We’re getting to the end of my quest to read about most of the presidents. It’s been a great way to gain perspective on American history. I’d love it if some of the talking heads would do this. But then they’d all have to admit they’ve been getting paid to talk out their ass for too long.
George H.W. Bush is on deck. I found a book of his letters which should provide some perspective on his life and presidency. I also decided to read about Bill Clinton, even though most books on our 42nd president aren’t worth the lighter fluid needed to burn them. A few weeks back, I voiced some concern about Bob Woodward’s books on the presidents. Starting with Reagan, Woodward seemed interested only in revisiting his glory days with Carl Bernstein and taking the sitting commander-in-chief down a peg. But I also read a few reviews of his book on Clinton, The Agenda. This one is probably the only one I’ve seen that could give me an honest look at Clinton’s presidency.
I’d rather not read a book of Clinton’s letters or those of his successors. Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama are email and text presidents. That makes for some torturous reading, and frankly, I’d rather not read something by the most powerful man in the word with “LOL” prominently featured.
I’m going to have to stop at Clinton, however. Bush and Obama are too recent to be assessed objectively. Most books about them are written by detractors and opponents. Usually, such books aren’t worth lining a cat box with, nor worth the cat’s time to use them for litter.
Also, as strongly as we might feel about the sitting POTUS, the truth is history is the only objective judge of a president. Bush and Obama are two of the most embattled presidents in recent history. Either one can go down in history as another Harry Truman. Just as likely, they can go down as another Franklin Pierce or Rutherford Hayes. At least they are assured of not being the second coming of either James Buchanan (nearly unanimously considered to be the worst president ever) or Warren Harding (a man whose cabinet was so corrupt it made Nixon’s staff look merely unlikeable.) But we’re too close to these men to be honest about their impact. Not everything has taken effect. And the voices of extremists do little more than stir up hysteria and send more rational people diving for the remote in search of the latest Duck Dynasty or The Big Bang Theory.
So this series will finish up in December.
Then I have to go find something else for blog fodder.