More Noted Things
Jill Lepore,"Goodbye Columbus," New Yorker, 8 May, reviews recent books about slaves in the British American colonies who sought to leave with British troops at the end of the American Revolution, including Gary Nash's The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution and Simon Schama's Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution.
Word that Michigan's Juan Cole is under consideration for an appointment at Yale has loosed a food fight on the net. In chronological order, here are some major voices in it: Eliana Johnson and Mitch Weber (18 April); Glenn Greenwald (19 April), John Fund (24 April), JuanCole (24, 26 April), James Wolcott (26 April), Michael Bérubé (28 April), Christopher Hitchens (2 May); Juan Cole (3 May); AndrewSullivan (3, 4 May); and Michael Young (3 May).
There was a telling discussion on Richard Jensen's Conservativenet last month, when my young friend, Marc Comtois, used the acronym RINO (Republican In Name Only) to justify his own opposition to the re-election of Rhode Island's Senator Lincoln Chaffee. As a charter member of the Republican Left and a proto-RINO, I blanched at and objected to Marc's use of the term as the stigmata those of us to the left of Genghis Khan and David Horowitz must bear these days. But there was a surprising turn in the conversation, when all of us in the discussion agreed that the Bush administration is RINO. It's just another symptom of the disarray that Jacob Heilbrunn observes in"The Great Conservative Crackup: What National Review Wrought," Washington Monthly, May. He reviews Jeffrey Hart's The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and its Times.
Robert KC Johnson - 5/4/2006
Indeed. Of them all, Michael Young's piece does a good job of summarizing the practical effects of the debate over Cole, if nothing else.
Marc A. Comtois - 5/4/2006
Gee, thanks for bringing that up, Ralph ;)....
To get the full context of the debate, follow the link to Conservativenet provided by Ralph, select the "April 2006, week 2" link and read threads 8-11. Thread 11 contains the R**O (heh) dust-up between Ralph and I.
I will now go back to my Mongol Horde.
Jonathan Dresner - 5/4/2006
because finding my desk seems sisyphean, even though I have a little lull between classes and finals with no grading.
I was reading Heilbrunn and ran across this vivid description of the current GOP-Fox-Southern leadership class: "a tyranny of born-again bumpkins in the hinterlands." It's a telling line -- so much RINO-labelling in both directions is cultural and social rather than ideological, I think. If the Republican party is a "big tent," then it has to be, ultimately, moderate rather than conservative; if the Republican party is truly conservative then it will have to pick a kind of conservative and then it has to narrow its vision and cast of RINOs, which it seems to be doing.
On Juan Cole, all I have to say is that anyone who comments publicly on the potential move abrogates their right to cry "academic freedom" with regard to defending future actions within the academy.
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