It’s Presidents’ Day! Everyone, bust out your favorite Presidents’ Day songs and party hats!
(Just kidding.) We’re not big on Presidents’ Day around here. A six-year old of my acquaintance has recently learned that George Washington was a slaveowner, and has enjoyed letting hir friends know, with a disapproving hiss, “he owned slaves!” whenever he has come up in conversation this month. (Contrary to movement conservatives and right-wing Know Nothings, George Washington gets a hell of a lot of play in elementary school curricula nationwide.)
For those of you who just can’t get enough of the U.S. Presidents, Robert W. Merry had an interesting discussion of presidential rankings and their relationship to the length of presidential service in “The Myth of the One-Term Wonder.” He writes, “The judgment of history — in the form of presidential rankings yielded up by those periodic polls of heavyweight historians — coincides to a remarkable degree with the contemporaneous judgment of the electorate. With few exceptions, history has not smiled upon one-term presidents. Only one such chief executive has managed with any consistency to get into the historians’ ‘near great’ category.” The one exception to this rule he finds is James K. Polk–who was undoubtedly effective, but in my opinion, dangerously effective. (Well, we all know how much those annual surveys of “historians” are worth, don’t we?)
Next, Big Tent Democrat asks of the current President and Congress: “Is That All There Is?” Go read the whole thing–but here’s a little flava:
Let’s be clear — Democratic governance is better than GOP governance. But let’s face it, how could it be worse? The question is this – is this as good as it gets? Is this all that the Democratic Party can deliver in terms of progressive governance? If so, then David Broder has won. The choices we have as Americans are between a Center Right government and a Far Right government. This despite the fact that the American electorate is supportive of progressive ideas. Why is this? . . . .
If this is the best we can do at this time. If this is all there is in the progressivism of the Democratic Party, then we are surely sunk. For the path of the Nation is not good. And as in 1932, tranformational progressivism is badly needed. But unlike in 1932, no where is it being offered.
Meanwhile, leave your thoughts, and ideas for Presidents’ Day drink specials, in the comments below. Here is my contribution:
The Honest Abe (serves 1)
3 oz. Kentucky Bourbon
1 tin cup
Pour bourbon into tin cup, and enjoy.
I’ll be particularly interested in what you might come up with for the William Henry Harrison, the Millard Fillmore, and the Jimmy Carter.
UPDATE, this afternoon: Commenter Paul is too shy to blogwhore in my comments–I don’t know why, since no one else seems to be!–but he’s got a nice post up about President Second Worst that almost–but not quite–made me change my assessment. (It’s incidental, although a bonus from my perspective, that Mr. Second Worst was also unprepossessing and foul tempered. His nickname was “His Rotundity!”) Go read!