What’s wrong with Normalcy?

A few days ago (March 4, to be precise) marked the 90th anniversary of the inauguration of Warren G. Harding, predecessor of Calvin Coolidge, and one chief executive who has been much maligned.

Harding and Coolidge (image from the Digital Collection of the Library of Congress)

In an article over at National Review Online, Ryan Cole and Amity Shlaes stress the importance of presidents Harding and Coolidge in restoring the nation to an even keel, removing “regime uncertainty” and making the economic advances of the 1920s possible. For reasons beyond me, this kind of stewardship gets low marks from historians, journalists and armchair analysts. Today, presidents usually are a major source of regime uncertainty, coming into office as they do with the intention of leaving a mark on history in the form of new programs, sweeping changes, and, if they’re lucky, a war or two.