Monday, October 17, 2011

Truman vs. Coolidge

Harry S Truman
33rd President of the United States
Served: 1945-1953
Age during term: 60-68

Arena Experience: Faced off against James K. Polk in the first round, and walked away from that match with 70.2% of the vote, so suck it, Polk!

Pros: Truman was an ornery old cuss, with quick enough thinking that he was able to bluff his way past an eye exam and enlist in World War I. He was also, and there's no other way to put this, hella-cold-blooded, what with wanting to kill Every German Ever during WWI, and then ending WWII with atomic bombs. To sum up, tough, smart, and cold-blooded. Makes for a solid Arena fighter, no?

Cons: Truman's political success owed a bit too much to powerful friends (read: political operative and Masons), who chose what positions he would run for. He also had a knack for making certain decisions rather impulsively, which as a rule, is not the best thing to do when locked in the Presidential Gladiatorial Arena™.

Calvin Coolidge
30th President of the United States
Served 1923-1929
Age during term: 51-56

Arena Experience: Coolidge proved that silent could be deadly when he beat Julia Mansfield from the short-lived '80s sitcom Hail to the Chief with 76.2% of the vote. He probably got strong support from voters who saw Hail to the Chief and wanted to exact revenge.

PROS: Silent Cal was a man of a few words. Instead of flapping his gums with rhetoric, he's probably just thinking of ways to tear his opponents apart with his bare hands. Don't think a guy with no military experience could do that? Coolidge passed the bar without attending law school, so he knows how to get by with little experience.

CONS: The guy who pushed his lassiez-faire agenda — possibly worsening the Great Depression for us — may take that "do nothing" attitude to the Arena, as if the invisible hand of capitalism will help him in the Arena. He also kind of lost his push when he tragically lost his son. He may be looking for a reunion in the afterlife.

The Fight
Doug: I'm going to keep my first round of debate brief, as I believe this argument is, without a doubt, the best argument for anything mankind has ever made for anything. I find it is simple, straight to the point and smart without coming off as too condescending.
This is a slight alteration from the original, which featured an over-imaginative and intelligent, yet underachieving, first-grade boy urinating on a brand logo of inferior quality. I have seen this many times, usually on the rear windshields of trucks of, I'm can only assume, fans of the newspaper comic featuring the boy which hasn't printed in almost 15 years. I cropped head of the 30th President of the United States over the head of the delightful scamp because they both share the same first name: Calvin.

Simply put, as the image illustrates, Coolidge pees on Truman.

Your move.

Tony: Interesting premise. Flawed, but interesting. No, to really get to the meat of this argument, we have to dig into the names themselves. So: Coolidge. Cool Lidge? Is this some sort of endorsement of Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Brad Lidge? Dude was hurt this season, and only pitched 19 1/3 innings. I don't see how that's supposed to help Coolidge, at all.
Truman, on the other hand… I mean, just look at it. True Man. True Man! Your pathetic little closer is going up against a powerhouse of masculinity. That's no contest. It's so little of a contest that the light from "contests" will not reach Coolidge vs. Truman for 10,000 years.

And we can take this further! What was Coolidge's middle initial? No one knows, or cares, because he sucked. What about Truman? His middle initial was S! What did it stand for? Nothing! That's right, this True Man has a boundless void of nihilism right in the middle of his name! Say what you will about Truman, man, but at least it's an ethos.

In short, the only thing Coolidge will be pissing, is his own pants.

Doug: Yeah, Truman is a true man. And like all true men, he's mortal. His road will end, and Coolidge will see to that. As for Lidge, yeah, I guess he had a crummy year. Too bad he's not the type of player who's known for his comebacks. Oh wait, he has actually won an award for called the National League Comeback Player of the Year in 2008. You know, the same year he threw the final pitch of the World Series. So, I suppose Lidge isn't all that bad of a guy to support when you look at the big picture. And thank you for forcing me to recount the glories of one of my least favorite teams in Major League Baseball.

And Calvin Coolidge's middle name? It's Calvin. He was born John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. He was so into his middle name that he decided to just drop his first name. Coolidge is going to show that the 'S' in Harry S Truman really stands for.

And that is why my argument of showing Coolidge peeing on Truman is not, as you say, flawed.

Tony: I'm not sure playing the "mortal" card helps you, as ol' Cal there is also mortal, and thus open to his mortality being abruptly pierced within the Arena. As for Lidge, it's also good he doesn't have a history of screwing up on big stages, leading to years drifting in the wilderness.

Hey look! It's George H.W. and Barbara Bush.

Anyway, about this fight. History shows that the only thing that can stop Truman's rampages is some form of authority figure. If Truman had been in charge during World War I, Germany would probably still be a smoking cinder. Does he have anyone reining him in when he faces Coolidge? Nope. Truman FTW.

Doug: Interesting.

You're still on the Brad Lidge thing? I was willing to play along for the sake of being a good sport, but c'mon. Someone reading this could get the impression that you're tying Coolidge's fighting ability to the pitching ability of someone born decades later because you're grasping for straws.

Truman was a blustery windbag who made references about cutting off Dutch kids' hands and feet (which still makes no sense to me). He's a big talker. And yes, I realize this is the man who ordered the dropping of two atomic bombs on civilians, but he doesn't have the bomb or thousands of miles of distance in the Arena like he did in '45.

You know how they say "you have to watch out for the quiet ones"? Coolidge is as quiet as they get. And the 'S' will stand for "slain."

Tony: Lidge, like Coolidge before him, is and was a man destined to fail. Even though each obtained brief moments of glory, such as winning the Presidency or closing out the World Series, their overwhelming legacies are, well, disappointing.

And I'm not going to apologize for Truman's bloodlust! This is a presidential death blog-- bloodlust is part of the game, and Truman played that game like Garry Kasparov plays chess. Game, set, and match!

Coolidge, meanwhile, probably thinks he can just get by on his two biggest skills, shutting up, and ignoring things. Sadly, for him, ignorance is going to be... bliss. For Truman. Because he's going to roll over Silent Cal.

The Chief: Classy as always, boys. It's votin' time! Make sure your voices are heard! Polls close 9am MDT on Friday.

Truman vs. Coolidge


  1. All your trivia are belong to usOctober 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I'm calling this one based on length of longest biography. Per Google Books, the longest Coolidge tome is 588 pages. Thanks to David McCullough (the Ken Burns of presidential biographers), Truman tops out at 1,120 pages.

  2. William Howard TaftOctober 20, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    H.Truman should easily whip C.Coolidge. If Coolidge is W.G. Harding's whipping boy (at least on twitter), shouldn't somebody who dropped the bomb be able to beat one of the softer presidents in US history?

  3. Chancellor of the ExchequerOctober 21, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Not sure if this was mentioned previously, but the two of you certainly must know that Truman was so fierce that the State Department had to keep him locked in secret container marked "Canned Eggs." More like canned heat if you ask me. Silent Cal is going to wish he didn't piss off the Boston Police Department so he could have them protect himself from Truman's folksy doom.