Presidential History

Your Annual President's Day Thread

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Four links for President's Day:

First, Gene Healy's Reason classic "The Cult of the Presidency," adapted from his fine book of the same name.

Second, Cox and Combes' immortal appreciation of President George Washington.

Third, Dave Mandl's immortal appreciation of President Zachary "Muskrat Head" Taylor.

And fourth, from Politics Daily, what may well be the greatest President's Day column ever, though not by conventional aesthetic standards. I'm not sure it's possible for a description to do justice to this article, so I'll quote liberally from it to give you the flavor:

Did she really say I'm still being sized up by my generals? That couldn't be right. Better keep cleaning.

As the nation observes Presidents Day today, we in Washington have a fresh appreciation for that skill set. We're beleaguered by the fates lately, with the sound and fury of partisan warfare ending in stalemate in the Capitol—not unlike the opening Civil War battles at Bull Run. Some of us fear three more years of our uncivil war, unraveling the republic's fabric further. The mettle of the man from Illinois is still being sized up by his friends, foes and generals—now as it was in 1861.

* * *

Over several days at home watching snow fall, I rounded up 24 friends to fete the 16th president—yes, even if it meant walking miles from Dupont Circle to the National Cathedral….On the invitations I drew hearts with pennies in the center, that's how inspired I was. This piece of whimsy was also a declaration that while the bicentennial of his birth may be over, the candles will always burn for Abe at my house.

* * *

Friends from as far away as Baltimore and Virginia horse country showed up, hungry for human contact, chatter and cupcakes.

* * *

The richly humanizing Carl Sandburg biographical volumes sat on your grandparents' shelves, waiting patiently to be devoured. In those pages, rhyme and reason emerges as plain as the nose on Lincoln's face

* * *

Valentine's Day is the perfect time for women to join the club, because Lincoln's heart, mind and humanity encompassed us as well. (For the record, his deathbed doctors were awed at his amazingly youthful, strong body.)

And with that reference to Lincoln's virile corpse, I declare this an open thread.

NEXT: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey! Coming March 15!

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  1. Quoting a Lincoln hagiography?

    You guys are really chumming the waters huh?

    😉

    1. And I fell for the link before reading his rich set of quotes. Damn you Jesse! Damn you to hell!

  2. Just damn. Necrophilia much?

    1. You hatemongering necrophiliaphobes disgust me!

    2. I used to practice sadism, necrophilia, and bestiality until I realized I was just beating a dead horse.

      1. Beats spanking a lifeless monkey.

  3. I wish all President’s would follow Zachary Taylor’s example.

    1. of hunting Indians with dogs?

      1. No, dying from cholera morbus.

  4. “Friends from as far away as Baltimore and Virginia horse country showed up, hungry for human contact, chatter and cupcakes.” I don’t care how good the chatter and cupcakes are.

    1. “Friends from as far away as Baltimore and Virginia horse country showed up, hungry for human flesh, chatter and cupcakes.”

  5. In one of the biggest surprises ever, for the 274th time in 274 issues, the cover of O Magazine is being graced by…(drum roll)…Oprah Winfrey

    1. Sage, ironing shirts and an Oprah guy? Glad. One less man to train.

      1. Mmm, that troll bait sure is tasty.

        1. Ha, pass me a leg man.

  6. I could go for some Buffalo wings right now.

  7. So the only difference between now and the civil war is that now we’re not being civil to each other?

  8. Does anyone have a debt-clock for how long it will be before the “libertarian” confederates pop up here and defile Lincoln. Is someone asleep in Alabama?

    1. Sic semper tyrannis

    2. You mean those faux libertarians like Lysander Spooner?

    3. “Defile” him? What’s “defiling” about saying that he trampled on civil liberties and devastated millions of innocent people? The evil of slavery doesn’t justify the evil of, for example, destroying all the farms in the Shenandoah Valley.

      1. I should make it clear that, obviously, slavery is the greater evil here, but it doesn’t justify a lesser one that barely did anything to stop it.

        1. No, the greater evil was the deliberate murder perpetrated by the Union Army and its commander in chief. Let us not forget about the tens of thousands of civilians who were slaughtered by the union.

          When one examines the totality of the carnage, the death, the destruciton of private property, I submit that the actions of the great dictator Lincoln and his thugs was the greater evil.

          My judgment is also influenced by the fact that so many other societies ended slavery without the genocidal bloodbath authored by the blue coats and their communist in chief.

          1. This is fucking absurd. Millions of people died crossing the Atlantic, millions of people toiled their lives away in slavery for the better part of a century AFTER we had constituted ourselves as a republic where all men are equal. The civil war was awful, and a lot of innocent Southerners lost their lives and their livelihoods as a result, but the death toll pales in comparison, the hardship and deprivation pales in comparison, and the poison injected into our culture by the civil war pales in comparison to that injected into our society by slavery.

            And yes, many societies ended slavery bloodlessly. Few of those societies had a slave population anything near the size of the US slave population, and few of them had as entrenched an ideology in support of slavery as that seen in the South. When the civil rights movement tried to actually establish rights for black people in the 1960’s, Southern governors called out the state guard, cops beat up children and vigilantes burned schools full of children down. Maybe we could have ended slavery without a war, but I don’t think that that’s a given, and I don’t think that Lincoln had much choice once the South seceded and fired on Fort Sumter.

            1. He could have let them go. Then it would have been easy to eliminate slavery in the few remaining slave holding areas of the USA.

            2. Millions of people died crossing the Atlantic

              Wait, what?

              1. It’s hard swimming all that way, Epi.

                1. Especially when you’re chained to other people.

              2. Epi, how did you think all those Africans got to the US in the first place? They didn’t ride the Concorde.

            3. Millions of people died crossing the Atlantic, millions of people toiled their lives away in slavery for the better part of a century AFTER we had constituted ourselves as a republic where all men are equal.

              Apparently the author of that statement had a different understanding of “equal” than modern liberals do.

            4. “Millions of people died crossing the Atlantic”

              What the fuck are you talking about?

              “but the death toll pales in comparison, the hardship and deprivation pales in comparison, and the poison injected into our culture by the civil war pales in comparison to that injected into our society by slavery.”

              600k dead is no big deal I guess? You must be a fan of the Iraq war.

              Fucktard

              1. Do they not mention the Middle Passage in history classes anymore?

            5. It would have been cheaper, and far more humane, to have ended slavery by declaring future slave purchases illegal, and then have the government purchase and free the existing slaves.

              Instead, we got a war that directly killed 620,000 people, inflicted huge financial costs for waging it, and took away the right of states to secede from the union if the federal government overstepped its bounds, taking away a vital constraint on the growth of the federal government.

              Fuck that bastard Lincoln.

              1. It would have been cheaper, and far more humane, to have ended slavery by declaring future slave purchases illegal, and then have the government purchase and free the existing slaves.

                The South would never have gone along with that. They seceded just because they thought Lincoln was going to prohibit slavery in the territories, you can imagine what the reaction to prohibiting slave sales in the states would have been.

          2. Nothing is worse than reducing humans to property. That does not justify the way slavery was ended, and it should have been ended bloodlessly, but slavery was still a greater evil.

            1. Im pretty sure reducing people to dead is worse.

              1. Bullshit.

              2. Kentucky doesn’t have much in common with New Hampshire, apparently.

                1. Kentucky doesn’t have much in common with New Hampshire, apparently.

                  Most slaves didnt get executed trying to escape. Not saying its the choice I would have made (not saying it isnt either), but clearly the majority prefers enslavement to death.

                  See also, escaping from East Germany.

                  At what percent chance of success do you make the attempt?

              3. Slavery certainly killed more than 600k people.

            2. “Nothing is worse than reducing humans to property”

              How about elevation a hopey-changey moron to the presidency?

              1. That is not even close to being worse. You people are despicable.

          3. My judgment is also influenced by the fact that so many other societies ended slavery without the genocidal bloodbath authored by the blue coats and their communist in chief.

            No other country had half of its territory secede because they wanted to keep an entire race enslaved, either. But keep holding the Old South blameless in the whole affair, LM, it’s consistent with your vocabulary for referring to black politicians.

            1. Apu: “There were many reasons for the
              Civil, blah, blah, blah”

              Exam Proctor: “Just say slavery.”

              Apu: “OK, slavery.”

            2. We’ll just pretend that they seceeded to keep slavery rather than over the tarriff of abominations.

              Which of course is why w ealso pretend that Lincoln never announced his support for a Consitutional Ammendment to make slavery permanent int he U.S., adn that had he done so, in say his first inaugural address, the South would have rushed back into the fold. 😉

              1. We also shall forget that KY was a union slave state all thru and AFTER the civil war.

                Not my state’s finest hour, but it makes understanding the civil war easier (but less simplistic).

            3. While it wasnt for the same reasons, Britain had about 99% of their territory seceed.

            4. “No other country had half of its territory secede because they wanted to keep an entire race enslaved, either.”

              I’m sorry, but this statement is very misleading. Slavery was indeed the source of many of the complaints leading to secession, but was far from the only grievance. Nor was the holding down of a race confined to the South by any means.

              Although from the way it is popularly perceived you would think otherwise, the North was far from a land of freedom and equality for those of African descent. Indeed, slavery continued in the border states of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri during the Civil war. In fact, early in the war escaping slaves were under orders to be returned to their masters by the Union Army.
              Slavery had been a thriving institution in the North well through the Revolutionary War era and its end there had a lot to do with industrialization and the general lack of land suited for the type of agriculture which required slave labor, not because of a popular drive to see black Americans free. Rampant racism existed (and still exists) in many areas of the North. The idea of the freedom loving soldiers of the Union casting down the evil slavers of the South is pure historical fantasy.

              1. Right, that’s why Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the darkest part of the war for the North — because the Northern public was generally blase about abolishing slavery.

                Racism and discrimination exist everywhere, in every society. No doubt about it. But these things are far lesser evils than chattel slavery, bubba.

            5. Who is holding the old south blameless?

              That strawman does not seem to be working for you given the number of other posters who see right through it.

              However, in an abundance of caution and thoroughness and intellectual honesty, let me proclaim that the old south was no friend of liberty, starting with slavery and including murder and gun control and deprivations of free speech and the liberty of travel, etc.

              And yeah, them johnny rebs did some brutal things too during the war to prevent secession.

              1. Funny how you don’t have nearly the same vitriol for Jeff Davis as you have for Lincoln, sort of like you don’t mention the only liberal politician that you describe using his race is Obama.

  9. I posted this in an earlier thread, but this one seems more appropriate.

    Did anyone see the schizophrenic 12 page advertisement in this month’s issue? Are you so hard up for cash, Reason, that you have to reinforce the crazy libertarian stereotype?

    1. Most Reason readers, of any political persuasion, would be intelligent enough to see the words “advertisment” and know what they mean.

      1. Agreed. But magazines, television stations, etc, are partially judged by their sponsors. I’m surprised that such a great magazine is willing to sell out to such nonsensical bullshit.

      2. LOL, tricky CN, “advertisement” is only one word!

    2. I assume that “did anyone see…?” was a rhetorical question.

      My question is: where do the Z*np*wer loons get the cash for this from? Is advertising space that cheap?

      1. Excellent question.

    3. The Zon will not be mocked! Enter our multi-level marketing paradise and learn the secrets of true freedom and riches that have been hidden from you.

      The Zon have spoken!

  10. One benefit of working in a Capital City is that it’s half-empty on President’s Day (and MLK Day and Veterans Day and Columbus Day and Arbor Day and all those other days government workers get off).

    1. Yeah, great fucking reminder that we’re working today to pay for their day off.

  11. I’d like to pre-empt any possible following comment by declaring that Chad is an idiot.

    1. Statements of fact never seem to stop some people from spouting their opinions.

    2. He’s not an idiot. He’s just a lefty fruitcake that believes everybody owes “society” back at least 33% of their productive efforts – in the form of taxes. Seriously, he really believes that.

  12. This just in: Yellow man with giant Q-tip gives Abe an eargasm.

    1. Hey Bruce Springsteen, he doesn’t look Asian.

  13. To Reason Magazine and everyone else in America: it’s not “President’s Day”, no matter how many people incorrectly call it by that name. It’s still George Washington’s Birthday.

    1. Washington was born on Februaray 22nd. That isnt today. And, interestingly enough, it can never be the 3rd Monday in February either.

      1. I know that. I’m talking about the official name of the holiday.

        1. Wait, libertarians are supposed to be bound by the government’s name for a holiday? In what universe? We’ll call it Zon Appreciation Day if we feel like it.

        2. They can call it whatever they want, Washington’s Birthday is next Monday.

      2. Only February 22 according to the Gregorian calendar. The British still hadn’t adopted it, since it was a Catholic invention, so by the calendar in use at the time, Washington was born February 11 O.S. (the O.S. standing for “Old Style”).

        Of course, February 11 can never be the third Monday, either.

        And grammatically, the correct spelling ought to be Presidents’ Day, since the point was to honor multiple presidents (at least Washington and Lincoln, although I prefer Coolidge).

        [pedantic bastard mode off]

        1. Here, have a cookie.

        2. The fact that GW was born under a different calendar doesnt change the fact that he was born Feb 22. He was just wrong by 11 days if he thought it was Feb 11.

          1. Coolidge’s birthday is already a national holiday.

  14. “At least now I’m in a union. Thank you, Mr. President.”

  15. I doubt if he’ll be able to remove the bullet with that Q-tip.

    1. Maybe he’s not trying to remove the bullet. I had a q-tip stuck through my leg when I got shot to determine if it was low or high velocity penetration. He could be doing the same thing.

      1. Please tell me you didn’t survive.

        1. I’m a lively corpse.

          1. That’s not what your mother told me, Trebek.

      2. Your mother said last night that she likes the high-velocity penetration, Trebek.

  16. What is this Presidents Day? The United States Code (5 U.S.C. ? 6103) says this is Washington’s Birthday.

    1. That’s the old name. Now it’s Obama Day.

      1. Kneel before Zon Obama!

  17. I’m not sure either of the battles of Bull Run could be classified as a stalemate.

  18. Jesus: “We need to know how to kill a giant, stone Abraham Lincoln.”

    Moses: “Um, let me think,…um, a giant, stone John Wilkes Booth?”

    1. Damn you, Super Best Friends!

  19. Anyone see Krugman’s blog post this morning?

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c…..inflation/

    Since I can’t follow Leftist “logic” I am not sure but I think he is calling for the government to fuck the people with higher inflation so when there are economic bad times the government can fuck everyone just a tad less, so it will seem to be “fixing” things.

    1. So the government screws over everyone in an effort to not screw over everyone? This doesn’t make sense.

      Maybe I’m paranoid, but something tells me that this is going to end up being very profitable to a few DC and Wall St insiders.

    2. Well it is the fault of government that we have the business cycle…so, you know, it has the responsibility to fix it.

  20. A hypothesis is that Lincoln may have been one of the worst presidents because he did not avoid civil war. Perhaps the 3 great issues leading to secession: slavery, northern economic domination, and states’ rights, could have been solved without war. Britain ended slavery without war.

    1. Britain’s slavery was concentrated in the colonies, not at home. The total slave owning population of the British Empire was tiny, and Britain made a point of not ending all sorts of other practices that amounted to forcing people to work on plantations, so even the extremely wealthy people who did benefit from slavery didn’t lose out too badly. Saying that Britain ended slavery without war so we could have as well is like saying that Canada ended British colonization without war so we could have too. The situations were so different that it’s not worth comparing.

      1. We could have shed our slave holding areas too. The only difference is that Britain lost their war.

      2. They sort of had whole countries enslaved for like a long time.

    2. Never could understand the “Northerner economic domination” bit. There were 34 states, 68 senators in 1861. If you combine the 14 slave-holding states with the 10 mostly rural/agricultural Northern states, why couldn’t that block of 48 senators do pretty much what they wanted to abolish import tariffs on manufactured goods (which hurt agricultural states and helped the manufacturing states of New England and MidAtlantic)?

      1. What were the house numbers? It needed to pass both the senate and the house.

      2. I want to beat my wife but northern economic domination prevent me.

        Damn you Electoral collage!!! Damn you to hell!!!

        1. Stop your whining and iron her skirt.

          1. Stop your whining and iron her skirt shit.

            FIFY, Suki 🙂

      3. The Northern industrialists were said to have excessive influence over the federal government.

        Nothing changes, eh?

  21. That’s the old name. Now it’s Obama Day.

    One step at a time. “Unprecedented Day,” for now. The next generation will call it Obama Day. Then days will be called Obamas. Then “I Don’t Like Monobamas” will be the anthem of the revolution.

  22. John Force returned to the winner’s circle yesterday and took a shot at Obama during one of his amusing but incoherent rants. And they didnt have to fix any potholes at Ponoma.

    1. Whoa, whoa, robc, you’re talking about taking a shot at the President, right this way into these handcuffs, sir.

  23. Intelligence has been commoner among American Presidents than high character, though Grant ran against the stream by having a sort of character without any visible intelligence whatever. He was almost the perfect military man- dogged, devoted, and dumb. In the White House he displayed an almost inconceivable stupidity. Whatever was palpably untrue convinced him instantly, and whatever was untrue seemed to him to be noble. If the American people could have kept him out of the Presidency by prolonging the civil War until 1877, it would have been an excellent investment. A more honest man never lived, but West Point and bad whiskey had transformed his cortex into a sort of soup.

    -H L Mencken (1931)

  24. I refuse to celebrate President’s Day until Rutherford B. Hayes gets his own holiday.

    1. I’m holding out for either Taft or Fillmore myself. I’d prefer Fillmore, but a holiday honoring his preeminent largeness would work for me as well.

      1. Individuals don’t get holidays anymore. Unless they’re Martin Luther King.

      2. No, if we are going to celebrate true Presidential greatness it has to be, Calvin Coolidge Day!

        Or, we do like the medieval Church have higher and lesser feasts for all of them.

      3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6MsGsNkFqI

        Please accept this song in lieu of a whole holiday’s tribute to Taft.

  25. * This holiday is designated as “Washington’s Birthday” in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

  26. I’ve no Idea why my link didn’t take. I’m pretty sure it’s an H&R idiosyncrasy.

  27. Great Zeus! The Cult of the Presidency is worse than I thought:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35…..iapacific/

    (At least some Indonesians complained about the statue, but the fact that it existed at all is nauseating.

  28. For the record, his deathbed doctors were awed at his amazingly youthful, strong body.

    From the weirdness that is Ab my theory is that he is some sort of ageless alien brought from across the galaxy to save us.

    That should get the Women in a lather.

    1. my theory is that he is some sort of ageless alien brought from across the galaxy to save us.

      Oh, just like Jesus and Elvis?

      1. No one has ever made the claim that Elvis’s corpse had a youthful, strong body.

        1. How dare you insult the King! Fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches make us all strong and youthful!

            1. There’s a reason they call Elvis the King.

              1. All of his toilets were special-order affairs, inlaid with gold and mother-of-pearl and with 4-inch sewer pipes connected to them. And he clogged one EVERY FUCKING DAY. True story, dude.

    2. Kirk …. help me Kirk

  29. Anybody besides government employees and college kids at non-private schools get the day off today?

    1. I got up late and i know the secretary is out.

      Screw it I am staying home. Not as if i will be missing any opportunities to develop or sell real estate in this market.

    2. I’m at a state school, and I didn’t get the day off.

    3. I work for an evil, profit-motivated private company and I got the day off.

      The ladies in the office all got flowers on Friday, to boot.

    4. This place never closes!!! Oh god, it never closes….

  30. The people generally believed that simple peace was all that was needed to cure the bruises and blisters of wartime, and simple peace was what Dr. Coolidge gave them. He never made inflammatory speeches. He engaged in no public combats with other statesmen. He had no ideas for the overhauling of the government. He read neither the Nation nor the New Republic, and even in the New York Times he apparently read only the weather report. Wall Street got no lecturing from him. No bughouse professors, sweating fourth-dimensional economics, were received at the White House. The President’s chosen associates were prosperous storekeepers, professional politicians, and the proprietors of fifth-rate newspapers. When his mind slid downhill toward the fine arts, he sent for a couple of movie actors.

    The worst fodder for a President is not poppy and mandragora, but strychnine and adrenalin. We suffer most when the White House bursts with ideas. With a World Saver preceding him (I count out Harding as a mere hallucination) and a Wonder Boy following him, he begins to seem, in retrospect, an extremely comfortable and even praiseworthy citizen. His failings are forgotten; the country remembers only the grateful fact that he let it alone. Well, there are worse epitaphs for a statesman. If the day ever comes when Jefferson’s warnings are heeded at last, and we reduce government to its simplest terms, it may very well happen that Cal’s bones now resting inconspicuously in the Vermont granite will come to be revered as those of a man who really did the nation some service.

    H L Mencken (1933)

  31. A real Washington’s Birthday stunner: the popular Indiana democrat senator Evan Bayh has decided not to run for reelection.

  32. Let’s celebrate the memory of the greatest and least destructive of all US Presidents:

    William Henry Harrison

    May there be more like him. Bless him.

    1. I say he’s my favorite president. Most people don’t grasp how little I’m kidding.

      1. Coolidge was better, because he didn’t gift the office to a Tyler to mess things up.

        1. My other favorite is Harding. He cared less about his reelection bid because he died, but not before cutting spending and taxes – now THAT’s a guy I would vote for.

          If only the TERMINALLY ILL were allowed to run for the oval office, the presidency would be far less destructive than it is right now.

  33. I am forced to engage in much reconsideration of Presidents in light of all my learning from Reasonoids. Thanks.

    Too old for the training I am…but it’s fun to look at stuff from a new angle.

  34. Hmmm, wonder if they are going to have a black Presidents day?

    Jess
    http://www.isp-logging.net.tc

  35. By the way, that photo looks amazingly like an ancient Don Martin cartoon I saw published in MAD a long time ago…

    1. Thanks for the prompt. I was wondering what was familiar about it.

      The Don Martin cartoon that I remember involved a tree growing out of a nostril on Mt. Rushmore.

      1. The one I remember was of a tree being cut, lifted with a helicopter, and used as a cotton swab to clean the ears of the Lincoln head at Mt. Rushmore.

    2. Cleaning Out Lincoln’s Mt. Rushmore Ears
      MAD #178, Oct 1975, Page 15
      Sound Effect: SKWEEK SKWEEK

  36. “The richly humanizing Carl Sandburg biographical volumes sat on your grandparents’ shelves, waiting patiently to be devoured by fire.”

  37. Let’s remember the worst US Presidents of all time (in terms of most damage they caused on life, liberty and property), shall we?

    1. Woodrow Wilson
    2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
    3. Abraham Lincoln
    4. Harry S Truman
    5. Theodore Roosevelt
    6. Lyndon B. Johnson
    7. George W. Bush
    8. Herbert Hoover
    9. James Carter
    10. Barrack H. Obama

    You can add to or change the order of the names above, according to how much death they caused and/or how much wealth they destroyed.

    1. Let’s not forget “Old Hickory” for his shameful part in the Trail of Tears.

      1. Andy J also destroyed the 2nd Bank of America. Not saying that balances out the ToT, but it does give him some points. He also nearly paid off the US debt (as close as we have ever come).

    2. I have a suspicion old Barry’ll inch up that list before his single-term presidency is over.

    3. You forgot Ronald Reagan who vastly expanded the war on drugs, who nominated Greenspan to the Fed, vastly expanded the military and, as a favor to the Teamsters, oversaw a rollback of the deregulation that started under the Carter administration. Not to mention his administration’s conscious decision to support only Moslem religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan since the secular groups might turn out not to be bloodthirsty enough.

      Reagan talked a good game, but when the rubber met the road he was just another statist monster.

      1. Reagan would be Number 12, with Clinton being 11. At least, Reagan killed many LESS Iraquis, Serbians and Somalis than Clinton and his pet bitch, Madeleine Albright. Also, Reagan killed many less Americans in militaristic raids than Clinton and his OTHER pet bitch, Janet Reno, did. So he deserves to be 12, just below bloody-hands Clinton.

    4. You know, I forgot Nixon: He should be number 4.

      1. Woodrow Wilson
      2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
      3. Abraham Lincoln
      4. Richard M. Nixon
      5. Harry S Truman
      6. Theodore Roosevelt
      7. Lyndon B. Johnson
      8. George W. Bush
      9. Herbert Hoover
      10. Barrack H. Obama
      11. James Carter
      12. William Clinton
      13. Ronald Reagan
      14. James K. Polk
      15. William McKinley

  38. Truman?

    Hoover?

    I’m not following.

    1. Truman: Gave approval to drop two nuclear bombs on innocent civilians even when the enemy was about to sue for peace. He also led the US into an undeclared war in Korea, killing 55,000 Americans.

      Hoover: Raised taxes and spending during a recession, favored a crippling tariff and implemented many of the programs that FDR later expanded.

      1. Hoover was president during the Bonus Army too, right?

        1. You mean the massacre thereof, right? If so, yes.

          Those brave, heroic officers who gave the orders? Douglas you never should have returned MacArthur and Dwight the german prisons of war genocide Eisenhower.

          1. So you’re siding with Totalitarian Shintoist Japan, Nazi Germany, and the slave-holding Confederacy in this thread. Nice.

          2. Also, please look up the word “genocide” in the dictionary before you embarrass yourself — and the liberty you mock by prepending it to your appellation — further.

      2. At the risk of starting a 400 post threadjack, I believe the alternative to the atomic weapons was not to just sit off the coast of Japan and wait for peace to break out – it was to invade Japan. Even if the alternative was to sit offshore, presumably enforcing an embargo like post WWI wherein the defeated nation was starved to make sure they submitted. Nor did the atomic weapons actually kill more people than the fire-bombings that preceded them. So what exactly is the great crime against humanity?

        1. You’re kidding, right?

          Do you forget about the fire bombing of Tokyo five nights after the second atomic bomb?

          1. Any sane government would have surrendered after the first atomic bomb. Totalitarian Shinto Japan didn’t, so we had to ramp up the hurt until they came to their senses.

            And of course, that nearly didn’t happen anyway — there were assassins on their way to the room where the Emperor was broadcasting the surrender message, but they were a few minutes too late. And this was after two atom bombs and the firebombing you mention.

          2. Funny, but the references I find on firebombing Tokyo are for 9-10 March 1945.

            As to kidding, no I’m not. Someone wants to trot out the atom bomb, I want to know why that is worse than the firebombing, or an embargo that starves the population into submission (see Germany at the end of WWI).

  39. I prefer to honor Grover Cleveland on this day as all small government proponents should.

    1. All hail Grover Cleveland.

  40. The Cox & Combes deal on Washington is so brilliant. I watched it @ work during lunch…snorted pop out my nose I was laughing so hard.

    Thanks, Cox and Combes! (and Reason.com for posting it)

  41. small government proponents should.
    reply to this

  42. You people are despicable.

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