18 June 2009

Comparing the Presidents

A friend sent this to me today via email (hat tip: Patrick). I thought it was an astute observation, but more importantly, I think we are beginning to see more of this type of analysis - especially given the "fly kill" episode that dominated the headlines yesterday - as well as voter frustration with it. I've highlighted what I thought was the best line... Enjoy.

Last week I was stuck in Newark Airport awaiting my flight to Chicago. Since I drank too many cocktails the night before, I did a horrendous job packing. There I was sitting at my gate without a book, no iPod, chewing tobacco, or even a Tylenol for my throbbing headache.

Needing something to do, I wandered into Borders where I came across a magazine completely dedicated to the Presidents of the United States. Since every other mag in the place was either focused on Lindsey Lohans upcoming suicide or Jennifer Anniston’s depressing sex life, I purchased the Presidential mag and moved on.

I centered on the chapters that focused on the titans of our Democracy; the founding fathers, Lincoln, Teddy, FDR, Kennedy, and Reagan. Putting partisanship aside, I tried to find the common trait that made these men great leaders and the qualities that allowed them to lead our nation in times of turmoil. It wasn’t difficult, all of these men had the fortitude to cast their ego’s aside and put the nation first.

They took courses of action that benefited the country in the long run, regardless of what it did to their legacy in their own particular times , and shockingly in many cases they hated the office they dedicated their lives too. My feelings of American pride were quickly banished however, when I realized more than ever that despite what the media and the masses try to sell, President Obama lacks many of these traits. He is a reality TV celebrity who cares more about being a star than he does about being effective. In fact, Obama recently had ABC come in and wire the White House with an optical switching technology that allow cameras to link up with patch cords based on the day’s shooting schedule (not much different than the way they filmed MTV’s Real World or the way they currently shoot CBS’s Big Brother reality show). For anyone who disagrees, please read the following comparisons with an open mind.

George Washington’s desire after the Revolution was to retire to Virginia and run his farm. An overwhelming majority of the country wanted to name him king, and give him absolute power. Since the new government did not have the money to pay the soldiers who fought in the war this would have been an easy task. The military was loyal to him and not the gov’t. Not only did Washington put down the rebellion, but he refused to take absolute power of a country that was begging him to. For the first time in history a conquering military commander handed control of a government back to the people. Peacefully. Every action Washington took was precedent. He went out of his way to avoid any action or gesture that would put him above the gov’t, and even more amazingly decided that a President should only serve two terms, when clearly he could have had the post for life. In parting he told newly elected Adams he was sorry for he was about to endure as President.

Does anyone believe, even for a minute, that Obama would have taken these same steps? Would his love for attention and control have made him rationalize the decision to create a post more powerful than President? Would he have stepped down after only 2 terms? Would he have limited the role the American President was going to play? I think even the most loyal liberal must have some lingering doubts about those questions.

Thomas Jefferson made a grand total of two public appearances and oral speeches during his Presidency. TWO!!! Both were his inauguration speeches. He so loathed the responsibilities of the office that he left it off the epitaph on his tomb stone. He believed that the powers of the office should be limited and the states should have an important say how their populace was governed.

Obama is on TV at least 2 times a day. His Presidency is a media event. He appears on late night talk shows, lives in front a teleprompter. In fact yesterday he gave Lebron James a tour of the white house. Apparently their aren’t anymore pressing things to attend to.

Many people compare President Obama to FDR. Both men inherited office during a time of financial turmoil, and both expanded the office and the executive branch. However there are some fundamental differences here too. I lifted the next passage from an article.

“Roosevelt was no radical; indeed, he shared many of the conservative convictions of his class and times. He believed deeply in both balanced budgets and the demoralizing effects of relief on the poor. He tried mightily to rally the business community to his side. For him, the labor movement was terra incognita and — though it may be hard to believe today — played no role in his initial policy and political calculations. Nonetheless, right from the beginning, Roosevelt cobbled together a cabinet and circle of advisers strikingly heterogeneous in its views, one that, by comparison, makes Obama’s inner sanctum, as it is developing today, look like a sectarian cult.”

Obama intends to CONTROL Wall Street and nationalize any industry he feels is underperforming. General motors is now Government Motors and he alone has the final say how they are run. He has no intentions of kick starting capitalism, he has created a socialist agenda that is his to command.

Obama has gone out of his way to link himself with Lincoln. He has gone so far as to be sworn in with the Lincoln bible. But lets not forget that Lincoln was a Republican and believed in the tenets of the party. He was a humble man who was thrust into a series of events that caused him to take action. He did not take actions that thrust himself into a series of events. Lincoln was a humble man who questioned his actions. Obama had this quote in 2004 at the dem national convention “I’m LeBron, baby. I can play on this level. I got some game.”

I’ll sum this up with a Ronald Reagan quote, “Government does not solve problems, government is the problem.”

-Six Gun


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