Turnout Is Key


Nixonian History Legend Rick Perlstein declined C-SPAN’s recent Presidential Historian Challenge, reasoning that:

Maybe there are people who can really responsibly rank John Tyler vis-a-vis Ulysses S. Grant as to their “Administrative Skills,” Grover Cleveland versus Calvin Coolidge as to their “Morality Authority”—but I am not that man.

In the wake of the outcome he’s bitter he didn’t bullet vote against the poll’s beloved Ronald Reagan:

I reproach myself for not voting strategically in return by putting RR at forty-third place across the board—strategy in the spirit of doubt. Even though I don’t actually think Reagan is rock-bottom in any of the categories this would have been the principled vote nonetheless. The writers who make a living at saying Ronald Reagan is the Greatest American Who Ever Lived do so not (or only partially) as an act of scholarship. They do so (at least partially) as part of a well-financed, decades-long propaganda campaign. I should have sent in the survey with Reagan the only one ranked, 43rd in every category, as a pragmatic gesture in the interests of the highest principles of historical inquiry. I don’t think Reagan is the 43rd best president; nor do I think he’s the tenth best president. But one historian ranking him 43 across the board as a matter of rote, to cancel out the one who most likely put him at Number One as a matter of rote, at least resets the scale back at zero.”

Rebuilding Reagan: New Teflon For Trying Times

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me http://www.mltranslations.org/SouthAfrica/Reagan.jpg

The nation has taken Will Bunch to its heart, thrilling to his knocking Ronald Reagan down a couple pegs in his Tear Down This Myth.

Until now

Lately Bunch is embracing a cuddly vision of Reagan as an old violence-averse softee who would not stoop to torture like that mean George W. Bush.

BUNCH: I do think that some of the swaggering rhetoric that Reagan used…have been I think misinterpreted by Republicans that this was his actual policy, when actually his policies didn’t have the same kind of cowboy attitude that some of his rhetoric did. I can’t imagine, particularly torture, I just doubt that would have been something that would have been condoned during the Reagan administration.

He actually was kind of a — in fact this was used in a headline in the Washington Post — he was actually kind of a pussycat so to speak when it came to the job of killing people through various acts of war.”

Well yes, if offshore don’t count.

The old pussycat just couldn’t help himself when it came to hiring the swarthies to kill, maim and torture for the cause, whether car bombing in Beirut,  dubiously funding our Funding Father equivalent Nicaraguan Contras,  to our gallant witch burning allies in Angola.

Perhaps that is the problem with Bush, that unlike the old magician he did terrible things “in our name” and didn’t leave a sufficient number of cut-outs in between for Americans to feel good about themselves.

George W. Bush’s Rocket To Obscurity

The Forgotten Man  http://www.presidentsrus.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/bush-library-time-of-great-consequence.jpg

The Dallas Morning News reports that former President Bush is on a slow road to nowhere in the mysteries of the Internet.  In Google searches for “bush library”   The George W. Bush Presidential Center ranks below Dad and below a blog on the Library-to-be that hasn’t been updated since May 2007.

The News goes to the gnomes of Search Engine Land, who advise the former Chief  Executive to make friends online.


Cutting The Cost Of Reagan

Cost Sent Here  reagan-berlin-wall-outdoors.jpg

“A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

In the spirit of government thrift and efficiency so needed in the present crisis, Mark Ambinder points to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate costing out the “Reagan Centennial Commission.”

This hoped for distinguished body would convene to mark the great man’s 100th, and is sponsored by California Tax Payer’s friend Elton Gallegly.  The Simi Valley Republican represents Reagan’s relics at the Reagan Library,  and is of course a scourge of government waste, fraud and abuse.  The Reagan salute would come in at a million dollars.

Gallegly’s proposed commission would be dominated by the Reagan Library, who after recently staging elaborate displays celebrating Nancy Reagan’s gowns,   reagan-nancy-duke-blackwood-laura-bush.jpg  Reagan’s letters to Nancy, and a kids exhibit  http://www.presidentsrus.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/reagan-playing-president.jpg  inviting tykes to re-invade Grenada would appear to have the cash to do it themselves.

Thinking Small: Your White House At Work

There Were Giants Here Once  oval-bush-leaning.jpg

To the Ford Presidential Library, where a fabled small but perfectly formed miniature  White House is on display.

Joining the fun are  Peter Sharkey’s obsessively  detailed model drawings of any and all White House rooms and the exterior grounds.


Just the thing for planning your radio controlled model aircraft attack, or carrier pigeon conspiracy.

Mr. Sharkey also sees to your  white-house-models-basement-laundry-area.png  underground White House laundry room viewing needs.

white-house-model-oval-office.jpg Your pining for impossible overhead views of the Oval Office is also met, as well as White House pool shots that look vaguely like crime scenes.