Presidents and Poetry

Presidents and Poetry

Presidents and Poetry

Recent posts from our readers forum.
Jan. 24 2001 11:30 PM

Presidents and Poetry

Subject: New President
Re:
" Chatterbox: The Case for a Bush Legal Defense Fund"
From:
Charles
Date:
Tue Jan 16  8:18 a.m. PT

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George W. needs a legal defense fund, though it only has to be half as large as Al Gore would have needed. Republicans are both more rabid and more dogged in their hatred than are Democrats. Slap a Democrat once, make an enemy of him. Slap him twice, he starts to think he deserves it. Slap a Republican, though, and he comes back tougher and more cantankerous than ever. They don't go away: they get meaner and more determined. Pursuing Dubya for any indiscretion no matter how egregious will only make life worse for the Democrats, not better. They are well-advised to leave him alone.

[Find this post here.]

Subject: President's Choice

Re: " Hey, Wait a Minute: Is Ashcroft's Integrity Enough?"

From: nfstl

Date: Thu Jan 18  8:18 a.m. PT

The assumption is that John Ashcroft has integrity; the proof most often cited is that he lives by the behavioral code he espouses. Doesn't it show a lack of integrity to be willing to ignore what no one seems to dispute are deeply held beliefs on issues for the sake of holding an office? If you believe that Mr. Ashcroft is sincere in his deep opposition to abortion, for example, where is the integrity in setting that opposition aside to be Attorney General? I think that instead, and most charitably, this shows ambition or maybe opportunism, but integrity? Nah.

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[Find this post here.]

Subject: Dead Presidents

Re:
" The Breakfast Table: Margo Howard and Martin Peretz"

From:
Gautam Mukunda

Date:
Mon Jan 15  1:04 p.m. PT

Abraham Lincoln has no living descendants. One of his sons served as a Cabinet officer and had the spectacular bad luck to be present at the death of three presidents: his father, James Garfield, and William McKinley. One wonders if Theodore Roosevelt issued orders to keep the young Lincoln away from him at all costs. His children had no children, however, and so the family died out.

[Actually, one of Abraham Lincoln's granddaughters did have children, but the direct line died out in the 1980s. Find this post here.]

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Subject: First Presidents

Re:
" Explainer: Was 'No King But Jesus' a Revolutionary Slogan?"

From:
Richard Landes (Director,  the Center for Millennial Studies, Boston University)

Date:
Thu   Jan 18 2:57 p.m. PT

To reduce the American Revolution's ideological sources to the Deism of some of the founding fathers is quaint and Whiggish. There are profound religious motivations behind the American Revolution (Thomas Paine left America because his Deism was so unpopular), and to tell the story in this way not only fails to understand where John Ashcroft is coming from, but shortchanges both the historical process and the rich diversity of attitudes that have shaped our nation. It may be comforting to think that we come from good "rational" thinkers. But it's lousy history.

[Find this post here.]

Fray Notes

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In a big political week, what grabbed Fray posters most was the Ashcroft confirmation hearing. Great posts and great threads at "{{Frame Game#96905}}," " Chatterbox," and " Hey, Wait a Minute." Paul Decker said, "Unlike those of us in 'The Fray,' Bush does not find politics to be inherently interesting."

It was a good week for poetry in The Fray. Some nice lines after this " Culturebox," in the middle of the major dog discussion. 

Then Zeitguy said:

"Among the parodists' deft ditties.

I am scared out of my witties."

We think he was talking about the Chatterbox  inaugural poem contest , and not the "Ode to the Fray Editor" that appeared in the Ballot Box Fray. (We liked the rhyming of "vigilant" with "diligent," but no, Bluto, flattery alone won't get you a star.)

Finally, a Recycled Fray post for a departing president: Read again an all-time favorite on Clinton, from Bone Hammer to Chatterbox, here. ("All you stock-buying, shiny-car-riding phonies can do is ridicule the man for his private life which is none of your damn business.") One line—"You people should be glad all you have to bitch about is him getting a hummer or two"—was edited out back in May, because the Fray Editor didn't know what a hummer was. Now she does, and also knows which members of the Slate staff know what a hummer is.