Friday, April 21, 2006

Almost speechless

So, here is the article: The Worst President in History?

I have avoided reading this for some time. When I finally gave it a glance, I couldn't believe what I was reading. I am tempted to write a response. It probably wouldn't be worth my time.

11 comments:

Paul said...

This is by no means an endorsement of the president, but what happened to historical perspective?I'm still reading the article, but I'm having the same thoughts as Steve. Lincoln united the nation??? Hello?
I also like the cover art with the president caricatured as a monkey and a dunce. The press and his opponents did the same to Lincoln in his day.
The article also praises malleability as a positive asset. Too many other things to comment on. I'm only a third of the way done reading and I'm astounded at the lack of historical perspective.

Paul said...

I should rephrase my comment on Lincoln by saying that it is a misstatement to say that the country (and I mean the USA)was 'united' during the Civil War. Lincoln had a tough election in 64 because a peace democrat challenged him for the White House. He also had to censor the press and 'monitor' elections at times to further the war effort. Something Bush has not resorted to. (none of this should be construed as criticism of Lincoln, just citations of his record)

greg said...

Haven't read it all yet; don't know if I will. But, I love the gratuitous pandering to the teens and twenty-somethings that read Rolling Stone, "From time to time, after hours, I kick back with my colleagues at Princeton to argue idly about which president really was the worst of them all." Can you get anymore pretentious than that. That's enough to force me to stop reading. Princeton professors should not "kick- back". Teenagers kick-back.

dcat said...

I agree with paul and paul and greg -- I think the piece lacks historical perspective. Now, I happen personally to agree that he'll be a bottomfeeder, but many of you know my views on this -- best and worst lists are not very useful or interesting. What is more important, to my mind, is guaging a president's importance. i think Bush has been an utter catastrophe. But his presidency is an important one and cannot simply be sloughed off.

I do disagree that it is "pretentious" to say that princeton professors kick back. I think it would be silly to think that they do not.

dcat

Stephen said...

And it is not like he is the lunatic fringe of our profession--he is a heavy hitter.

Stephen said...

And if you really want to have some fun, go back and read the original article/"poll" results on HNN.

greg said...

Let me clarify: I thought it pretentious to conveniently insert in his article that he is a Princeton professor. I don't necessarily mind that he alludes to that fact, but the way in which he does it just seems to phony and forced. I also thought he was pandering to the younger generation of readers who turn to Rolling Stone for their political analysis by using the phrase "kick back". Certainly, Princeton professors can kick back or relax or chill or whatever the hell they want to do, I just think he's lowering his standards of writing by using such colloquial language, and he does it for a very specific reason: to fit in with the readership. I really don't think he uses that type of language in everyday conversation.

dcat said...

Greg --
You may have a point.
Steve --
I was going to say exactly that (about him being a big dog).

dcat

greg said...

MAY? C'mon, admit I HAVE a point.

dcat said...

Greg --
Mae Culpa. Did not mean to dimonish you. I was using a favorite construction of one of our favorite professors. I guess it is understandable why you would not have poicked up on it, since you never actually took classes at OU.
I imagine you are glad not to have to hear any more talk about when Barry will finally hit his first bomb.

dcat

Stephen said...

dimonish?