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After reading of how Senator Clinton responded to the Salmon Press editorial board’s query about whose portraits she would hang in the White House, some of us Contributing Editors got to wondering which portraits we would hang.

The panoply of guys on Mount Rushmore got a few thumbs-up.

As did FDR. LBJ, too, despite his, well, you know, little excursion into Vietnam.

Not too surprisingly, this Democrat on the right didn’t get any votes.

If I got to live in the White House (ha-ha), I'd pick Lincoln and FDR, and maybe Jefferson. But Teddy Roosevelt wouldn’t make the cut. Although he did a bang-up job busting corrupt trusts and pushing the preservationist brand of environmentalism, he was also a major imperialist and interventionst (see the Roosevelt Corollary), a hater of us savage Indians and an aggressive accumulator of more executive power for the Presidency than anybody since Lincoln - who had an awfully good excuse - thus getting the imperial presidency off to its dashing 20th Century start. My demurrer, I know, puts me at odds with most historians, who rank TR rather highly in the presidential pantheon.

If you were president, which predecessors’ portraits would you hang?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:21 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Are you kidding? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      njgoldfinch, mightymouse

      The only president to ever drop the M-fing atomic bomb?

      •  That most definitely needs to be remembered (0+ / 0-)

        Having war is saying those that fought in the "war to end all wars" died in vain.

        by 88kathy on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 04:33:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Would you have preferred the invasion of Japan (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical Faith, MJB

        with the additional deaths of hundreds of thousands of both Americans and Japanese?

        The military fanatics running Japan were not going to just surrender. Even after the US dropped the second bomb and the Emperor decided to surrender, there was an attempted military coup in order to keep the war going.

        After 3 1/2 years of some of the most brutal fighting in world history, how do you think the American public would react when they discovered Truman had the means to end the war quickly and he refused to use it?  As HST said, he would have been immediately impeached and removed from office and probably torn apart limb by limb.

        "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

        by Buckeye Terry on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 06:46:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Military leaders (0+ / 0-)

          opposed the dropping of the bomb.

          Recommended: Hiroshima's Shadow by Kai Bird and Lawrence Lifschultz.

          •  that's rich, pal (0+ / 0-)

            Perhaps you can provide some quotes from those figures from 1945.  I would love to hear General Marshall's views on that point, for example.

            •  I made a reading recommendation. (0+ / 0-)

              Feel free to read it or not.

                •  oh come on (0+ / 0-)

                  you're going to believe THAT site?  And you expect me to just swallow that?

                  Really, if there were military figures on record in 1945 as saying that we should not use the bomb...certainly you can find some primary sources that document your contention?

                  •  Every quote there is sourced. (0+ / 0-)

                    Again, Hiroshima's Shadow is made up of primary source material.

                    I don't expect anyone to take my word on anything. I'm just a poster here.

                    Here are some other possibilities:
                    History Wars, Linenthal and Engelhardt.
                    The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, Alperovitz.

                    They're on a reading list for the American History class I team-teach.

                    •  And (0+ / 0-)

                      I've been providing some sources for what I'm claiming, and not simply expecting anyone here to take my word for anything.

                      It might help if you'd do the same.

                      •  You made the claim, not me (0+ / 0-)

                        It was you who stated at the beginning of this thread that military leaders opposed the use of the atomic bomb.  I merely challenged to you back up your claim.  After re-reading my posts on this thread, I can't identify where I've made any "claims" of my own at all.  All I've said was...if there was military opposition in 1945 to using the bomb, why is a historical record (again, of true primary sources) of that opposition so hard to find?

                    •  Those are not primary sources (0+ / 0-)

             say the decision to drop the bomb was controversial in 1945.  But the sources you've cited were written ex post facto, in most cases years after the events actually happened, and in many cases by people clearly trying to put the best historical face on what they may or may have not actually thought and felt in 1945.  

                      The MacArthur quotes are especially disingenuous in this regard.  My God, this is the same the guy who, in 1950, publicly defied the commander in chief and deservedly got himself relieved of command as a result.  In direct violation of Truman's orders, MacArthur called for a series of nuclear strikes inside China, as a gambit to get them to back off in Korea.  Not just one or two bombs, but a whole bunch of them.  Citing a quote from his memoirs, written years later, to suggest that MacArthur was "appalled" at the thought of using an atomic bomb on Japan in 1945, is pretty poor scholarship.

                      If the decision to use the atomic bomb was truly so controversial at the time, there would be quotes in newspapers and magazines from 1945 which document the controversy which was raised at the time.  If you can find those quotes, that's proof of controversy.  I'm not denying that there were people who opposed use of the bomb. But they had no access to the media, nor to the power structure, and their views went for the most part unheard or suppressed.  I am of the opinion that full publication of those views would still not have changed public and government opinion at the time.  

                      So far, the only controversy you've managed to show is one that was created later, by revisionist, hyper-nationalist postwar Japanese historians, and by American political and military figures who had good reasons for perfuming their historical legacies.  That controversy is fine as theory, I suppose, but as analysis it's ahistorical.

                      •  Post some sources (0+ / 0-)

                        for what you're claiming.

                        I have. They cite primary sources, and the accounts of those who were actually involved in the process. I'm not sure what you want beyond that.

                        Military/political decisions are hardly hashed out in front of the public, so your request for "quotes in newspapers and magazines" doesn't make much sense.

                        Show me something that indicates dropping the bomb was a military decision.

                        Show me something that disproves the information I've provided.

                        The revisionism is that the controversy was created later. It existed at the time, and I've provided several sources that lay out the evidence for that.

                        I'd really like to know the specific sources you've read that support your case.

                        •  Sorry pal (0+ / 0-)

                          but you're starting to sound like a broken record, and I don't have time for you.  I haven't put forth a "case" here, merely said that the evidence for yours is flimsy, and nothing you've said here gives me any indication that you even heard what I've said.  Good luck.

                          •  Your response answers (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            my questions, too.

                            Apparently my cited evidence (none of which you've looked at) is flimsy, but your uncited evidence is rock-solid.

                            And I get the feeling you haven't heard anything I've said, either.

                            Good luck to you, too.

                          •  I've heard plenty (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fiddler crabby

                            I'm not sure why I have to cite a source for saying that once the military gets clearance to use a weapon, that clearance is broad enough to cover not just one firing, but multiple ones.  That point isn't really in debate, is it?  But here goes.  

                            On the afternoon of August 7 [1945], just before 5:00 P.M., the Augusta tied up at Norfolk.  Truman left immediately by special train for Washington and by the morning of the 8th the country knew he was back at his desk.  There was still no work from Japan, no appeal for mercy or sign of surrender.  At the Pentagon, Stimson and Marshall worried privately that the bomb had failed to achieve the desired shock effect.  

                            On August 9, the papers carried still more stupendous news.  A million Russian troops had crossed into Manchuria — Russia was in the war against Japan — and a second atomic bomb had been dropped on the major Japanese seaport of Nagasaki.  

                            No high-level meeting had been held concerning this second bomb. Truman had made no additional decision.  There was no order issued beyond the military directive for the first bomb, which had been sent on July 25 by Marshall's deputy, General Thomas T. Handy, to the responsible commander in the Pacific, General Carl A. Spaatz of the Twentieth Air Force.  Paragraph 2 of that directive had stipulated: "Additional bombs will be delivered on the above targets as soon as made ready by the project staff..." A second bomb — a plutonium bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" — being ready, it was "delivered" from Tinian, and two days ahead of schedule, in view of weather conditions. ...    

                            [bold emphasis is mine.]

                            David McCullough, Truman, New York:  Simon & Schuster, ©1992, p. 457.

                          •  Thanks for the reference. (0+ / 0-)

                            But this letter from Truman points out that he had made the decision to bomb both cities.

                            And I'm not sure how Handy's directive shows that Truman didn't make the decision about the second bomb. The directive says "Additional bombs will be delivered on the above cities as soon as made ready...." Truman and Stimson saw and approved the directive before it was sent out.

      •  you need to study some history, my friend (0+ / 0-)

        In short, there was a war on.  The bloodiest, most vicious war in history.  Millions upon millions of people were already killed by August 1945.  Imagine for a moment that instead of Harry Truman, you could replace him in history, with any other public figure from 1945.  Who, in that era, would have decided against using the atomic bomb?  

        There is no one who would have decided differently than Truman in that case, because the overwhelming opinion in the country favored using the bomb as soon as it was available.  There was no one in government (and hardly anyone outside of government) who even asked whether the atomic bomb should be used.  That was simply a given.  Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson was famous for his quip that "FDR would have dropped the bomb if only to prove that he hadn't wasted 2 billion dollars".  

        It's all fine and good for people to spout off about how "Truman dropped the bomb". The simple facts are not so simple here, despite the protests of a few right-wing revisionist historians in Japan.  I'm sure that a lot of Americans, sensitive to these faux criticisms, would like to assuage their own guilt over the bomb by blaming Truman. But Truman was acting as the agent of the American people, and he followed their wishes to the letter doing what everyone at the time believed needed to be done.  

        A more balanced assessment of Truman's presidency would acknowledge his visionary postwar accomplishments, the likes of which have never been seen before or since. The Marshall Plan of 1947, the jewel of Truman's presidency, is perhaps one of the United States' proudest achievements — the first time in history that the victor of a great war turned around and rebuilt the war-torn nations of the vanquished.  There are lots of reasons to cheer Truman's presidency, but the Marshall Plan alone is a fitting legacy to his wisdom.  

    •  A great man, a great President (0+ / 0-)

      After Washington and Lincoln, my favorite.  Part of the reason Truman is so appealing is that he is proof positive that a common citizen can possess the wisdom and judgement to lead a great nation.  

  •  Probably none (12+ / 0-)

    I would probably put up the portraits of civil rights activists, union leaders, and the like, not those who served the rich and powerful.

  •  Harry S. Truman (19+ / 0-)

    the man who had to probably make the most difficult and decision that EVER face a President.

    And, Harry was one of "us" - not a lawyer, not a lobbyist, not a same name politician - he was a shoe salesman that wanted to make a differnce in his town...and became my personal hero.

    He shit on me, then slapped me for stinking!

    by Arkydem on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:24:47 PM PST

    •  But he made the wrong decision (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Addison, arainsb123

      doesn't that count?

      •  Right, that's what I thought too. (0+ / 0-)

        I mean, I picked up. But he screwed the nuke thing up so much he nearly didn't make it. I just think he did a good job working.

        •  I picked up = I picked him. (0+ / 0-)
        •  That nuke thing (7+ / 0-)

          saved my father's life along with about million others.

          Truman has my eternal gratitude for nuking the Japanese to stop the war.

          •  Oh dear. (5+ / 0-)

            And he saved my grandfather's life -- and therefore mine, my father hadn't been born yet -- if your logic holds up.

            But it doesn't.

            Check up on your history. The Japanese were about to fold, and they would've surrendered quite easily if we hadn't made them depose their paper emperor. Even if that's weren't true there's no reason we had to drop it on a city. Much less two. It was a bad, inhumane choice that killed at least 200,000.

            Don't play whatever card you think you're playing -- "that nuke thing saved my father's life along with about million others," indeed -- when your father got to live but thousands and thousands and thousands of civilians had to die. You sound like a maniac.

            •  nope (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              c justin h

              If wishes were ponies, beggers would ride.

              You don't win a counterfactual argument just by wishing it to be true, pal.

              •  Ha. (0+ / 0-)

                And if cliches about ponies were facts...

                •  geeze, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AustinCynic, ginnyh532

                  How old are you?

                  The nukes killed about 60,000 people, almost immediately and ended the war.

                  The alternative was about a million US deaths along with several million Japanese.

                  My father was a Marine and had already been through a landing at Iwa Jima and was getting ready for the invasion of the mainland when the war ended.

                  Them's the facts.

                  You can hold to a fairy tale idea of some other outcome if you want to, but what is the point of doing that?

                  •  No, thems the useful propagandic fictions (4+ / 0-)

                    I was LOWBALLING it when I said 200,000:

                    The bombs killed as many as 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki by the end of 1945,[1] roughly half on the days of the bombings. Since then, thousands more have died from injuries or illness attributed to exposure to radiation released by the bombs.[2] In both cities, the overwhelming majority of the dead were civilians.

                    So, I mean, right there, you pretend that the deaths of 160,000 people are just dismissable just so it's easier to make your point.

                    Your "alternative" to incinerating civilian women and children -- turning them to white ash -- is untrue. The alternative was us saying, "we don't care about your goddamn emperor staying emperor, we'd like to get out of this without killing innocents or our own soldiers." That was the real alternative. That's where your argument falls apart. Another alternative would've been to bomb an uninhabited area of Japan. Another one would've been to surround Japan and keep the oil supplies cut off.

                    But whatever.

                    This conversation is done.

                    How old am I? Old enough not to believe everything my daddy tells me.

                    •  sorry (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Buckeye Terry, ginnyh532

                      The war had gone on long enough. American casualties were high enough already. The nukes promised to bring the war to a quick close without any more American deaths.

                      There is no doubt that was the right decision.

                      BTW, my uncle was in the Army so he got to go with McCarther for the occupation of Japan after the nukes saved his brother's (my dad's) life. The Japanese people, after the war, were as grateful for it to have ended as were the Americans.

                    •  I think this really breaks down into two question (4+ / 0-)

                      one being how hard America should have tried to limit Japanese civilian deaths in WWII and the other being whether atomic weapons were something completely different in warfare and should not be compared based upon lives ended alone.

                      If Truman had followed a policy that exchanged the lives of tens(or hundreds) of thousands of American GI's for even 200,000 or more Japanese lives he would have been lucky to make it out of DC in one piece (It's not pretty but Americans have long held that American soldiers lives are more valuable than citizens of other countries, particularly ones that declare war on us).

                      Personally I don't differentiate the atomic bombs from the fire bombing of Tokyo(and other cities) that also killed large numbers of civilians. War is Hell, and it will always be Hell (another good reason to avoid them).

                      Truman clearly thought it was the right decision, and I find little to argue that he used the bomb to be even nastier than the situation required. In hindsight we become aware of alternative scenarios, but knowing what they did I think he made a desicion that preserved a maximum number of American soldiers (which is the job of the Commander-in-Chief).

                      There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

                      by Sacramento Dem on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:59:48 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Conventional Bombing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      ....was deadlier at the time.  See Tokyo or Dresden.

                      I can swallow's Nagasaki that sticks in my craw.  So Fucking Hollywood:  As if to say Oh Yea....We so Crazy, We Gonna DO IT AGAIN!

                      Nagasaki was about scaring Russia

                      Too weird to live and too rare to die.

                      by jds1978 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 05:57:30 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The Japanese had a number of days (0+ / 0-)

                        after Hiroshima to surrender, or at least attempt to initiate talks.  They didn't, and the military became even more hard-line.

                        As for the Soviets, Truman told Stalin at Potsdam about the atomic program.  Plus, with the Soviet spies, Stalin already knew about the atomic weapons and what they could do.

                        "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

                        by Buckeye Terry on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 07:02:05 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Simply Having... (0+ / 0-)

                          ...the bomb and demonstrating a willingness to use it as a weapon of "Total Annihilation" (Truman's words) are two seperate matters.

                          Of course it was a bluff, Manhattan produced a total of 4 working prototypes-one of which was detonated in the Trinity test.

                          Some in the Japanese Army became more hard line.

                          Too weird to live and too rare to die.

                          by jds1978 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 08:06:52 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  How do you explain the attempted (0+ / 0-)

                      military coup after the Emperor decided to surrender?  The military leaders decided they didn't care what the Emperor said, they were going to continue to fight.

                      What make you think that the military leaders would have just thrown in the towel by seeing what happened to an uninhabited part of Japan (BTW, is there such as place in the very crowded nation of Japan), when they wanted to fight on after the firebombing of Tokyo and the atomic bombing of the 2 cities?

                      "It's hip to be miserable when you're young and intellectual."--Carly Simon

                      by Buckeye Terry on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 06:57:17 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  In Defense of Civil Defense (8+ / 0-)

                    In East Asian History, my prof did an hour by hour view of the Japanese cabinet at the time of the Hiroshima bombing. The Japanese government was warned, albeit obliquely, of a new American weapon and the consequences it would face if it did not surrender. The cabinet deadlocked. It was still deadlocked after the bomb fell on Hiroshima and Truman called, again, on Japan to surrender. It was only after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki that Emperor Hirohito exercised his prerogatives and broke the deadlock, agreeing to Japan's unconditional surrender.

                    I happen to believe that Civil Defense is correct. That millions of American soldiers, and even more Japanese soldiers and civilians, were saved in the end. And here's another thing to consider. About a week before Japan's surrender, IIRC, Stalin declared war against Japan. It's not hard to foresee a consequence of Japan being split between Allied and Soviet sectors and becoming a split nation, if it had come down to the Soviets becoming involved in taking the home islands.

                    Lamenting the use of nuclear weapons in war is a good thing. It's kept us from using them again, and frankly we can also be grateful that Truman didn't make the decision to use them lightly. Remember, MacArthur was chomping at the bit to use nukes against China during the Korean War. The same Harry S Truman adamantly refused that option and ended up firing MacArthur when he wouldn't shut up about it.

                    "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

                    by AustinCynic on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 06:23:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I shouldn't get involved in you argument (0+ / 0-)

              But I can't resist pointing out that there was a war going on.  We were killing each other.

              Developing the bomb was probably an immoral decision in that we shouldn't have created a weapon so powerful that it could destroy the world as we know it, give otherwise insignificant maniancs the power to cause mass destruction, etc.  

              But having developed the bomb, using that weapon in war can hardly be considered immoral, unless the war itself is considered immoral.  Killing people is what you do in war.  Yes, we killed civilians, but we did that with conventional weapons as well.  And I do find convincing the argument that on net, far fewer Japanes (not to mentioon Americans) died that way than would have died with an invasion.  

          •  "Nuking the Japanese" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            He slaughtered hundreds of thousands of civilians.

            I don't know what ethnicity or nationality is, but substitute it for "Japanese" and review how you would feel about a comment such as the one you wrote.

            "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

            by normal family on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 02:36:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  He did not make (8+ / 0-)

          the wrong decision. That decision saved up to a million American lives...not to mention how many more Japanese would've died in such an was it the wrong decision?

        •  one can make a strong arguement either (9+ / 0-)

          way about dropping the bomb on Japan.  Presidents have to make horrible decisions.  That's why our presidents should have above average IQ's and wise advisors.

        •  Hindsight is 20/20 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pam from Calif, ginnyh532

          He made a difficult decision, and undoubtedly no one knew all the ramifications at the time.

          Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

          by not a cent on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:48:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They knew exactly what was going to happen (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, jds1978

            They spent a lot of time optimizing the blast to maximize damage, and tested one before dropping it. They chose the cities that would MAXIMIZE human casualties.

            •  More ramifications than that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Agree that they knew of the immediate deaths. Didn't probably understand the long term health effects and repurcussions, both physical and political.

              Albert Einstein's thoughts on this are very interesting.

              Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

              by not a cent on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:40:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You cannot destroy a civilian (0+ / 0-)

            population like that for instrumentalist ends.  It is not possible, either morally or even under a pragmatic calculus.  That is precisely what the laws of war were developed post world war to prevent from happening again - the dropping of those bombs would be a massive war crime - indeed a crime against humanity - now, and probably also even under the law as it stood in 1945.

            "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

            by normal family on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 02:42:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The million-figure is highly disputed ... (8+ / 0-)

          ...but leaving that aside, one can make a good case for  the dropping of Little Boy, but the dropping of Fat Man three days later was definitely the wrong decision.

          "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:52:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also arguable. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Buckeye Terry, ginnyh532

            If, and that's quite an "if", the threat of further nuking was what ended the war, perhaps a second bomb was justified to make the point that we could do it any time and it wasn't a one-off. Of course, it was actually a two-off, and therefore something of a gamble anyway.

            Some other facts to take into account, if we care to second guess HST, would be that the Russians had just decided to come play in that pool, and the Japanese were loathe to have their nation carved and split like they had just seen happen to Germany, and that the number of civilians killed in the nuclear blasts was actually quite a bit smaller than how many were killed in the months of firebombings all over Japan that preceded them.

            I suppose that one of those falls each way, should we be trying to keep some sort of tally. I'd sure as hell hate to have been the guy to make that call in the first place, myself. One thing I will say, I'd give damned good odds that whether we now, with the benefit of hindsight, agree with the decision, HST made it in good faith and with as much and as enlightened forethought as could be expected at the time, and with the well-being of the nation and the world as his motivation. That's one hell of a lot better effort than the current occupant has given anything since soiling the threshold of the White House.

            The lone and level sands stretch far away. -Shelley

            by justme on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:23:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Estimate was one million total fatalities (0+ / 0-)

            The estimate given to Truman at the time he made the decision was pegging total fatalities from an invasion -- i.e., Japanese troops and civilians included, as well as American troops -- at about one million people.

            And, in hindsight, after seeing how horribly destructive the bombs were, the decision to drop "as many bombs as were available" and leave the discretion in the hands of the commanders in the field was not the right one.  Obviously a president should not micro-manage a war to the point of approving every single target and the choice of weapons or plan of attack, but, having seen the hell unleashed by these weapons, we now know that the use of nuclear weapons requires a detailed, fully-informed, hands-on decision by the president as to each and every use.  That isn't what happened with Little Boy and Fat Man.

            To Truman's credit, he always accepted full responsibility for the use of the weapons and never said he was uninformed about how destructive they were or misled about the target cities -- though he was.

            So this is how liberty dies -- with thunderous applause.

            by MJB on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 07:41:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That estimate might have been low (0+ / 0-)

              The decision to "leapfrog" the Japanese island chain certainly helped save American lives by bypassing fights that weren't necessary, and pushing the Japanese backward. But the desperate fighting by the Japanese on the outlying islands suggests how far they were willing to go in defending the home islands.  I don't remember the exact figures, but I believe around 100,000 Americans were killed on Iwo Jima, a tiny island of essentially little or no strategic importance by itself.  That's already 10 percent on the way to a million U.S. casualties, and there were still a few more islands to go before they reached the Japanese mainland — where we can be sure resistance would have been as fierce as on Iwo Jima, if not far worse.

          •  My reading suggests (0+ / 0-)

            that no actual "decision" was made to drop Fat Man, except by the military brass. Once Truman gave the order to bomb Hiroshima, the atomic bomb (like all other munitions of war) was turned over to the military.  After the second bomb was dropped, Truman took back the authority to decide from the military.  That fact alone gives us an idea as to how people at that time thought of the bomb:  to them it was just another military weapon.  Few thought of the moral implications until later.  

            •  No. (0+ / 0-)

              Marshall refused to take a side in the matter, saying it was up to the Administration to decide, and that he was their to follow the orders of the CIC.

              It was not a military decision.

              From Assistant Secy of War John McCloy:
              "[Marshall's] insistence to me that whether we should drop an atomic bomb on Japan was a matter for the President to decide, not the Chief of Staff since it was not a military question... the question of whether we should drop this new bomb on Japan, in his judgment, involved such imponderable considerations as to remove it from the field of a military decision."

              •  You are talking about the initial decision (0+ / 0-)

                What I said was, once the initial decision had been made, the administration of the use of the weapon was given to the Pentagon.  After Nagasaki, the White House took back the authority to decide when and where to use the weapon.

                •  The military followed Truman's orders. (0+ / 0-)

                  The military was not responsible for the decision to use it, but it was responsible for obeying his orders, even though many military leaders disagreed with it. To do otherwise would have been mutinous.

                  The decision to drop the bomb was highly controversial at the time. The idea that it was cut-and-dried simply ignores the historical evidence.

      •  A Rock & A Hard Place (6+ / 0-)

        In the 3 days between the destruction of Hiroshima with "Little Boy" and the bombing of Nagasaki with "Fat Man", the Japanese still would not agree to the Potsdam Declaration. That would seem to indicate that a "demonstration" wouldn't have worked.

        While some members of the civilian leadership did attempt peace negotiations & make offers towards the end of the war, they could not negotiate surrender or even a cease-fire. Under the terms of Japan's constitutional monarchy at the time, Japan could only "legally" make a peace agreement with the unanimous support of the Japanese cabinet, and in '45 the Japanese Supreme War Council could not agree on how to proceed. Even after the destruction of both cities, the Supreme War Council still didn't want to surrender. It took the personal intervention of Emperor Hirohito to finally persuade surrender.

        If we hadn't used the bombs, what would have been the alternative? Maybe they surrender on their own, but if what they hadn't?

        • We could have invaded the islands & used conventional arms, and lost thousands of Americans & maybe hundreds of thousands of Japanese?
        • Or maybe we blockade the islands to force surrender? So instead of killing thousands, we would have starved millions.

        I'm not trying to say the destruction of Hiroshima & Nagasaki & the horrible loss of life & suffering weren't terrible things. It was, along with everything else during World War II. All I'm saying is that President Truman was in a horrible position of deciding on something that is far from a black & white decision.

        •  What If He Didn't "Decide" (0+ / 0-)

          I always thought that, if he hadn't died when he did, FDR would have been the one to drop the bomb because the he'd already decided to if they came up with one. Harry, after all didn't even know it existed until he took over.

          But suppose neither of them were really the ones to decide because neither of them, had all the facts.

          Ran across This Info after reading this thread. It looks to me like there was a bit of opportunism going on there.

          Jus' sayin'

          Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

          by Pariah Dog on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 03:03:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical Faith, Buckeye Terry

        ... that Truman made the only decision a leader of his time could have made. No one in 1945 would have suggested that an American President should sacrifce American lives to save Japanese ones, regardless of the ratio.  And that's even assuming that more Japanese would not have died if he hadn't dropped the bomb, which is debatable but not certain.

    •  You must be kidding (0+ / 0-)

      Harry Truman created the national security state! - ushering in the rampant expansion of abusive executive power
      And committed one of the great crimes of the century by dropping two atomic bombs on Japanese civilians.

      He is one of the worst.

      "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

      by normal family on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 02:32:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Washington (7+ / 0-)

    Jefferson, Madison, FDR.

    That's about it.

  •  Easy (14+ / 0-)

    Warren G. Harding.  Millard Fillmore.   Jimmy Carter (for some Democratic flavor).   That way, I could always be inspired when I looked at them, knowing that I would really have to eff things up to be worse than they were.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:25:09 PM PST

  •  Washington, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Truman (7+ / 0-)

    And Eleanor Roosevelt.

  •  I Would Hang Up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justme, Miss Blue, Jlukes

    Adams (the first one), Lincoln, FDR, Truman, JFK, Johnson, and probably Madison.

    I might also put Buchanan, Harding, and Bush up as examples of everything not to do/dart-boards.  Actually, add Grant to that list as well.

    Physicist Wolfgang Pauli upon reading a paper: "This isn't right, this isn't even wrong."

    by ChapiNation386 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:25:38 PM PST

  •  I'd just hang up mirrors everywhere (15+ / 0-)

    and slap a 43 sticker on the frame — just like W.

  •  Lincoln, The Roosevelts, Truman, Nixon. (0+ / 0-)
  •  I wouldn't. (10+ / 0-)

    I'd put up Picassos and Monets and maybe even a Keith Haring just for fun, and deKooning definitely and maybe some John Singer Sargent portraits because they're so nice to look at and they are classy.

    And then I'd put some big photos of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, hell there'd be a whole hall of jazz greats.

    And a nice portrait of you, of course, MB.  :P

    I'd be very radical if I were President.

    Which is probably why I'll never be President.

  •  Both Roosevelts, LBJ, JFK, Jimmy Carter, and (7+ / 0-)

    President Edwards.

    What I'd be more interested in learning about is which Presidential consorts (aka First Spouses) would end up on the walls in the post-2009 White House.

    Lady Bird.

    Who else?

    Unitarian Jihadi: Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism

    by BlackSheep1 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:27:49 PM PST

  •  FDR, Kennedy, Jefferson (5+ / 0-)

    And probably portraits of MLK, RFK, Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks and plenty of other social activists.

    Whatcha gonna do, Chris Matthews, whatcha gonna do when Barack Obama and John Edwards run wild on you?

    by Brad007 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:28:04 PM PST

  •  hmmmmmmm good question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, kevin22262, Ranting Roland

    The Mount Rushmore guys (I do like TR, but that's a mixed bag), FDR, LBJ, Harry Truman, U.S. Grant (more for his military contributions), Dwight Eisenhower (same as Grant), JFK, Jimmy Carter and James Madison.

    Oh, and richard nixon as a reminder of what happens when you think you're above the law.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:28:40 PM PST

  •  I'm guessing that Pressident Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MJB, lirtydies, Ericwmr, tethys

    will have a portrait of JFK in his White House.

    •  He reminds me more of a president from Illinois (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lirtydies, Jeff Y

      In a lot of ways.  Temperament, demeanor, the combination of intellect and a common touch... but that's a lot to put on his shoulders at this point.   If he gets there, being the best president he can be will be enough without measuring him against Lincoln every day.

      So this is how liberty dies -- with thunderous applause.

      by MJB on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:34:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Washington & Ben Franklin (8+ / 0-)

    Yeah, so what? He lived longer than all of them orginales....did more good, too.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:29:12 PM PST

  •  Chester A. Arthur (6+ / 0-)

    Just for the mutton chops.  Also because of the civil service stuff.  

    Maybe one of Super Mario too.  People like him, even if he's not president of anything.  He has done a consistently good job of saving a princess from a giant lizard.

  •  with far too little forethought (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WIds, Miss Blue, kevin22262

    Jefferson - for th dream mroe than the reality
    J Q Adams - for however briefly delaying us from the double-dose racism ofAndrew Jackson
    Eisenhower - because 55 years later his truce has continued to hold; and because bad thing though they may be, interstate highways have made much of my lifepath possible.
    L B Johnson - possibly specifically because he called it the ugliest thing he'd seen in his life. Possibly because Johnson was larger than life

    The goofy Nixon portrait would be tempting, but no thank you.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:29:16 PM PST

  •  Hang up... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, kevin22262

    Washington, Lincoln, and FDR. Period. (Unless I had some extra wall space that wasn't taken up by my "Hang in there baby" posters....)

  •  Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Washington and (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kevin22262, kuvasz, Red Bean, tethys

    Martin van Bueren

    great sideburns

    Someone honestly mistaken, when confronted with the truth, must cease to be one or the other

    by Inventor on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:29:29 PM PST

  •  Why do people like Kennedy? (5+ / 0-)

    The one who started us in the savage mess in Vietnam and the one who attacked Cuba for pursuing an economic policy that would benefit its people?

    •  He didn't attack Cuba, and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he didn't want to expand our role in VietNam.  

      He was assassinated because he was going to pull out of VN, and he didn't back the renegade CIA incursion at the Bay of Pigs!

      ...jeez, you can even get this on teevee, too!!!

      First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

      by ezdidit on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:37:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

        Where do you get your facts (I guess TV?)

        From wikipedia (among others):

        The second wave of air strikes, designed to wipe out the remainder of Castro's air force, was canceled. President Kennedy wanted the operation to look as if the Cuban exiles could have planned it, so that his administration could claim "plausible deniability" and avoid responsibility for the invasion as a U.S. operation. This was the same reason for which the landing site had been moved from Trinidad, which was close to the Escambray Mountains, an anticommunist rebel stronghold, where the anti Castro forces would have been able to reach sanctuary in case of failure. Moreover, Trinidad not only had great port facilities for landing the invasion force, armaments and supplies, but more importantly, was a counterrevolutionary fervent of activity, where a rising of the population could have been possible. President Kennedy, despite the CIA's objections, moved the landing site to the Bay of Pigs area.

        He did invade Cuba. Deal with it.

        •  it's The Mighty Wurlitzer of disinformation. (0+ / 0-)

          You've been had.  (I see you don't refute what I said about him wanting to get out of VietNam....)

          Say whatever they would like about The Bay of Pigs invasion, this was a renegade Republican op for its friends in organized crime ventures that were lost when Castro beat Batista.

          JFK was totally against the Bay of Pigs because it was doomed to failure.  

          THINK about it: Couldn't he have mounted a full-scale invasion to back it up?  He didn't order it, and he was entirely against it from the outset.

          What the CIA can't allow, at any cost, is the momentary thought that there are organized powers, factions, cadres of illegitimate cold-warriors who did false flag ops and foreign assassinations all the time.  We only get to see the tip of the iceberg.

          This nonsense about JFK is just that...debunked through the very outcome: the south Florida Cuban emigres were furious with him.  

          First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

          by ezdidit on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 01:02:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is a complicated story (0+ / 0-)

            one which Wikipedia is surely not the best source.  I do not couch for Time magazine other but this article from 1965 might be a better source of information for the young person who holds that "President Kennedy invaded Cuba."  

            Think how Senator Kerry was Swift Boated and you may have an idea of what was facing a very young president as he took office in 1961 and what tests the established government had for him.  He failed the one that said to stop the Bay of Pigs, but he admitted the mistake and learned much from it.

            "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

            by Barth on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 08:10:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Kennedy mirrored the transition from the (4+ / 0-)

      1950s to the 1960s. In many ways, he started out as the last of the Cold Warriors, but evolved while in office. He had a facile intelligence, ability to listen and absorb knowledge, a self assurance, and a breadth of international experience that gave him tremendous leadership qualities. On paper, he looks like more potential than accomplishment, but I think he would have been an exceptional president had he served until 1968.

      Sometimes I think how different things would have been if we had had Presidents Kennedy from 1960 through 1976 instead of Johnson, Nixon, and Ford.

      Actually, given his list of physical ailments and prodigious sexcapades, it's astounding that he was able to function at all.

      Deny. Distort. Divert. It's not just for Republicans anymore....

      by Azdak on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:43:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow! Kennedys from 60-76! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        faster democrat kill kill

        imagine what this country would be like today if that had happened.  It would be utopian compared to what were dealing with now.

        •  Two Words: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hhex65, Lesser Dane, jds1978, Rick Winrod

          Flying Cars

          "Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."

          by faster democrat kill kill on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:08:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Kennedy is a blank slate (4+ / 0-)

          Because of the whole Camelot thing,  and the short record, people just fill in the blanks with what they would have wanted. I would have liked to have seen what would have happened with Kennedy and Vietnam. How would he have reacted? Would he have escalated, or just thrown in the towel bay of pigs style?

          Thanks to the Illuminati, we'll never know.

          •  I agree entirely with the "blank slate".... (0+ / 0-)

            which is why, although I feel comfortable in looking at his personal qualities and predicting that I think he would have finished with an exceptional presidential record, I refuse to say I "know" how he would have acted on a specific issue.

            I know there is some fragile "evidence" that JFK had said he would get out of Vietnam, but there is no official record, so we can only speculate.

            Deny. Distort. Divert. It's not just for Republicans anymore....

            by Azdak on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 09:41:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Wouldn't have happened (0+ / 0-)

        One reason RFK was a serious candidate in 1968 was because his brother was assassinated when he was. Vietnam might well have expanded had he continued in office, despite what his partisans might protest.  In any event, it's doubtful RFK would have even been elected to the Senate if JFK had not died..

        Actually, you mention his physical ailments.  His Aiidson's may well have killed him in his secodn term had he been elected to one.

    •  The truth is that the U.S. intervention ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, Jlukes Vietnam started with Truman (rejection of Ho's entreaties, financial and political support for the French colonialists who had collaborated with the Japanese occupation) and got going pretty good under Ike (rejection of the Geneva Accords all-country election, financial support and first special ops).

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:03:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd hang up a portrait of George W Bush (5+ / 0-)

    upside down to remind me of all I have to undo.

    And when the Bush stain was removed from the nation, then portrait would also be removed.

    It cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:29:34 PM PST

  •  Lincoln and Truman are easy choices (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ericwmr, Big River Bandido

    Anyone else, I'd have to think about it for awhile.  

    For example, as MB points out, TR and LBJ have things to like, as well as things to not like that are hard to overlook.

    So this is how liberty dies -- with thunderous applause.

    by MJB on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:30:10 PM PST

  •  William Howard Taft (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein

    because I'm into fat dudes. William Henry Harrison because he died before he could do any bad shit.

    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

    by Red Bean on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:30:45 PM PST

  •  Jefferson, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Jackson, Roosevelt (our Roosevelt).  Thats all, folks.  The most influential Democratic Presidents in our history.

    -5.88, -7.49 "In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity."

    by cjallen on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:30:47 PM PST

  •  Jackson and FDR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, cjallen

    Jackson was a superb president, except for his forceful removal of the Native Americans (which led to the Trail of Tears).  And FDR should be a hero to all progressives.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:30:50 PM PST

  •  The obvious ones (4+ / 0-)

    Unimaginative perhaps, but they damn well earned their right to be obvious:

    Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, FDR

    I'd put up John Adams as well.  An ineffectual president, perhaps, but he did so much other good for his country.  Same goes for Madison.

    The interesting thing about TR to me is that in a sense he deserves to be ranked very high, because he was great for America.

    That domestic greatness, of course,  came at the considerable expense of the rest of the world.  But if you judge by the purely selfish criteria of "A president must do what is best for the U.S. first" then he did a bang up job.  It just sucked to be an indigenous person anywhere off on the margins of the map.  One could say the same thing about Andrew Jackson and his relationship with this country's own aboriginal peoples.

    "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

    by Raybin on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:30:59 PM PST

    •  Before he was president, yes ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Raybin, Dems2004

      ...but the Alien & Sedition Act the congressional Federalists pushed and he signed was a major blot on his administration. But at least it had a sunset provision.

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:43:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True enough (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dems2004, zett

        Though, for what it's worth, he later acknowledged it was his biggest error as president. (As much as Adams could ever admit a mistake, anyway)

        I think both David McCullough and Joseph Ellis (and Ellis in particular) have given the Adams and the Alien & Sedition Acts excellent treatments. (That is to say, neither a defense nor an attack, but an explanation)

        (Enough damn parentheses!)

        "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

        by Raybin on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:50:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  George W Bush (5+ / 0-)

    In the game room.. next to the dart board.

    Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism - Rocky Anderson

    by librarianman on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:31:04 PM PST

  •  Millard Fillmore (11+ / 0-)

    John Tyler
    Martin van Buren
    Franklin Pierce
    William Henry Harrison
    Rutherford B. Hayes
    Benjamin Harrison
    Chester A. Arthur
    Calvin Coolidge

    What can I say, they'd all make me feel better about myself.

    I finally put in a signature!

    by Boris Godunov on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:31:23 PM PST

    •  C'Mon, Boris, Leave WH Harrison Alone!!! (0+ / 0-)

      He had a little trouble implementing his vision for America, what with dying a month into his first term and all....

      Sheesh, some people are SO HARD to please...


      Also, hate to correct an FPer, but has anyone else pointed out that Theodore Roosevelt was NOT a Democrat, but rather a pretty liberal Republican.

      "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
      Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
      Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

      by Steve Singiser on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:01:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd hang the following (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

       Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton.

       I'm sure i'll get some howls of protest, particularly over Jackson...but he was one hell of a historical figure...and an asshole I'll grant ya...but I'd still put him up.

    •  I find Madison and Monroe more objectionable. (0+ / 0-)

      Both betrayed the Jeffersonian faction of party, they joined the Federalists on a lot of issues.  Jackson saved the party from people like them.

      -5.88, -7.49 "In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity."

      by cjallen on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:34:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Madison and Monroe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

          were great Presidents, regardless of their loyalty to Party. They get hung in my WH along with Jackson and the rest.

        •  It wasn't about party loyalty, it was ideology. (0+ / 0-)

          These guys (especially Monroe) were supposed to be true blue, and they fucked their allies over.  Madison was always a closet Federalist.  In my book, thats pretty much as bad as a Bush Republican.

          -5.88, -7.49 "In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a temple out of faith and hope and charity."

          by cjallen on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:39:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Madison (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mvr, thetadelta

              is one of the main reasons our country still exists. Monroe was an excellent continuer of the agenda that the country was focused on at the time. Both were great Presidents and great men. To hell with party loyalty...Madison in particular deserves his place in history. The constitution is HIS document. He's a main reason our country still exists today.

          •  Don't know much about Monroe, but Madison would (0+ / 0-)

            be in my pantheon based just on his pre-presidential actions. As I recall he was instrumental in gettig the first ten amendments to the constitution passed and that's enough good work for one person.

    •  And Lincoln (0+ / 0-)

        gotta put Lincoln up.

    •  The more I read about Jefferson.... (0+ / 0-)

      the less I respect him. Despite his foundational theoretical writings, he comes off as an asshole, generally--not to mention a racist.

      Deny. Distort. Divert. It's not just for Republicans anymore....

      by Azdak on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:45:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone (0+ / 0-)

          was racist back then. You can't view them based on today's standards.

          This country, and technology, would be completely alien to Jefferson today.

        •  I am not basing that judgement on today's (0+ / 0-)

          standards. I understand the prevailing opinions of the time, and, as a rule, I do not judge any historic figures by modern standards.

          In his book American Creation, Joseph Ellis says the following about Jefferson's refusal to advocate the prohibition of slavery from the newly acquired Lousiana Territory:

          ...Jefferson regarded any extension of federal authority over the states or territories as calamitous, for it would eventually lead to emancipation, which would then lead to racial war. No gradual emancipation plan, to include a plan that prohibited slavery in the territories, could preceed until arrangements were made to deport the free black population elsewhere, because Jefferson did not believe that blacks and whites could coexist peacefully.

          And another:

          There were, it turned out, some self-evident truths of the darker sort that Jefferson had neglected to mention in the Declaration of Independence. One was that blacks and whites could never live together in harmony. Another was that the way of life of the Native Americans was doomed to extinction. Yet another was that slavery defied resolution and any effort to do so would lead to a very bloody civil war. Tragedy trumped triumph in the story of the (Louisiana) Purchase for several reasons, but mostly because race more than space defined the outer limits of Jefferson's political imagination.

          Deny. Distort. Divert. It's not just for Republicans anymore....

          by Azdak on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:49:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Another vote for Washington (11+ / 0-)

    If (caveat here) what I learned in school is correct, namely that Washington, due to his enormous popularity, could have been president for life, but declined the opportunity because he was wary of the precedent that would set. He didn't want to see another monarchy or something similar evolve. If the story is true, Washington is one of the people we need to thank for the fact that we have a democracy today (battered though it may be at the moment).

    How many people can you think of that rejected an opportunity to wield absolute power?

    "It's not enough to be right. You still have to use your nice voice." -said by my then six-year-old daughter in reference to the Lorax

    by be the change you seek on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:31:45 PM PST

    •  Not many (7+ / 0-)

      It's what made him so extraordinary

      Caesar, Cromwell, Napoleon, Lenin, Mao:  All assumed absolute dictatorial power in the aftermath of a revolution.

      Who didn't?  Washington.

      I find the more I learn and reflect, the more I admire.

      "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

      by Raybin on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:35:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  King George said at the time ... (4+ / 0-)

      ...something along the lines that Washington would the greatest man ever if he stepped down from the presidency.

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:41:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Washington: possibly greatest leader in history (3+ / 0-)

      It's shocking how few posters here have included George Washington, but it's probably just because so few know much about him.

      He's known as "the indispensible man" because this country probably wouldn't have come into existence as the constitutional republic that it is without him.

      His most amazing feat was probably in persuading his army, which was literally starving and barefoot in the snow, to stay with him and keep fighting -- even though wealthy colonists wouldn't provision or pay them.  His army was free to go home and their families were begging them to return, but Washington was such a revered leader that when he addressed them on horseback asking them to stay with him and fight to victory, they did.  Yes, literally barefoot in the snow!

      Next, he not only refused to be king, he persuaded his generals not to divvy up the country amongst themselves, which would have been entirely understandable.  These men had made enormous sacrifices and were considered entitled to the spoils of war.  But Washington was so deeply respected that when he went before them, he somehow persuaded them to remain a union.

      Next, he lent his incomparable reputation to the passage of the constitution. Many historians contend that it wouldn't have been ratified without his support.

      Finally, he set the example of what a president should be.  Even though he despised the press, which attacked him personally, he insisted that the fourth estate was as essential to democracy as the elected government.  And when he refused a third term, he wrote a brilliant farewell address (that everyone should read) that was widely published and read across the country, setting forth principles that should still govern the presidency.

  •  Al Gore (n/t) (20+ / 0-)

    "What if we could have an election that was not a referendum on either the Clinton or Bush presidencies?"--Frank Rich.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:31:55 PM PST

  •  William Henry Harrison (5+ / 0-)

    I feel sorry for him.

  •  I'd leave up the potraits already there of CEO... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, Ranting Roland

    CEO/Presidents of Bechtel, Haliburton, Blackwater, etc...   gosh - so many up now I don't remember them all.

  •  How About Ben Franklin? -- not a president but (11+ / 0-)

    an early abolitionist..

  •  Short list (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    And on April Fool's Day I'd throw in Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky

  •  Mark Twain had opinions about Teddy R (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Ray Radlein, offgrid

    He appeared to think the man was a major-league asshole ("The hunting of the cow"). I trust Twain's judgment on that.

  •  Jefferson and Madison (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, Magster

    Two of the enlightened ones. I'd like to see them smack Huckabee upside the head.

  •  Adams 1 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein

    Both Roosevelts for different reasons. No matter his faults, TR gave us Yellowstone and his view of monopolies mirrors mine. But, yeah he was a bit of an idiot in other ways.

    I think you have to view the context of the times. Using the standards of today we would exclude Washington, I've seen his slave quarters.

    In the eyes of the future, dumbya will be battling it out with Wilson, Hoover and Grant, IMO.

    Pretty Bird Woman House PO Box 596 McLaughlin SD 57642

    by high uintas on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:34:56 PM PST

    •  Washington was great in many ways, but ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, lurks a lot

      ...the idea that "presentism" informs our views of the slave-holders of that era is flawed. There were many abolitionists during that period, and even a two-day debate on the subject in Congress in 1790, thanks to the Quaker Petitions. But, if the abolitionists had succeeded in getting slavery banned in the original Constitution, there would never have been a Civil War because there would never have been a Union.

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:00:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (0+ / 0-)

        But, the abolitionists lost and the union came into being. History isn't what we would wish it to be, you have to judge the Presidents by the results of their terms or, as in the case of Adams, their contributions to the country.

        I imagine that if I were to share a dinner with Teddy we'd probably end up going at each other with steak knives on some issues, but on others we'd be clinking glasses. His legacy of National Parks puts him in my book.

        BTW, Washington didn't make my list. If you judge by the historical markers, he slept around a lot...

        Pretty Bird Woman House PO Box 596 McLaughlin SD 57642

        by high uintas on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:20:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wilson (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't realize history had such a low opinion of Wilson.  I guess you could blame him for being a racist and getting us into a war that we didn't need to be in, but someone like James Madison(slaveowner who got us into the War of 1812) would also would be up there then.

  •  Definitely Carter (4+ / 0-)

    i'm for the Mt. Rushmore crew as well, but Carter is an example of a good human being, and that humanity needs to be reflected in the White House regularly.

  •  Well, I'd probably put George Bush's portrait (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jlukes, Hedwig

    above the urinal in the men's guest bathroom, just for kicks.

    Lincoln, both Roosevelt's, JFK, WJC, and Al Gore.

  •  How about LBJ signing the Civil Rights Bill? (4+ / 0-)
  •  well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here are just a few.






    Grant - only because I have this weird fascination with the civil war.  :)

  •  Teddy, Jefferson, FDR and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WIds, high uintas, Ranting Roland

    Washington, but only if a portrait of Dolly Madison could be at his side as her saving of his portrait in the 1812 war is one of my favourite stories.  Eleanor would also need to be next to Franklin.

    I love Teddy for his environmentalism and love of the outdoors and workw ith John Muir. Teddy came to have a great respect for the American Indian in later years, if his earlier years were a bit bad on that count.

    I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    by Norwegian Chef on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:35:36 PM PST

    •  And let's not forget... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norwegian Chef, high uintas

      ....Dolley Madison was teh hawtness in her youth. :-)

      "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

      by Raybin on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:39:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        I hope you're kidding, because all the portraits of her that I've ever seen make her look like Terry Jones from Monty Python in drag.

        She was an important, respectable person, of course, but I'd hardly call her "hot" by any meter.

        •  As the great philosopher... (0+ / 0-)

          ...Foghorn Leghorn once said, "It's a joke, son." ;-)

          "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

          by Raybin on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 09:40:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. Lots of people started liking ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norwegian Chef

      ...Indians once they were "settled."

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:56:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Teddy was very conflicted about Native Americans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        and much of this reflects the time and day in which he was born. Looking back on his famous "Indian Essay" in the Winning of the West, he is well and truly a giant mass of what we in modern day would think of as very conflicted and cross-purposed (even mutually exclusive) arguments.

        In his opening he is far more apologetic than most of his time:

        It is greatly to be wished that some competent person would write a full and true history of our national dealings with the Indians. Undoubtedly the latter have often suffered terrible injustice at our hands. A number of instances, such as the conduct of the Georgians to the Cherokees in the early part of the present century, or the whole treatment of Chief Joseph and his Nez Percés, might be mentioned, which are indelible blots on our fair fame; and yet, in describing our dealings with the red men as a whole, historians do us much less than justice.

        However in most other parts he is as backwards, imperialistic and hopeless as the worst army officers of the day.

        The tribes were warlike and bloodthirsty, jealous of each other and of the whites; they claimed the land for their hunting grounds, but their claims all conflicted with one another; their knowledge of their own boundaries was so indefinite that they were always willing, for inadequate compensation, to sell land to which they had merely the vaguest title; and yet, when once they had received the goods, were generally reluctant to make over even what they could; they coveted the goods and scalps of the whites, and the young warriors were always on the alert to commit outrages when they could do it with impunity.

        The whole Nez Perce mess was indeed an epiphany for him, and he really came to regret the treatment of the Indians on an individual scale from his personal interactions with Chief Joseph and others, but he then still rationalises the overall treatment on a broader scale in terribly imperialistic tones......"What were we supposed to do?".

        It was a very fascinating interaction, and it showed that Teddy worked best in his personal interactions such as with Chief Joseph and John Muir (both of these Progressive voices talked and wrote well  of Teddy) if unfortunately his personal relationships did not always necessarily translate into effective policy. Teddy was capable of learning from inspirational individuals unlike George Bush, and spent a great deal of his later life making right some of his wrongs.

        Although, I can well and truly see why any Native-American would not want to have his portrait.

        I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

        by Norwegian Chef on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:52:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Saving the Stuart portrait of Washington (0+ / 0-)

      was Dolly Madison's worst moment.  And I love Dolly Madison.  But according to Washington biographer James Thomas Flexner, Stuart hated Washington, and deliberately distorted the contortions of Washington's mouth (caused by his dental problems) in his famous portrait.  Basically, he painted Washington as a tired, toothless old man...Flexner calls this the greatest "slander" ever made against Washington, and it is one that lives on still because that's the image we have of him.  

      Compare the Stuart portrait of Washington as an old man to the Peale brothers' portrait of Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War, and you will be struck by the contrast.  The Peale's Washington is the only portrait I've seen of him that captures Washington's compelling charm and charisma.

  •  How's this for novel? (9+ / 0-)

    I'd hang a copy of the US Constitution, and send the portraits to a museum.

    Freedom is in the fight.

    by Troubadour on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:35:50 PM PST

    •  Hey (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jlukes, not a cent

      We burned that right? In 2000? Sorry, no longer able to hang it anywhere....

      •  No, "we" did not. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, Hedwig

        I guess I have to say it again and again: We are not part of the same country as the Bush regime.  We are Americans, and they are something else entirely.

        Freedom is in the fight.

        by Troubadour on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:10:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And yet (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hedwig, adrianrf

          As a collective, "we" did. Not us, perhaps, but a lot of the population voted for this not once, but twice.

          Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

          by not a cent on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:17:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A definition of America that includes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            such people rapidly loses meaning.  I say recidivist Bush voters are just people who happen to reside in the United States, and have no moral, philosophical, or other significant relationship to this country beyond a purely incidental fetish for its national symbols.  You can choose to see them as wayward countrymen if you wish, but then you've reduced that relationship to one of mere paperwork and geographic proximity.  I say people like that are not and never have been part of this country - they are either mindless flotsam who vote on the stupidest, shallowest basis that pops into their ids, or twisted creatures lacking in the basic moral and ethical principles that define a citizen.  Most of them are inconsequential barnacles on our society, demanding nothing of themselves in exchange for what they have, and nothing for themselves but money and entertainment.  The rest are actively malignant, cancerous vermin seeking to express violent, tyrannical impulses, and I feel no kinship to them beyond the bare minimum of respect due to any creature theoretically capable of feeling.

            Freedom is in the fight.

            by Troubadour on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:44:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jlukes, adrianrf

      Unfortunately, it looks like they've sent our Constitution to the museum. What was the quote from Shrub again? It's just a dusty old document?

      One more year.


      Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

      by not a cent on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:02:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  More like the shredder ... eom (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        not a cent

        "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:10:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  To hell with "one more year." Impeach. (0+ / 0-)

        If it takes recalls and special elections to get the collaborators out of the way, so be it.  If Bush and Cheney complete the term, they will never, ever be prosecuted for anything, and it's possible the very next Republican president will issue full pardons just to add insult to injury.  I don't foresee either of our leading candidates having the Rushmore-sized balls to spend significant political capital revisiting the endless horrors they campaigned on leaving behind, so the next year is all we've got.

        Freedom is in the fight.

        by Troubadour on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:20:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would put up Napoleon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, vancookie, lirtydies

    not at all because of Napoleon, but because David was all-that.




    ...Operation Rota is Closed... New Blog Coming Soon With Pictures!...

    by nowheredesign on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:36:23 PM PST

  •  All of them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    constantly rotating from first to last on a large HDTV screen with their most (in)famous quotes as voice-overs. Because I would need a constant reminder of what these white men did (to)for our country.

  •  Douglas Hyde and De Valera (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Oh, are we allowed to hang up... (0+ / 0-)

    "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

    by Raybin on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:39:13 PM PST

  •  The First Lady Was Almost Captured For..... (8+ / 0-)

    During the War of 1812, Dolley Madison was almost captured by British troops who had invaded Washington D.C. and had already torched the Capitol. She was able to save the Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington & escape moments before the British entered & ultimately burned the White House.

    The troops then turned north down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House. First Lady Dolley Madison remained there after many of the government officials — and her own bodyguard — had already fled, gathering valuables, documents and other items of importance, notably the Lansdowne Portrait, a full-length painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. She was finally persuaded to leave moments before British soldiers entered the building. Once inside, the soldiers found the dining hall set for a dinner for 40 people. After eating all the food they took souvenirs then set the building on fire.

  •  Maybe instead of hanging portraits (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ericwmr, Ranting Roland, Jlukes

    we should hang Presidents instead

    (snark, since I don't believe in capital punishment)

    "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

    by offgrid on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:39:19 PM PST

  •  Washington. Lincoln. FDR. LBJ. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kuvasz, NBBooks, Hedwig, adrianrf

    Not sure how "great" Washington was, but he did at least one essential thing: Surrender power when a new President was elected.

    Lincoln: Ended slavery; saved the Union.

    FDR: Regulated capitalism; won WW II.

    I almost didn't add anybody after FDR, because the empire had bitten deeper and deeper into Constitutional government.

    But, LBJ: For the civil rights legislation. He, and we Democrats, lost power for a generation, but we did the right thing for the country, even though we paid the price as Republicans leveraged racism with the Southern Strategy. Yes, VietNam was ghastly, but LBJ was a tragic figure, and the empire he discovered he had to run was not of his making. It was a war set in motion by the Village of that day, not him. And when he sensed he lost the confidence of the country, he didn't run again, unlike Mr. 30%.

    Reagan? Are you kidding?

    [x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

    by lambertstrether on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:39:41 PM PST

  •  martin luther king, jr. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, lirtydies, zett

    and the portraits of dorothea lange of the depression, as a reminder of the responsibilities of the office, and consequences of becoming too absorbed in its power and prestige.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:40:08 PM PST

  •  Monroe, Madison, Washington (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nathaniel Ament Stone, hhex65, kuvasz

    Randolph, Lake, South Water, Wacker...

    "Cultist" is an empty argument. It's the new Godwin. If you invoke it, you've already lost.

    by nightsweat on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:40:42 PM PST

  •  How about the Mediocre Presidents? (3+ / 0-)

    We are the mediocre Presidents.
    You won't find our faces on dollars or on cents.
    There's Taylor, there's Tyler,
    There's Filmore and there's Hayes.
    There's William Henry Harrison,
    (I died in thirty days!)
    We are the adequate, forgettable,
    Occasionally regrettable
    Caretaker Presidents of the U S A!

  •  George Washington: THE indispensible American (5+ / 0-)

    Without Washington what would America be?

    King George, Ill, King of England, said:

    ". . . if Washington went back to his farm after his public career he would be the greatest character of the age."

    Napoleon Bonaparte, unlike Washington betrayed the very people he supposedly saved, when he crowned himself "Emperor". After his defeat, while imprisoned on the Isle of Elba, he wrote: "They wanted me to be another Washington".

    Imagine, Napoleon admitting another man greater than himself.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:41:39 PM PST

  •  Eisenhower should get more love (5+ / 0-)

    He tried to warn us about the military-industrial complex and we're seeing the result of that unholy marriage now.

    "The most patriotic thing an American can do is ask questions." - Madeleine Albright

    by Tuttle on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:41:47 PM PST

    •  That he did (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Can you even imagine a republican of this era speaking such truth?

      Not a Cent to those who won't fight torture.

      by not a cent on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:07:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Warned us? (0+ / 0-)

      Eisenhower practically created the damn thing.  My God, they don't call it the "Eisenhower Interstate Highway System" for nothing...

      •  That's not the same thing at all (0+ / 0-)

        "The most patriotic thing an American can do is ask questions." - Madeleine Albright

        by Tuttle on Tue Jan 22, 2008 at 07:32:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It sure as hell is (0+ / 0-)

          Construction is at the very heart of the military-industrial complex, particularly highway construction.  (Ever heard of Bechtel?  Halliburton?)  Not to mention the auto and oil industries, which had every interest in destroying mass transit in the 1950s and replacing it with a system of highways and single-passenger vehicles, cages built by US Steel, rolling on Firestone and powered by Amoco and Mobil.  The fingerprints of the military-industrial complex are all over the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System.

          The military-industrial complex is far larger than mere manufacturing of weapons and's every industry that has heavy lifting to do during wartime.  Granted, the foundations for that were laid during World War II, when the absolute necessity of big business' cooperation in the war effort encouraged the growth of business tentacles in government.  But by the 1950s, with the war over and there being absolutely no demand for the huge army that had just been decommissioned, the military-industrial complex needed projects to keep them running.  The theory they developed to save themselves was this:  our mobilization in WWII was so tardy as to be nearly catastrophic;  the next war could come upon us so soon that we can't afford a "lag time" between the start of the war and the start of production.  Production, therefore would always have to be maintained at or near "peak", so that for "the next war", the manufacturing capabilities for the weapons and other implements of war would already be "online" so there would be no delays to set back mobilization. In other words, this was the beginning of our nation's permanent war footing.  Of course, in this theory, for factories to maintain "online" status, they basically had to be producing, all the time. In other words, they needed a government project that would keep them afloat through peaceful times.  

          Eisenhower stepped right up to the plate for them.  

  •  Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter...not! (0+ / 0-)

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:41:55 PM PST

  •  Does the Portrait come along with a darts set? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Because that would change the whole complexion of the question...

    *** By using the word "complexion", I am in no way alluding to any of the candidates in the race now. It's a word in common English usage, with meanings beyond merely skin tone or skin color.****

    This has been your official disclaimer of offensive intent. Please resume normal activities.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:44:10 PM PST

  •  I might do what the Union did to Lee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TravelerDiogenes, MJB, Ericwmr

    in building Arlington National Cemetary on his land.

    Hang Bush's portrait on a pole overlooking that portion of Arlington where Iraq war soldiers are buried.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:44:54 PM PST

    •  Not a bad idea at all. . . (3+ / 0-)

      But first we need to put his ass in the docket and show the world that though he occupied our country for 2 years longer than he occupied Iraq, we did, in the end try his sorry ass, so that the nation has legal recourse to grab his land.

      Making Crawford, TX, somewhat the same as Auschwitz or Dachau, a publicly funded museum should be built detailing his atrocities and his atrocious administration.

      One of the exhibits would be videos of the lies told by him and his minions, alternating with the proof that they were lies.

      All the co-conspirators would be treated the same way.

      The sign over the entrance would read,


      The sign over the exit would read


      Bush is the American Holocaust.

      Then we need to rebuid Iraq, FOR REAL, with Halliburton's and the Bush family's money, every dime, until the Iraqis say, "Enough."  And NO U.S. companies or individuals would be allowed to participate.

      And all around the museum, on his former estate would be a National Cemetery, as you say.

      And all proceeds from the museum and cemetery would go to the families of U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq.

  •  Reagan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ericwmr, GiveNoQuarter

    Scares off the roaches.

    by alfredo on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:46:47 PM PST

  •  Surrogate President (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ericwmr, hockeyrules, Timothy Scriven


    The NeoCOM (Corporate Owned Media) is Neocon.

    by Brahman Colorado on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:47:24 PM PST

  •  "If I got to live in the White House" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timothy Scriven

    Well you certainly have my vote, MB!

    "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

    by offgrid on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:47:28 PM PST

  •  My list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif, Jlukes

    All of these are imperfect men, and have much that can be said against them; I list them for their good qualities, not their bad ones.

    1. George Washington, for his unfailing support of national independence, and his willingness to put his life on the line for it
    1. Thomas Jefferson, for his intellect and his eloquent expression of the liberal ideas that spoke to what this country could and should be
    1. John Quincy Adams, for his indefatigable post-presidential career on behalf of freedom of speech for anti-slavery petitioners
    1. Abraham Lincoln, for his Emancipation Proclamation and his desire to reunify a bleeding country.
    1. Ulysses S. Grant, for presiding over our first attempt at a multiracial Republic, and to annoy the kind of people who still wave Confederate flags
    1. Theodore Roosevelt, less for his Presidency than for taking the leadership of the Progressive movement in the 1910s
    1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for the New Deal and his leadership against the Nazis
    1. Lyndon Baines Johnson, for presiding over the restoration of Civil Rights despite its political cost.
    1. Jimmy Carter, for his heroic post-presidential career on behalf of the poor and needy of this country
    1. William Jefferson Clinton, because we can't disregard the only Democratic President to win two separate terms since Franklin Roosevelt, and because the choice will annoy so many Kossacks. :)
  •  Let's see... (0+ / 0-)

    Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ...

    and Warren G. Harding for comic relief!

  •  benjeman franklin (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, zett

    What he wasn't president.
    Well he's my fav anyway.

    Congress is increasingly complicit in the Bush administration crimes.

    by Drewid on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:49:39 PM PST

  •  Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, (0+ / 0-)

    Franklin, MLK, Panoramic Photo of Million Man March, JFK, Reagan (haha.. j/k... just seeing if your paying attention), FDR, Barack Obama,  

  •  James. K. Polk. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    julatten, thetadelta

    And that's it.

  •  Does George Jr on a dartboard count? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, Jlukes
  •  Same as Voting This Year: Only Partial Portraits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Jlukes

    I'd only hang the trust-busting high income taxing Teddy.

    The Voting Rights and War on Poverty LBJ.

    Just like I'm voting for Oratorical Obama, Experienced Clinton, Domestic Policy Edwards and Empire Kucinich.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:51:02 PM PST

  •  My portrait list: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif, lotlizard

    George Washington
    Abraham Lincoln
    Grover Cleveland (now that you remind me)
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Franlin D. Roosevelt
    Harry Truman
    Dwight Eisenhower

    Jefferson loses out because he supported a system (slavery) which he knew to be wrong.
    Andrew Jackson carried out genocide.
    I would like to have included Bill Clinton, but he insisted on repeatedly handing his hate-filled opponents weapons with which to attack him.

    My hall of shame:

    James Buchanan
    Andrew Johnson
    Ulysses S. Grant
    Woodrow Wilson (a surprise pick, I know)
    Richard M. Nixon
    George W. Bush

    Special note: Herbert Hoover deserves exemption from the hall of shame because of his extraordinary relief work, especially after World War I.

  •  My Choices (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wilder K Wight

    Oh, I'd hang Washington and Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln and FDR and Madison and I'd hire someone to paint a portrait of some guy in early 19th century clothing who looked like he should be a President, and I'd giggle madly as people racked their brains trying to figure out which President he was.

    I might also have a portrait made of some hypothetical future President with spliced alien DNA or something.

    "I play a street-wise pimp" — Al Gore

    by Ray Radlein on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:52:39 PM PST

  •  Jefferson Davis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if I were a Huckabee or Fred Thompson fan.

    "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed."   —Marvin, The Paranoid Android

    by londubh on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:53:04 PM PST

  •  "this Democrat on the right"? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lirtydies, mvr

    Theodore Roosevelt wasn't a Democrat.

    "The cloud of mind is discharging its collected lightning, and the equilibrium between institutions and opinions is now restoring or is about to be restored."

    by nom de paix on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:55:09 PM PST

    •  Or is that someone else? (0+ / 0-)

      Cleveland? The mustachioed presidents look rather alike to me.

      "The cloud of mind is discharging its collected lightning, and the equilibrium between institutions and opinions is now restoring or is about to be restored."

      by nom de paix on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I scrolled down to find this comment before (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nom de paix

      posting one of my own.  One interpretation is that he's implying that given the current configuration of the Repub party TR would now be a Dem.  But that doesn't really fit with the rest of the post all that well, so I was wondering what was meant as well.

  •  I think (0+ / 0-)

    I would drop the subject.

    "The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds." --Theo Jansen

    by joanneleon on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:55:10 PM PST

  •  As an example to how bad things can get? (0+ / 0-)

    I'd hang up Hoover as a reminder.

    I've joined the Mariachi Mama Candidate Bickering Moratorium! Our troops need a break. Give Bush back his baseball team!

    by kredwyn on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:55:29 PM PST

  •  My choices (4+ / 0-)

    I'd probably hang Dubya's portrait as well (to use as a dartboard).

  •  Lincoln, FDR shine over all (0+ / 0-)

    I suppose you could make a case for a founding father or two but excluding the early period of the nation's history, there are two that tower above the rest.

    "In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever."

  •  Two walls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wilder K Wight

    Washington, Adams, Adams Jr., Lincoln, FDR, JFK on one wall. What to aspire to.

    On the other wall, one single portrait. Dubya. What to avoid. A reminder to stay humble, reach out and cultivate all types of sources of information, especially the ones that make you think or make you uncomfortable.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 09:57:26 PM PST

  •  I'd hang Reagan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For interfering with these primaries.

    I am endlessly vindicated by the unfolding of history.

    by Rob Cole on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:03:09 PM PST

  •  Washington, of course... (0+ / 0-)

    ... the more I've read about him, the more impressed I've been be his foresight and pragmatism.  Lincoln, who made mostly good decisions while facing the worst situation in American history. FDR, who faced too distinct cataclysms, and led the nation through them wisely and mostly successfully. TR, who impresses me with his ability to be both bold and moderate at the same time. Truman, who embodies the idea that the common man can lead the nation, and lead it well (not perfectly, but still for the most part wisely).

    Probably not a name seen much here, but I'd give honorable mention to Eisenhower. Having lived through the W years, it's occured to me that while we usually judge Presidents on what they do, it's also worth judging them on what they don't do. Ike was President during some of the most dangerous times in American history, and to his credit, he generally erred on the side of not unwisely provoking confrontations.

  •  Is that Photo is of Grover Clevland or TR? (0+ / 0-)


    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:03:46 PM PST

  •  I (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Addison, zett

    Would put real people in my white house. Homeless vets, prisoners, those living in poverty. The people who I would wake up and fight for every day.

    Out of presidents? They all have huge flaws. FDR, LBJ and Lincoln though out of the presidents

  •  Truman: that guy was the bomb. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....Just some tacky gallows humor.

  •  i'd put my trust in those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    who had a vision of the future: "Growth economics" is a sure-fire way to human extinction.  That is our road.  We live in a petri dish.  there is only so much food.  No one gets this.  We're fucked.  I've lost track of the candidates and their predecessors, and their politics..  Who cares?  They don't ger it.  Welcome to the 6th great extinction event.  

    We don't have time for short-term thinking.

    by Compound F on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:05:09 PM PST

  •  John Quincy Adams (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainer, adrianrf, Wilder K Wight

    Not because of what he did as president, but afterward, when he ran and won office as a U.S. Representative and stood up to the slave powers.

    The only ex-President to be later elected to the House. For this he's a hero in my book.

    Would that Bill Clinton had cared as much about his country. Imagine Big Dog in the little House, standing up to Tricky Dick Redux, Herr Rove, and the Pet Goat!

    Maybe in a parallel universe this did happen, that we actually had leaders and America did not go insane.

    Thank you, Howard Dean.

    by thinkdouble on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:07:55 PM PST

  •  Warren G. Harding . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in my presidential bathroom, right next to my picture of George W. Bush.  Maybe I'd even have the image superimposed onto my toilet bowl as a reminder that history will always sh-t on crappy presidents.

  •  Grover Cleveland. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TravelerDiogenes, hhex65, lotlizard


    He was ruthlessly, consistently honest and competent. He readily owned up to an illigitimate child, completely emasculating opponents who tried to use it against him. He infuriated his political allies when he refused to bend any rules for them. He shrank the size of government, paid off the debt, and cleaned up the relatively penny-ante corruption of his day.

  •  I always forget Ben Franklin was never president (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So in those forgotten moments I'd put up his painting.

    Washington.  Can't beat the classics.  Jefferson.  

    FDR, of course.  I've got a love/hate thing going with Wilson.

    Huey Long is on my wall right now.

  •  My picks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pam from Calif

    FDR gets the place of honor, no question.

    I'd also put up Jefferson, Kennedy, Harry Truman (with a large "The Buck Stops Here" plaque directly underneath), and....

    ...for the fifth, controversial one, either Carter (because he was the only President in my life so far to have never lied to the American people), or possible Grant (to keep me humble). Or maybe Franklin Pierce, just because. Everyone would come in and do double takes saying, "which President is THAT?"

    "...And I woulda got away with it, if it hadn't been for that meddling Kos!" ---attributed to Tom DeLay

    by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:10:32 PM PST

  •  I've got a framed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ericwmr, Pam from Calif

    Kennedy For President (John F.) campaign poster.

    It's probably worth some decent coin.

    Nominate Edwards unless you want President McCain

    by jre2k8 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:11:43 PM PST

  •  Preserving stuff is horrible (0+ / 0-)

    Just ask bald eagles.  Great Auks and Dodos have certainly benefitted from the "non-preservationist" type of environmentalism.

    •  Preservationaist environmentalism ... (0+ / 0-) a particular kind of environmentalism distinguished from conservationist environmentalism.  

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 12:55:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  :o) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    T Jefferson
    A Lincoln
    FD Roosevelt
    H Truman
    JF Kennedy


    J Carter

    Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official... ~Theodore Roosevelt

    by Pam from Calif on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:12:56 PM PST

  •  Washington, natch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wilder K Wight

    Jefferson -- but more for his writings than his Presidency.
    Maybe Nixon as a reminder of the danger of too much hubris,
    And Carter building a house, to remind me that I can make more of a difference out of office than in.

    You're only as popular as the last diary/comment you posted. -- Zachpunk

    by Cali Scribe on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:13:22 PM PST

  •  WRONG PARTY (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tkmattson, Cavalry

    Dear Meteor Blades,

    Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican. Otherwise, he was an extraordinary President.

    •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

      I was pretty sure that was the case but wasn't willing to confirm with a fact check.  I knew he ran as a Bull Moose and got shot.  I guess the republicans frown on leaving the family just like other criminal organizations.

    •  a force of nature (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GiveNoQuarter, Habitat Vic

      He was a real life Chuck Norris (besides his martial artist background--- he was a serious judo student and boxer), he earned a Medal of Honor (though it wasn't issued until just a few years ago).  He was a genius, an esteemed historian who wrote many books, some of them still in print, fathered 6 children by his two wives (he was a young widower)-- historians are confident he never cheated on either wife. He spoke several languages, was a rancher and a frontier lawman (his best friend in the world, Seth Bulloch, was the hero of the HBO series Deadwood).  

      He was absolutely incorruptible and a major reformer as Civil Service Commission chair (opened up federal jobs to women), NYPD Commissioner (went undercover as a beat cop and when he'd come upon a cop taking a bribe, he'd kick their ass and then fire them) and NY Governor (pushing for integrated schools, he noted own children attending one).  All of this before he became our youngest president at the age of 42.

      He went on to bust the trusts, create the National Park System, establish the first food safety laws, built the Panama Canal, win a Nobel Peace Prize, forced California to allow Japanese children into "white" schools, invited the first black man to dinner to the White House (Booker T. Washington) and appointed black federal officials, even in the Jim Crow South.

      It is regrettable he lost in 1912, his platform was (based on the norms of his era) the most progressive platform of any major candidate ever.  Beyond that, as the most gifted leader of his age, he and only he was the man capable of stopping World War I from happening.  Instead we were saddled with that racist jackass Thomas Woodrow Wilson.  

      How can you not love a man who after an attempted assassin shoots him at a campaign rally, he doesn't leave the podium for the hospital, saying to the audience, "I will finish this speech or die trying".

      If someone tells you Teddy Roosevel wasn't a great president, back away slowly, they're on PCP-laced crack.

      So yes, TR should have his portrait up permanently, its his house (after all, it was he who changed its official name to the White House).

    •  Keep in mind... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he was a Republican at a time when most of us probably would have aligned with the Republican party.

      (-7.25,-5.95) "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." -Edward R. Murrow

      by adamschloss on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 08:19:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fact check on aisle three. (0+ / 0-)

    There are a number of traditions that are observed in the White House.

    1. The Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington hangs in the East Room (along with Martha).
    1. The Healy portrait of Lincoln hangs at the opposite end of the State Floor in the State Dining Room. Due the the peculiarities of the architecture, if you stand at the right place in the Blue Room, you can see Washington to the East and Lincoln to the West, even though Lincoln is centered over the mantle and Washington is off-center.
    1. The most recent presidents are displayed in the Entrance Foyer and Cross Hall on the State Floor, continuing up the staircase. Truman usually gets a place of honor on the landing as the grand stair gained its present configuration during the Truman renovation. (The most recent First Ladies are displayed in the Ground Floor Corridor).
    1. The "porthole" portrait is usually displayed over the mantle in the oval office.
    1. The equestrian portrait of Teddy Roosevelt and a portrait of FDR are displayed in the Roosevelt room of the West Wing with the appropriate party placed over the mantle, although this can vary. I believe W removed FDR altogether.
    1. The earliest presients are displayed in the parlors on the State Floor (Red, Blue, and Green Rooms) according to the appropriate historical period of the furnishings.
    1. The John Singer Sargent portrait of Teddy Roosevelt remains in the East Room as its architecture dates to the 1902 renovation during his administration (as mangled by the Truman renovation).

    While there is wide latitude for each president, variations are usually limited to which additional portraits are placed in the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and Treaty Room (the president's study in the residence).

    Fuck me once, shame on you. Fuck me twice, shame on me. (In response to the three leading Democratic candidates on LGBT issues.)

    by homogenius on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:15:43 PM PST

  •  Johnson? Oh, my stars! (0+ / 0-)

    TRUE Democrats think the Vietnam War was a bad idea! How can you even think of saying nice things about LBJ? We've uncovered a secret Reaganite in our midst, boys. Now you'll never be President.

    "Are we still, and if so on what grounds, Galilean and Cartesian?" Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy

    by Niky Ring on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:15:54 PM PST

    •  LBJ was NOT a Reaganite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Agree that Johnson really screwed up with Viet Nam and, yes, thats one major fuckup. Socially, however, he was not just a Democrat (as defined in the 50s), but rather progressive.  Consider the following:

      Desegregation & minority rights: running right into the teeth of his own party's opposition (the Dixiecrats) with the Civil Rights Act. This is what started the whole Southern Strategy of today's Repubs.

      Medicare, HeadStart, etc: Actual progressive programs that are still in existence - part of LBJ's "war on poverty."

      Education Benefits: more grants, better schools & access. etc.

      You're welcome to your opinions, but implying that saying good things about LBJ puts one in Ronald Reagan's (or Republican) ideology is flat out wrong.   If your only presidential criteria is war, important though that is, then you must hold Nixon in high regard (he did get us out of Vietnam).

      LBJ info here:

  •  Eleanor Roosevelt and W.E.B. Dubois (0+ / 0-)

    Oops. they weren't "allowed" to be president. My bad. Continue with your stupid, insulting, mindless thread.

  •  Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR and Gore. (0+ / 0-)

    Obama, down the road, if Nevadans help out tomorrow :)

  •  FDR (0+ / 0-)

    And then more FDR.  And when I ran out of FDR portraits, I'd hang FDR stick figures.

    I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

    by RogueJim on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:27:13 PM PST

  •  My pantheon (3+ / 0-)

    Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Hunter S. Thompson.  Journalists are as important to this nation's history as Presidents some of us would argue more so.

  •  Al Gore (0+ / 0-)

    A few people have mentioned Al Gore, so I figured I'd add to the list.  Sam Tilden, George Crawford(I would have had Jackson too, but he had to go and actually win), Aaron Burr.

  •  Can I hang Mitt Romney? (0+ / 0-)

    ...He doesn't have to be the President, just curious...

    (Cmon, most of us have at least thought about

  •  If I were president: (11+ / 0-)

    If you were president, which predecessors’ portraits would you hang?

    I'd hang GWB, and to hell with the portrait!

    Fight the Democratic Culture of Capitulation!

    by Endangered Alaskan Dem on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:34:30 PM PST

  •  There is no doubt Harry S. Truman... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...would have to be considered

    In a country driven by a political climate of fear and moral certainty one man stood alone:  

    Our 33rd President

    -Integrated the armed forces
    -Established President's Committee on Civil Rights
    -Pushed for a Civil Rights Division in Dept. Of Justice to help stop lynchings and abolish poll taxes

    I have stopped using the signature I was using due to the rules of the site.  But there is no doubt this occasion makes it imperative to use it this posting:

    Truman's Conscience

  •  This is actually a very interesting question. (0+ / 0-)

    Disguised as a popularity contest.  Forget about if you were elected president, who among us actually would put a portrait of a political or religious leader up in our homes?  My catholic grandparents had a portrait of Jesus in the living room, but I can't think of any of my current family or friends who have framed up a president ... it's just not done here.  Or is it?

    •  In African American homes of ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...a certain generation, there is often a framed print of RFK, JFK and Martin Luther King together.

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 12:49:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the 1930s and 40s (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      portraits of Franklin Roosevelt abounded in the homes of average people.  

      We have a hard time thinking that way today because it's been so long since we've had a President who actually inspires people.  I suppose Kennedy has some of that allure for some people, but his tenure was so short (and his term so turbulent while he was alive) that portraits of Kennedy in people's homes probably did not appear until after he was dead.  

      Michael J. Fox's 1980s TV character put up a picture of Ronald Reagan over his bed. Perhaps there were actual real people who did disgusting things like that, but I've never met anyone who admits to it.

      •  I don't know anyone who does either. (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't seem like something I'd personally ever do, so it's hard to imagine what set of circumstances would have to come together for me to put up a picture of a politician.  

        Totally unrelated, my son and I were kept waiting in a doctor's office earlier this week so I opened a Newsweek and found a big picture of Barack Obama, handsomely grinning and looking like he was going to throw a football right at the photographer.  I showed it to my son, who asked me was that guy again?  I said, I'll give you a hint - his first name starts with B and his last name starts with O.  My son gave the photo another second of intense scrutiny before guessing "Bob Olson?"  

        So now I kind of want to put that photo up on the fridge and tell everyone I'm considering voting for Bob Olson come November.

    •  I have a framed pic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of Russ Feingold on my phone table.

      Just donated 500 bucks I don't really have to Progressive Patriots Fund and will continue to support it as much as possible.

      by zett on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 12:02:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vice President Clark. (0+ / 0-)

    That's my hope if hope falls though.

  •  Well, I'd have to hang these guys somewhere (0+ / 0-)

    around because Ohio is my home state and we've sent eight Presidents:

    William Henry Harrison – The 9th president. Even though it was raining, he delivered the longest inaugural speech in history.

    Ulysses S. Grant- The 18th president. His first name was really Hiram. [Grant took that middle initial S. after his mother's maiden name.]

    Rutherford B. Hayes – The 19th president. He used federal troops during a railroad strike.

    James A. Garfield – Was the 20th president. He was assassinated and died four months after he took office.

    Benjamin Harrison- Was the 23rd president. He served in the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War.

    William McKinley – Was the 25th president and was liked enough to be voted in for two terms, however someone didn't like him and he was assassinated.

    William Howard Taft – Was the 27th president. Was the only president to also serve on the Supreme Court.

    Warren G. Harding – Was the 29th president who was the owner of the Marion Star newspaper.

    Just for the hell of it... I'd hang Al Gore's portrait someplace prominently.  

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 10:50:34 PM PST

  •  How about Obama's 2002 anti-war speech pic? (0+ / 0-)

    That might be a nice picture for someone to hang up in the White House.

    If Hillary or Edwards wins the WH, perhaps we could put up a picture of them voting for the Iraq War Resolution in the Senate in October of 2002.  Or maybe we could put up one of them giving their impassioned speeches in the Senate for the Iraq War in October of 2002?

  •  FD motherfucking R (0+ / 0-)

    And maybe Truman.

    FDR was a man of great abilities, but his greatness was that civilization needed someone to rise to the challenges of the failue of the old economic system and the war to end all wars, and he did.

    It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

    by fizziks on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:00:50 PM PST

  •  Obama, Reagan, and JFK ... (0+ / 0-)

    Birds of a Feather..... I love those guys.

    "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, every post WWII US President would have been hanged." =Chomsky

    by abenjaminc on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:11:54 PM PST

  •  Here's my list: (0+ / 0-)

    George (you know which one)
    William Jefferson Clinton

    I'm sure there are others that were excellent but I'm no historian so I don't know anything about Hayes - McKinley or Van Buren - Buchanan

    I'm looking at my daughters placemat with the presidents pictures on it, and I have to say they are not a very good looking group. Harrison creeps me out.

    As others have noted I would be more interested in Pictures of non-presidents.

    There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

    by Sacramento Dem on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:15:22 PM PST

  •  Carter.. (0+ / 0-)

    Definatly Carter.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:16:37 PM PST

  •  I would post... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Bill Clinton's...

    But it would be in the hall bathroom

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:17:25 PM PST

  •  My pictures (0+ / 0-)

    Madison (not so much for his presidency), Lincoln, TR, Kennedy (because I like his portrait).

  •  My picks. . . (0+ / 0-)

    John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant (I'd have to; he's a distant cousin), Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, JFK

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 11:39:23 PM PST

  •  Grover Cleveland (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, dolphin777

    because among other things, of his Message to the U.S. Congress of December 18, 1893 concerning The Hawaiian Kingdom investigation.

    It is very well worth reading and very relevant to today.

    The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct governing individual relations between citizens or subjects of a civilized state are equally applicable as between enlightened nations. The considerations that international law is without a court for its enforcement, and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith, instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal, only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong but as a disgrace. A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities; and the United States in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened of nations would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality. On that ground the United States can not properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it can not allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States can not fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation.

    •  No fair, you've been reading the actual history! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As opposed to the phoney-baloney version in most folks'' minds, where Hawaiian history doesn't even exist until the Islands suddenly emerge from the murk just in time to get bombed on December 7, 1941.

      I learned more about Hawaii and conditions in Hawaii from the first few pages of David Stannard's Honor Killing: Race, Rape, and Clarence Darrow's Spectacular Last Case (about the Massie affair) than in all my 18 years of school and college education. And I was born and reared in Hawaii!

      The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “kids for kids”): is a world cultural treasure.

      by lotlizard on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 02:40:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Easy (0+ / 0-)

    Harding and Bush 43. No matter how badly I did the job, I still wouldn't be as bad as either of them.

  •  I'm just answering the question (0+ / 0-)

    FDR and LBJ.

    after the farce comes the tragedy.

    by slouching on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 12:04:04 AM PST

  •  Back to the basics... (0+ / 0-)

    They're not called the founding fathers for nothing.

    "...the basest of all things is to be afraid." William Faulkner

    by flem snopes on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 12:46:08 AM PST

  •  Chester Arthur (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, lotlizard

    Beyond the obvious and already cited, Chester Arthur, perhaps the most underrated President. He created the Civil Service and was the only President in the Nineteenth Century to actually reach out to Native Americans.

  •  It depends on who enters the White House . . . (0+ / 0-)

    If I were President, I would hang a portrait of Alfred E. Bush saying "What Me Worry?"

    Seriously, if Obama it should be Lincoln and all its symbolism, and if Edwards it should be FDR and a return to New Deal policies.

    I am also impressed how often LBJ has been mentioned here and that people are seeing him for the good that he once did and not just Vietnam.

    "us savage Indians"

    just curious what TR did (or didn't do)

  •  My choice is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    George Washington, of course.

  •  US Grant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't care what anyone says about corruption and incompetence.  And he drank too much and even had a touch of the antisemite in him.  Still, establishing Yellowstone National Park, busting the KKK, and getting the Fifteenth amendment passed are all great achievements that deserve more attention.  A lot of people are ready to forgive Johnson for Vietnam because of his achievements on Civil Rights, but few people remember Grant's commitment to helping the freedmen to become citizens, nor that Johnson and the Federal Government would have had no power to enfranchise blacks if it had not been for the very real achievements of the Grant Administration almost a century earlier.

    I also have to admit that I liked the part where before he was president he forced three separate armies of racist traitors to surrender and sent another flying south in disorder.

    Frankly, I think it's Grant's strong record on civil rights more than his administration's corruption that is responsible for his generally low reputation as president.

  •  All of them (0+ / 0-)

    Having war is saying those that fought in the "war to end all wars" died in vain.

    by 88kathy on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 04:31:19 AM PST

  •  There are the "Big Three" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Washington, Lincoln, and FDR. And then there are the rest.

    I'd choose Jefferson, Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton. Founding Fathers who each added something that made the American experiment workable.

    And by the way, no one is perfect.  

    The Spice must Flow!

    by Texdude50 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 04:35:17 AM PST

  •  Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy (0+ / 0-)
  •  Washington, Adams, Jeffereson, Madison, Monroe, (0+ / 0-)

    JQ Adams, Lincoln, WH Harrison, B Harrison, FDR and Carter.

    Adams to remind me that power grabs weren't a 20th/21st century invention.

    The Harrisons since I'm from Indiana.

    The Kucinich Plan (Simplified): 1) Be a Democrat, lead like one, vote like one, think like one and live like one.

    by rjones2818 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 04:56:19 AM PST

  •  How about some votes for James Madison? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberalrob, hockeyrules

    The Father of the Constitution deserves some recognition -- his best work has been so badly desecrated in the last seven years.

  •  Jimmy Carter (0+ / 0-)

    The two best votes I ever cast.

    As I sail against the tide, for what I believe is right.

    by Toes on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 05:11:35 AM PST

  •  Haven't Seen This One Mentioned... (0+ / 0-)

    James K. Polk - Served only one term because he accomplished everything he wanted to in four years.

    Him and some obvious ones


  •  Lincoln, TR, FDR, Truman (0+ / 0-)

    would be a good four, I think

  •  I'd go for the short-lived ones (0+ / 0-)


    Because I don't want my WH to look like yours.

    and then I'd put two portraits of Cleveland up, but space them awkwardly, connoting the nonconsecutive nature of his two-terms.

  •  Dwight D. Eisenhower (0+ / 0-)

    "We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method... we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

  •  George Washington (0+ / 0-)

    After the United States won the revolution, Washington stated that his only ambition was to go back to Mount Vernon and become a private citizen.  King George scoffingly stated "If he does that he'll be the greatest man in history."  He did and he is.

  •  George W. Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Would be my first choice, and I'd put it over the hole inside my outhouse.

  •  part of a few presidents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, MeteorBlades, on environmental matters, TR was more of the conservationist wing (Gifford Pinchot et al) rather than the preservationist wing (John Muir et al). Big difference. Here on Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation, TR is remembered as the president who shamelessly broke the US treaty by opening the rez to white settlement, and then on top of it seized 16,000+ acres of rez land to establish a national bison range -- despite bison having been wiped out by non-Indians. Etc.

    Does that outweigh TR's anti-trust efforts, or establishing the National Forest system, etc.? Maybe not. But it raises the larger point: every single prez did bad stuff. Don't people remember Carter's enabling of the murderous Indonesian assault on East Timor? So any portrait that hangs in a really progressive white house would have to go up with big caveats:

    Washington (for his sense of nation & honor, not slaveowning and role in the assault on native people)
    Jefferson (for his commitment to democracy, not his ditto ditto ditto)
    Lincoln (for ending slavery, not long enabling it & poor conduct of war)
    TR (see above)
    FDR (for the new deal and crushing fascism, not support of Somoza etc)
    Ike (for Little Rock and his farewell speech, not Guatemala, Iran, etc etc)
    LBJ (for civil rights and the great society, not Vietnam)
    Carter (for the "energy crisis" and preserving Alaska, not for East Timor)

    Instead of a portrait of LBJ, I'd have the photo of him meeting with MLK.

    •  Very good points (0+ / 0-)

      Nobody's peerfect and compromise with principles and ideals is inherent in politics.  The best we can hope for from any president is that they have the "right" prinicples and only compromise them when they really have to; that they have the courage to show leadrship in favor of those principles, even when the outcome isn't assured.

  •  Valid points about Theodore Roosevelt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But I'd still hang his portrait in the White House, if for no other reason than it would serve as a demonstration that no president is perfect.  I would put up portraits of Franklin Roosevelt, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln.

    I'd also hang portraits of people who never became president, but whose contributions to history (and my own personal spiritual development) cannot be ignored.  Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Franklin, Quanah Parker, Sequoyah, Jane Pittman, Bernard Shaw, Olaf Stapleton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus of Nazareth (in the form of a desktop Eastern Orthodox icon).

  •  Portraits (0+ / 0-)

    Tyler.  Polk.  Pierce.  Arthur.  Maybe Wilson.

    Because an American president should always be mindful of this country's history.  It is easy to put up a list of presidents who accomplished great things and say, "I hope to live up to these examples."  It is easy to put up a list of presidents who led the country down the wrong path and say, "I will not make the mistakes that were made before me."

    I would put up portraits of the presidents who are all but forgotten, who presided over periods of history that are just segues in our high school history books.  And when someone asked me why I hung Chester A. Arthur on the wall instead of Abraham Lincoln, I would answer, "Because I don't think any Americans should be forgotten."

  •  I'd put up W's portrait (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abra Crabcakeya, roadhaus

    Of course, if I were president he would be serving a life sentence. His portrait would be in his regulation orange jumpsuit showing him behind bars. It would serve as a reminder to me and to future presidents that the constitution is the law of the land not some presidential signing statement.

  •  Kennedy and Obama (0+ / 0-)

    "We, as a Congress, have to stand up to a president who acts like the Bill of Rights and the Constitution were repealed on Sept 11..." - Sen.Russ Feingold

    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 07:18:40 AM PST

  •  Teddy was a Repub (0+ / 0-)

    Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican/BullMoose, but
    not a Democrat

    I'd never go for Reagan -

    That - once was a Democrat then became turncoat
    union busting scumbag.

    I have put him in the ranks with Benedict Arnold.
    Not a portrait - Maybe a dartboard.

    For what he did to this country, and how he left it
    he should have been impeached, and convicted.

    He should have spent his last 20 years in Federal
    prison, like the current buffoon in chief.  

  •  my list (0+ / 0-)
    1. Grover Cleveland
    1. Abe Lincoln
    1. FDR
    1. John Tyler

    Tyler? Heresy. Or not. From his letter to Joseph Simpson, on July 10, 1843, "His Accidency" wrote:

    The United States has adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent — that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgment. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgment of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mohammedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the Constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political institutions... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid... and the Aegis of the government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.

    Powerful sentiment. Hard to believe, if one didn't know better, that the Whig Party evolved into today's GOP.

    it's about biconceptualism ... Obama08

    by wystler on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 07:43:46 AM PST

  •  FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lincoln. Also (0+ / 0-)

    Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and George Washington.  I might also put up a portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy.  She was a great representative for our nation, she went through a lot, and she did it all with incredible dignity and class.

  •  Here goes (0+ / 0-)

    Washington ... obvious

    Jefferson ... The Democratic ideal

    John Quincy Adams ... For his defense in te Amistad case.

    Lincoln ... obvious

    Teddy Roosevelt ... Trust-busting and environmentalism

    FDR ... obvious

    Harry Truman ... Desegregated the military

    JFK ... Inspired the space program

    LBJ ... For pushing civil rights legislation

    (-7.00, -5.18)
    Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

    by admiralh on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 08:19:53 AM PST

  •  I would like to see Bush's (0+ / 0-)

    portrait removed from the White House.  He was definitely not elected in 2000, and probably not in 2004 either.  I'd put FDR (one of the greatest leaders of this or any country), Lincoln, and Gore.

    There is more to truth than increasing its spin

    by hearthmoon on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 08:32:53 AM PST

  •  NONE (0+ / 0-)

    I think it's weird bordering on a Personality Cult to hang the picture of a politician on any wall other than that of library or museum.

    Just so we're clear: I favor Obama

    by David in Burbank on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 08:33:42 AM PST

  •  too bad the Roosevelts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    William Domingo, trinite

    got out of politics.  I heard one speak a few years ago on a political show.  He was up there with Howard Dean.

  •  AL GORE (0+ / 0-)

    (next to Bill, as already mentioned)

  •  Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Lincoln, Wilson (0+ / 0-)

    All Presidents have good points and bad points.  I would emphasize the good:

    Jefferson and Madison laid down the principles on which this country was founded, and Washington set the bar for leadership by example that has never been exceeded.  That alone should guarantee them pride of place.  Lincoln recognized that allowing the South to secede would set such an awful precedent that the country would dissolve into chaos and continual wars into the future, so he made the decision to fight to keep the country together.  Wilson, whatever his domestic failings, recognized the need for a global organization to bring countries together to try to resolve their differences peacefully; the League of Nations was the prototype for United Nations and the first step down the road towards world peace.

    And yes I would try to work in some portraits of Ben Franklin as well.  He was too old to be President, but his practicality and wisdom were indispensable to the formation of the country; and his life was the premier example of the American Dream.

  •  FDR, Truman, LBJ, Clinton...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul in Berkeley

    and one more:


    Sure she had someone thrown out an airlock. Somehow you gotta respect that.

  •  Probably (0+ / 0-)

    Washington, Jefferson, Polk, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Truman, LBJ, Eisenhower (the last decent Republican).

    And Chester A. Arthur, cause, come on, when was the lat time poor Chester A. Arthur got any love? Plus, it would just throw everybody the hell off.

    To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire

    by jadeweasel on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 09:57:00 AM PST

  •  Artistically or historically? (0+ / 0-)

    If we are speaking artistically, my favorite is the portrait of JFK, head bowed, arms folded.  It's a brilliant portrait of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders.  A close second would be any Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington.  

    From a historical perspective, I would try to find one of the daguerreotypes of John Quincy Adams, the first president to be photographed (although not while he was in office).

    From an admiration perspective, Washington again, Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 09:58:07 AM PST

  •  James K. Polk (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, he was a strong president who started an unprovoked war with Mexico that played a major role in the US fulfilling its Manifest Destiny.

    Besides, he was a Democrat.


    "Do not do what you hate" - Tom Fox
    ps. MD=Maryland.

    by KJC MD on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 10:00:00 AM PST

  •  I'd hang portraits of... (0+ / 0-)
    - Warren G. Harding - James Buchanan - Franklin Pierce - Richard Nixon - William Henry Harrison (he died in 30 days) - Bush the Younger - Chester A. Arthur

    As proof that buffoons, charlatans, louts, mistakes, drunkards, crooks, and psychopaths can all attain and hold the office.

    Think of it as a warning.

  •  Top Five? (0+ / 0-)

    Washington, Madison, Lincoln, FDR & Truman.  I might also hang Eisenhower's, but he'd be in a Generals uniform.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Sat Jan 19, 2008 at 11:11:26 AM PST

  •  Jefferson ..... (0+ / 0-)

    after reading the book by John Dos Passos about the 30 years after Jefferson's term in office, and the effect his policies had on the US....IMO, English courses gloss over Dos Passos's innovations in the novel, and ignore a distinctive voice in historical writing .....  IMO, he's worth reading or re-reading, if you haven't looked at his works in a while ....

  •  My List (0+ / 0-)

    I can't think of even one President who didn't do a few things which I don't simply disagree with but find utterly abhorrent. Still, if I had to pick, here is, on balance, my list.

    Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and, just to piss off a lawless court, 2001-2005 President Albert Gore.

  •  T.R. was an R, not a D (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    William Domingo

    Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (IPA: /ˈroʊzəvɛlt/; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), also known as T.R., and to the public (but never to friends and intimates) as Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement. He became President of the United States at the age of 42.

    •  R meant something quite different then than now (0+ / 0-)

      D meant apologists for the south and for racism.  R meant many things to many people, but at its best it was Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D Eisenhower (though I wish Stevenson had beaten him once).

      "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

      by Barth on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 09:17:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Teddy Roosevelt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    William Domingo

    He wasn't a Democrat.He was elected as a Republican and later ran as a member of his own Bull Moose party.

  •  The portraits (0+ / 0-)

    should inspire, and maybe talk to the president just as those hanging in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts, so:

    Franklin D Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt.

    (I gather there is considerable dissent concerning Wilson, a brilliant man and a dreamer. Presidents ned to be judged against their times, not ours.

    Each of these men made the country better and represented the best there is among us.  The pictures which ought not to be posted, the ones who appealed to our worst impulses are, of course, Nixon, Buchanan, Harding, the current Bush, and, sadly, quite a few more) .

    "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

    by Barth on Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 09:14:07 AM PST

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