Bob Plain is the editor/publisher of Rhode Island's Future. Previously, he's worked as a reporter for several different news organizations both in Rhode Island and across the country.

4 responses to “Most Progressive POTUS”

  1. PinkHatLib

    Hmm, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, closure of newspapers, arrest of political rivals, opening and censorship of mail, extrajudicial executions? If modern Republican did those things would you call them progressive?

    If you’re going to excuse all that and list Obama (who did more than just coddle the banks btw), why not list Nixon? I think I’d put his progressive accomplishments up against Obama’s.

    1. jgardner

      Extrajudicial executions? No wonder Obama admires Lincoln so much.

  2. jgardner

    “Washington was the first and a fearless general, but just because he came clean about cutting down the cherry tree does not entirely absolve his environmental crime.”
    He did turn down pleas to become king. That has to be worth something. 

    “Lincoln, on the other hand, ended America’s greatest atrocity: slavery.”
    Not by design. Lincoln was focused on keeping the union together. If freeing the slaves helped towards that end, then that’s what he did.

    1. PinkHatLib

      Gordon S. Wood had list to say about Washington (full piece well worth a read btw)….

      – quote —
      The political world was changing, becoming democratic, and parties, not great men, would soon become the objects of contention. To be sure, the American people continued to long for great heroes as leaders, and from Jackson through Eisenhower they have periodically elected Washington-manqués to the presidency.

      But democracy made such great heroes no longer essential to the workings of American government. And Washington, more than any other single individual, was the one who made that democracy possible. As Jefferson said “the moderation and virtue of a single character . . .probably prevented this revolution from being closed, as most others have been, by a subversion of that liberty it was intended to establish.”
      Washington was an extraordinary heroic man who made rule by more ordinary mortals possible. He virtually created the presidency, and gave it a dignity that through the years it has never lost. But, more important, he established the standard by which all subsequent presidents have been ultimately measured—not by the size of their electoral victories, not by their legislative programs, and not by the number of their vetoes, but by their moral character. Although we live in another world than his, his great legacy is still with us.
      – end quote —

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