U.S. Presidents - Cold War and New Millennium Edition

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Which was the least worst or accomplished the greatest good? Which deserves a second look?

I omitted Obama cuz his term hasn't ended yet (duh).

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Lyndon B. Johnson 12
Dwight D. Eisenhower 11
Jimmy Carter 8
Harry S. Truman 4
Bill Clinton 4
George W. Bush 3
Richard M. Nixon 1
John F. Kennedy 1
Gerald R. Ford 1
Ronald Reagan 0
George H.W. Bush 0


Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 16:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

Whoops – should've included a Morbs option like "Fuck the lot of them."

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 16:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ha! What a rogue's gallery. I'll have to think about this...

kkvgz, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 17:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ike = best Republican

j0rdan sgt's tartan shorts club ban (crüt), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 17:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

truman

symsymsym, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 17:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

Ike = best Republican

Maybe the best Democrat too. Apparently the right wing so disgusted him that he tried unsuccessfully to forge a new coalition in 1958 and '60, but it died for want of ideas.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 17:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

LBJ

horseshoe, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

if it was fave person i would vote carter though <3

horseshoe, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

kinda torn between Ike and LBJ

better check that sausage before you put it in the waffle (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

but yeah would have appreciated "fuck 'em all" option

better check that sausage before you put it in the waffle (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

Carter has always seemed petty and mean in person, esp. when as president.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

LBJ presents a real problem. Contra Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the collapse of the Imperial Presidency happened under LBJ, when he thought he could run a war, the Great Society, and fulminate against RFK at the same time.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

I guess the country fluorished most under Eisenhower (unless you were black) and Clinton. Nixon fascinates me the most personally, followed by Johnson. (Clinton and Carter, too; the more neurotic and more prone to the siege mentality some presidents fall into, the more interesting they are as people.) There are major and minor red flags for all of them. Truman is probably viewed as the most down-to-earth and decent of this group, but you immediately have to grapple with Hiroshima. Landmark legislation from Johnson, plus Vietnam. I honestly wouldn't know who to vote for, and with so much of what presidents do shrouded (I believe) in secrecy that takes years and decades to shake loose, it's hard for me to move much beyond the very sophisticated metric of likeability. I may voter later.

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

agree that Nixon is easily the most fascinating.

better check that sausage before you put it in the waffle (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

Putting Hiroshima aside, I've a lot of problems with Truman. I'm inclined to be merciful because, frankly, FDR's disinclination to keep his third VP fully updated on the subtleties of relations with Stalin and Churchill, or indeed on anything else, strikes me as criminally negligent, especially when I remember that the man knew he was dying. But even assigning Stalin his considerable portion of blame for the collapse of the postwar order, I can't understand Truman, Acheson, et al's obsession with loyalty oaths and building a national security state. We were the most powerful country on earth and we were this paranoid? (this foreshadows Nixon's paranoia after a commanding landslide..sit in your office, depressed, writing grotesque notes on yellow legal pads).

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'd have to brush up on Truman's relationship to the Hiss case, Nixon, and McCarthy. The famous story where he wrote a letter (while in office) to the reviewer who attacked his daughter's singing...a loyal father, probably, but it also sounds like the kind of thing Nixon would have done. I always tell my grade 6 students that Hiroshima was probably the toughest decision any human being has ever had to make. It's the kind of large question I shrink from.

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'd have to brush up on Truman's relationship to the Hiss case, Nixon, and McCarthy. The famous story where he wrote a letter (while in office) to the reviewer who attacked his daughter's singing...a loyal father, probably, but it also sounds like the kind of thing Nixon would have done. I always tell my grade 6 students that Hiroshima was probably the toughest decision any human being has ever had to make. It's the kind of large question I shrink from.

― clemenza, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 18:47 (3 hours ago)

That's the problem-- it wasn't a tough decision for Truman. His attitude was "hey, we've got a great new weapon to kill some Japs with."

Matt Armstrong, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 21:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

posts totally in character, but I actually think I'd vote obama if he were on the list?

iatee, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 21:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'll go w/ lbj

iatee, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 21:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

putting my realist hat on, i think nixon in china might be the most significant presidential action of any of the dudes listed. i'm tempted to vote for him just for that, all other bullshit considered.

goole, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

are you fucking kidding me

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

;)

goole, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

I dunno, I think you have to do counterfactuals with that one - like, had nixon not done that, not entirely unlikely that someone else does?

iatee, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

My favorite part about Nixon visiting China was Mao and Nixon's mutual admiration for each other's writings.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

My problem with honoring Nixon's China move: it's such a who-cares moment. Welcoming a country exiled from the "community of nations" since '49 so that it inevitably/eventually becomes a real market force is not something about which I can get too excited.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

I mean, unless you work for Bank of America it's like, "What's it to me?"

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

billions lifted from poverty, better record on that than LBJ if u ask me. but that credit probably goes to tankdriver Deng and not Nixon anyway...

goole, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

alfred as a miami thug i thought you'd be cool with severing the communist world in half!! come on

goole, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

what China gained from Nixon's visit:
- legitimized Mao, and by extension the Communist regime
- seat on the UN Security Council
- legitimization of their claim on Taiwan
- opening of trade, huge influx of cash/investment (that would come back to seriously haunt the US economy in decades to come)

what the US gained from Nixon's visit:
- apart from a huge turd for Nixon to publicly polish in his dotage, nothing

the accounts I've read of Nixon's visit to China paint a seriously laughable picture of the Chinese regime plotting to squeeze everything out of a drunk/out-of-it Nixon and a distracted Kissinger, who were more interested in sampling Chinese hospitality.

x-posts

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

alfred as a miami thug i thought you'd be cool with severing the communist world in half!! come on

it was already severed in half - Mao and the Soviets hated/distrusted each other

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:12 (3 years ago) Permalink

on another note, listen to LBJ flirt with Jackie O:

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

billions lifted from poverty, better record on that than LBJ if u ask me

lol have you been to China lately? and yeah would credit this more to post-Mao regimes realizing they had to actually MANAGE the economy rather than routinely starve/massacre the populace, has next to nothing to do with Nixon.

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

god I forget that she sounded like a ditz.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

just like Marilyn eh

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

Detente is nothing to sneer at

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

- opening of trade, huge influx of cash/investment (that would come back to seriously haunt the US economy in decades to come)

no way, this is all positive. ok, the coal plants are a problem, but "haunt the US economy" is bs

and no i haven't 'been to china' recently. what are you talking about, year-over-year GDP and living standards climbing like nowhere else on earth, ever? how awful!

goole, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

My rankings:

LBJ (with considerable unease)
Eisenhower
Bush I
Clinton (really a better Reagan than Reagan)
Reagan
fuck the rest

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

a country drowning in pollution, people with no political rights to speak of, near slave-labor wages, mass forced migrations = yeah sounds awesome sign me up

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

but "haunt the US economy" is bs

dude they're propping up our economy by owning all our debt? you think that's a positive economic development?

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

don't know what to tell you shakey, i don't know how you can look at the history of china between mao's killing fields and today and not conclude it's a huge success in human well-being. even with all the single-party totalitarian bullshit still there! just look at the numbers.

xp US banks in the 19th cent owned all of europe's debt while our exports ruined their craft industries. just roll with it comrade!

goole, Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

The more I read about Eisenhower (and by him; his journals are gripping, if you like this sort of thing), the more I admire his refusal to get more aggressive with the Communists, despite the right's nudges (and the Democrats!).

Thanks to him though we have an empowered CIA, charged with fighting the secret wars to which Eisenhower would not commit the military.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

i don't know how you can look at the history of china between mao's killing fields and today and not conclude it's a huge success in human well-being.

it's a normative success, sure, I just don't think you can attribute that to Nixon (of all people). Seems perfectly realistic to me that had Mao not been legitimized by Nixon, he would have been murdered/pushed out and more pragmatic heads would have prevailed even sooner. Maybe even sans all the gangster-totalitarian party nonsense.

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

also I don't really see how China's success in and of itself is beneficial to the US. cuz in some ways it kinda hasn't been. They own our debt AND destroyed our exports, or have you noticed that everything you are wearing, sitting on, typing on, and living in was probably made in China.

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

They own our debt AND destroyed our exports, or have you noticed that everything you are wearing, sitting on, typing on, and living in was probably made in China.

tbh this is capitalism. It woulda happened if, say, Chad had three billion underpaid workers and future consumers.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

funny how well a bunch of purported "communists" understood that, eh

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

(I don't count Mao among their number btw, mostly his successors)

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

Reaching out to China was more of a let's get things 'normal' thing and a way, following Vietnam and Korea, to open channels of communication w/a regional power. Plus it scared and pissed off the Russians.

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

Deng is the one who liberalized the economy.

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

Nixon claimed at the time that "opening a channel" to China would persuade her to stop helping the NVA, which was nonsense -- China had soured on Vietnam for at least three years.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:38 (3 years ago) Permalink

a way, following Vietnam and Korea, to open channels of communication w/a regional power

tbh this is all Mao wanted to begin with - legitimacy - and needling the Americans via those wars was simply grandstanding to this end, akin to the sabre-rattling Kim Jong Il does. He was ACTING like a regional power in the interest of achieving international legitimacy and power. He didn't give two shits whether the North Vietnamese or North Koreans won (and reportedly hated the North Korean regime from the get-go, complained about and denied their requests for greater support, etc.)

And yet, if Obama arranged a secret meeting to meet face-to-face with Kim Jong Il (whose basically like Mao 2.0, only shittier and less powerful) and say "yeah dude, yr okay, let's have some trade and btw you can keep doing whatever crazy shit yr doing within your own borders, what do I care) I dunno if I would view that as a good thing.

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 4 August 2010 22:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think the LBJ voters here - or at least, speaking for myself - were going on a 'highest high' basis more than anything else. eisenhower voters prolly more of a 'overall presidency'

otm

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 August 2010 15:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

and yeah, i voted for LBJ: he was committed to social justice in a way that reads to me as more true and earnest than anyone else: was working on civil rights in the senate in the 50s before jfk was even a thing, and got through jfk's rights bill (which jfk would have been harder pressed to do, i think.)

there is also the fact that i find his species of interpersonal aggression and douchebaggery massively impressive, though i possibly shouldn't.

whereas jfk's brand of douchebaggery i find overpriveleged and frattish and kind of shitty. (guy was basically a complete cunt to women his entire life; for this reason i kind of have trouble with claims for his charm & capacity to inspire.) (should post the clinton photo again here.)

thomp, Monday, 9 August 2010 15:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

(and yeah, i know lyndon was basically a shit to lady bird as well)

thomp, Monday, 9 August 2010 15:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

also: the Kennedy people (including Bobby) treated LBJ like shit while he was VP – saw him as a brontosaurus politician out of step with the New Frontier.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 9 August 2010 15:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

George W. Bush 3

joek? weird lurkers?

― iatee, Sunday, August 8, 2010 6:04 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

^^^

i didn't end up voting. i just felt there was too much i'm not familiar enough with.

goole, Monday, 9 August 2010 15:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

like this:

View of Jimmy Carter and his Presidency

That was a reader request. Matt Yglesias offers some background, as does Kevin Drum. On the plus side there was airline deregulation, support for Volcker and disinflation (later), willingness to lose the Presidency to see disinflation through, and he didn't push for a large number of Democratic ideas that I would disagree with, though he did create the Department of Education. Recall that he came from a party of McGovern and Kennedy and you can think of him as a precursor of the better side of the Clinton administration. Price controls on energy were a big mistake and that idea is hard to justify.

I'll call his support for the Afghan rebels a plus, because it helped down the Soviet Union, but I can see how you could argue that one either way. His conservation efforts could be called mamby-pamby but still they were a step in the right direction. He gave amnesty to Vietnam draft dodgers, a plus in my book, as was giving away the Panama Canal and bribing Egypt into better behavior.

At the time I thought Carter was a reasonably good President and it was far from obvious to me that the election of Reagan would in net terms boost liberty or prosperity.

I do understand that he was a public relations disaster and he shouldn't have fired his entire Cabinet and that he botched the Iran invasion.

Still, I think of Carter as a President with some major pluses and overall I view his term as a step in the right direction. He also seems to have been non-corrupt -- important so soon after Watergate -- and since leaving office he has behaved honorably and intelligently, for the most part.

Posted by Tyler Cowen on August 8, 2010 at 09:29 PM

http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/08/view-of-jimmy-carter-and-his-presidency.html

goole, Monday, 9 August 2010 15:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

He also seems to have been non-corrupt -- important so soon after Watergate

haha kinda sad to actually have to list this

iatee, Monday, 9 August 2010 15:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

That the people who voted LBJ weighed his overall achievements against Vietnam is, I should point out, a good thing. Very different from the way he's treated by people in his party running for office today, where he's still mostly relegated to the margins. During the '08 convention, I remember them talking on CNN about how strange it was that there was no acknowledgement on the floor of LBJ's birthday.

clemenza, Monday, 9 August 2010 15:57 (3 years ago) Permalink

20th century major progressive achievements are basically taken for granted - the narrative of social security isn't really 'yay FDR' it's 'oh shit this is an expensive beast how are we gonna pay for it, deficits, deficits' - same w/ the great society stuff and LBJ.

iatee, Monday, 9 August 2010 16:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

100th birthday, I should have said--that's why the omission was so bizarre.

clemenza, Monday, 9 August 2010 16:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Dems really should hit that stuff harder IMO - "imagine a world before these things...", I mean it's meat-and-potatoes base-rallying stuff but if you go through the poll options here just in terms of "great, enduring achievements in domestic policy that we can't imagine not having today, or wish to god we had back again," the Dem record looks pretty good.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 9 August 2010 17:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

see, this is why i didn't vote. i feel like i didn't know enough past the very basics on all of these individuals. this is super interesting to me, and potentially hugely important

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/08/somewhere_mitch_mcconnell_is_s.html

Coincidentally, I've been reading Nelson Polsby's "How Congress Evolves," which focuses on changes in the House of Representatives during the '40s and '50s and '60s. People forget this, but back then it was the House, rather than the Senate, that was the primary impediment to liberal legislation. The Rules Committee, which was led by an arch-segregationist, could kill legislation on its own and did so regularly.

This led to the predictable circular firing squad, as everyone spent a lot of time arguing over who deserved the blame for the failure of these bills. But it wasn't until John F. Kennedy came into office and partnered with Speaker Sam Rayburn to reform the Rules Committee that the underlying situation changed (and I'll note that you never hear people demanding that the Rules Committee regain its power to hold legislation).

goole, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 17:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, that was a big deal, and even then JFK's entire legislative agenda stalled.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 17:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

Did you study post-war US politics Alfred or are you just very, very interested? Because I'm slightly in awe of the detail of your responses itt.

Haunted Clocks For Sale (Dorianlynskey), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 17:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

thank you! Naw, I study this stuff on my own: I'm a history and lit guy.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 18:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah impressively knowledgable, but then 'literate' americans should be at least fairly well read re their imperial apogee

might have voted truman here but don't know enough about his domestic work

nakhchivan, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

Terrible at dusting, average at sweeping/vacuuming, pretty handy with laundry and ironing, tended to break dishes when cleaning up after dinner.

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

I will at least give JFK credit for not incinerating a third of the human race in Oct '62, which I feel confident Nixon and Gen. LeMay would've managed.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

Le May did want to attack Cuba during the CMC.

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

and Dick would've said Go!

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

Probably. The Russian field commanders had been given authority to launch, too.

Un peu d'Eire, ça fait toujours Dublin (Michael White), Tuesday, 10 August 2010 21:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

5 months pass...

today is 50th anniv of Ike's "military industrial complex" warning.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132942244/ikes-warning-of-military-expansion-50-years-later

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 17 January 2011 13:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

I find it curious that Eisenhower is not more widely lionized in the modern day GOP. Democrats are more than happy to cite FDR, so I don't think it's strictly a "too long ago" thing.

ex-heroin addict tricycle (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 20 January 2011 20:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

like, Ike presided over the golden era of white male Xtian privilege, battled communists, um liked playing golf...

ex-heroin addict tricycle (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 20 January 2011 20:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

no major scandals or disasters on his watch (unless you count ignoring civil rights, which is entirely legit)

ex-heroin addict tricycle (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 20 January 2011 20:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

doesn't morbs' revive show how eisenhower's reputation is more complicated than fdr's?

Ike presided over the golden era of white male Xtian privilege, battled communists, um liked playing golf... = any of the presidents itt, not really buying the mendesite clichés of the fifties as some singularly untroubled age

Nigie Dempstah (nakhchivan), Thursday, 20 January 2011 20:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

A complicated legacy.

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 20 January 2011 20:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

A first-rate, brief account of a forgotten episode in Cold War geopolitics: the Suez crisis. Eisenhower emerges as a master strategist and politician. The book takes advantage of thousands of pages of declassified meeting minutes, notes, diplomatic memoranda, etc. It's fascinating to think that even the CIA thought that the Dulles bros -- Allen at CIA, John Foster at State -- positioned Ike as a smiling figurehead while they ran foreign policy, when actually Ike wrote every memo and delivered every order. After reading this, I'm almost tempted to toss my vote for LBJ aside.

My mom is all about capital gains tax butthurtedness (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 28 April 2011 02:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

That looks really good...will have to check it out!

VegemiteGrrl, Thursday, 28 April 2011 02:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Quite good:

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:20 (1 year ago) Permalink

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

so nice you posted it twice, huh

Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:42 (1 year ago) Permalink

once for each american!

Doctor Casino, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 02:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

yes

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 03:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

Mo Dowd, waxing nostalgic over Poppy.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 10 June 2012 12:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

some kind of dimwit convergence going on when liberals are starting to love bush pere and conservatives, clinton.

goole, Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

era of bipartisan consensus iirc

the route is ban (k3vin k.), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

luckily the Clinton years were devoid of partisan sniping

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 10 June 2012 15:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

Bush I was "liberal" in some ways from today's perspective, Clinton conservative/corporatist from almost any.

Pangborn to be Wilde (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 14 June 2012 13:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

LBJ. Did not expect that.

pplains, Thursday, 14 June 2012 14:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

Fuck the lot of them but fuck Jimmy Carter most of all for the whitewashing of his record.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Thursday, 14 June 2012 16:58 (1 year ago) Permalink

? why does alfred's link go to this thread?

the route is ban (k3vin k.), Thursday, 14 June 2012 20:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Jean Edward Smith's new Eisenhower: In War and Peace is so far the best definitive bio on Ike I've read. Thanks to his knowledge of U.S. Grant, Smith is able to compare and contrast the general's performance historically. He's also written the first thorough analysis of Ike's tenure as president of Columbia.

About to start the presidential years.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 3 September 2012 13:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

5 months pass...
1 month passes...

read "this" a couple days ago: one of the best popular histories I've read (Frank is a novelist). I agree with Russell Baker's judgment: it's impossible to regard Ike's insistent contempt for the young Dick Nixon without feeling a wee bit sorry for the bastard.

the little prince of inane false binary hype (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 March 2013 17:40 (1 year ago) Permalink

6 months pass...

IDK if there's a better thread to put this in, but I found this interview with the author of a new book on the Dulles Brothers fascinating:

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/16/234752747/meet-the-brothers-who-shaped-u-s-policy-inside-and-out

What really struck me was that you had a guy openly saying that the entire goal of US foreign policy at the time was to cynically further the interests of US corporations -- the kind of stuff you'd expect to hear on Pacifica but not on an NPR station.

#fomo that's the motto (Hurting 2), Monday, 21 October 2013 14:29 (5 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

^^^Yeah, the NYTBR piece on that Dulles book last week began "If you want to know why the US is hated across the globe," read it.

The critic also wrote that Truman abjured interfering in/toppling foreign govts, but Ike was gung ho -- I guess that's true. So fuck rehabilitating the general.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 13 November 2013 22:25 (5 months ago) Permalink

Ike in essence empowered the CIA. It got him out of invading Iran, Hungary, and so on.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 13 November 2013 22:26 (5 months ago) Permalink


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