Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., RIP

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I don't read much Schlesinger. Perhaps someday I will, such as when I get up to the mid-1900s in my many-years-long romp through American history.

So I decided to read some of his online works upon news of his death. I looked at his last post on Huffington Post, from November 2005.

In it, he notes that President Bush had said that partisan criticism was hurting the war effort. Then he notes that Teddy Roosevelt and Robert Taft said criticism was essential. Aha, Goctha, Mr. President!

Except, well, as usual for the Huffington Post: no. Where did Bush ever say there should be no criticism? He didn't. Where did he ever say criticism cannot have positive influence? He didn't. He only said what was true (and what Schlesinger quoted Taft as implicitly agreeing to!), that criticism can give comfort to the enemy. This is not to say there shall be no criticism; it is a reminder to temper your criticism with wisdom.

Bush was not telling people what to do. He was reminding them that their words have consequences, and that some of those consequences might be negative ones, and they should weigh that in what they say. And how can anyone disagree with that?

Anyway, Rest in Peace, Mr. Schlesinger. You deserve it.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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