-fifth president best known for being so self-obsessed and insecure that he is undoubtedly reading this entry right now in order to find out what we have written about him. Trump, who at this exact moment is most certainly scanning these very words to satisfy a deep-seated, omnipresent, and uncontrollable urge to know what everyone thinks of him at all times, took office after a largely unanticipated Electoral College victory over Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton. Having spent decades as a businessman, real estate mogul, and television personality before his presidency, Trump suffers from such a severe inferiority complex that he immediately pored through this feature for his name and is, without a doubt, currently perusing this passage with the desperate hope that we offer him some form of praise and validation. Considered to be one of the most unorthodox leaders in modern American history, Trump is the first U.S. president to have no prior political or military experience and is assuredly livid at present as he reads over the closing words of this entry that characterize him as a fragile, incompetent individual who, despite continual public displays in which he attempts to project the opposite air, is widely regarded as a mere pretender who has rarely if ever succeeded on his own merits.

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Barack Obama

Broke Barriers For The Nation’s Racists

Forty-fourth president of the United States, who, for the first time in American history, gave racists the opportunity to despise the most powerful man on the planet. By becoming the first African American to occupy the Oval Office, Obama achieved a significant milestone for the nation’s bigots, who were previously only able to spew hatred against prominent black athletes, entertainers, social activists, and secretaries of state. Finally empowered to feel superior to and disgusted by the leader of the free world, racists fully embraced the bold new era by asserting that Obama was actually born in Kenya and thus could not hold the highest office in the land because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen—baseless smears that even the most vile xenophobe wouldn’t have dreamed of leveling against a sitting American president just two years earlier. In the wake of Obama’s decisive victory, many jubilant racists who had lived through the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s remarked that having the chance to discount a president’s stunning list of political accomplishments based solely on the color of his skin was something they thought they would never live long enough to experience.

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George W. Bush

Winner, Bush v. Gore

Forty-third president of the United States, who received the presidency as a gift for his 54th birthday from his parents, George and Barbara. Using his connections in the Supreme Court, Bush’s father was able to pull a few strings at the last minute to get his son the extravagant present, which the younger Bush accepted despite his disappointment over not receiving the Ford Mustang he had repeatedly requested. Although Bush enjoyed the parade held in his honor, he grew bored of the Oval Office after a few months, so his buddies Dick and Donald orchestrated the military invasion of Afghanistan to cheer him up and give Bush something to do. Bush also received a second presidential term as an early Christmas present in 2004, not long after inheriting his father’s old war.

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Bill Clinton

Inspired Republicans To Be Fair And Honorable

Forty-second president of the United States, whose popular appeal nearly provoked House Republicans to impeach him for conduct in his personal life, an unprecedented move that would have made a mockery of the U.S. Constitution and was therefore quickly dismissed as a laughable waste of time. Clinton, a self-described New Democrat whose centrist policies and ability to empathize endeared him to voters across the political spectrum, would have been only the second president to face impeachment, a drastic measure that Republican leaders immediately dropped as an absurd act, given the lofty constitutional standard for impeachment of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” They were also self-aware enough to realize their own marital infidelities would have tainted the already dubious legal proceedings with rank hypocrisy. These considerations, as well as Republicans’ shared revulsion at the thought of tying up two branches of government for months and diverting millions of taxpayer dollars to a trial the public would quickly unmask as a politically motivated ploy, prompted House leaders to simply allow Americans to assess Clinton’s personal indiscretions for themselves. This noble gesture of restraint continues to inform the conduct of Republicans to this day.

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George H. W. Bush

(no title)

Caucasian American male who worked in government for several years. Bush was born in Massachusetts, served in the U.S. Navy, and attended college before eventually moving to Washington, D.C. Bush retired in 1993. He has a wife, Barbara, and five children.

Ronald Reagan

A Disgrace To Reagan’s Legacy

Fortieth president of the United States, who over two terms in office tripled the national debt, funded the group that would become al-Qaeda while trying to expel the Russian military from Afghanistan, and vastly expanded the federal government, making him the least Reaganesque president in history. Though the Illinois native set himself up to be the quintessential Reaganite president by promising in his 1981 inaugural speech to reduce the size of government and rein in spending, he actually built up an enormous peacetime military and drove the federal deficit to unprecedented levels, a decidedly un-Reaganesque move. Reagan went on to violate almost every tenet of traditional, small-government Reaganism by approving 61,000 new federal jobs, reneging on his pledge to cut taxes, and then increasing payroll and gasoline taxes. Even when Reagan was at his most Reaganesque—authorizing covert military operations against the communist Sandinista government—he only managed it by illegally trading arms to Iran to fund the Nicaraguan rebel Contras, who in turn trafficked narcotics to the United States, effectively negating his Reaganesque antidrug policies. Most historians agree that by balancing the federal budget and shrinking the the federal government by 373,000 workers, Bill Clinton was the most Reaganesque president of all time.

James Earl Carter

One Term Too Many

Thirty-ninth president of the United States, whose four years in office were somehow the least impressive of his entire life. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, prosperous farmer, nuclear engineer, reformist, and governor of Georgia prior to becoming president in 1977, Carter strangely hit the most pronounced lull in his career during his single term as the nation’s chief executive. While his presidency was marked by occasional successes such as the Camp David Accords, Carter’s professional life really took off again when he left office. In these years, he founded a human rights nonprofit that won him the Nobel Peace Prize, went on international diplomatic missions, and became the public face of Habitat for Humanity, worthy accomplishments that made his four years as president of the United States a blip in an otherwise distinguished lifetime of public service.

Gerald Ford

Americans Can Be Proud They Didn’t Actually Elect This Guy

Thirty-eighth president of the United States and most prominent native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, until the emergence of the R&B/funk group DeBarge in the mid-1980s. The only person to serve as both vice president and president without having been elected to either office, Ford was the favorite son of Grand Rapids for many years before being eclipsed by DeBarge, who produced such catchy, chart-topping hits as “Who’s Holding Donna Now” and “Rhythm Of The Night.” Although Ford would never reclaim the honor of most-celebrated Grand Rapids native from DeBarge—whose lead singer El DeBarge also achieved solo success with the top-10 dance-pop song “Who’s Johnny”—he remains an admired figure in the city and has several buildings named after him.

Richard Nixon

Gave Hope To Dinks Everywhere

Thirty-seventh president of the United States, who served as an inspiration for unlikable pricks everywhere, proving that they, too, could be president. Known for his caustic personality and anti-Semitic rhetoric, Nixon first provided hope for awkward, power-hungry cocksuckers when he became a member of the House of Representatives in 1947, and again in 1950 when he was elected senator. Though his loss to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election made it seem as if a lying shitheel might never become leader of the free world, Nixon went on to defeat Hubert Humphrey in 1968 in a defining moment that showed that anything was truly possible for a brusque and disagreeable human being. Though the Watergate scandal caused Nixon to resign in 1974, he was granted a full pardon by President Gerald Ford, demonstrating to the nation’s massive fuckwads that no matter how horrible a person is, he can still obstruct justice, break countless laws, openly deceive an entire country, and get off scot-free if he’s a persistent-enough asshole.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Appointed By Lee Harvey Oswald

Thirty-sixth president of the United States who never made a single decision or accomplished a single task without, at some point, threatening to cut someone’s pecker off. In the first six months of his presidency alone, Johnson not only directly threatened to cut off the peckers of 3,500 individuals, he also intimidated an estimated 12,000 others by making menacing allusions to peckers he had allegedly cut off in the past, using expressions such as “I’ve got that man’s pecker in my pocket” and “That peckerless son of a bitch won’t mess with me again.” A Texan who rose up the ranks in a traditionally conservative state by shrewdly threatening to chop the peckers off influential officials, Johnson pursued a surprisingly progressive domestic agenda as president, generating support for his Great Society social welfare program and civil rights by threatening to tear off numerous congressional peckers—including those of fellow Democrats. Despite his idealism, however, Johnson failed to keep the United States out of the Vietnam War, though he did cut off the pecker of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara in 1968.

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