Sunday, November 2, 2008

A batshit list of the greatest presidents compiled by the Times Online. The only detectable criteria? Executive authority and imperial ambitions. Thus, the high ranking of Polk, Truman, and Reagan. As usual, the Woodrow Wilson entry cops to the disappointed wail of a hundred boring historians: Wilson was "reluctant to lead the US into the First World War, but was then instrumental in building a multi-lateral post-war consensus which included the League of Nations, even if Congress never allowed America to join it." No mention of the Espionage Act, the Palmer raids, or manipulating us into World War One, the craftiest example of passive-aggressiveness in our political history. Small comfort, I suppose, that our former masters across the Atlantic remain such willing collusionists in the composition of our national mythology.

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