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Hello Ricochet, Barring any bombshells getting dropped in the next couple of days, we are about to close the history books on presidential administration number 45 (44 if you count Cleveland’s non-consecutive administrations as one. Thanks for making this complicated, Grover…). I don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe that the Trump administration will have a […]
As America pauses for Presidents Day – or at least the federal government does – Jim and Greg take some time to evaluate a few recent presidents who deserve a closer look at their legacies. They’re presidents many of you remember well, but for some reason are rarely mentioned as leaders Americans remember most fondly.
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Happy President’s Day! I thought I would take this opportunity to share a little project that I’ve been working on. I have always enjoyed reading and I have always enjoyed history, but politics was never really my thing. The political polarization of our current era gave me a much greater appreciation and it led me […]
Have the American people venerated certain dead presidents? If so, what has happened to that veneration? From our coins, to our classroom walls, to the stories we tell, have we seen a sort of secular iconography, challenged by political iconoclasts?
Dennis Prager has long held that America has a unique value system, which he styles “The American Trinity.” The American Trinity is on our coins: “E Pluribus Unum,” “In God We Trust,” Liberty.” Looking at our four most common coins, we also see four presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR.
Perhaps you remember portraits of Washington and Lincoln hanging in grade school classrooms. If you are Generation X or older, you likely learned generally positive things about Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR. Go back far enough, and you may have seen portraits of FDR hanging in homes and public spaces, where people identified him as on the working man’s side.
I’m not a big fan, either.
I don’t follow New York real estate deals and reality TV shows are stupid. I voted for Gary Johnson in 2016 because he knew more about Aleppo than either the Donald or Queen Hillary. (Maybe if I had been in a “battleground state.” Hmmm, let me check … nope. My one vote wouldn’t have made a difference in any of those places either.)
I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. Book Review ‘The Presidents and the Pastime’ perfect summer read By MARK LARDAS […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America have fun with three different headlines, starting with the news that Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott will run for U.S. Senate this year, possibly giving Republicans their best chance of winning that race. They also scratch their heads as Twitter CEO and supposed free speech champion Jack Dorsey describes a Medium article as a “great read” after it calls for all of America to follow the progressive path of California, says that conservatism must be thoroughly defeated, and labels Republicans as “bad guys on the wrong side of history.” And they fume after former First Lady Michelle Obama likens the presidencies of her husband and Donald Trump to parenting children. They also get a kick out of Mrs. Obama saying we shouldn’t look to make someone president just because they give a good speech.
Well, it looks to be that time again. There is a new ranking of U. S. presidents based on a survey of presidential historians by CSPAN. This is the third time CSPAN has sponsored such a ranking. Their first go at this game was in 2000, and this was followed up by a new […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to ‘Face the Nation’ host John Dickerson admitting the media are responsible for their own credibility problem by getting things wrong and engaging in “hysterical” coverage. They also groan as the nation’s largest gathering of conservatives gives the highest-profile speaking slot to Milo Yiannopoulos before rescinding it in a swirl of controversy. And they examine C-SPAN’s rankings of all former presidents and find several curious decisions.
Tomorrow Donald J. Trump will take his place in U.S. history as our nation’s 45th President. The moment of transition of power from the former president to the new president is one of awe and privilege. There are no purple fingers to hold up. Each citizen voted of their own free will for the candidate […]
As President Obama has aptly demonstrated, a President has considerable powers (some even authorized) in addition to powers which require the cooperation of legislators. Most of these powers are known before one enters office. So why doesn’t every candidate plan these well in advance? Publicizing one’s full list during the campaign might scare away voters […]
As promised, I stopped by the National Portrait Gallery in downtown Washington, DC earlier today to do a little research on this Clinton portrait business that has generated some discussion on Ricochet here and here. The NPG is one of my very favorite places in all of Washington, so this was a most welcome errand. […]
Since we’re all playing along with the consensual fiction that this is Presidents’ Day, a question for the assembled Ricochetti: Who’s your favorite underrated American president? Calvin Coolidge is an easy answer around these parts — Ricochet operates under the banner of Silent Cal Productions, after all — but we’ll take him as a given. My choice? Grover Cleveland, the man George Will once referred to as “the last Democratic president with proper understanding of [the presidency’s] place in our constitutional order.” Writing in the Boston Globe, the consistently great Jeff Jacoby gets at why:
He was never paralyzed by the fear of saying “no.” In his first term alone, Cleveland vetoed 414 bills, more than double the total of all the presidents who preceded him. Over his eight years in the White House, Cleveland rejected an astonishing 584 bills passed by Congress. That many of those measures were popular feel-good measures, such as authorizations for specious veterans’ pensions, makes Cleveland’s fortitude all the more impressive. Only 1 percent of his vetoes were overridden — a testament to the power of ethical principle to withstand the political appetite for spending other people’s money.
Normally, a report of infantile libertinism at college doesn’t raise an eyebrow. Welcoming Satan in the name of “cultural studies” goes further than the usual idiocy, though. “A reenactment of a Black Mass celebrating Satan is scheduled to take place at Harvard University on Monday evening. It has outraged the Catholic Church, but the group […]
This weekend, friends and former staffers will gather at his library at Texas A&M to celebrate the presidency of George H. W. Bush. (Facing a couple of writing deadlines, I myself will be unable to attend, but at least one Ricochet contributor, Clark Judge, will be on the scene.) Almost a quarter of a century after the first President Bush left office, the New York Times notes in a story on the Texas gathering, the former President’s friends and foes aren’t necessarily whom you might suppose:
Among the friends are some of the same Democrats who tormented him but now lavish him with praise. Among the foes are some of today’s Republicans, who see him as the epitome of everything they do not want to be.