Geroge Washington is Governor Bob McDonnell’s favorite president.  He spoke of him in his acceptance speech and quoted him during his inagural  speech.  Strange that McDonnell would chose Washington who was a federalist.  Jeff Shapiro of the Richmond Times Dispatch has an interesting take on McDonnell’s hero.

How is McDonnell’s choice of Washington as a favorite president inconsistent with McDonnell’s own principles? Is it possible to admire someone who politically disagrees with us? Or can we evaluate a person in the times they lived, using those standards, rather than our own?

8 Thoughts to “Governor McDonnell’s Favorite President”

  1. Poor Richard

    Guess we better not try a Whiskey Rebellion (although some might
    enjoy that fine beverage more than the one served at a Tea Party).

  2. I expect there just might be some moonshine at any given Tea Party gathering. Hmmmmmm

  3. Wolverine

    You are getting me all confused with this. Gave up the sauce long ago. I’m a Tea Party guy who prefers coffee. Doggone modern politics can drive you up the wall!!!

    G. Washington was a pretty stand-up guy. He didn’t think much of political parties either. I think he would be climbing up the wall if he could come back today. Heck, he would probably flee in horror into the Pennsylvania backwoods and start nipping with the Whiskey Rebellion guys.

  4. They probably all would. Imagine TJ. Shudder. First thing to kill him off would be his academic village.

  5. Elena

    VERY interesting. I believe what Washington believed holds just as true today. We all love our individual rights, but what makes us strong is when we unite as one country as a community. I wonder if McDonnel saw this piece. Great find M-H!

  6. Wolverine

    I think that Moon’s last sentence in the thread is key here. The Federal government in Washington’s time had a much narrower spectrum of interests. It had been hoped that the Constitution would overcome the problems of unity created by the Articles of Confederation and thereby draw a firmer definition of federal vs state powers. Yes, Washington was part and parcel of the attempt to define those Federal powers and ensure that they were well understood and accepted by the politicians and populace. However, I do not think that Washington would have been in support of a lot of what we have done over the past 100+ years to skew the game in favor of the Feds. In certain areas such as civil rights, women’s rights, and the like, he probably would ; but I cannot imagine him ever accepting the idea of Federal control of or direct influence over such a wide swath of the private sector as we are seeing now. He and TJ would have likely been allied on that.

    But, what the hey, that was then; and Moon hit the key point. Personally, I think the RTD guy put too much empahasis on the Whiskey Rebellion without adding a much wider historical context. He should have gone a bit further and thrown in the Aliens and Sedition Act under John Adams, when federal power was rightly resisted and beaten back. I think Elena and I have agreed on this in a past thread: we have to have both the “collective” and indivual liberties in mutually agreed upon balance and operating hand in hand in order for our society to work beneficially for everyone. Otherwise we just become a bunch of clawing tomcats in a gunny sack.

  7. Good imagry, Wolverine. I would have liked to have seen more on the Whiskey rebellion also. I have always thought that we need to evaluate those in the past by their standards rather than our own. Too many people want to apply modern standards and haul away our past icons and hang them out in the public square in accordance with out current political correctness.

    How will we be evaluated by our own posterity?

  8. […] wisdom, Moonhowler of Moonhowlings takes on an elected hard right, Conservative, wingnut idiot in Governor McDonnell’s Favorite President.  Geroge Washington is Governor Bob McDonnell’s favorite president.  He spoke of him in his […]

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