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August 04, 2003

The Ugly Americans

Right Wing New has already posted the compiled list, but I thought I'd post the list I submitted, which consisted of the 20 or so names I came up with after cogitating on the problem for about ten minutes.

Most are obvious. I'll add an explanatory note to those that in my opinion might not be quite as clear.

Benedict Arnold
Aaron Burr
General George McClellan - His dithering cost the Union its chance to bring an early end to the Civil War.
Jane Fonda - Read this account at Snopes. If this had happened in any war other than Vietnam, Jane Fonda would have been tried and executed for treason.
Senator Joseph McCarthy
Senator Robert Byrd - An unrepentant Klansman
Boss Tweed
Jonathan Pollard - There are lots of spies. His name was the first that came to mind.
Robert McNamara - The architect of Vietnam.
Henry Kissenger
Richard Nixon
Jimmy Carter - Worst president since Harding, and during a much more critical time.
Colonel John Chivington - The Sand Creek Massacre.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney - Dred Scott
Julius Rosenberg - Ethel was out of the loop.
Timothy McVeigh
J. Edgar Hoover
John Wilkes Booth
Lee Harvey Oswald - I almost replaced his name with "The JFK Assassin," but it smacked a little too much of the cornball conspiracist. Besides, J. Edgar's already on the list.

I didn't put a lot of thought into this, but I tried to avoid naked political partisanship, which to my mind is the only reason Bill Clinton ranks so high on the final list. I'm not saying he might not deserve to be there, just that he's on the list for the same reason Dubya would be if "Left Wing News" had conducted the poll. Not enough time has passed since his time in office to permit a reasoned judgment. It's the same deal with Hillary.

Posted by Bigwig at August 4, 2003 11:35 PM | TrackBack
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Hillary Clinton is ranked with Timothy McVeigh and Lyndon Johnson. The people who came up with that gem need help... quickly.

Posted by: ExpatEgghead at August 5, 2003 01:07 AM

Your picks make a more sense that the final poll result, which says more about the right wing of the blogosphere than any of the names of the list.

Posted by: Tim Hall at August 5, 2003 06:26 PM

Not that I'm a big Robert Byrd fan, but isn't he actually a repentant Klansman?

Posted by: Ed Cone at August 5, 2003 11:19 PM

If you can find a fairly authoritative source that details him apologizing for his Klan ties, I'll accept it. But when I went looking, mostly what I found were stories along these lines.

I realize the default assumption is that he must have apologized somewhere along the line for his Klan ties; I held the same opinion at one time.

But the more I look, the less likely it seems.

Posted by: bigwig at August 6, 2003 01:27 AM

I don't care for MacCllellan myself, and the reasons you state for dislikeing him are valid, but the reality is, if we had a vigorous commander in 1861-1862 who did what was necessary he would probably have been jailed for doing what he did, and the war would have to be fought all over again 20 years later with more advanced weapons and even more casualties.

Prior to Jan 1, 1863 the goal of the Licoln administation was to preserve the union as it was. Only after Shilo and Malvern hill did public opinion in the north begin to recognize that the cause of the war needed to be erradicated by its end.

Mac was a competent beurocrat of the time that is needed in creating a mass army. The south already had several beserkers, and after mac, the north would find some of its own. As much as it pains me to admit it, Mac was the right man in the right spot at the right time to do the specific job that needed to be done. Mac ddin't prolong the war, he just wasn't the man to end it, and at the time, ending it was not the best idea. The EP came later, and Sherman came later.

Posted by: Steven at August 6, 2003 10:03 AM

i'm not going to look for a Byrd apology because it wouldn't be conclusive evidence of repentance anyway -- what else could he say, i'm proud of my service to the klan? my assumption of repentance is his ongoing political career in hte party that markets itself and is perceived by many in both parties, as being highly dedicated to the interests of black people. meanwhile strom thurmond, to choose just one example, left the democrats over desegregation. so that is my lukewarm argument for the repentence of a man i've spent more time thinking about in the last three minutes than in i had in my previous 41 years.

Posted by: ed cone at August 6, 2003 10:21 AM

Interesting that you put Sen. Byrd on your list for his Klan ties, but you don't have Nathan Bedford Forrest, who founded the KKK after serving as a general in an armed insurrection against the United States (or, for that matter, anyone else who participated in said insurrection).

Posted by: Thlayli at August 7, 2003 12:33 AM

They weren't Americans, Thlayli. They were Confederates. :)

I did consider adding NBF, but I could never verify the Klan founder thing to my satisfaction.

Posted by: bigwig at August 7, 2003 12:53 AM
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