The Daily Bork

May 17, 2005

A great essay

A most remarkable essay through Chapomatic (via The Ten O'Clock Scholar) by Professor Gaddis, a rather fiery Bush critic.

A few cherry-picked paragraphs...

So please be advised of the following: “This lecture will contain material that some may consider to be complimentary toward the Bush administration. It may, therefore, strike some listeners as unsettling, naïve, partisan, propagandistic, chauvinistic, muddle-headed, or paid for by Karl Rove.”

I’d been told, first of all, that the President never read anything beyond his daily press and intelligence digests. So it was certainly a surprise to find that he had read my book, and that he had done so ahead of his own staff. We’ve since learned, of course, that the President has a pretty eclectic reading list, ranging from Nathan Sharansky and Ron Chernow to Tom Wolfe.

That’s why I found it so frustrating, at noon on Inauguration Day, to find that nobody in the Yale History Department had the speech on as it was being delivered. All the television sets were unplugged, and of course my generation of professors doesn’t know, on short notice, how to plug them in program them. So I missed it. The speech just wasn’t considered important.

This historian is also leaning, somewhat more controversially, in the direction of acknowledging that George W. Bush is likely to be remembered as the first great grand strategist of the 21st century. He is, however, somewhat ahead of most of his faculty colleagues and many – though by no means all – of his students in this respect.

I particularly like that one about the Yale history professors not even watching it. History professors... living through a turbulent period of massive realignments of global power and changing of the old order... not even considering the second inaugural speech important! Hah!

The whole essay is great, there are points where disagreement may be had with the author but in general it is a clear and rational analysis of why, just perhaps, Bush may actually be on the right track. It certainly ought to be read and digested by any of the moronic Blood-for-oil or Halliburton! crowd, but I doubt it will. Still, a good read.


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