After last night's episode, you're probably saying to yourself "Wow, that Wayne fella is some sort of raging Hulk-beast!" (or some variation of that statement, depending on your preferred choice of vernacular). Yes, Wayne Palmer went from Fredo Corleone to Scarface in the span of two minutes, but sometimes a president has to Hulk-out to get things done. Below is a selected handful of events in Presidential history that would have benefited from a similar adrenaline-shot:
President James Madison was one of our finest political minds. He co-wrote the Federalist Papers, the U.S. Constitution and he was about 4'11" tall by most accounts. But as presidents go, Madison was a wimp, getting his tail whipped during the War of 1812. If only he had a physician available to shoot him up with adrenaline when the Brits came to burn the White House, 'ol Hulking Madison would have torn the redcoats limb from limb, thus establishing this young nation's military and political might early in our history. Instead, James Madison wanted to invade Canada! No dice, Jimbo. While you're looking North to the Canucks, the British burned your house down. For shame.
Our next president severely lacking in any manliness was James Buchanan- the man who basically let the Civil War happen. If Gore Vidal were ever elected to the office, he would have behaved precisely as James Buchanan (bet you didn't think you'd ever see a Vidal reference here at The Jack Sack). Wholly unconcerned with the pending war (he referred to the threat of secession as "happily, a matter of but little practical importance") Buchanan traipsed about Washington with his poolboys while the nation tore itself apart. There is no worse president in our history, not by a long shot (Maureen Dowd, if you're reading this, don't even argue with me- and no, I will not marry you). What James Buchanan needed was what he sorely lacked- chutzpah. Our "dandiest" President would be setting out afternoon tea for Fayed and Gredenko if he was the president on "24." If you happen to see James Buchanan's picture in a book, or a museum or wherever, do me a favor and flip him the bird.
Next on our list is a president that I secretly admire- Woodrow Wilson. Wilson had vision, and he was a man with a brilliant mind (At Princeton, he helped establish Political Science as a major, paving the way for beer-drinking intellectual lightweights such as myself for choosing an easy course of study). And Wilson faced a similar set of circumstances as Wayne Palmer- he suffered a medical calamity while serving in office (Wilson suffered from a debilitating stroke). I will not make an "adrenaline shot cures strokes" joke, because 1) it's medically incorrect and 2) I kind of just did by saying I wouldn't. But let's say this magic potion that the writers on "24" call "adrenaline" was able to cure all medical ailments (at least temporarily), what would that have done for Woody? Wilson would have gone to Congress and torn the place to timbers, forcing his Treaty of Versailles through that august body. If Wilson's 14 Points played out like he had hoped, he may very well have helped preserve a peace in Europe, and at the very least kept Adolf Hitler off the international stage. That's not to say that we never would have had a World War II eventually, but we hate Hitler here at The Jack Sack and that's where we keep our focus.
Alas, there was no Hulk-Wilson, Hulk-Buchanan or Hulk-Madison. Here are three presidents that got schooled by their times- and their lack of adrenaline cost us dearly. Wayne Palmer may not be doing the "right thing" from our perspective now, but in looking at past presidents, the alternatives have resulted in a burned down White House, the Civil War and World War II.
Wayne, launch that damn nuke.