This Is a Blog: Smart People Ruin Everything. Ruiners.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Smart People Ruin Everything. Ruiners.

Part 8 of 12: Wilson to Hoover

In 1912, everything seemed to work for William Jennings Bryan. Two Constitutional Amendments (Income Tax [XVI] and popular election of senators [XVII]) that he led through Congress were on their way to becoming the first Amendments ratified since 1870. TR had returned to wrestle the White House from Taft, resulting in both men losing the election and the Republican Party losing its most ardent reformers. His handpicked candidate had finally won the White House, and he was about to be sworn in as Secretary of State. Before the end of his time in office, two more of his Amendments (Prohibition [XVIII] and Women’s Suffrage [XIX]) would be ratified and his tireless collecting of foreign armistice treaties would help form the League of Nations. Well, good for Bryan, cuz everyone else got fucked.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (Governor, Democrat) 1913-1921 (re-elected) VP: Thomas Marshall; FL: wife Ellen (died), wife Edith

A genius political science scholar, Wilson positioned himself as the new head of his party, thereby making his chief responsibility to guide Democrats in Congress, and by extension Democrats in state government. Mr. Smarty Pants missed a fundamental flaw in his plan, though. His reforms would only work if Wilson himself was president. Now watch as his successors, scared of change, roll back every single reform.

Warren Gamaliel Harding (Senator, Republican) 1921-1923 (died) VP: Calvin Coolidge; FL: wife Florence

Harding deftly won by making everyone afraid of how smart Wilson was and opposing basically every reform since Hayes. He deferred authority to Congress and gave high offices to his buddies, who subsequently tried to sell off the country piece by piece. Rumor has it, his wife found out his buddies’ scandals were about to come out, so she [allegedly] poisoned him to spare him the embarrassment. Historians now believe had he not died, he could have actually defended himself, instead of dying in disgrace.

John Calvin Coolidge (VP, Republican) 1923-1929 (inherited then re-elected) VP: Charles Dawes; FL: wife Grace

Coolidge was the first “radio President” (I’m quoting myself because hopefully I just made up that term). He was a crappy politician and an even worse public speaker, so he took to the airwaves to get the people to support his policies. It worked, and he remains one of history's most popular presidents. Unfortunately, Genius Boy’s Roaring ‘20s spending led to the Depression. Oh, also, he kept us out of The League of Nations and World Court, resulting in the ultimate dissolution or de-balling of both. Way to kill peace, douche.

Herbert Clark Hoover (Sec. of Commerce, Republican) 1929-1933 (just 1 term) VP: Charles Curtis; FL: wife Lou (I’m guessing it’s short for Louisa)

You’d think a Sec. of Commerce would be able to keep us out of a Depression. So did the American people. He did what his giant brain told him would save us, and he failed miserably. I guess these things happen. Oh, but he built a sweet dam.

Next Up – FDR to Ike: Don't Fight the Future

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