Wherein I Butcher the Hallowed Subject of History

February 18, 2007 at 8:18 pm Leave a comment

Tomorrow is Presidents’ Day in the United States, and as I won’t be around to blog about it then, I feel I should say a few words on the subject now.

Presidents’ Day, of course, is the celebration of the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both born in February. In general, this holiday tends to celebrate only them; however, the name suggests the importance of all men who have held that high office, men who tend to be overlooked on this day of days.

Which President in particular do I speak of, you ask? Who could hold such high importance as Washington and Lincoln? Is it Thomas Jefferson, framer of the Declaration of Independence? Franklin Roosevelt, who saw the nation through both the Great Depression and WWII? William Henry Harrison, who paid his country the highest sacrifice by dying swiftly after coming to office? No, I speak of a greater and more terrible man, one of the most striking figures to hold this or any other office. I speak, of course, of:


Martin Van Buren
America’s Meanest President

Van Buren was born in 1782 in a small town along the coast of New York. His father was an infamous brigand, and his mother a tavern wench. Van Buren first came to prominence at the age of fourteen, when it was discovered that he had seduced and impregnated a succession of his school-teachers. In those days most people caught in these circumstances would be tarred and feathered, but Van Buren escaped that fate when he defeated the sheriff and his posse of eight men in hand-to-hand combat. Knowing that more men would be sent soon Van Buren escaped to New York City, hoping to disappear among the multitudes.

It was here in New York that Van Buren would begin his political career; realizing the police would never stop chasing him, he took up the study of Law to learn how beat them at their own game. To pay for his education, Van Buren worked nights fighting in an underground fisticuffs-ring, where he earned the nickname “Old Kinderhook” for his powerful right hooks.

So successful was he at law that he decided to run for, and eventually one, a seat in State Senate. During this period Van Buren also became a slave owner, and fell in with the infamous “Tammany Hall” corruption ring of New York City. Van Buren exploited the ring’s connections to amass vast wealth, influence and power, and was known to personally threaten the lives of all who opposed him politically. Though unconfirmed, many historians suspect him of having beat to death rival Albert Regent, who may have been preparing an expose of the ring.

Using his newfound political power Martin Van Buren was elected to the US Senate, where he went about cultivating power in a manner similar to the way he had in New York. Quickly, Van Buren established himself as Speaker of the House, and manipulated Andrew Jackson into becoming a puppet-leader in his stead. Van Buren’s Senate career was marked by the establishment of a vast and intricate web of conspiracy and corruption, called in it’s time (as it is today) “The Democratic Party”. Soon later, utilizing his network of deceit, Van Buren had himself elected Governor of New York.

In regards to his Governorship, I quote Wikipedia directly: “Van Buren’s tenure as NY governor is the second shortest on record, and nothing of note took place”.

Having thus rested, Van Buren returned to the serious political ring in lightning political career that saw him go from Governor, to member of the Presidential Cabinet, to Vice President, and finally the Presidency itself in the space of six years.

Now elected to the highest office in all the land, Martin Van Buren set out on a ruthless mission to exert his power over all who opposed him. For example:
-Van Buren plunged the nation into a Depression after he personally strangled the head of America’s largest bank, creating a chain-reaction that devastated monetary policy. This was not, however, an accident: Van Buren’s private journal shows that he purposely caused the Depression to “teach those fuckers a lesson”.
– Van Buren continued the “Trail of Tears” campaign instituted by his predecessor (really Van Buren’s puppet) Andrew Jackson. This campaign saw Native Americans forcibly removed from their ancestral homes, killing thousands.
-Van Buren supported an “Extermination Order” in Missouri that called for the death of all Mormons. When a Mormon leader begged him for help, Van Buren’s response was as cold as ice: “I can do nothing for you. If I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri”.

Through all these events, Van Buren maintained popularity using his network of corruption, which bought good press in the media and silenced political critics.

While his rule looked unstoppable, Van Buren was eventually ousted by the return of his youthful indiscretions. A newspaper writer in New York discovered his seven illegitimate children from his days as a schoolboy, and at least ten more from his time in New York City. Shocked by their President’s dalliances, the people of America ousted him in a popular vote at the end of his first term.

Thus ruined, Martin Van Buren spent the rest of his life trying to regain the office of the Presidency through election, fraud, and outright force; he died in 1862, failing to achieve his goal.

So, on this Presidents’ Day, let us all salute Martin Van Buren, the meanest President, for his willingness and ability to rule the United States as an iron-fisted dictator. His example shows us all that if you are evil and clever enough, few can stand in the way of your rise to power*. God bless you, Martin Van Buren. God bless you.

Well, that’s it for now, folks. This blog is going on hiatus for the rest of the week while I kick it up in the lovely cities of Brussels and Paris. Expect at least one (and perhaps more!) posts about my European adventures when I return next Saturday.

Ciao!
~Jacob

*For this reason and many others, many historians refer to Van Buren as “America’s First Supervillain President”. Others, however, believe it historical revisionism to talk about ‘superheroes’ and ‘supervillains’ prior to 1938, and instead give the title to President Harry Truman.

Editor’s Note: This is just… wow, I don’t even know where to begin. Basically this was a Seinfeld reference that rapidly spun out of control. I just intended to name-drop “The Van Buren Boys” and the next thing I know I have a huge screed slandering Martin Van Buren and hideously falsifying historical fact. Sometimes these things just can’t be avoided.

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Entry filed under: fake history. Tags: .

It turns out I forgot to title this one… Just got back in from Paris….

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