Rich And Strange

There is something very strange about the people who have assembled themselves around the President over the past few years.” *


As Karl Rove steps into what shadows the Texas sun will provide, History News Network is trying to answer the WTF factor of the Bush Presidency.They are polling: Did Karl Do It?, but more broadly HNNists are asking how we came to be led off the cliff by people with such supreme confidence they were destiny’s darlings.

Daniel Brendan Larison wonders:

“There is something very strange about the people who have assembled themselves around the President over the past few years. Many of them seem to have an outsized sense of their own world-historical importance, and many of them are convinced that they have a superior understanding of the lessons of history, but their grasp of history never seems to escape the generic, the vague and the facile.”

David Greenberg writes in “Slate” [excerpted by HNN] on how beyond the desperate analogy lunges [“It’ll be like the occupation of Japan!”] , Bush’s madman calm may reveal his sense of himself as channel for forces which passeth understanding.

Reeks And Wreckage


The selling of former Reagan CIA Director William Casey’s Florida home is being sold as the passing of an era, with quotes in the Palm Beach Daily News that “The place reeks of history.”

The sale does recall a colorful, bygone era, when a youthful Osama Ben Laden could be recruited to play his part in Afghanistan’s great game and we didn’t care fuck-all for the consequences.

Sadly, No


Oh, how we laughed, but then someone checked and spoiled the fun.

The popular quote:

“A moment I’ve been dreading. George brought his ne’re-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job.”

Deaver Departed

reagan-deaver.jpgI haven’t seen it in any of the obits I’ve read so far, but the late Reagan presidential Svengali Michael Deaver was the source of the single greatest quote ever uttered on the media and US Presidents.

Mark Hertsgaard’s “On Bended Knee: the Press & the Reagan Presidency quotes Deaver as saying:

“You let me supply the pictures, I’ll let you write the story” reagan-on-bended-knee.jpg

The Votes Are In!

greatness-schlesinger-sr.jpg greatness-schlesinger-jr.jpggreatness-tribune.jpg

Schlesinger, Schlesinger Junior, the Chicago Tribune, all have surveyed Presidential Greatness.

Now Norman Markowitz joins the line of hero searchers.

Blogging at “Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist-Maoist*,” Brother Markowitz asks and answers, “George W. Bush: The Worst President In US History?”

He places Bush just above James Buchanan in the Presidential Badness Sweepstakes, and sinking fast:

“It is purely from an “American Centric” position that Buchanan maintains a slight lead over Bush. And of course (the second caveat), the Bush administration still has around 20 months left to overtake Buchanan. Let’s do Bush a favor. The broad left, the labor movement, the anti-Iraq war movement, all progressive movements and the Democratic Party should act now to prevent a discredited administration from extending its disastrous policies. By using constitutional means to get rid of the Bush administration and the “Reagan legacy” in terms of policy, we can keep Bush below James Buchanan on the list of “worst presidents” in American history. To conclude this article on an explicitly Marxist note, which asked a conventional question and used a presidential comparison model to answer it, we should remember that a revolutionary civil war followed the Buchanan administration.”



*”dedicated to ideologies of great communist leaders Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro and Kim Il Sung”