Honor his memory with our national currency!

>> Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My first reaction was to roll my eyes, but then I read the article and reconsidered--and am now, remarkably enough, in agreement.

See, it seems that NC Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wants to put Ronald Reagan on U.S. currency.

Now, I don't talk about NC politics much, but I tend to think of Representative McHenry... well, I've been trying to be nicer around here, but Representative McHenry is kind of a douchebag. So I'm inclined to roll my eyes every time he's in the news. And I'm tired to death of Republicans wanting to plaster Ronald Reagan's name and mug all over everything. While I've come around to giving him credit for pushing our ratification of the Convention Against Torture (fat lot of good it's done to keep us from torturing people, but still), mostly I associate the Reagan Administration with early-'80s poverty and "trickle-down" economics (aptly named policy to describe the poor getting pissed on), my childhood fear/obsession with nuclear war, support of sleazy Third World torture regimes (irony, that), and generally have a negative disposition towards the man and his era.

But then I read the piece, and saw that Representative McHenry wants President Reagan on the fifty dollar bill. Replacing President Ulysses S. Grant. And I changed my mind.

You might be thinking it's because I rarely have fifties in my pocket, which is true (actually, I rarely carry cash anymore at all), but that isn't the reason. No, it's much deeper than that.

You see, many historians have been inclined to see the Grant Administration as a contender for the most corrupt in U.S. History, at least until more recent epochs. True, the Teapot Dome scandal happened on Harding's watch, but Grant had wave after successive wave of cabinet members resign over various abuses of power and violations of the law and had a number of underlings face indictment.

Just like Ronald Reagan!

I mean, it's totally apt that the fifty dollar bill, which is a useful denomination for bribing a minor official, has U.S. Grant's mug on it--except that U.S. Grant is soooooo 19th Century! It's a decade into the 21st, baby, time to recognize a new generation of corruption and mismanagement in the halls of power, and what better way to do it then with someone who, like Grant, was elected as a likable Republican and who may well have been oblivious, but nonetheless presided over corruption that festered and reeked to the upper edges of the stratosphere?

Now, somebody might be inclined to say, "Well at least Reagan wasn't impeached for perjury," and that's actually quite fair. I, myself, was somewhat puzzled by Representative McHenry's overlooking of a certain Arkansas boy. At first I thought it was rank partisanship, but then I recalled Representative McHenry is a Republican. Then I thought maybe Rep. McHenry was taking one for the team, so to speak, acknowledging the corruption of a Republican President in the spirit of bipartisan self-effacement--until I recalled Rep. McHenry knows no shame. And then I remembered: it's an American tradition to only put faces of the dead on our currency. Well played, Representative!

No doubt, then, that, should something tragic happen to former President Clinton, Representative McHenry (if he's still in office) will swiftly move to have William Jefferson Clinton enshrined on the fifty dollar bill, the currency of ethical decay! But until then, let us remember Ronald Reagan, and as he should be remembered! The day on which President Reagan's face is slipped to a policeman on the take or bundled in stacks to be exchanged for cocaine via intermediaries--much as, say, weapons might be traded for hostages--cannot arrive too soon!

Thank you for remembering, and reminding us, Representative. You make me proud to be a North Carolinian!


Konstantin B. Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 11:23:00 AM EST  

If corruption is the reason of putting faces on dollars I'd suggest Richard M Daley to have the honor. True, he is not a president, but who cares.

graplott = a cheap Merlot, made from sort of grapes..

Eric Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 12:43:00 PM EST  

I think we could do denominational currencies: introduce a $25 for Harding, Reagan on the $50, produce appropriate denominations for Daley, Huey Long and Nixon....

It would cost less than you think if you used appropriately cheap ink on all of them.

Nathan Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 7:48:00 PM EST  

I know it's not really on topic but the other night there was an episode of Law & Order centering on a bunch of students at a "magnet school" in NY. At one point, the cops are trying to get the principal to be a little more forceful trying to get some answers and she says, "We do not make threats here at Aaron Burr High School!"

I figure some writer was laughing his ass off over that one.

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