Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Trump Administration

Who now gives much thought to the presidency of Warren G. Harding? Who ever did? Not us.
But let us briefly turn our thoughts to our 29th president (while stipulating that we’re certainly no experts on his life or times). Here's our summary notion: Warren G. Harding may have been a problematic president. But the Harding administration was in some ways an impressive one, which served the country reasonably well.
It was possible to say, before Warren G. Harding was elected, that he wasn't particularly well-qualified to be president. And he did turn out as president to have, as we say nowadays, some issues. But his administration was stocked with (mostly) well-qualified men who served with considerable distinction.
President Warren G. Harding
Andrew Mellon was a successful Treasury secretary whose tax reforms and deregulatory efforts spurred years of economic growth. Charles Dawes, the first director of the Bureau of the Budget, reduced government expenditures and, helped by Mellon's economic policies, brought the budget into balance. Charles Evans Hughes as secretary of state dealt responsibly with a very difficult world situation his administration had inherited—though in light of what followed in the next decade, one wishes in retrospect for bolder assertions of American leadership, though in those years just after World War I, they would have been contrary to the national mood.
In addition, President Harding's first two Supreme Court appointments—William Howard Taft and George Sutherland—were distinguished ones. And Harding personally did some admirable things: He made pronouncements, impressive in the context of that era, in favor of racial equality; he commuted the wartime prison sentence of the Socialist leader, Eugene V. Debs. In these ways, he contributed to an atmosphere of national healing and civility.
Read the rest from Bill Kristol HERE.

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