Bruce Bartlett has a nice column today on the subject of presidential greatness. He points out that since these surveys are generally done by historians, they overemphasize presidential activity. Presidents who do a lot give historians plenty to write about are usually rated highly whereas presidents who do little are boring and are rated as failures. Bartlett is inclined to think the reverse: the best presidents have been those who implemented no big plans for the country, avoided war, and respected the Constitution’s limits on their power.

My idea of a great 44th president would be someone who vetoes lots of bills and even manages to get some laws that interfere with freedom repealed.