Your Annual President's Day Thread


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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.