by Jeremy Young | 11/20/2008 09:18:00 PM
Indiana University has tabled plans to add pioneering African-American basketball player Bill Garrett's name to that of the Ora L. Wildermuth Intramural Center, because -- wait for it -- the vice president of the Board of Trustees though the coupling was offensive to the memory of Wildermuth, an avowed segregationist. The new plan is to rename another building on campus after Garrett. But, IU Vice President Terry Clapacs, I thought the problem with taking Wildermuth's name off the building was that changing building names is "a very serious matter". Apparently that's only true when you want to punish a dead racist.

I owe an apology to Alaskans, for calling them "stupid" back on November 6 for apparently re-electing convicted felon Ted Stevens to a U.S. Senate seat. Mea culpa, Alaskans; you're not stupid. Next time, try to make the margin a little more convincing, 'kay?

Paul Rosenberg, David Sirota, and especially Matthew Pinsker attack the "Team of Rivals" argument. I often defend historians whose work is used for purposes they themselves would not countenance -- for instance, when Sean Wilentz's anti-Obama arguments were used by the right, or when our own Ralph Brauer's work on the Glass-Steagall Act is used (erroneously) to pin the principal blame for that travesty on Bill Clinton. However, in this case, Goodwin's book is being used to justify the wholesale selling-out of the American liberal movement by the incoming administration. She needs to step up and explain that Lincoln 1) didn't appoint any Democrats to his Cabinet until nearly a year into his Presidency, and 2) didn't appoint the entire staff of his rivals to Cabinet posts in lieu of his own campaign advisors. If she does not, then historians like Pinsker have every right to eviscerate the entire work of scholarship. [Update] Ralph Luker points out one I missed, by James Oakes.

What's on your mind?

[Update] An encouraging sign for the future: residents of Clinton County, Ohio, which was devastated recently by the departure of major corporate employer DHL, are trying to have the county designated a Green Zone -- the idea being to attract green business and replenish local employment opportunities that way. [Update II] I wade back into the Great Orange Satan to help these guys. What fireworks will follow?

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