Happy Presidents Day

Tomorrow (Monday) is Presidents Day, the mongrel holiday that mashed up Washington and Lincoln’s separate birthday observances into just another three-day weekend.  Notice that all the Presidents’ Day mattress sales always feature portraits of Washington and Lincoln; no one ever seems to offer a John Tyler or Franklin Pierce mattress-sale theme.

I’ll be out of communication most of Monday, making my way to Brazil to begin the Hillsdale College winter cruise from Rio to Bueno Aires, where I’m an on-board speaker.  Not to worry: the Power Line Southern Command will be filing news from the other hemisphere for the next 10 days, assuming I can get the shipboard smoke signal internet service to work well enough.  And maybe some neat photos of dangerous jungle sacred rain forests, too.

Anyway, I think there’s a new book you should get to observe Presidents’ Day, but regarding Washington, whose birthday this comes closest to, a couple of thoughts from said book:

Americans in 1787 knew they could count on the “moderation and virtue” of this one man enough to entrust him with this brand new and undefined office.  Washington knew his decisions and actions would be crucial to whether the office—and the Constitution—would succeed for the ages.  “Few who are not philosophical spectators,” he wrote, “can realize the difficult and delicate part which a man in my situation has to act. . .  In our progress toward political happiness my station is new; and, if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground.  There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent.”

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