Sorry for the long absence from the blog, folks. I’ve been driving hard trying to finish Age of Reagan II by the end of the year--I have the remaining three chapters roughed out, but still have a long way to go and a lot of gaps to fill in--but I was also just out on the Hillsdale College cruise for 11 days (along with fellow speakers Paul Johnson, Andrew Roberts, Phyllis Schlafly, and Ed Meese), and have you ever tried internet on a cruise ship? It is unbelievably expensive, and excruciatingly slow. I think cruise ships must transmit data packets by carrier pigeon or smoke signals or something. So no blogging. Anyway, a fun time was had by all, and hey--when is the Ashbrook Center going to have a cruise? Or maybe a motorcycle trip with Peter?
I’m in southern California at the moment, having flown out yesterday to give yet another speech on global warming. My seatmate on the flight to Los Angeles was the very chatty and convivial Lanny Davis, whom cable viewers will remember for his nightly appearances defending Clinton during the impeachment unpleasantness. He regaled me for at least an hour with the case for Hillary’s brilliance and greatness (I was unpersuaded). He also told a number of off-the-record things about Clinton White House in the 1990s, and other things. Nothing earth-shaking that you can’t guess or suspect, but I shall want to honor his confidentiality; I’m not a journalist after all.
But the most interesting point was our discussion of an aspect of the current political season that I see is the hot topic of conversation this week; namely, the way in which the political fights of the 1990s, and Bush hatred today, are part of the saga of the baby boomers continuing their intra-generational fight that began in the 1960s. This is the one aspect of Obama that is interesting: he’s been trying to make "goodbye to all that" a key theme, just as Jimmy Carter tried to make trust and goody-goodyness his leading trait after the disaster of Watergate. Obama went to college in the late 1970s right after I did (I have close friends who knew him at both Occidental and at Harvard Law School), and I do recall that the whole 1960s cultural divide seemed alien and remote to most of our cohort.
But is Hillary the answer to this? Isn’t she a continuation of the problem, with her sixties background? (Just read her senior thesis on Saul Alinsky some time if you want to read something scary. I am sure she doesn’t believe much of that anymore, but that fact that a person from a top university could once have written such radical tripe is still unnerving.) Lanny Davis assured me that Hillary is supremely conscious of this and has learned her lesson from the 1990s--and from the failure of Hillarycare--and this morning Joe Scarnborough was saying the same thing on MSNBC.
I’m skeptical but it bears watching. Back in early 2004 I had a notion to write an article about how if John Kerry was nominated, we’d end up refighting the Vietnam War. I’m still kicking myself for not doing the piece, since the Swift Boaters swiftly confirmed this. Now I suspect the Hillary nomination is inevitably going to open up another, but hopefully the last, chapter in the Hatfield-McCoy aspect of the baby boom saga.
Meanwhile, enjoy the stupidest spell-check correction ever: a recent Reuters story about Pakistan’s Muttahida Quami Movement rendered it instead the "Muttonhead Quail Movement" in the text of a story. About what you expect from the puddin’ heads that run Reuters these days.