Downsizing Andrew JacksonWhy the warrior president is no hero for our polarized times.Karl Rove has compared George Bush to Andrew Jackson: a man of the people who believed in providence and opposed big government. In American Lion, his new biography of the seventh president, Jon Meacham, the editor of Newsweek, dutifully wrings his hands at all the right places—at Jackson the slaveholder, Jackson the killer, Jackson the hothead—but adds his voice to the admiring chorus. Jackson was "a great general and a transformative president," he concludes, a leader "genuinely committed to the ideal of democracy," who was "strong and shrewd, patriotic and manipulative, clear-eyed and determined." He was the president who, of all the early presidents, "is in many ways the most like us."
There certainly are parallels to be drawn between the incumbent and Jackson, an imperious man who stretched the power of the presidency, flouted international law, ignored the Supreme Court, filled government positions with partisan supporters, relied on an elaborate campaign apparatus, and espoused small government while proceeding to expand its size. But that is only to say that Jackson was modern less by virtue of his principles than in his willingness to bend them when it suited his purposes. If he is a model for our times, it is not a very heroic one.
Below: "I'm gonna kill me some
"There certainly are parallels to be drawn between the incumbent and Jackson, an imperious man who stretched the power of the presidency, flouted international law, ignored the Supreme Court, filled government positions with partisan supporters"
A fair list. However, every single President has "filled government positions with partisan supporters". With Rahm Emanuel, Obama has done this with his first stated appointment. Rest assured that 99% of Obama's appointments will be partisan supporters, just like all of his predecessors.
Bush in 2004: "I've got some political capital and I'm gonna spend it."
It will take an unknown number of generations of Americans to recover from the loss of all of the "political capital" that this moron has spent on his pet projects.
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