Sunday, August 10, 2003

Scoobie Davis has answered a poll on the 20 worst American figures in American history (no foreigners which excludes the usual gang of Osama, Saddam, Adolf, Stalin, yadda yadda.). I agree with most of his list, and I like the way he goes back to fill it out, but I've got a few substitutions I'd like to make.

Roger Taney for Strom Thurmond. The denial that blacks are human in the Dred Scott decision trumps anything Thurmond may or may not have believed. Also Robert Hanssen for John Walker. Walker was a silly boy by Islamic fundamentalist standards while Hanssen got a bunch of our agents killed. And when it came to frightening Americans out of their gourds for no good reason, A. Mitchell Palmer (Wilson's AG starting in 1919) still makes John Ashcroft look like an amateur. I'd probably replace Harry Anslinger with Palmer, who stoked reefer madness in the '30's.

Edit:Ecch. Misplaced modifier. It was Harry Anslinger who stoked Reefer Madness in the '30's. Palmer died in 1936.

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