Mr. President Is In The Field



Remembering Woodrow Wilson: Now With Visceralness!

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Presidential Memorializing continues spinning backwards in time, with the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library the latest fatuous exercise.

Wilson was born in Staunton Virginia, but his parents left town when he was four. From these slender roots the town has metastasized a Presidential Library, now to receive federal funding.

The Library represents double or triple dipping for Wilson. The Wilson Center was created four decades ago as a “living memorial” to Wilson. South of Washington lies a Wilson Bridge. wilson-bridge.jpg It’s opening happened to fall during his centennial year, so he got the slot, despite having no known ties to the region or river.

Staunton needs the money, ’cause they got nothing. He spent more of his childhood elsewhere, his papers are elsewhere [“The archives microfilm collection includes the Wilson holdings at the Library of Congress and the National Archives. “]

What’s the answer? Showmanship!

Rather than a timeline of facts and dates, the museum aims to turn history into a visceral experience.

wilson-page-black-people.jpg The magic begins on their web page, where a lovely photo of black children is adorned with a lofty Wilson quote. His real feelings about black people were rather different, as reflected in his plug for “Birth of a Nation”. wilson-b-of-nation-graphic.jpg

Bush Library Opposition To High Court: Legislate From The Bench!

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They lost the delegate vote at a Methodist regional conference, but Bush Library opponents have another shot at trying to block the tribute: Activist Judges!

Library opponents have launched an appeal to the Methodist Judicial Council, seeking a ruling that the Bush Institute attached to the Bush Library would violate Southern Methodist University’s charter, the rules of the church’s regional body, or the United Methodist Church’s ominously named Book of Discipline . Or all three!

Alternatively, caring Methodists may wait for SMU’s report to the next regional conference on the Bush institute’s impact on the University.

See you in 2012!

Mr. Reagan, Give Them Back Their Wall!

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So little is left of the Berlin Wall that Reuters reports authorities have resorted to handing tourists a GPS powered device if they want to recreate that closed in feeling.

We know where the Wall went: vast chunks carried off to America for victory displays. Prime offenders are Presidential Libraries, which are cluttered with the stuff.

Let’s review:

George H.W. Bush has a cheesy salute to Berlin bush-berlin-wall-horses.jpg and all things Texan outside his museum, and indoors bush-sr-berlin-wall-indoors.JPG Wall as well. And Bush Secretary of State James Baker got a berlin-wall-rice-university.jpg chunk for his Rice University Institute.

Ford has a piece, ford-berlin-wall-piece.JPG although the Wall rested undisturbed throughout his presidency.

nixon-berlin-wall-2.jpg Nixon too.

Kennedy saw it built on his watch. kennedy-berlin-wall.jpg

The Hoover Library has a Wall piece, hoover-library-berlin-wall.jpgalthough he barely lived long enough to see it built, three decades after his presidency.

Truman hosted Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech at Westminister College in Fulton Missouri, and the campus now hosts both a plain chunk berlin-wall-westminister-colleg-fulton.jpg and a Wall “sculpture” – a piece with holes punched in it by Churchill’s granddaughter. berlin-sculpturebreakthrough.jpg She also sold one of these horrors to the Roosevelt library.

The greater glory of Ronald Reagan requires the most concrete, with Wall samples at his Dixon Illinois reagan-berlin-wall-dixon.jpg birthplace, alma mater reagan-eureka-berlin-wall-at-the-reagan-center.jpg Eureka College, at the federal Reagan reagan-berlin-wall-reagan-building.jpg office building in Washington, aboard reagan-berlin-wall-uss-reagan-bronze-on-berlin-wall.JPG the USS Ronald Reagan, reagan-berlin-wall-reagan-ranch-office.jpg at the Reagan Ranch Center, and at the Reagan Library indoors reagan-berlin-wall-indoors.jpg & out. reagan-berlin-wall-outdoors.jpg

And they used to sell bags of chips.

Bush Library: Methodists Embrace Hope!

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The Methodist Church will not try to block the Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University, according to the Dallas Morning News. Unless a full regional meeting Thursday rejects it, the South Central Jurisdictional Conference resolutions committee is putting it’s faith in fair treatment from Bush.

“The group voted to reject a potentially divisive proposal calling for the conference to reverse a decision by the church’s Mission Council granting SMU the ability to lease land to the Bush library foundation for up to 250 years…Instead, it approved a resolution saying it expects the institute to protect SMU’s “integrity,” signaling that committee members don’t want the institute’s work to affect SMU’s academic independence.”

That should do it!