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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:37 PM
Original message
Most important Presidency in American history...
My vote would be Andrew Jackson...

In many ways the first modern Presidency...

Dramatic expansion in executive power in relation to the Congress...

--First use of the veto for reasons of policy

--Solidified the notion that executive department heads worked at the pleasure of the President

--First articulation of the notion that the President was the direct representative of the American people, superseding COngress in that capacity..

--First appeal to public opinion for support on a political issue (Bank war...successfully)

Politically

--Birth of the modern Democratic Party

--Birth of the modern political party structure

--Birth of modern campaign techniques

--Expansion of machine politics

Certainly there have been other watershed Presidencies since, but they mainly clarified and amplified what Jackson first did.

Washington would be a close second just because he was first, and set many precedents himself...but mainly in terms of issues of protocol vis a vis other branches...and mainly for his decision to go with Alexander Hamilton's economic system..




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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. OMG! I agree with everything you've said.
I feel a surge of optimism flowing through me. I just logged on and this was the first post I read and it is good. Maybe I should log off before it's too late.

Thank you. :patriot:
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Glad you liked it...
I expected eveyone to say who their choice was!
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. And Washington famously stepped down.
He preemptively struck down the imperial presidency.
I hope our next president will become the most important by restoring the Constitution, dismantling all of the domestic surveillance and militarization and secrecy, both here and abroad, stripping corporations of individual rights, taking private money out of public politics and taking the nation into a sustainable future.
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countmyvote4real Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. That's where I was going from the OP headline.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 09:59 PM by countmyvote4real
It will be the next one (or one in the distant future) that finally turns the BFEE crap around and restores our democracy as well as our role as an honest broker in foreign policy. Sad to say, it could take decades to undo the damage of this administration and their compliant legislature/judicial cronies.
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evlbstrd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Funny How I picked up on that,
Drafting Al Gore would be a good start.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. This one.
The SCOTUS has never done anything like Bush vs Gore and then say it 'don't mean jack'. Ain't no big thing. Watch the last 2 years closely
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. That's What I Was Thinking
In the same sense that Hitler has turned out to be one of the the most influential persons in history.
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Melynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. I was thinking the same thing
Only two more years for the current gang to do their thing. A Democratic Congress might stop them.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. And a loooong "trail of tears" nt
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Definitely...
Jackson's Indian removal policy was the great stain on his Presidency...no doubt about it!
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
10. Would have to be Washington, no?
He could have molded into about anything he wanted. Overall, he did pretty well.

Influential in a bad way, Lincoln's election led to 600,000 deaths. Who knows how many great books, pieces of art, music, great theories the world missed because of those 600,000 deaths.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. I beg to differ on Lincoln...
It wasn't his election that caused 600,000 deaths, but the south's illegitimate reaction to it that caused 600,000 deaths...

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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #15
22. Lincoln could have
just let them go in peace. That was certainly an option.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #10
30. That little inconvenience called slavery ended
Edited on Fri Aug-11-06 12:52 AM by ZombyWoof
Those 600,000 did not die in vain.

The war ended slavery, when compromise after compromise, beginning with Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence and its emancipation clause being struck by committee, to Missouri in 1820, to the failure of Bleeding Kansas... say what you will, but the war, due to Lincoln's political acumen, did what all of the previous failures of political will could not: It freed enslaved human beings.

I think of all the great music, art, literature, theories and other contributions of African Americans since then that would have not been possible had the slaves not been freed. Our culture is MUCH richer for the presence and enduring contributions of the descendents of ex-slaves. For the sake of staying true to one of the founding ideals of freedom, to prevent any further hypocrisy and mockery of liberty and due process, this nation should not have endured one more moment of forced servitude than it did.

I have read your Confederate apologia on DU long enough. It is grotesque and insane.
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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
12. My choice would be FDR
His expansion of the federal government to deal with depression and war coupled with his modernization of the communication structure of the White House created the Presidency that most of us have grown up with. I will admit Jackson did quite a bit as well though.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Take a look at Arthur Schesinger's book on the Jacksonian era..
He argues FDR's New Deal is an extension of Jacksonianism...very interesting. Actually one of the watershed looks at Jackson and his era.

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. Don't forget the destruction of the second BUS . . .
Which precipitated the depression of the late 1830s and early 1840s.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. Yeah I think I alluded to that...
Talking about taking an issue to the American people...

Actually it was more the reaction of Nicholas Biddle, President of the BUS, constricting credit in an effort to pressure Democrats in Congress to re-charter the bank, that precipitated the depression. It was financially unnecessary to do so!

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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. Washington
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. William Henry Harrison. Important because he had no time to fuck things up
Tyler, on the other hand, died as a sitting member of the Confederate Congress.
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
19. The next one after the asshole we have in there now
I really believe that, for that is the one that will affect our posterity.
And he/she better get it right.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I'm surprised anyone wants to be the the next one.
s/he will face an unprecedented challenge. :kick:
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Important he said not greatest
so I stand by what I said.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #21
35. I didn't challenge what you said.
:shrug:
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IChing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. I know but that is why we always have to
Edited on Sat Aug-12-06 02:46 AM by IChing
save elmer....... :toast: :rofl: :rofl:



sorry elmer couldn't resist forgive me

But I stand that the next one is the most important as you agree sorry for the misunderstanding my friend.
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CrushTheDLC Donating Member (448 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
23. Hard to narrow it down to one.
George Washington could be labeled as the obvious choice for the first President, but Thomas Jefferson could have done just as well.

FDR. What other president could take this country through both the Great Depression and most of the way through the biggest war in history.

JFK and the Cuban missile crisis. (Just imagine Chimpy in the Oval Office then :scared: ) Had JFK finished his 8 years, we would have a much better world today. Especially if Bobby had also had his chance.

Jimmy Carter got stuck with an economic disaster that resulted from Vietnam, Watergate, and the first fake oil crisis. Yet he remains the only President to get any peace agreements between Israel and a Muslim nation (Egypt in this case.) What more could he have done in that area if he had a second term in 1980.

All great in different ways
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Well I don't argue Jackson was the greatest...
Just that his Presidency was the most important...
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. Jefferson's presidency was the greatest of mixed bags
His first term was largely successful, mainly due to the questionably (especially to Jefferson himself) constitutional move of purchasing Louisiana from Napoleon, and the fabled Lewis & Clark expedition.

But his second term is one of the worst second terms in American history, and set the precedent for failed second terms. The Embargo Act of 1807 nearly broke the American economy, and the backlash was so fierce that Jefferson left office as one of the most unpopular presidents of all time. It was designed to break Britain, and failed spectacularly. Jefferson left his successor and good friend James Madison with the fallout - including a useless war and a slow and unsteady recovery.

I can never rank Jefferson - much as I find him an endlessly fascinating person to study and dissect - as one of the best or most influential presidents. He himself agreed, by omitting this chapter of his life from his epitaph.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #32
43. Madison supported the sanctions
and continued variations, so I would hardly say Jefferson left Madison with the fallout. In addition, the Federalists of the time were just as big a jack-asses as they are today, ranting about the French loving Jefferson & Madison and assuring Britain that they just had to wait and the embargo would be lifted. Even though the sanctions didn't work at the time, they did set the precedent of neutrality, not siding with Britain particularly, but any power at all; and not rushing into war. Possibly the benefit of the precedent means more than the temporary economics.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
24. The first autocrat to run as a populist?
?
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Well if you were Henry Clay or Daniel Webster you might say that...
Jackson would accuse the (future) Whigs in Congress of being the Autocrats...

Jackson viewed himself, and history has usually portrayed him as a man of the people...

I think he is the most interesting President we have ever had!
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Sounds like Jackson believed his own PR
Of course, considering that the Senate was not popularly elected at that time (it was elected by State legislatures), he may have seen himself as fighting an old boy elite that he wasn't a part of.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. That was certainly part of it no doubt...
He spent one year as a Senator and hated it...

He was also fighting what he termed eastern monied elites during the Bank War...
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. What actually happened with bank war?
...
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darkworkz Donating Member (211 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. It would be interesting...
If the US public decided that it was time to have a Jacksonian style bank war II.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. Well...
Jackson, through earlier experience with speculation gone bad had always been very suspicious of banks. When he became President he had some evidence that the BUS had been using it's power to work against him in the Presidential election. The evidence for that is inconclusive, but Nicholas Biddle, President of the BUS foolishly did not take Jackson's complaints seriously.

Eventually Jackson became convinced the Bank must die, and vetoed the re-charter bill passed in COngress. His veto message is very famous because it is the first time it proffered the notion that the President was the sole representative of all the people, and for the first time talked about the power of monied elites over the common man.

The re-charter veto was sustained. Jackson then began removing government deposits and putting them in handpicked state banks. Biddle attempted to get COngress to pass another re-charter with a veto proof margin by restricting crdit and precipitating the depression. It backfired and the Bank died.

Jackson won the battle, but eventually central banking was restored with the federal deposit system in 1911.

A really interesting part of history that not too many remember.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Thanks for the refresher.
I enjoyed reading it.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
27. nope.
it's the next one

who will either restore our country and prevent debacles like the coup of 2000 and the last five years of wanton pillaging


or he (and I do mean "he") will not.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
36. Most important Presidency in American history will be the next one!
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Hawkowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 02:35 AM
Response to Original message
38. Important but not in a good way
I remember Jackson most for the "Trail of Tears". The forced relocation of South Eastern U.S. Indian tribes to Oklahoma so their ancestral homelands in Alabama and Georgia could be stolen. Against the direct ruling of the Supreme Court. Thousands died and he set a precedent for the rest of the 19th century genocidal treatment of Native Americans.

His presidency might be called the first "Imperial Presidency".
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. Well I am not sure I would go that far...
I do think some of these things Jackson did were necessary (veto etc)...

His destruction of the Bank was shortsighted and done for largely personal reasons.

There is no doubt that his Indian removal policy is the great stain on his Presidency. It was a forced ethnic cleansing, no different that what Milosevic was attempting in Kosovo.

However, to be accusrate, if not fair...the Trail of Tears itself was more the direct result of incompetence on the part of those in the government responsible for the removal. Certainly you could argue neglect on Jackson's part for not monitoring the process...and certainly the whole thing would not have occurred but for the removal policy.

And there is some evidence that Jackson did have some compassion for the Indians. He adopted an orphaned Indian boy during the Red Stick War. Robert Remini argues that Jackson was at least a little concerned that Indian culture be preserved and did not see that happening in the east with further White encroachment on their lands. I don't find that argument particularly persuasive however. This argument ignores that the Cherokee's had largely adopted white ways by that time.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 02:59 AM
Response to Original message
40. "Among The Americans"
Edited on Sat Aug-12-06 03:08 AM by impeachdubya
Funny, I was just listening to this song yesterday, for the first time in many years.

http://www.alwaysontherun.net/10k.htm#9

dance to the sun
a kiss to the earth
embrace a stone

come the small black book
come the brandy cask
one strange disease
the well worded paper
signed by the drunken
hands of thieves

and suddenly
they were told to leave

as the snake uncoiled on a road
the length was eighty miles
wagons' weary horses
lead the feverish exiles
barefoot in the early snow
on a ridge
where they beheld their home
coarse and barren
not the haven
promised by the Father

Jaksa Chula Harjo * X3

the Red Sticks first and
the Dancing Ghosts were
pierced with arms of fire
and the weeping widows
left could not avenge
so the Western Star manifest its will
drove them clear into the Pacific O

gone the way of flesh
turned pale and died
by your god's decree

for he hated me

* Cherokee name for Andrew Jackson the 7th president of the U.S.A.


Now, none of 'em were perfect. Personally, my choice is always gonna be Thomas Jefferson- for the clear light of his philosophical reason. I'm not sure this notion of a strong, singular executive with such concentrated power was or is always such a wonderful idea.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
42. second only to bush
Its lovely to hear stories from the first republic, before
the plutocratic takeover by the corporate agency problem.
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