Another cheerleader from Texas

If Bush fatigue disqualifies Jeb Bush from seeking office, it certainly should disqualify Rick Perry. “Bush on steroids” is putting it mildly.

  • Shallow charisma. Check. Though I doubt most voters would want to have a beer with Perry.
  • Macho posturing. Check. Macho asshole may be a better way to describe Perry, who carries a laser-sighted pistol with him while jogging. Shot himself a coyote, he did.
  • Texas. Unlike W., Perry never left. It shows.
  • Bad student. Better to be an undistinguished undergrad at Yale than a crappy student at Texas A&M (note the ‘D’ in Economics). Not that it matters much, just drawing parallels.
  • Cheerleader. Or Aggie Yell Leader, in Perry’s case.

Perry is Bush on HGH. The fact that he’s viewed as an early front-runner reflects poorly on the GOP field. If the Republicans want to be cast as a regional party, they’ll nominate the leader of the secession.

That doesn’t mean he can’t win. This race is starting to remind me of 1968, when Americans had to choose between an uninspiring Democrat and a Republican they didn’t much like.

President Obama hasn’t lost the base, like LBJ had for Hubert H. Humphrey is ’68, but he certainly hasn’t energized them. Most Americans may not have cared for Richard Nixon, but he mobilized his base and skillfully exploited the fears of an aging middle class.

I may be the first to compare BHO with HHH and for, his sake, I better be the last.

Who’s really editing history out of textbooks?

Rick Santorum claims the left has conspired to edit American history out of textbooks.

This is, in my opinion, a conscious effort on the part of the left who has a huge influence on our curriculum, to desensitize America to what American values are so they are more pliable to the new values that they would like to impose on America.

Sorry Rick, but it’s the right that has reinterpreted history, at least in Texas.

Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the “significant contributions” of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.

The new curriculum asserts that “the right to keep and bear arms” is an important element of a democratic society. Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology.

There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

One curriculum amendment describes the civil rights movement as creating “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities. Another seeks to place Martin Luther King and the violent Black Panther movement as opposite sides of the same coin.

In case you missed it, Andisheh’s parody of the Texas textbook controversy is a must-read.

The most important dinner in Atlanta’s history

In 1965, a coalition of Atlanta’s political, religious and cultural leaders organized a banquet to honor a native son, the city’s first Nobel Prize winner. The integrated affair was not without controversy, but civic pride and a sense of decency prevailed. You won’t find a better illustration of why Atlanta is not Birmingham, and vice-versa.

A LIFE magazine reporter was among the invited guests.

Some 1,500 persons gathered, Negro and white, banker and yardman, society matron and maid, gathered in an Atlanta hotel to honor both Dr. King, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the cause for which he won it: the non-violent revolution of the Negro. They sat together and ate together and if there was any discomfort, none showed it. …

The dinner was flawless and ended in an extraordinary scene: southern whites joined in the singing of the hymn of the Negro movement, We Shall Overcome. It suggested an emotional acceptance heretofore unknown in the South.

Tears stood in Dr. King’s eyes. “This is a very significant evening,” he said, “for me and for the South,” and he added, “I am tempted to stay here in a more serene life, but I must return to the valley” … of anger and prejudice. A few days later he was back in his valley leading a voter registration campaign at Selma, Ala. where, of 15,000 Negroes, only 335 are on the voting rolls. The official resistance lacked the onetime Alabama savagery of cattle prods and police dogs. But it was still effective. By late last week, no Negroes had been registered to vote and nearly 2,000 had been arrested in the demonstrations. Among them was King. He lay on a hard bunk in jail reading the Bible and, perhaps, reflecting on his dinner of a few nights before.

it ran in the family

Historians have concluded that Julius Brutus Booth, father of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, was the author of a letter threatening then-President Andrew Jackson’s life.

The letter, which addressed Old Hickory as “You damn’d old Scoundrel,” demanded that Jackson pardon two prisoners named De Ruiz and De Soto who had been sentenced to death for piracy in a high-profile trial of the day.

Pardon the pirates, the letter writer demanded, or “I will cut your throat whilst you are sleeping.”