Monday, June 9, 2008

Ebb and flow of historians

Duhbya's right in theory. Historians can get it wrong. Of course, when they move away from a cherished conservative myth, they're revisionists, while they're only coming to their senses if they ever (never!) learn to love Duhbya.

Darth Cheney provides a perfect example:

Vice President Cheney has also argued that history will vindicate Bush. Speaking at a Washington luncheon last week, Cheney recalled that former president Gerald R. Ford was "attacked from every conceivable angle" for pardoning Richard M. Nixon, but he said that "the consensus now is that Gerald Ford did the right thing."
If this is even numerically true, if, it's ripe for revisit and revision. Ford's pardon of Nixon led the permanent Republican apparat to conclude that they could shred the Constitution with impunity. It's a major reason we are where we are today with the lawless Bushists.

In the case of Duhbya's legacy, the contradictions and oozing bullshit of this administration are too great to overcome. Some historian someday will say of Duhbya, "Well, he wasn't the anti-Christ," and Bushist partisans will shout, "Vindication!" It'll probably be a Harvey Mansfield protégé.

Duhbya aggrandizes himself as a stalwart holding the line against an existential threat. He thinks that because Japan and Germany have become democratic allies, Iraq will be. (Why not Iran, too?) Even if one accepts the parallel arguendo, the Americans who made the post-war era so successful with respect to old adversaries planned and improvised, two ground-laying tasks that the Bushists have been unable to manage. They also knew when a real existential threat, communism, was better contained and competed with than warred against. Duhbya and his would-be successor John McCain haven't shown that degree of fine judgement.

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