Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Profane and Rambunctious

One disadvantage of a largemouth. Via AnimalSake.

Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, celebrated military historian and literary stylist, in the National Review Online, on Harry Truman ("The Bigmouth Tradition of American Leadership"):
Harry Truman talked too much. He swore. He drank. He played poker. He was petty to the point of stooping to spar with a music critic who dismissed his daughter’s solo performances. His profanity was an open secret, as well as his temper. His advisers constantly cautioned him to tone it down.
As a Missourian who had once gone bankrupt and recouped with a political career though the help of the corrupt Prendergast machine, Truman carried a chip on his shoulder throughout his political career on the East Coast.
Yes, he's arguing here, on a somewhat circuitous path, that Truman (as compared to reticent, non-swearing, non-drinking, non-gambling Eisenhower) is pretty much the same as his alphabetical neighbor Trump. Or "Think Andrew Jackson of [sic for "or", no copy editing at NRO] Teddy Roosevelt." (Disregarding the other cliché possibility of reminding us that TR advised everybody to "speak softly".)  Or William Tecumseh Sherman (as opposed to taciturn, but hard-drinking Grant, who was also, Hanson informs us, "naïve about the scoundrels who surrounded him"), or General Patton as opposed to General Bradley (who was "steady if not, on occasion, obsequious to his superiors in public and haughty to his inferiors in private", glad to hear he was occasionally not obsequious to his superiors, that's certainly praiseworthy):
Mercurial Is Not Always Wrong
Not saying Trump is exactly like Truman. "Yet":
For all his first-year achievements, an unpopular Trump is hardly yet an accomplished Patton or Truman. Nonetheless, we need to take a deep breath and concede that sometimes past mellifluous appeasement is more dangerous than present flamboyant deterrence — just as the sober and discreet can be more adroit in warping the Constitution through distortions and corruptions of the Justice Department, the IRS, the FBI, and the FISA courts than are the profane and rambunctious.
He's such a terrible writer. Lovely how he unlashes himself there from the mast of cliché ("take a deep breath") only to tumble into the rough sea of senselessness ("sometimes past mellifluous appeasement"). Glad to hear that Trump will be less adroit than some at warping the Constitution. I personally find the past to be always less dangerous than the present, but maybe that's just because I don't live there.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

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