The War On President’s Day

False Coin:

Don’t Take This From Ben Stein stein-graphic.jpg

A new front in the War On President’s Day! Cuddly Conservative Curmudgeon Ben Stein is trying to mobilize America’s unease at the vagueness of the holiday to somehow make a case against evolution. stein-megaphone.jpg Let’s watch him go!

“Until the late 1980’s when the generic “President’s Day” became the official holiday that subsumed them, America used to celebrate the birthdays of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

As a result, “Darwin Day” has now supplanted Lincoln’s Birthday in the popular imagination; both men were born on February 12, 1809.”

It falls to biologist P.Z. Myers to try an unravel this “dense array of concentrated stupid.”

“”President’s Day” did diminish awareness of Lincoln’s birthday and reduced the appreciation of a president in exchange for a 3-day weekend, but Darwin had nothing to do with that, and it did not replace Lincoln with Darwin in the popular imagination — ask most people what the significance of 12 February might be, and you’ll get a blank look.”

Joshua Rosenau joins the fun:

“The law moving that celebration to the third Monday in February was signed into law in 1971, during Richard Nixon’s presidency. Ben Stein was, of course, a staffer in that administration, and didn’t have to remain silent on the Lincoln snub for 37 years. He could have insisted that the day be known not as “Washington’s Birthday,” but as Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays,” or some such construction (though that wouldn’t have gone over well with Nixon’s race-baiting Southern Strategy). He didn’t.”

Ultimately, of course, it all comes down to Beating the Reds, yesterday if need be.

“Pessimism is a malady to be overcome, not encouraged – and it is certainly not a quality (or a theory) to be celebrated. As history teaches us – inherently pessimistic scientific theories, like all decadent theories (socialism, communism) eventually give way to those that actually work.

The sixteenth President of the United States believed what our country’s founders believed and that The Declaration of Independence so clearly stated – that all men were endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

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