October 09, 2006
Monday, October 9 Dear Damon, On your blog, which you've recently shut down, you posted links to two diametrically opposed reviews of your new book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. One, by Adrian Wooldridge in The New York Times, calls your tone "admirably restrained, dispassionate and scholarly when it could so easily have been rank and recriminatory." The other, by Commonweal Editor Paul Baumann, accuses you of being "exaggerated and alarmist," not to mention "tendentious" and "frequently cartoonish" in your portrait of your former compatriots on the religious right.
The Foley Distraction
The Democrats are lucky to have had the Mark Foley affair thrown in their laps. Now, we will see how not different they are from the Republicans. This scandal has about as much to do with Dennis Hastert as it does with Tip O'Neil.
October 05, 2006
War, What Is It Good For?
by David Greenberg Reading David Bell's post about military history, another thought occurs to me. Every day, social, political, and cultural historians pay heed to the importance of war. It's in what we call by the ungainly name periodization.
A Democrat's Hymn
by Richard Stern Foley, Foley, Foley! Congressman Almighty! Early in October our song doth rise to thee. Foley, Foley, Foley! Lascivious and lusty. In three-legged government, a fourth empowered thee. Foley, Foley, Foley! All Democrats adore thee. Casting votes upon thy filthy sea, Pages and other cherubs harkening to thee Which wert, and art, and evermore shall be. Foley, Foley, Foley! Though the darkness hide thee, Our eye thy sad sick self shall see. Only thou, Rep.
War Thoughts At School
by Eric Rauchway Further to David's point below, war doesn't just inflect American history, it runs all through it and often informs discussion of the nature of the American republic. An example: If it's October, it must be the 1860s, at least in my lecture hall. Each year around this time we get to the factors that hastened Redemption, or the end of Reconstruction in the South: southern white resistance, including the Klan; national Republican weakness and division; and the Supreme Court.
October 04, 2006
by Richard Stern Who says Bush et al want to 'win their War on TERRORRRRR' or their war against Iraq? I think that they would prefer the latter to be at a lower level, just to justify the permanent US bases astride the oil supplies but not so intense as to give traction to the bleeding-heart liberals and the traitorous wing of the Protestant clergy.
October 02, 2006
If they didn’t hate each other so much, David Sirota and Dan Gerstein might be friends. They certainly have a lot in common. Both are in their thirties. Both are Jewish. And both are Democratic operatives. But their greatest similarity is their shared love of vicious political combat.
September 29, 2006
Who Needs Recognition?
According to a Reuters dispatch in Haaretz online today, Hamas massed a huge rally in Gaza earlier today to "denounce the state of Israel and declare that they would never recognise its right to exist." So what else is new? "We ask God to punish the so-called Israel and the allies of Israel ... We vow to God that we will never recognize Israel even if we would be all killed." In the case of the last contingency, of course, no one would care. This is the rhetoric of nutcases, although I know that since their passions emerge from Muslim religious belief I should treat them with respect.
September 28, 2006
A Grave Turning Point In America
by Alan Wolfe Did it finally happen here? I've always been a skeptic of Sinclair Lewis's sloppily written novel of 1935--and equally skeptical of all those left-wingers who predict, sometimes with barely repressed glee, a fascist takeover of the United States. But there is no doubting that something finally happened this week. It is not just that Congress is about to give the president the authority to collect anyone, including an American citizen, off the street to be indefinitely imprisoned as an enemy combatant.
Golfing For Cats
The first time I heard of Uganda it was called Buganda, and a friend's husband, Sir Andrew Cohen, governor-general of the protectorate then ruled by the United Kingdom, had exiled the Kabaka to the top floor of Claridge's in London. Kabaka is another word for king. Still, not a bad exile. But, in 1962, the country became independent, with the Kabaka returning as president. Then, his prime minister, Milton Obote, overthrew the government and made himself president, which is the quaint African usage for dictator. This dictator was deposed in 1971 by Idi Amin. Ah, you recognize his name.