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The ranking of presidents is popularity contest and has a much meaning as any other popularity contest. In the case of academics, it’s whoever is currently in fashion in Academia.
How about number of new wars of choice started? (That we know about.)
Constantly professing outrage about Trump, when the stuff he’s actually doing is not very different from his predecessors’, is what normalizes his behavior — that, and making up fables like Russiagate, which, when they fall apart, make all criticism of him appear fictitious.
Since the Democratic Party leadership wasted two and a half years on Russiagate, McCarthyism, warmongering, and attacking its own progressive wing, I now expect Trump to be reelected. Some of its donor class have explicitly said they prefer Trump to Sanders. Needless to say, their hostility will be returned by the objects of it.
Trump fortunately does not seem to have the talents of Hitler, but a similar configuration of forces occurred in Germany in the 1930s: the centrists and conservatives preferred the Nazis to the Left, because they figured the Nazis would let them keep their stuff and their privileges. Catastrophe followed. It would help if the Democratic leadership and media persons would read a little history, but they evidently won’t.
Mueller’s looks and weariness weren’t his only problem. Russiagate now hangs around his neck, the proverbial albatross.
As for the candidates, the great fear of the DNC, their donors, and their kept media seems to be that one of the proggies might get to the top of the heap. Accounts of the contests will be tuned accordingly.
Apparently the Russiagaters still don’t realize what a disaster Russiagate is. The Democrats could have spent the last two years putting forward a positive program. Or, failing that, they could have attacked Trump on hundreds of factual, verifiable points. Instead, we got idpol, conspiracy theories, neocon fantasies of empire, and McCarthyism. A year and a half is a long time in politics, but as things stand, It sure looks like they’ve blown 2020. And yet we’re still getting more of the same.
The first job of a portrait painter is to figure out how the subject wants to look; then, paint that.
War heroes are not a particular kind of person. War heroes do not create themselves. They are created by people who want to have war heroes. This is probably an atavism going back to prehistory, when humans roamed around in small bands beating large animals and each other over the head with clubs. In order to organize such a band, apparently an alpha male is usually necessary so one must be found, for better or worse. Today, we’re still not out of the primeval woods, mentally speaking. Only our weapons have improved.
As for the misogynists here, if it weren’t for mothers, you wouldn’t exist; but everybody makes mistakes.
When I was in grade school I was taught to read with considerable speed and comprehension, maybe 1000 words per minute if it was plain narrative. (It’s a learned skill.) Hence as a big teenager I got through War and Peace and The Brothers Karamazov in a couple of weeks each when I was stuck out in the woods one summer, plus some other fat, soggy American novels of the midcentury. I love Moby Dick; I’m surprised anyone thinks it’s boring. Ulysses seemed a bit overwrought to me so I started jumping around looking for the good parts. If I wanted a good long read I would get into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire again, but the times it describes are pretty depressing, too much like our own. It’s too bad most people aren’t taught how to read fast any more.
Hence the name of the planet.