Professor Eismeier beat me to the punch on Hayward's thoughts on the presidency.
Truth be told, I really enjoyed his article on modernizing conservatism in America. I thought he was reasonable, rational, and intelligent in his argument. When we visited him, I felt like he was a nice guy and someone who knew a significant amount on his subject. But apparently, he should stick to that subject because this presidential business? It just ain't working out.
(WARNING: IDEOLOGICAL CHAOS ABOUT TO BREAK LOOSE)
This article, which I stumbled on while doing the morning news rounds for work, is on Hayward's recent contribution to the Rush Limbaugh Library of America. In it, he assesses the presidents from Wilson forward, grading them on their commitment to "preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution of the United States."
Cool. I'll read.
The highest scorer? Calvin Coolidge--president extraordinaire whose silent nature and general refusal to tinker with anything left him the closest thing we've ever had to a mannequin in the White House. Lost in the noise of the Roaring Twenties were A) him and B) the fiscal policies (or lack there of) his administration laid down.
They're lost because Herbert Hoover was president when his predecessor's act was revealed to be nothing but a dog-and-pony show. But I can't say I'm surprised with the grade: in true government-is-the-worst-thing-ever fashion, Monsieur do-nothing gets an A+.
Among the men who flunked Mr. Hayward's course? Just about every Democrat to serve in the 20th Century. Wilson; FDR; Johnson; Carter; and Clinton. Oh, and Obama? He gets "a provisional F."
To quote Harry Truman, one of the only Dems who escaped Hayward's rath (I assume with an F+): The buck stops here, Mr. Hayward. If you want to go after FDR, fine. I love the guy, but he got into more trouble with the Constitution than just about any other president--laws struck down, court packing scandals, being the reason for the 22nd Amendment. I get that. But not every single Democrat. There is nothing about this that doesn't reek of ridiculous partisan blabber, and frankly, I expect more.
Look, I'm partisan. I don't need to remind anyone of that. But I'm going to let that show on my issue stances and with the ballot. I want everyone to decide for themselves. If that means you're a conservative, great! As long as you arrived at that point on your own. Unfortunately though, that's happening less and less today. We're getting our sources of information from people with incredible biases to the left and to the right. In terms of educating people about things--as Mr. McCurry said yesterday--the partisanship has just gone too far. And this is another example.
Mr. Hayward, you mentioned bridging the gap between parties to get things done. We can start with you choosing not to write something like this.