"Good ballplayers make good citizens." - Chester A. Arthur
When Chester A. Arthur took office in 1881, people were expecting disappointment. As the successor to the assassinated James Garfield, Arthur was seen as a product of the New York political machine, someone who would bring corruption and backdoor dealings to the White House. On top of that, Arthur's health was fragile; he was diagnosed with a kidney disease shortly after assuming the job. All in all, things didn't look promising.
But four years later, when he left office, Arthur had cemented himself as perhaps one of the most likable and level-headed presidents in U.S. history. He enacted civil service reform laws to put and end to the spoils system. He pushed Congress to roll back their Chinese exclusion immigration bill, which was a really dickish bill. He also fought a dickish Congress and Supreme Court on several anti-Black measures. Through all this, he worked hard to compromise with opposing Democrats while standing up for his beliefs. Like Obama, he was unable to pass all the liberal measures he desired to, because politics is a pain in the ass, but he was simply way more effective and honorable than just about anybody thought he would be. He ended his term as a resounding success.
Now I could tell you some of the ways in which the Minnesota Timberwolves align with the Chester Arthur I've talked about above (fine, I will): they and their fans are gearing up for disappointment, largely due to the health concerns of Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio (the latter much longer-term); they certainly don't want to limit immigration; they will likely perform better than most people think they will—despite the injuries, there are some nice new pieces like Andrei "Back in America" Kirilenko, Brandon Roy, and Chase "Puffy" Budinger, as well as some solid frontcourt returns in Greg Stiemsma, Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic. This is a team that will, I believe, leave us saying "Hey, that wasn't so bad!" at the end of the season.
Those things are not really the meat of this comparison, though. The meat of this comparison is that Chester A. Arthur is simply the presidential spirit animal of the Timberwolves, with their goofy, quasi-hippie bro of a star player in Love and their overall quirkiness. Here are some things you should know about Arthur that are arguably more important than any of his actual policies:
- He had AMAZING facial hair
- Once, when he was feeling sick, he decided to take a two-week restorative vacation to Yellowstone, where he probably did opium or something I bet
- He played the banjo(!)
Just tell me he wouldn't have a good time with this guy:
Rushed Pull-Up Jumpers:
Pokemon who the team should adopt as its new mascot: Machop
Headline we'll be most sick of reading: "The Minnesota Timberwolves Have a Lot of White Players"
Headline we're most looking forward to: "Mike Love Names Kevin Love as the Sole New Beach Boys Member"
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you enter the pearly gates?: "You guys wanna jam?"