Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents Day and the Related AOTW

As I write this, Presidents Day is nearly over.  I started it on the History Channel with their series The Presidents, although they only covered Washington to Lincoln.  And with the kids around, I never broke out anything else in the POTUS info.

But here's what I was gathered in that period today, thinking about what makes a president great.  It's not political philosophy (I consider FDR a great prez, despite the fact that the New Deal has done more damage to this country than we can imagine).  It's not necessary eloquence (George W Bush, following 9/11 was passionate in a way that overcame his eloquence, or lack thereof).  It's about having an effect on the country, defining (or redefining) the role and power of the presidency, and to some degree, being at the right place in the right time.  I'll use the G W Bush example.  The Bush presidency started on a rough and uncertain footing.  However, it changed completely by the events of 9/11, for good or ill.  And any taint or issues of the later years of the administration does not erase the days and weeks following the attack.

It certainly isn't defined by the personal nature of the man that takes the office.  One of my favorites, John Adams, was prone to stubbornness, mood swings, and his own history.  Richard Nixon did good things prior to Watergate.  And I find myself admiring much of what occurred in the Clinton administration despite even his personal politics and his cock-sure free-willy ways.

In the end, every president you agree with is the greatest thing since sliced bread until he is on the outs, and the ones you disagree with are the ass end of the Devil until they're the hell out of the White House.  But it's what they accomplish, and how they accomplish it once history has had time to digest it that really matters in the end.

But not so for the poor bastard that's only a heartbeat from working in the Oval Orifice:

Dick Cheney and Joe Biden are Asshats of the Week!

Since the Washington administration, when future President John Adams had the thankless and shitty task of presiding over the Senate, the office of Vice President has had two perks.  First, you had the chance of the President dying and putting you in the top spot.  And second, you didn't have to put up with the crap that being the POTUS entailed.  And nowadays, the office gets you the chance to run around the world visiting places the President doesn't have a need or desire to visit (like funerals).

And the VP is also the hatchet man.  He can be the asshole (and asshat) while his president stays aloof and above the fray.

Enter Biden and Cheney, the current and former bitch-in-chief.  They were duking it out this weekend on the Sunday shows like a couple of Sith lords (thus the pic) over who's president and administration sucks at fighting Islamic terrorists the most.  And while I'm more on the Cheney side of this argument, both of them have the suck job of duking it out.

First, there's Cheney, the ever-pissed defender of what has come before (that "last 8 years" thing).  And with the current administration running the talking points after a few years of bad press, the need to justify has the suck-o-meter cranked up to 11.

And who can forget Biden, the ever-eloquent human gaffe machine.  The Democrats have been perceived as the weaker on defense since the debacle of foreign policy that was Carter, and after the antiwar mantras that Obama has had to shed after taking office, Biden's been handed a serious shit sandwich to eat.

But they wanted the damned job in the first place.  So to "honor" the place that a VP has in the hearts of the people, I'll give it to the dueling veeps.


Satyavati devi dasi said...

Cheney's been rewriting history to suit himself as of late. The ever-pissed defender of what has come before has found it necessary to resort to ever-increasing lies to justify himself these days.

Jennifer said...

The Libs keep on bringing up the shoe bomber Richard Reed as an example of civilian court trial of terrorists but there was no law in effect when Reed was tried. The military tribunal law was signed into law in 2007 and reaffirmed by Obama in 2009. Biden can't even get 5 percent of his own party to support him, how much less do the rest of regular Americans despise this guy? A lot more than he'll ever know or admit. The best thing to happen was for Obama to pick him for VP, now the rest of America will will see what a clueless moron he is, he'll be out of office in less than three years and the people of Delaware will be too embarrassed to even think about voting for his chip off the old man idiot he has for a son.

Is this the United States of America? Mr. Cheney speaks his mind based on his experience and is roundly criticized as attacking! Get a clue! Now they attack his attack before his words are expressed. Sounds like those bed wetting liberals are afraid of that freedom we are granted in our founding documents. In fact, they hate all of those freedoms that are expressed in those documents.

I pray for Mr. Cheney and his resolve! Say it loud Mr. Cheney! Do not hold back. Our liberties are at stake and only the truth will keep us free!

There are so many areas of disagreement with this administration and the hypocrisies which the media allows . The liberal morons couldn't get the facts straight even if they wanted to. Their whole philosophy is formed around lies & fantasy. They will hate Cheney whether or not he says ANYTHING. So he might as well try to keep the story straight. Because with liberals, just like Hitler, they figure the more they tell a lie, the people will believe it to be true. So GO GET 'EM DICK- MAKE 'EM SQUEAL! Mr. Hope-Change, Obama is a FAILED president.

Jennifer said...

To all you Dems, Libs, and Progressives like the one on the top of this page, let it be know that the American sleeping giant has been awakened and he likes TEA parties plus people who drive American made pick-up trucks.

Get ready for the Dem motto for all elections this year, "when in doubt BLAME BUSH"!!

Shaw Kenawe said...

No sense trying to have a dialog with some ranter who compares liberals with Hitler, morons, etc.

I just as soon talk with a bowl of oatmeal to learn anything.

At the very least I'd be able to eat it afterward and enjoy some nutrition.

Toad734 said...

So the new deal, which brought power and roads to much of the south, spurred employment,created social security, created public works and national parks, monitored agricultural output as to not deflate commodity pricing, ended prohibition, and helped bring us out of a depression was a bad thing?

And exactly what good things did Nixon do? HMOs, escalation of Vietnam, Watergate?? Take your pick.

I find it odd that there is no mention of JFK. If it weren't for he and Bobby, none of us would be here right now. If Nixon ( or almost anyone else for that matter) had been president during the Cuban Missile crisis, we would have had nuclear war with Russia. End of story.

Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view

Patrick M said...

Saty, Jennifer: I assume that all politicians bend and shade the truth. It really comes down to which of them you trust more.

Jennifer: Somehow, I think Dick will keep talking. :)

Shaw: Somehow, I think you would have a problem having a dialogue with Jennifer, even though I could come up with a good comparison between the Nazi party and the Democrats today (without all the Jew killing stuff and global warmongering, of course).

Toad: The New Deal, for any good it did, also was the establishment of the Imperial Federal Government as a source of "solutions" to every little problem, and why we have stupid things like farm subsidies, and every other form of corporate and personal welfare. Because the idea that it's the government's role to "take care" of people was firmly ensconced in the minds of the public as a result. And that's before I get onto the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security.

Toad734 said...

Well ok, but it did do a lot of good. And sometimes the free market is too free and you get things like bank runs and great depressions and pyramid schemes so something like the FDIC encourages people to put money into savings safely and thus allows banks to, well, invent phony money and make loans, etc.

My mom wouldn't have had electricity growing up if it weren't for the TVA and neither would her school.

Yes it opened a can of worms and led to farm subsidies and corporate welfare which neither of us favor but Social Security is only fucked because Republicans keep using that money for their wars and shit as opposed to leaving it for the people who paid into it.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

plus people who drive American made pick-up trucks.

My Tacoma was built right here in the good old USA by good old Americans.

So I guess that would put me on the like list.

Good to know.

Patrick M said...

Toad: for clarification, the Dems have had a lot more control over how the Social Security money was wasted than the GOP over the 80-odd years of the mess. But I'm not assigning blame to one party on this debacle, because that's just dumb.

But this is the result you get when you give over control of things that should be private to the unaccountable legal thieves of government.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

"Bend and shade" is one thing.

Speaking baldfaced, outright untruths that can be easily proven false is another.

But Cheney's bright enough to know that 99% of his fans aren't bright enough to research what he says, and that they're gullible enough to believe him over someone who calls him out for lying.

Debbies Choice said...

Shaw Kenawe said...

No sense trying to have a dialog with some ranter who compares liberals with Hitler, morons, etc.

Why is there any doubt? I don't see any!

Steven said...

So you say that the lawmakers that pass the Farm Bill every five years are being channeled by FDR? Aren't they responsible for their own actions when it comes to this legislation? That's what I was hoping for when I cast a vote, but despite my wishes and amazingly enough, that Farm Bill is voted for every time with the approval of both Parties. You give far too much credence to the powers of FDR. But I suppose it's easier than pointing out the real culprits.

Toad734 said...


Yes but can you imagine what would happen if 800 Billion in subsidies were cut. Besides of course farmers having to grow profitable crops, High Fructose Corn Syrup ceasing to be used as a cheap sweenter that makes Americans Fat and inflates health care prices, Mexican Farmers being able to compete against US farmers thus not needing to look for work in the US, a bunch of Red state congressmen losing their jobs and the Tea baggers ironically getting their wish which would directly negatively impact their base which is rural, white, red state males who also tend to be farmers and eliminating 800 Billion in annual expenditures....Oh wait, ya that would be a good thing.

But my point is that it's much easier to never subsidize crops in the first place than to stop subsidizing them after decades of doing so. Like any form of welfare, these people think it is owed to them.

Anonymous said...
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Patrick M said...

Steven: Point of clarification. FDR is not solely responsible. But the tipping point for the IFG psychology was found in the details of the New Deal. And while it did some good things, every idea that that sacrifices freedom (and the associated risk) for government-guaranteed security is a step in the direction we've been heading for decades. And ultimately, it's the direction of ruin.