Since It’s Washington’s Birthday…

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Why not take a moment to reflect on how our presidents have always been men of dubious character? Consider this excerpt from Judge Napolitano’s new book:

George Washington . . . was a Southern planter who owned and relied on slaves. Washington punished his slaves by whipping or selling them, divided their families so they would work more efficiently, and provided them with as little means as tolerable. He also raffled off the slaves of those bankrupt slaveholders who owed him money. Washington’s most gruesome act as a slave owner came in 1784, five years before he became President of the United States. In that year, Washington hired a dentist to extract nine teeth from the mouths of his slaves, and implant them into his own mouth.

The book, by the way, is full of this kind of hard-hitting political myth-busting and idol-smashing. It’s a must-read for your friends who are good on some things but can’t quite let go of their statism and politician worship.

12:36 am on February 22, 2010