Special thanks to the eagle eyes at Wonkette, who’ve spotted a big one.
Extraordinarily cheezeball artist Jon McNaughton has brought forth a gathering of greats, as the ghosts of presidents past hover around sullen, stand-offish looking Barack Obama, variously annoyed or aghast at his literal TRAMPLING ON THE CONSTITUTION!
McNaughton is the kind of crank who rambles along in incoherent Founderspeak for numbered paragraphs, passive aggressively concluding:
Cramming all these figures into the frame seems to have skewed McNaughton’s perspective. Small but perfectly formed James Madison is so upset at Obama’s boot-heel to our liberties that he’s bent over pleading, but appears to be almost Obama’s height. The Forgotten Man is a giant seated on a toy town bench. Such is the occasion that Franklin Roosevelt walks.
McNaughton’s painting doesn’t leave much to chance, featuring ominous clouds, flags at half staff, and an accompanying video lush with piano chords of doom.
Hoover is a punching bag for all seasons. Distant relative Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the “Joe the Plumber” of the multiple homes set and deranged ex-Hillary supporter, used her faint connection to bolster the Obama-is-Hoover argument of the sinking McCain campaign.
Now the Hoover Museum on the Historic Site has turned to a beloved folk figure to try and drag in some bodies.
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.
George H.W. Bush has a cheesy salute to Berlin and all things Texan outside his museum, and indoors Wall as well. And Bush Secretary of State James Baker got a chunk for his Rice University Institute.
Ford has a piece, although the Wall rested undisturbed throughout his presidency.
Kennedy saw it built on his watch.
The Hoover Library has a Wall piece, although 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 and a Wall “sculpture” – a piece with holes punched in it by Churchill’s granddaughter. 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 birthplace, alma mater Eureka College, at the federal Reagan office building in Washington, aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, at the Reagan Ranch Center, and at the Reagan Library indoors & out.
Brussels journall takes the time to go where the streets have no name, or at least not ones it approves of. Thanks to the ceaseless proliferation of web-based tools they offer what can only be hoped is the definitive survey of
While claiming Reagan’s appeal wasn’t racist, David Paul Kuhn [author of The Neglected Voter: White Men and the Democratic Dilemma] makes the bizarre argument that if Northern white males voted Republican it somehow absolved pols and white Southerners of racism.
And he tries to make the case that Republican Southern gains were due to a host of factors:
“Twenty years earlier, when both parties mostly ignored the plight of blacks, Republicans won half the South. The 1928 Democratic nominee Al Smith was a Catholic running in the Protestant South. But it was more than that. Smith was against Prohibition. The GOP successfully painted him as a big city politician who had little culturally in common with the Southern everyman…In short, the first significant Republican success in the South was based on an entirely non-racial culturally populist appeal.”
“Populist” is a broad church, but to draw sharp distinctions between racism and attacks on the big cities, their swarthy ethnic inhabitants and their libidinous ways is an interesting defense.
Kuhn has a following. The ludicrous Joe Klein breathlessly asked Time‘s readers recently, “Does Merle Haggard Speak for America?”
Klein recalled his working class youth singing along to “Okie From Muskogee” and melding the aging country icon with Kuhn’s musings about living right and bein’ free.