John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

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Presidents Day

Posted on February 15, 2016
Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_Washington

My brother Brian and George Washington were born on the same day, and had not Robert McClory come up with the idea that we would celebrate all of our Presidents on the third Monday of every February, brother Brian would have had a day off for his birthday.

Bad for him, but good for American workers.

In America, we celebrate most holidays so we can forget what the original intent was and get as many three-day weekends as possible.

That’s the beauty of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, and as a result, we spend very little time thinking about our war dead on Memorial Day, Christopher Columbus on Columbus Day and George Washington on President’s Day.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was signed into law in 1968 and back then, giving Martin Luther King a national holiday wasn’t in the cards. But when Congress did get around to recognizing America’s greatest civil rights leader, it adapted his birthday to the new holiday system.

Initially, the Congress tried to include Veterans Day in the scheme. But that holiday, which was designed to celebrate the Armistice between the enemy combatants at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month, (I am not sure about the 11th minute part, but it sounds plausible), was too iconic to change and after seven years, it was changed back to its original place on the calendar.

There were actually 2 other Presidents who were born in February, outside of Washington and Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and William Henry Harrison. In the old days, I could see a conservative movement to make sure that Reagan is included in the pantheon of great Presidents.

These days, the conservative movement is so messed up, I can't see it moving in the same direction on anything. Indeed, I have seen some self-identified conservatives attack Reagan as being too profligate with spending and too willing to allow immigrants into the country.

Some of these same so-called conservatives are attacking W. Bush as a potential war criminal.   Just goes to show that the best thing about being a conservative these days is to never feel compelled to agree with anybody else in the once-vaunted movement. It’s a free-for-all out there.

But I digress.

It’s only a matter of time before the progressive left starts really laying into George Washington. He was a tobacco farmer and he owned a bunch of slaves after all.   Sure, he might have been the Father of the Country, but what’s great about America anyway?

We live in crazy times. I am glad we have so many 3-day weekends. It helps us all to deal with the crazy.