Everybody's Got One
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Saturday, June 12, 2004

First as tragedy ...  

David Adnesik at OxBlog, considering Anthony Lewis' condemnation of the President's ideology-driven, unilateral warmongering - in 1984:
The point I'm trying to make here is that liberals should reconsider the fond memories of Reagan they've suddenly developed in the six days since his passing.

Moreover, I would argue that this sort of criticism directed at Reagan was far more valid than similar criticism directed at Bush. [Emphasis added]... Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't criticize Bush because, in some respects, Reagan was worse. Mostly, I'm interested as a scholar in setting the historical record straight. But I do think it is important to separate criticism of Bush from his personality. We should recognize both that his actions are rubbing salt into old partisan wounds and that the Democrats' response reflects a cultural trope as much as does an actual consideration of the President's flaws.
The wounds are real, but I believe the salt is largely self-inflicted. (One could argue that the wounds are, too.) A trope that gets repeated when it applies less well than before is not the sign of a healthy culture. What's that phrase about repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome?

Then again, maybe Democrats desire exactly the same outcome as in the post-containment phase of the Cold War: to stand on the sidelines, carping and obstructing, and then claim a share of the credit after victory.

posted by Kelly | 2:44 PM link