by idiosynchronic | 5/13/2009 06:11:00 PM
Iowa blogger John Deeth posts a link today about Post columnist Dana Milbank and former president Carter's testimony on the Hill for Kerry's Senate Armed Services Committee.

The I-told-you-so theme recurred during his nearly 90 minutes with the panel. "When I became president, the average gas mileage on a car was 12 miles per gallon, and we had mandated, by the time I went out of office, 27.5 miles per gallon," he said, as his wife, Rosalynn, and daughter, Amy, listened from the first row. "But President Reagan and others didn't think that was important, and so it was frittered away."
There's a lot of snark in both the original Milbank post and in Deeth's follow up comparison to a completely hysterical Onion editorial. But let's ignore the caucus upheaval and craziness that the Onion was really addressing & Milbank's snide coverage of a fairly important point.

Can anyone in the readership remember another politican's legacy dominated by moments of I Told You So, either by the politician or by historians and journalists? Considering Carter's moment in history and how spectacularly the nation turned away from his legacy only to keep fighting different facets of the same problems, I can't imagine how Carter's legacy will not have some great element of, "the nation chose to ignore what had to be done."

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Blogger Ahistoricality on 5/13/2009 9:56 PM:

The tsunami of grading is about to hit: I'll come out of it Monday, one way or the other.

"Many of the problems the world faces today are the eventual result of short-term measures taken last century." -- Jay W. Forrester


Blogger Ahistoricality on 5/14/2009 9:35 AM:

So, I'm reading one of the Historical Society's free articles, about Toaff's blood libel book [PDF], and came across a line which gave me a very inappropriate mental image:

Using hagiographical sources without taking precautions raises a fundamental question: is it possible to study the question of ritual murder accusations narrowly, in isolation, without analyzing the cultural context and, above all, without reconstructing the long development of stereotypes of Jewish difference in Christian theology?It's probably an artifact of the translation -- this was originally a French piece -- but the idea of "taking precautions" before using a source made me think of ... well, something else entirely. I know what it's supposed to mean, but it seems backwards to me: we should approach all sources critically, but the precautionary part comes after we read it. I suppose, for some sources, they should be more suspect by their nature, but it still seems odd to talk about it as a prepatory step.

Anyway, it's a very interesting piece, if you're looking for some procrastination, or a mental sorbet after grading.


Blogger PhDinHistory on 5/14/2009 3:55 PM:

How many historians are looking for summer jobs? I am certainly in that category.


Blogger Ross on 5/14/2009 8:24 PM:

Dennis Kucinich? I think every decision he makes is that way.

And hopefully Mike Gravel.