The White House website has always featured biographies of past presidents. The biographies are largely designed for students, so they can research the history of the White House occupants; the text is taken from The Presidents of the United States of America, by Michael Beschloss and Hugh Sidey.
Now, however, President Obama has decided that those other presidential biographies weren’t complete without a sentence about him. Seriously. As it turns out, all past presidents are just a window into President Obama’s grand accomplishments. Here are some examples:
- President Calvin Coolidge: “On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.” The creation of the FCC wasn’t even one of Coolidge’s top ten accomplishments as president. But it allows Obama to brag about how he uses Facebook, so now it’s one of Coolidge’s most important achievements.
- President Herbert Hoover: “President Herbert Hoover signed the bill founding the Department of Veterans Affairs July 21, 1930. President Obama is committed to making sure that the VA, the second-largest cabinet department, serves the needs of all veterans and provides a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life, and has directed his Administration to modernize the way health care is delivered and benefits are administered for our nation’s veterans. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.” President Obama, you’ll notice, didn’t talk about continuing Hoover’s Keynesian economic policies, which helped to prolong the Great Depression. But he does like veterans!
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt: “On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama Administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.” Once again, Obama ignores his actual similarities to FDR – driving a bad economy into a drainage ditch. FDR’s Social Security was supposed to provide for widows and orphans; Obama’s will be bankrupt within a few years.
- President Harry S. Truman: “In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has ‘an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.’ He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama Administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.” Somehow, it’s doubtful that Harry Truman was an advocate of open homosexuals in the military. But we should just be thankful that President Obama didn’t compare Truman’s decision to use the hydrogen bomb to the Bin Laden raid. Gutsy call!
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “President Dwight Eisenhower established the President’s Council on Youth Fitness on July 16, 1956 (now known as The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports) after learning from a study that American youth were less fit than European youth. Today the Council is still going strong–with Olympians and professional athletes on board–working in conjunction with the First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to help promote healthier lifestyles.” Eisenhower also ended the war in Korea, by the way, and led a strong and prosperous American economy for eight years. But the key to his presidency is that he didn’t like fat – just like Michelle!
- President John F. Kennedy: “President John F. Kennedy famously suggested the American people: ‘Ask what you can do for your country.’ In 1961, the Peace Corps was created, facilitating service among citizens working toward peace in developing countries. In 2011, President Obama celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps with a Presidential Proclamation.” Well, Obama is just like JFK – he issued a presidential proclamation celebrating something relatively irrelevant that JFK once did!
- President Lyndon B. Johnson: “President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare signed into law in 1965–providing millions of elderly healthcare stability. President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the ‘donut hole.'” By “strengthens Medicare,” Obama means cuts $500 billion from Medicare, apparently. By the way, how’s that war on poverty thing going?
- President Richard M. Nixon: “In 1973, Richard Nixon created The President’s Export Council, which was expanded and reconstituted under President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Today the PEC continues to work towards reaching President Obama’s goal of doubling the nation’s exports by 2014’s end.” Good to know that government programs never die, they just fade into irrelevance by continuing to push for the same policies over the course of four decades.
- President Gerald R. Ford: Apparently, there were no similarities between Obama and Gerald Ford. Except, perhaps, that they both like golf.
- President Jimmy Carter: “In 1977, President Jimmy Carter created the Department of Energy; today the DOE works with the Obama Administration to drive towards innovation in energy and reducing reliance on foreign oil with an ‘all of the above’ approach.” Aside from the fact that this is a simple lie – the Obama Administration has done more to stop oil drilling than any administration in American history – it’s somewhat hilarious to see Obama pick the Department of Energy example as his closest resemblance to the Carter presidency. It’s sort of like saying that Obama is like Jeremiah Wright in that they both attended church sometimes. It’s true, but it misses the relevant details.
- President Ronald Reagan: “President Reagan designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday; today the Obama Administration honors this tradition, with the First and Second Families participating in service projects on this day … In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.” Nothing about the Cold War. Nothing about the most audacious tax cuts and largest peacetime economic boost in national history. Obama’s actually calling Reagan a class warrior, just like him.
- President George H.W. Bush: “President Barack Obama awarded George H.W. Bush the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, for his commitment to service and ability to inspire volunteerism throughout the country, encouraging citizens to be ‘a thousand points of light.’ The administration continues to promote service and civic engagement, honoring heroes of local communities as ‘Champions of Change’ and fostering civic participation.” Sure, President George H.W. Bush was president – but the highlight of his life was surely receiving a medal from President Obama.
- President Bill Clinton: “Continuing his work as a lifelong public service, Clinton created the Clinton Foundation in 2001 to improve global health, education, economies and environments. Affectionately calling him ‘Do-Gooder-in-Chief’, President Obama has worked with Clinton to make buildings in our country more efficient–announcing a $4 billion investment in energy efficiency upgrades for commercial buildings.” Tactfully eschewing any actual Clinton policies during the 1990s – such as using government to bully political enemies, emboldening American enemies, covering up all administration wrongdoing, and using the office of the presidency as a personal piggybank – Obama instead focuses on Clinton’s post-presidential career. He also neglects to mention that half his appointments are Clinton holdovers. But Clinton has raised money for Africa, so there’s that.
- President George W. Bush: “In 2002, President George W. Bush’s State of the Union was the first to be live broadcast on the Internet. In 2011 and 2012, President Obama’s State of the Union speeches were available in an enhanced live stream version that featured infographics, charts and data side-by-side in real time with the President’s speech.” Obama thinks the only similarity between his policies and Bush’s is that they both used the internet. Unreal.
There you have it: Obama In History, or #ObamaInHistory as it’s trending on Twitter. An arrogant president who thinks that every president of the last 80 years was just fate’s foreshadowing of the ultimate White House occupant. This is a president trying to buy legitimacy on the backs of others and trying to connect himself to predecessors who largely would have shunned his policies. Perhaps we should just be grateful that he decided not to insert himself in President Lincoln’s biography: “President Lincoln maintained the Union and disestablished slavery. President Obama once thought about growing a beard!”