Monday, February 16, 2009

A Case of the Moondays

While Mr. & Mrs. Carl are going three sheets to the wind on Jesus Juice out on "Lawn Guy-Lint" I thought I'd check in and see how things are here in the O-Mania HQ. Look around, see how everyone's doing. Nothing really amiss, I see.

OK, cool. Well, we do have certain standards around here we have to maintain. Since our advanced (possibly terminal) case of Bush Derangement Syndrome compels us to find at least one news story about #43 a week and then highlight it with a generous dollop of East Coast urban hipster elitist snark for humorous effect, here's the news story:

C-SPAN 2009 Historians Presidential Leadership Survey

WASHINGTON — Just days after the nation honored the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the nation's best president.

Former President George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN.

Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting.

In contrast, Lincoln was ranked in the top three in each of the 10 categories evaluated by participants.

In C-SPAN's only other ranking of presidents, in 2000, former President Bill Clinton jumped six spots from No. 21 to 15. Other recent presidents moved positions as well: Ronald Reagan advanced from No. 11 to 10, George H.W. Bush rose from No. 20 to 18 and Jimmy Carter fell from No. 22 to 25.

This movement illustrates that presidential reputations are influenced by present-day concerns, said survey adviser and participant Edna Medford.

"Today's concerns shape our views of the past, be it in the area of foreign policy, managing the economy or human rights," Medford said in a statement.

After Lincoln, the academics rated George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman as the best leaders overall. The same five received top spots in the 2000 survey, although Washington and Franklin D. Roosevelt swapped spots this year.

Rated worst overall were James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison and Warren G. Harding.

The survey was conducted in December and January. Participants ranked each president on a scale of one, "not effective" to 10, "very effective," on a list of 10 leadership qualities including relations with Congress, public persuasion and moral authority.
Here's "The List":

And here's the snark:

See you tomorrow!


Annette said...

I still haven't figured out Reagan.. What the heck did he do that was so great?? I just wish someone would tell me that. Cause I sure don't remember anything.

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

I've often wondered the same thing. I've never been able to point to one tangible good to have emerged from that snake-oil salesman's tenure, and much bad, so it has been a continuing source of annoyance tinged with rage to always see Reagan and his legacy treated as some manner of axiomatic good in our national discourse. Naturally, this situation has been by design, but the mandarins of our national media would never acknowledge that.

I once asked my Texas Rethugli-bot, FOX News zombie dad why he had such a glowing love for Saint Ronnie of the Ray-Gun and he told me that it was because he made Americans feel good about their country again. Of course my dad gets teary-eyed to the treacly strains of Lee Greenwood screeching out "Proud To Be An American", so I have always thought his analysis suspect. Since all those dirty fucking hippies (DFH's), queers, uppity wimmin-folk and assorted scary brown people had spent the better part of 20 years making the corrupt, racist, hypocritical white guys running the country for the previous two centuries feel bad about themselves, I guess we should have expected some blowback for demanding, you know, some fealty to the spirit if not the letter of our founding principles -- bad as such things had proven to be for white, male privilege.

At the end of the day, I suspect, it was really all about what is has always been about since Reagan sold his particular brand of toxin as an elixir to a coalition I have deemed "The Stupid, The Deluded and The Corrupt" (h/t to Atrios) -- Good is whatever pisses-off liberals.