Gene Healy, Check Your Google Reader!

And do blog about this discussion between Eve Fairbanks and Matthew Continetti. They argue about whether President Obama’s informal air and biting wit degrade the stature of the office.

Hmmm. Could it be that a leader conventionally thought to inspire borderline creepy deification will actually lessen The Cult of the Presidency by bringing pomo irony and mild snark into the White House for the first time?

Later in the Bloggingheads, Ms. Fairbanks says that Abraham Lincoln often commuted three miles on horseback so he could sleep on the grounds of a military hospital at night; and that once during the Civil War a British traveler who wanted to meet Lincoln knocked on his door, got invited inside, and ended up spending over an hour chatting with the president.

It is hard to imagine a modern president enjoying so much downtime. Perhaps so many early presidents are ranked among the best because though they faced grave problems, their tasks were limited. How would Lincoln’s job performance have changed if on top of his other duties he also had to worry about FEMA, the TVA, OSHA, the NEA, the NIH, the USDA, HUD, the FDIC, the DOT, the ONDCP, the Department of Energy, the OMB, the Department of Education