Conservative dismisses the historians who met with Obama as lefties





Is it any surprise that the historians that attended a secret White House dinner with President Obama last month are nearly all well known for a leftist outlook on history? Is Obama programming his “historical” coverage already?

Was there a Richard Brookhiser in attendance or a Larry Schweikart? Was there someone like Forrest McDonald at Obama’s secret dinner? Nope. Except for one attendee, the invited historians have all used their status as historians to make all sorts of ahistorical proclamations about modern politics which is quite un-historian of them.

The fact is, no real historian would comment as an expert on contemporary events. A real historian knows that it takes decades of time to go by before history can be written. It takes decades for records to become available, generations of biographies and autobiographies need to be written and much time must pass before actions made in one decade can bear their ultimate fruit. All this information has to be reviewed and weighed before history can be written and very often the words of participants cannot be taken for gospel. Any real historian will know that commenting on contemporary events can only be opinion and guesswork not FACT.

But that is not the stripe of “historians” that Obama invited to the White House, the sort that wait for due time to pass so that the proper research can be done to determine what really happened in a given era. No, what Obama sought out were activists that pretend at the historian’s art.

So what lefty “historians” were invited to the super-secret dinner? Here’s a list.

Michael Beschloss – Mostly a slavish John Kennedy aficionado, Beschloss once wrote a ridiculous piece in 1993 for The New York Times in which he predicted that the Republican Party would engage in all manner of extremist behaviors once President Clinton and “President” Al Gore left office. It featured an ex-president George H.W. Bush being lambasted by history as a troubled president dogged by his “pardoning of Casper Weinberger.”

Douglas Brinkley – Is well known as the hack writer that belched out a wholly uncritical take on John F. Kerry’s life during the Senator’s doomed run for the White House against George W. Bush in. The book was little else but a sunny campaign hagiography that was worthless as a work of history. Before that, Brinkley prostituted himself all over TV as the chief mourner for John Kennedy, Jr. when he flew himself to his death in 1999. Brinkley’s over-the-top celebration of Kennedy and his ubiquity on TV during those days we so bad that Kennedy’s George Magazine even removed him from their masthead as a contributor. Brinkley was so ridiculous that even the lefty Slate.com said, “Even amid this week’s staggering hyperbole, Brinkley’s emotional profligacy has distinguished him.”

Doris Kearns Goodwin – The “woman” of the bunch, Goodwin is another Kennedy sycophant. Goodwin also has tackled Lincoln and LBJ. She was seen all over TV during the last few presidential elections punditizing for Democrats. She has also been caught in a few embarrassing plagiarism scandals where she was caught lifting work from others. Why this literary thief keeps getting praise as a premiere historian is beyond logic. But she is good for the left party line, so I guess that is all the qualifications she needs to stay the darling of the Old Media.

Garry Wills – This guy is a truly devoted lefty. Wills long ago went from being a mere historian to being an activist that uses his reputation as cover for his activism pretending that he knows better than anyone else because he knows some history. He has written castigating the Catholic Church for its stance on abortion, he excoriated the Bush administration proclaiming that Bush had somehow become a theocrat, and he has been outspoken in many other contemporary political fights. One of the worst works of history I ever read was by this hack. “Negro President” was supposed to explain why Thomas Jefferson was elected because of the three-fifths clause in the Constitution. But, after reading the thankfully short thing one will quickly realize that Wills never addresses his own point and doesn’t prove a thing to settle the thesis. It is truly a horrible book. ...

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Jonathan Dresner - 7/22/2009

The fact is, no real historian would comment as an expert on contemporary events. A real historian knows that it takes decades of time to go by before history can be written. It takes decades for records to become available, generations of biographies and autobiographies need to be written and much time must pass before actions made in one decade can bear their ultimate fruit. All this information has to be reviewed and weighed before history can be written and very often the words of participants cannot be taken for gospel. Any real historian will know that commenting on contemporary events can only be opinion and guesswork not FACT.

Somehow, conservatives never seem to use this to muzzle historians who are saying things they like.

Count me a member of the unreal historical profession.

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