Friday, October 13, 2006

9/18-19/2006 - Presidents!!

Well, the results are in: Of those who responded, 100% selected FDR as favorite president, but were evenly split between Reagan and Nixon as the second-least-favorite.
For a little extra mirth, please read the comments on the previous post...
I think that everyone should have a favorite and least-favorite presidents (and probably second-least-favorite, all things considering).  It helps one sort out the traits one admires, it helps focus future elections, and hey, it's fun.  I've mentioned before that my favorite president was the first one.  Readers of my blog are probably aware that my least-favorite is the current one.  What may surprise my readers is that my second-favorite president is Adams, my third favorite is Jefferson... just kidding.
It's hard to narrow Washington's contributions to the country to a handful of bullet points, but some of what effect my opinion were his wisdom (and moral fortitude) in stopping after two terms, his unclouded view of foreign relations, and his view of the dangers of partisanship.  His greatness is hidden beneath the surface, but manages to sneak through in so many small ways across his career, from his participation in the Continental Congress to his well executed retreats.
Bush?  I can respect that his goals are not always my goals; a President has a lot to think about and my priorities can't always come first.  What bothers me most about the past 6 years is the aura of untruthfulness that pervades them.  It's not that I can point to any impeachable offenses, but from "sexed up" evidence for WMD, to the no-bid contracts, from the willful ignoring of scientific findings, to the secret programs (and calls for freedom from oversight) and -- worst of all -- the muzzling of actuarial opinion, I really find it hard to ever trust motivations.  I can only hope that every future administration will inspire more trust than this one has.
Now, in all fairness, I'm sure that much of placing Bush at the bottom has to do with having lived through his administration.  Had I suffered through Pierce or Harding, might I have elevated Bush to the lofty "least favorite?"  Probably not.  But Pierce wins my second-least favorite by a nose.  I doubt that anyone could have held the union together in 1850s, but Pierce seems to have been singularly the wrong guy for the position.  Always described as "a decent enough fellow" and was probably fine as a senator, but he just wasn't a president.  Between the "Kansas-Nebraska act" and the "Ostend Manifesto" managed to alienate just about everyone in the country, but not in any way that helped them work out their differences.  Pierce eventually departed from public life on his way back to alcoholism.
15,200 nattering steps today.  Cheers,
(P.S. Where's 9/17?  That was the marathon which has already been pretty well blogged...  That also will help explain the really low footage over the next couple of days.)


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