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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Poor Misunderstood George, Destined For All-Time Greatness

This could have been the subtitle for the job talk I went to yesterday for a presidency position. It wasn't directly about GWB--the official topic was southern identity and presidential reputation--but it became clear about ten minutes in that the entire project was an elaborate apologia for Jesus S. Lincotrumanhill (R-TX).

Ya see, he's really one of the greatest presidents of all time, since those rankings usually reward (a) longevity, (b) activism, and (c) divisive partisanship, and usually ignore (a) badly run wars, (b) torture/civil liberties violations, (c) racism, and (d) low public approval. Plus, historians give you credit down the road "for trying." The reason poor Georgie is so unpopular now is that the northeasterners and the national media have an irrational bias against southerners. We know this because various southern presidents whined about it in their journals. I shit yee not. The idea that a president is considered great, NOT because of superficialities, but rather because he significantly advanced the highest and most long-term interests of the American people never seems to have crossed the speaker's mind.

I was also intrigued by the idea that the GOP conquest of the South had nothing at all to do with the exploitation of southern racism. Funny story. As it turns out, all the racists are STILL Democrats. You know, like Jimmy Carter. The GOP surge happened because Northerners moved down here, created an economic utopia, and started voting Pubbie. Where to begin? As you know, I've long argued that the New South IS to a great extent the Old North. He's right about that effect working as a driver. But that fact can't negate the other fact that racists DID turn GOP, largely because the old Northers eagerly exploited southern racism to deflect attention from emerging class conflicts. And it's not like that ol' time social Darwinism was a racism-free ideology. The mind boggles. Otherwise, I liked the guy.


At 10:24 AM, Blogger fronesis said...

Wow, that's quite a job talk - and quite a story to read as I'm frantically preparing for my own job talk.

And on that note, hey Frances and Number Three: any chance you are free for coffee/drink/lunch/dinner on Saturday (THIS saturday)?


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