BASED ON THEIR REACTION to Vice President Gore's choice of a Jew as his running mate, you'd think most Americans had never been to synagogue. In the media, articles about Joe Lieberman invariably mention his religion before even mentioning his politics or homosexuality. In the streets, protesters wave signs reading "Gore and Lieberman 2000: I Am Made Uncomfortable By This Meager Threat To The Status Quo."

Anti-Semitism is not a new problem (see chart). But America seems to have forgotten its long and rich history of Jewish leaders. No, there has never been a Jewish president. But there have been numerous Jewish non-presidents. And some presidents too, I think. Furthermore, an economic recession has not once taken place during a Jewish presidency. Intrigued? We also make great doctors, bankers, conspirators, stereotypes and scapegoats.

Here, then, is a brief re-cap:

1789 George Washington becomes America’s first non-Jewish president.
1797 John Adams becomes America’s first non-Jewish president since George Washington.
1801 Thomas Jefferson, a man, is elected president. Though not technically Jewish (his mother is a non-Jew), Jefferson remains in power nearly eight years.
1809 James Madison's term gets off to an exciting start when it is revealed that Madison is a follower of Jesus Christ, the religious luminary.
1817 James Monroe is elected. His vice president, Daniel Tompkins, looks vaguely Jewish if you close your eyes and imagine a typical Jew.
1825 John Quincy Adams takes office. Though historians believe Adams’s penis did have a foreskin, the general consensus is that it could have been removed without jeopardizing his ability to govern.
1829 More like Anjew Jackson, if you know what a pun is. If not, just Andrew Jackson.
1837 America chooses Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson as its president and vice president. In this way, Van Buren and Johnson are chosen people.
1841 William Henry Harrison serves a mere 30 days in office before being kicked out for dying. His dying words? "<silence>." (Notice no mention of Jesus.)
1841 Former vice president John Tyler continues where Harrison left off, but without a VP of his own. Sounds like some kind of Old Testament fable.
1845 James Polk has a dream involving a man with curly hair. Perhaps his father?
1849 Zachary Taylor is sworn in. Presidents are sworn in over bibles. Bibles are a crucial part of Judaism. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
1850 Millard Fillmore chooses Hebrew as the official language of internal White House memos. Either that or English—I can’t remember. But you get the point.
1853 Franklin Pierce outlaws the eating of pork on burning flags.
1857 James Buchanan considers turning the Oval Office into a Star of David by adding a series of triangular closets, then decides it might blow his cover, then does it anyway, then gets yelled at by Vice President John C. Breckinridge, then takes a shower, then changes it back.
1863 Abraham Lincoln abolishes slavery. Ancient Egypt, anyone? Anyone? Well, I’m off.
1865 Andrew Johnson "becomes a man" (is elected President of the United States). Johnson turns out to be the best 13-year-old leader ever.
1869 America elects Ulysses Grant, the general who single-handedly won the Civil War by smiting the South with a rock.
1877 Rutherford Hayes begins referring to his advisors as "mensches" and then rewrites "The Star Spangled Banner" to the tune of "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," a song written by Broadway composer Jerry Bock more than 80 years in the future.
1881 James Garfield is assassinated on July 2nd. Moses’s death occurred on the same date. Coincidence? You’ll have to ask the lady who strangled both Moses and James Garfield.
1883 The Jewish religion is created. Based on a combination of Christianity and Islam, the faith is hailed by Tikkun Magazine as one of the five most important inventions of ’83. President Chester Arthur writes an angry letter to the editor in which he entirely agrees.
1885 Grover Cleveland dresses up as a rabbi for Halloween and goes trick-or-treating in Eastern Europe.
1889 Benjamin Harrison volunteers as co-producer for the first internationally telegraphed Hanukkah reality show. Unfortunately, its ratings sag after the 6th night, and it is promptly canceled.
1893 Grover Cleveland rises from obscurity to serve a second term, much like his savior did. Excuse me: much unlike his savior did.
1897 William McKinley stages the American-Spanish war as an elaborate ruse to distract Spaniards from the Spanish-American war. Ruse rhymes with shoes, which rhymes with truce, which rhymes with glows.
1901 Theodore Roosevelt gives a State of the Union address in which he vows to eliminate what he refers to as America’s "uncertainty about whether I’m Jewish."
1909 William Howard Taft replaces baseball with dreidel as the national pastime. Upon learning the news, Sandy Koufax decides to postpone his birth.
1913 Woodrow Wilson takes office. His first executive action? You got it: something demonstrating that he was a Jew.
1921 Warren G. Harding is elected. The G stands for Torah.
1925 Though he is by no stretch of the imagination Jewish, President Calvin Coolidge keeps kosher and abides by the 613 laws of Orthodox Judaism that were passed down by his ancestors.
1929 Herbert Hoover uses the Abraham-Isaac story as a metaphor for the stock market crash. In Hoover’s metaphor, Isaac represents the American economy and Abraham represents a war debt/tariff policy that reduced foreign markets for domestic goods and an easy money policy that led to excessive credit and market speculation. Abraham leads Isaac up Great Depression in order to slay him, but at the last minute God whispers, "Oops—did I say sacrifice? I meant subsidize. Fuck."
1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt plagiarizes hundreds of future speakers by saying, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." He does this in a thick Yiddish accent.
1943 FDR welcomes tens of refugees and takes action against concentration camps within years of learning about them—surely more than a gentile would ever do.
1945 Truman drops a bomb by telling his parents, "I’m marrying a shiksa." The bride? Nagasaki. The parental response? "We just want you to be happy, son."
1953 Dwight Eisenhower changes his name to President Eisenhower in an attempt to obscure his ethnic roots. Meanwhile, the Rosenbergs are executed.
1961 Out of respect for both John F. Kennedy’s honorable legacy and his tragic passing, there will be no jokes involving Mr. Kennedy in this piece.
1963 Lyndon Johnson rapes a bunch of disabled orphans.
1967 Israel gains independence, becoming the first country dedicated to serving as a homeland for U.S. presidents.
1969 Richard Nixon was a terrible crook, just like every Jew I know. I am a neo-Nazi computer hacker who broke into the server and changed only this entry; I wanted to make a point, but I didn’t want to overdo it. Anyway, there are many more like me out there—mostly ignorant, often confused, always dangerous. The Internet provides a safe haven for us, and we must be watched carefully. Ta ta!
1974 Gerald Ford’s penis is accidentally circumcised when he shows up on time for his scheduled bris.
1977 Jimmy Carter names his pet dog "There Is A Great Legacy of Jewish Presidents." Though unwieldy, the name is a hit with canine-loving historians, who appreciate both its historical accuracy and its cuteness.
1981 Ronald Reagan, a former screen actor, moves into the White House. Did you know that Hollywood is run by future presidents?
1989 George Bush takes office thanks to the millions of Jews who choose not to form a humongous barrier around his motorcade, an action which surely would have prevented him from reaching the inauguration.
1993 Not many people realize that Bill Clinton’s wife, Judith Cohen, is one-quarter Sephardic.
2000 America, we have a difficult decision to make, as there are many good arguments against both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But seriously, let’s evaluate Senator Lieberman on the basis of his strict adherence to the Talmud rather than his overall Jewishness, OK?
Thanks—you guys are the best.
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