Saturday, September 01, 2007


Don't let the screen door hit you, Condi

The front page story in today's NYT suggests that Condi Rice's soft landing from her bumpy ride as the Bush Admin's foreign policy guru may have to be somewhere other than Stanford University, where she was provost before joining the Bush team.

There's a lot of feeling of revulsion toward her by Stanford students and faculty. And in my view it's well deserved.

History will soon reveal that George W. Bush's governing style was characterized by two things. First, he was led around by the nose by a couple of key advisors who put or kept him in power or were surrogate father figures for having served in his father's administration: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove. Second, everybody else of importance in his administration was a flunky and a yes-man or -woman.

It's one thing for a mediocre non-entity like Alberto Gonzalez to act as flunky: unquestioningly towing the Bush party line at every step and then taking the heat to protect the President. It's quite another for somebody like Condi Rice to do so.

Loyalty can be an admirable quality, but within limits. Loyalty to a dishonest administration that makes historically bad decisions, loyalty that leads one to distort and manipulate facts in order to deflect blame for those historically bad decisions, shows a serious absence of integrity. Condi Rice was smart enough to know better, but lacked the moral fiber to do better. She should have resigned years ago.

The notion (always ludicrous, I thought) that she would be a serious candidate for president is surely dead now. That's justice. So is her rejection by Stanford, if that's how it plays out. A leading university like Stanford should be a community of conscience. Let her next post be an executive position at Halliburton.

He's back... and he's checking. Always thought in hockey you'd be better on defense: skating backwards, eyes on the puck, long reach to break things up. Good writing too.

And really: who ever thought Condi was up to the job because she dressed well, anyway? Welcome back. It will be interesting your take on say, Fred Thompson. Me, I fear the Romneys may catch fire like the Osmonds, circa late 70s America. You never know now with elections, eh?
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