Age during term: 57-61
PROS: Dude's been around — JQ Adams is one of those presidents whose string of accomplishments prior to becoming president (and even after becoming president), make you go, "Really? Goddamn!" You know how Wikipedia articles on famous people include sidebars listing all of the prominent things they did, with the dates, and the predecessors and successors and so forth? Adams' sidebar just goes on and on and on.
a little case before the United States Supreme Court.
|Although, let's be honest: the only reason you've heard of said case is because they made a movie out of it.|
Prognosticator — Adams' breadth of experience often led to his making a prediction or two. How did those predictions pan out? Well... as Secretary of State, Adams watched from afar as Greece led a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. As it involved the birthplace of democracy (an experiment that America had recently decided to renew), there was some interest in getting the young nation involved. Adams opposed such intervention, and nothing much came of it. However, Adams did predict that the war would mark the beginning of an extended conflict between Islam and the West.
He predicted this in 1821, by the way.
Adams also predicted that the question of
CONS: Tactically unsound — John Quincy Adams was a man of principles, and he stood by those principles no matter what. Which is nice, I guess... except that the "what" in this case meant that his presidency amounted to... well, pretty much squat.
To explain: Adams' run for president came in 1824. The initial party system that had dominated American politics (originally titled the First Party System) had collapsed, leading to a bit of a free-for-all. When the dust settled, the main candidates were Adams, a couple of other guys no one cared about, and a rather popular ex-general from Tennessee, named Andrew Jackson. Jackson ended up winning the popular vote and gaining a plurality of the electoral college votes, though he did not have enough electoral votes to win the thing outright, so the vote went to the House of Representatives in a three-way runoff of sorts (Jackson and Adams were joined in the runoff by William H. Crawford, who had finished third despite suffering a stroke in the middle of the campaign, and thus dropping out). Now, remember when I basically decided not to talk about the other candidates in the race? Well, one of those candidates was Henry Clay, who was then... the Speaker of the House.
Long story short, Clay really, really didn't like Jackson, and liked Adams' policies enough that he threw his support behind Adams. This gave Adams the presidency, but there was one little problem: no one liked him. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but for someone who had essentially served as a lifelong diplomat, Adams was strikingly undiplomatic in person, was unable to drum up public support for any of his policies, and refused to play any political games, because again: to do so would go against his personal code. This last point was a big problem, as Adams refused to replace any of the still-pissed-off Jackson supporters who were dotting the Federal government.
|There were some... harsh feelings, still.|
Politically Flighty — Non breaking news: The political landscape of the United States has gone through a few upheavals from the nation's inception to the present day. While today it's rather rare for major political figures to switch parties, it used to be a little more commonplace. Still, that's no excuse for John Quincy Adams. Adams started out as a Federalist, but when the First Party System (remember that?) started to crumble, JQA bolted for the Democratic-Republican party.
The election of 1824 put some serious cracks in said party, with Jackson's supporters eventually splitting off and forming the Democratic party; Adams' group, meanwhile, morphed into the National Republican Party, but after getting smacked down by Jackson, the National Republicans folded up their tent and joined the Whigs. Adams, however, did not join them; instead he took up with the Anti-Mason Party.
See a pattern? That's a lot of jumping on losing bandwagons. Do you want to be on a losing bandwagon headed into a fight to the death? I'm guessing you don't. Adams, on the other hand... looks a bit screwed.
14th President of the United States
Ages served: 48-52
PROS: Drunk — We’ve had our share of drunk presidents. Maxim says it, so it must be true. Pierce was a bit of a pro in that category. He sank into alcoholism when life dealt him some shit snacks. After losing his first two children, his 11-year-old son was killed in a train accident two months before inauguration. As a result, his wife Jane, who hated life in D.C. to begin with, became very distant.
Wait, this is a pro?
Of course! I have two words for you: Zui Quan. It’s a concept of traditional martial arts that literally means “drunken fist.”
Maybe you’re not into Jackie Chan movies, but consider that if you hit a drunk guy, he won’t really feel it until the next day. Pierce is going to wake up with a hell of a hangover, but the other guy isn’t going to wake up at all.
Stormed Mexico City — Pierce was in his 40s when he volunteered to fight in the Mexican-American War and was eventually appointed to the rank of brigadier general.
Five years later, as an encore, he defeated his commander, Winifield Scott, in the 1852 Presidential Election. So, he’s not scared to get hurt and he’s willing to fight anyone.
CONS: Not good with decisions — Pierce had broad appeal in the 1852 race because he was from New Hampshire (which Northerners liked) but he sympathized with the South (which Southerners liked). However, this doesn’t really translate to a successful presidency.
His biggest flub was the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act undid the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and reopened up the slavery question for the West. Granted, the Missouri Compromise was just a Band-Aid slapped onto the ugly, gaping wound that was the national mood of the time. It wasn’t a permanent fix, but it cooled tensions a bit. The Kansas-Nebraska Act ripped that Band-Aid off of America’s very hairy leg, poured salt and flecks of glass into the wound and then began mashing the salt-glass mixture deeper into that wound with a dirty stick.
Part of it said that Kansas could become a state, and the voters themselves can decide if they wanted it to become a slave state or a free state. Sounds like a good idea, until you realize that both sides were willing to kill each other so that their side would win the vote, which is exactly what happened.
Handsome — Pierce was a good-looking president back before having good looks was necessary for being a president. This list I found on the Internet puts Pierce in the Top 5 on the list of sexiest U.S. presidents, so it must be true.
|He was too blond, anyway.|
Toast that used to be very, very handsome.
Tony: Listen. As you well know, I'm all for a good bout of drunkenness. Hell, it's about the only state in which you and I can stand one another. However, you can't tell me that being bombed would be a good state to be in, Arena-wise. Yes, yes, you've got your Zui Quan to point to. Except for one thing: practitioners of Zui Quan only act drunk. They don't actually get drunk to fight.
Think about it. When have you ever seen a successful drunken fight? If people could fight well drunk, wouldn't you see boxers slugging down booze before stepping into the ring? Sadly, booze makes for bad fighting. This is sad, because drunken boxing would probably be fun to watch.
But I digress: the only way Pierce is turning his addiction into a plus is if he somehow comes up with a way to make something spark inside the arena, thus to set his 90-proof breath aflame.
Doug: Fire-breathing Pierce? Awesome! It's also fun to imagine watching actual drunken boxing. Though I would think that, like a Gallagher show, things would get messy in the first few rows. You'd definitely need to bring a tarp.
Tony: Well, I'm glad we've figured out what our next project will be after this blog wraps up.
Doug: If the Zui Quan argument isn't winning you over, look at Vodka Drunkenski from the Punch-Out!! series.
You know what? Soda Popinski was difficult to beat. I remember as I was trying to get through the game the first time, Popinski gave me a really hard time. Now, I can beat him no problem, but that's after years of practice. Adams doesn't have that luxury. He's got to get it right the first time, and I don't think he can do it.
And Pierce won't get full-blown drunk, just drunk enough to get loose for the fight. An experienced drinker like him would know how to get the proper level of drunk to prepare for the fight.
Tony: So, your argument has moved from a real style of martial arts to... a video game? Really? I mean, let's be clear: Punch Out clearly belongs in the cannon of classic video games, but your premise that the game has any bearing on this fight between two dead presidents has some serious holes.
Doug: I'm not moving from the Zui Quan argument to the Popinski argument. I'm adding it to the argument. And I see nothing wrong with that. I've brought up a real-life use of drunken boxing and I've brought up a fictional instance of drunken boxing. This is a fictional fight between real-life people. I see nothing wrong with this argument, and it's up to the voters to decide if it holds water.
|... or vodka.|
Tony: No, see, you can't add to your Zui Quan argument because there simply is no argument, there. You can't call it a "real-life use of drunken boxing" because they are not actually drunk when said boxing takes place. As for your "fictional" reference, I'm going to say that mayyyyyyybe it doesn't have a great deal of bearing on what is clearly a very realistic scenario: two long-dead presidents fighting to the death in a barren arena.
Was Soda Popinski a difficult character to face because he was drunk (or "drunk," depending on your level of PC), or because he was five times the size of plucky ol' Little Mac? While Adams is a bit older than Pierce, Pierce isn't five times larger than Adams, so I think the physicality is a wash.
Doug: I can't tell you why Popinski gave me such a problem. I don't think size was an issue. He's about the same size as Bald Bull, Piston Honda and Super Macho Man, and I wasn't stuck on them for as long. Mr. Sandman, on the other hand, would be a different story. Was it the alcohol that helped him? Who knows? It could be. Maybe it's a package deal.
Speaking of package deal, in addition to this factor, Pierce was a military man. He was in his 40s when he decided to volunteer, and he was injured while in battle. He kept going until he passed out from the pain. He's a fearless, drunk fighter who won't give up until his body literally gives out.
Adams is ineffective and flighty. I'm not sure how that translates to a good fighter.
Tony: Oh, Pierce keeps going until he passes out, does he? Boy, that doesn't sound at all like a potentially debilitating strategy. You mean, all Adams has to do is show up? Yeah, I think he's going to do just fine.
If a lifetime of PSAs has taught me anything, it's that buzzed fighting is drunk fighting. Pierce may think he can get himself to an appropriate level of drunkenness to be an effective fighter, then he's going to take a swing at Adams, trip over his own feet, and eat the deck. Whereupon Adams will drop the people's elbow on Pierce's kidneys. It'll all be downhill for Pierce after that.
Doug: You're comparing buzzed/drunken fighting to buzzed/drunken driving? How is fighting like operating a complex piece of machinery while following traffic laws? It's a fight. No machinery, no rules. Completely different.
Tony: You know why they say "buzzed driving is like drunk driving," though? I mean aside from the fact that "they" are killjoys. It's because once you get buzzed, your reflexes immediately start going to shit. And let's be clear: Pierce may think he's going to be able to ramp up to an appropriate level, but someone as alcoholic as he is going to have absolutely no idea when to stop in order to maintain a "proper" fighting buzz. He's going to shoot WAY over the line, and will spend his time in the arena being battered mercilessly.
Doug: While you argue semantics and put all of your eggs in the "Pierce is going to get too drunk to fight" basket, you haven't uttered a word about what Adams has going for him and what makes him a decent fighter. So far, all we've got is the fact that he was diplomat for many years in many countries, but people still thought to be an unpopular dick, and the fact that he's pretty good at predicting the political future.
The tenacious brigadier general — who has more fighting experience — will know not to overdo it before a fight to the death. When he enters the ring, Pierce will paraphrase Mr. Popinski, "After you lose, we'll drink to your health! Ha, ha, ha!"
Wise words, from an 8-bit stereotype.
|The bottle says "POP," but I'm willing to bet all of my W.V.B.A. titles that there's booze in there.|