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Comparing and Contrasting President’s Obama and Hayes

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

A couple of days ago, Obama decided that criticizing George Bush wasn’t enough. Obama detests all Republicans, so he decided to go after one of the originals, Rutherford B. Hayes. Obama was using one of Hayes’ “statements” about the telephone to contrast it with his green energy policy today.

I thought it might be useful to contrast the two Presidents.

I did some research on the internet, and pulled from several sources. Who does this sound like?

insisted that his appointments must be made on merit, not political considerations. For his Cabinet he chose men of high caliber, but outraged many because one member was an and another had bolted the party .

Obama or Hayes?

Here is the full paragraph from the biography page at

Hayes insisted that his appointments must be made on merit, not political considerations. For his Cabinet he chose men of high caliber, but outraged many Republicans because one member was an ex-Confederate and another had bolted the party as a Liberal Republican in 1872.

That’s definitely not Obama.

Hayes wasn’t stupid. He went to Kenyon and Harvard Law. Recall, this was the 1800's. Not too many people went to college. His wife went to college. He also fought, and was wounded, in the Civil War, attaining the rank of general. That’s not Obamaesque.

Then there is this. Hayes favored State’s Rights. He was a conservative, both judicially and fiscally. That’s not Obamaesque.

Hayes pledged protection of the rights of Negroes in the South, but at the same time advocated the restoration of “wise, honest, and peaceful local self-government.” This meant the withdrawal of troops. Hayes hoped such conciliatory policies would lead to the building of a “new Republican party” in the South, to which white businessmen and conservatives would rally.

Many of the leaders of the new South did indeed favor Republican economic policies and approved of Hayes’s financial conservatism, but they faced annihilation at the polls if they were to join the party of Reconstruction. Hayes and his Republican successors were persistent in their efforts but could not win over the “solid South.”

On Friday, Obama issued an Executive Order that could be construed as trying to turn our government into an interventionist, over reaching and meddling force similar to a totalitarian state.

Hayes didn’t hate technology. He embraced it. He had the first typewriter and telephone in the White House. Obama berated Hayes because of his urban legend statement about the phone, ” ‘It’s a great invention but who would ever want to use one?”

Of course, Hayes never made the statement.

I recall myself when email started. There weren’t too many people with an email address, so communication with it was pretty useless at the time. However, one could see the usefulness of it once widely adopted. A lot of technologies are like that.

But, green energy isn’t one of them.

Don’t you love the internet? It can make everything transparent. In the short term, you can hide.

Long term the truth comes out. Ask Anthony Weiner.

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