Farrago February 17, 2017

I have reached by slow stages Weathertop, though it is not yet night.

Having long ago concluded that neither major candidate was fit for any office whatsoever, I’m sort of enjoying the spectacle that President Trump is generating around him. His performance at yesterday’s presser reinforce my hunch that he is Mr. Punch. Mr. Punch hits back, and no one is used to that. Especially reporters. Who can forget Bushitler, the illiterate monkey who was the object of the Left’s assassination fantasies? Remember this? President Bush put up with grace. President Trump won’t. There’s going to be a lot to criticize about him (the EO, yeah, that EO, was poorly written and badly rolled out, and the bushitlerNational Security Advisor matter is becoming comic). It might be wise to save our powder for actual things, without exaggeration.

I’ve begun Yuval Levin’s The Fractured Republic, but can’t comment yet. I am intrigued with what seems to be an argument about nostalgia and its use in political discussion. There’s a substantial discussion about what I  might as well call “Boomer Nostalgia,” which might be overly simplified. I do think that the demographers have it wrong in extending the birth years for Boomers as far as 1964. They base this on maternal age (which becomes absurd, since a Boomer woman born in 1945 could easily give birth in 1964), but I think common experience is more significant. My own requirements are two: Do you remember where you were when you heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination, and Do you remember the transition from the dominance of American Pop to the British Invasion? If you can answer yes to both, you are a Boomer. Anywobble, the operation of nostalgic myth in politics is interesting. Mr. Levin seems to be hinting that the Heffalump Party is dominated by two nostalgic myths, one of the Eisenhower years and the other of the Age of Reagan, while the Eeyores are dominated by the New Deal and the Great Society. And speaking of Lyndon, isn’t it interesting that, in popular consideration at least, the Vietnam war is Nixon’s rather than Johnson’s?

Weather continuing mild, the back garden is almost cleaned up, and work in front will begin next week.



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