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Here are the 10 greatest American presidents, according to a 2009 C-SPAN poll of historians:
1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
4. Theodore Roosevelt
5. Harry S. Truman
6. John F. Kennedy
7. Thomas Jefferson
8. Dwight D. Eisenhower
9. Woodrow Wilson
10. Ronald Reagan
With all due respect to JFK, whom I liked, why is he on this list ? What were his great accomplishments ? I think historians are a little swept up in the myth of the man, as opposed to the reality. That "Ask not what your country can do for you" line was outstanding, though. Dubya ranked 36th, btw, one notch ahead of Millard Fillmore (who may have been the only person ever named "Millard").
In any case, I decided to poll our 10 greatest presidents to see if they would approve of Obama's stimulus plan. Since all 10 are dead, it wasn't easy, but here's what they said from beyond the grave:
"The assertion that "all men are created equal" was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use." - Abraham Lincoln
Because Obama's stimulus plan treats people most UN-equally, selectively rewarding specific political cronies at the expense of others, this is a 'NO' vote from Lincoln.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington
Tell it, George ! You should be #1 on this list. Another 'NO' vote.
"But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
I'd say that's a big 'YES' from the progressive New Deal-er.
"When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer "Present" or "Not guilty." - Theodore Roosevelt
Some things never change. Teddy didn't trust the government very much. Another 'NO' vote.
"My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference." - Harry S. Truman
I'm not sure this pertains to the stimulus bill, but I just love the quote. Because this is my blog, I'm calling it a vote of 'NO' from Give-em-hell Harry.
"I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." - John F. Kennedy
JFK defers to Jefferson, so Kennedy votes 'NO', as you shall see next. Sigh. I miss the old Democrats. JFK was the last of them.
"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." - Thomas Jefferson
A definite 'NO' vote from Jefferson on Obama's Generational Theft Act. I wonder if Jefferson could have imagined a swindle as big as this.
"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking...is freedom." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ike just says 'NO'.
"A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits." - Woodrow Wilson
Wilson sounds like a party line guy, the partisan hack (but funny). Woody votes 'YES'.
"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15th." - Ronald Reagan
And that's why they called him the Great Communicator. Short and to the point. Ronnie says "get your hand outta my pocket" and votes heck 'NO'.
So there you have it, folks. 8 of our 10 greatest presidents think Obama's stimulus bill is for the birds. So do I, even though my own greatness is questionable at best.
(this poll was conducted using the latest pseudo-scientific methodologies available at the Rubberat Ministry Of Truth)