February 19, 2007, - 9:56 am

Happy Presidents’ Day

Don’t forget amidst the sales and ski trips that today is a federal holiday for a reason: to honor our past Presidents (but hopefully not Bill Clinton and that peanut farmer, Jimmuh “Apartheid Brain” Carter).
Take the Detroit Free Press Presidents’ Day quiz. Here’s one question: Who was the most obese President? Answer: William Howard Taft, at over 330 pounds. That was before TV, or he’d never have gotten elected. There aren’t enough chubby chasers in the American electorate.
My favorite Presidents: Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech is my favorite speech, Presidential or otherwise. Best quote from Ronald Reagan:

We have the right to dream heroic dreams.

Who are yours and why?

From Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena” speech:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

And to all of you amnesty/”jobs Americans won’t do” hucksters:

Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows.

And for our privileged friends in the Hollywood limousine liberal left:

Still less room is there for those who deride of slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be a cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength. It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who “but for the vile guns would have been a valiant soldier.”

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16 Responses

Teddy Roosevelt by far #1. He didn’t tolerate bs and pc but attacked it. Gotta love him for it.

John Sobieski on February 19, 2007 at 10:10 am

Watched a movie over the weekend on TCM called the Wind and the Lion.
Loved the things T. Roosevelt said about Andy Jackson shooting someone on the porch (of the White House?) and beating another with his cane.
Probably all HWood stuff, but it made me wish we had elected officials with more guts nowdays.
Aunt Bea

auntbea on February 19, 2007 at 10:20 am

My favorite President of course is the man without whom there would be no USA, George Washington. Within his great legacy is his farewell speech, in which he warns severely against the potential evils of political parties. A truly wise man, able to foresee the dreaded pathways ahead. Unfortunately he was right. Here was a man, given to prayer- take note ACLU- who unselfishly gave until the nation began to take root and grow. The only way to express gratitude for his sacrifices is to put aside differences and diversity; and pull together, all for all, in what was once a great melting pot of freedom and liberty.

Happiness Pursuer on February 19, 2007 at 10:21 am

What passes for the press today won’t be quoting TR anytime soon. It’s amazing how the thoughts of great men stand the test of time

Bill on February 19, 2007 at 10:27 am

That’s an easy one – Ronald Reagan.
The only American President in my life time!

Burt on February 19, 2007 at 11:15 am

My top 3 presidents:
1. FDR
2. Lincoln
3. Washington

Norman Blitzer on February 19, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day, Mon., Feb. 20. (The actual date of his birthday is Feb. 22.) A federal holiday observed the third Monday in February. It is a common misperception that the federal holiday was changed to ìPresidents’ Dayî and now celebrates both Washington and Lincoln. Only Washington is commemorated by the federal holiday; 12 states, however, officially celebrate ìPresidents’ Day.î

Mr.C on February 19, 2007 at 12:49 pm

Ronald Reagan was called “The Great Communicator.” More important than that, he was “The Great Liberator.” He helped to free millions of people who were prisoners of the Communists in Eastern Europe. His great speech given in front of the Berlin Wall was powerful and moving. When he said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” it brought tears to my eyes. I had relatives in Poland who were murdered and imprisoned by their Marxist rulers. I once met a Polish immigrant who was kept in a 7×4 foot cell for years because she dared to stand up to the Communists and demand freedom for her people. Her body bears the scars of the torture they subjected her to. The Left cares little about the freeing of these people from Communist oppression. In general, they have no appreciation for the freedoms we have and for the people in our military who work every day to keep us free. That’s why they love Castro,Che,Mao and every other Leftist enemy of freedom. They say that Castro’s Island Gulag is a socialist paradise, while our country is a racist,sexist,homophobic hellhole. Of course, their are no Gay rights or black civil rights in Cuba or any other Communist country. Their hero Castro is a white dictator ruling over a majority black population. Why are there no cries from the Left about the oppression of blacks in Cuba? They hated Reagan because he stood up to their precious Soviets and to Castro in Grenada and helped to liberate millions.

FreethinkerNY on February 19, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Lincoln’s and Reagan’s rhetorical arts lay deeply in each one’s Bible-based morality. Each one knew his Bible and drew upon it, directly or indirectly, in public statements with steeling and redeeming force. Lincoln’s a bit ofe an Old Testament patriarch, Reagan a New Testament apostle. I admire this about each man very much.

Jeremiah on February 19, 2007 at 4:33 pm

james polk
in paraphrase:
i we want what you have, we’ll buy it.
if you won’t sell it to us, we’ll steal it.
if you try to stop us, we’ll kill you.

louielouie on February 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Related: A review today (Tuesday) of The Right Words: Great Republican Speeches That Shaped History

Jeremiah on February 20, 2007 at 4:28 am

My favourite presidents—Gerald Ford…because he gave SNL some great skits, and believe it or not…Richard Nixon!!!!
Besides SALT, opening up China, and HONESTLY trying to end the Viet Nam war, Nixon was a great friend to Israel, a COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE [he started the food stamp programme as well as the EPA], and when inflation threatened to plunge this cutry into another Depression, he had the CHUTZPAH to have a wage-price freeze!!!
Yeah, i’m supposed to hate HIM lik y’all hate Clinton because of Watergate…but HISTORY has a way of exonerating villans WHEN you study it.

EminemsRevenge on February 20, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I love Thomas Jefferson and Lincoln and maybe Kennedy
Fuck Roosevelt, that racist prick:
Lie 01) Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Lie 02) http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/HURL/midget.html
Then the segue:
And finally, the irony:
Roosevelt was a racist prick and my people had to move out from the west coast, die in fucking concentration camps (it was a concentration of Americans of Japanese ancestry), go to war and die fighting the Nazi.
Fuck you Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I hope my people and the Jews who see the hypocrisy are shitting on you and your wife…you God-fearing fucking Christian piece of shit.

KOAJaps on February 20, 2007 at 7:28 pm

Don’t hold back, Tell us what you really think.

ScottyDog on February 19, 2008 at 8:06 pm

It is cliche, but Washington was an incredible man. He recognized that everything he did was precedent setting.
Jefferson bent the Constitution to make the Louisiana Purchase. His vision of a pan-continental America was instrumental in making that happen.
Even though I believe that his legal ground for conducting the war was made of desire and not law, I greatly admire Lincoln for his political skill, humility, and tenacity.
FDR won the war but gave away the future of tens of millions and allowed the cold war to start. He also laid the groundwork for the welfare state.
Nixon deserves credit for opening relations with China but not much else. Gotta say much the same about GWB and the GWOT.
In my lifetime (Ike was prez), I guess only Reagan has hit enough of the pitches to be called great. Several have been home runs, with a couple honest-to-goodness flubs.

NeoConOne on February 20, 2008 at 9:42 am

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