Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Washington to Obama
December 4, 2008 2:09 PM   Subscribe

America has come a long way. There is the official version of history or the peoples' version. There are artifacts and rankings. They had some quirks and were occasionally men of their time. If you prefer audio or visual references those are available as well. Common knowledge has it that one GW was our first President but the title of first is under dispute. 230 years later another GW is making a run for worst. That is also under dispute by the nations best brains. For better and worse, the story of the Presidency is the story of America.
posted by Glibpaxman (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Rove defends Bush from being called the worst president in the past 50 years?

Speck: Hey, Gacy was no Jack the Ripper.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:22 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


LOL, I came to post a comment pointing out that Rove isn't exactly the best source of unbiased information. I mean come on, the guy spawned his own adjective - "Rovian", which is akin to Machiavellian, only worse. Machiavelli was just a cynic, not a cynical idealogue.

Richard Clark was quoted just last night on the radio (I am paraphrasing, this is from memory) in an interview, that he wouldn't speculate about whether or not George Bush would go down as the worst president in history; but that it was beyond any conceivable way that he wouldn't.

(Sorry, I really tried to find the quote, it's an awesome construction of logic, but I think the interview may be too recent)
posted by Xoebe at 2:41 PM on December 4, 2008


I hope to God and all that's holy that George W. Bush IS the worst we'll EVER see in a President.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 2:52 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The morph between Ford and Carter in that first link is terrifying. The first presidential smile in 188 years. All smiles after that.
posted by Missiles K. Monster at 2:58 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


i think a little humbleness on the part of presidents would go a long way. if they were to think things like, "i wonder what congress has to say on this?" and "gee, the constitution was written for a reason. i bet i should read it occasionally." success would follow. the last link in there is pretty good. presidents fail because we place too much trust in them instead of all of our representatives and because they have too much pride in what they can accomplish on their own.
posted by Glibpaxman at 2:59 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You forgot Adam Weishaupt.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:38 PM on December 4, 2008


gee, the constitution was written for a reason. i bet i should read it occasionally.

You mean Professor Obama, teacher of Constitutional Law?
posted by DU at 3:59 PM on December 4, 2008


For all of the progress embodied in having Obama elected, black males got the vote in the US fifty years before women did. A woman president would be even more groundbreaking.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:00 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like watching the books disappear as Carter morphs into Reagan.
posted by invitapriore at 4:21 PM on December 4, 2008


we'll have to see if professor Obama sticks around once he becomes President Obama. I wasn't very impressed last summer when he gutted the constitution and voted in favor of granting retroactive immunity for illegal wiretaps and updating FISA to mean exactly what the President wanted it to mean. Whats important about participatory democracy is never trusting anyone to be the dear leader and get things done for me. I have to fight and struggle for everything I want out of my government no matter who is in charge.
posted by Glibpaxman at 4:36 PM on December 4, 2008


black males got the vote in the US fifty years before women did. A woman president would be even more groundbreaking.

The important thing is to make sure we are all in a perfect circle before we start firing.
posted by DU at 5:03 PM on December 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


The important thing is to make sure we are all in a perfect circle before we start firing

before we start i'd like to hand out ammunition in a manner that appropriately reflects the level of oppression each has received up until this point. since i am a middle-class-american-anglo-saxon-highly-educated-male i get a rock.

everyone else take a number... the AK-47s, abrams tanks, and bazookas arent going anywhere.
posted by Glibpaxman at 5:20 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Additional videos on
Thomas Jefferson
George Washington
William Harrison

I can't find it now, but there was an awesome article somewhere about an observation on American history that broke it into eras. Each era is almost exactly the same length (70-some years) and begins with very progressive policy in the first half. Into the second half the policies become regressive and reactionary (possibly as the progressive policies start to overreach or become less efficient). This part of the eras doesn't totally undo the previous progress, but streamlines and cleans them up. Eventually this goes overboard. There is a period of tremendous failure and a backlash against the administration is charge during this period. E1 ran to Lincoln, E2 ran to FDR, and this article made a case for the third era ending in 2006. I would love if somebody manages to finds this article.

Anyway.. the chart on the 'ratings' link in the FPP that charts top and bottom quartiles for a range of polls makes an interesting companion to this theory.
posted by xorry at 5:41 PM on December 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


a professor of mine taught a class called "epochal politics in US History" based around around these 72 year periods. i took the class in '05 so he was on the ball.

here are a few articles about it

Obama and the Dawn of the Fourth Republic Michael Lind, Salon
Did America Shift too Far to the Right? a video salon by the New American Foundation
Cyclical Behaviors and Ideological Change in American Politics Michigan Journal of Political Science
posted by Glibpaxman at 7:32 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Best beard? Rutherford B. Hayes.
posted by box at 7:53 PM on December 4, 2008


Worst or not, chances are in your lifetimes you will land at Bush International Airport, drive on the Bush Parkway, and possibly send your kids or grandkids to George W. Bush High School (Home of the Crusaders). The GOP in some form will strengthen, regain power and name shit after him.
Hoover Dam ain't named after a vacuum cleaner.
posted by secondhand at 8:23 PM on December 4, 2008


Hey, we almost had the George W. Bush Wastewater Treatment Facility.
posted by Bromius at 9:25 PM on December 4, 2008


The GOP in some form will strengthen, regain power and name shit after him.
Hey, we almost had the George W. Bush Wastewater Treatment Facility.

heh.

Its like he was playing poker and went all in before the flop with pocket 10s. Sadly... he had been cheating the entire game so everyone wanted him to lose, reality was sitting back with A-K and the flop came up A-10-10-A-A. Oh... he was playing with my stolen money too.

Thanks for playing. No its not an open bar. Yes your room is reserved until... crap... January.
posted by Glibpaxman at 10:07 PM on December 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


These links were worth it if only for reminding me we once had a Vice President named Hannibal Hamlin.
posted by rokusan at 5:07 AM on December 5, 2008


The GOP in some form will strengthen, regain power and name shit after him.

Yes, yes and why? Even when they eventually come back in, say, 20 years, why would they want to name stuff after the guy 20 years of students have learned is the Worst President EVAR?
posted by DU at 6:36 AM on December 5, 2008


Previous post on the pre-Washington presidents.

Best beard? Rutherford B. Hayes.

The "B." is for "beard." True story.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:38 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes and why? Even when they eventually come back in, say, 20 years, why would they want to name stuff after the guy 20 years of students have learned is the Worst President EVAR?

Because not only do several million people already still like the guy even right now, at the nadir of his power, but history has a way of allowing some people to look back on things with rose-colored glasses. Bush will always have defenders, perhaps more and more so as we go on.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:42 AM on December 6, 2008


For all of the progress embodied in having Obama elected, black males got the vote in the US fifty years before women did. A woman president would be even more groundbreaking.

What freedmen got in 1868 or 1870, depending on which you like better, was a piece of paper that said they could vote. If they actually had the temerity to try to vote without the assistance of a US occupying force, they found that they couldn't register. Or that they couldn't register and a bunch of men beat the shit out of them. Or that men beat the shit out of them and then killed them. Or that men killed them and set them on fire. Or that men killed them by setting them on fire. Or that men burned their house down. Or their church.

Black men actually "got the vote" in 1965.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:46 AM on December 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


ROU_Xenophobe, wouldn't it be more correct to state that they had a pretty decent right to vote until closer to the turn of the century, when whites started really going apeshit on blacks and rewriting history to make it seem like they were unintelligent troglodytes who couldn't be trusted with the vote or elected office?
posted by wierdo at 11:43 PM on December 9, 2008


« Older Raising the Dead. When scientist Mark Roth's one-...  |  Revealing Self-Aggrandizement ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments