Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, January 17, 2005
This sums it all up - for today at least...
Via Instapundit:
On the anniversary of Dr. King's birth, and putting aside all my partisan views, it's worth noting that tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will open hearings on the nomination of Dr. Condoleeza Rice to succeed General Colin Powell as Secretary of State.

It's a stunning juxtaposition that offers those who knew King, lived that history and ponder his legacy an opportunity to wonder: How might they explain Rice's rise to him? And what would he make of it?

She is, after all, the literal fulfillment of King's dream -- a woman judged not by the color of her skin but by the content of her character. She is also living proof that King's eulogy was present, that "these children -- unoffending, innocent and beautiful -- did not die in vain."

Go get 'em girl......

I may not agree with / or admire, your politics or policy, Condi, but I do admire you for your strength, intelligence, grace and loyalty.

The same way I admired your predecessor, Colin Powell.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:31 PM  
9 Editorial Opinions:
  • At January 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Question: Are strength, intelligence, grace and loyalty virtues when the object thereof is entirely and utterly misplaced? Are they then not vices?

    And I'd have admired Cooin Powell a gret deal more if his opposition to what was going on in the administration had been soemwhat more pro-active.


  • At January 18, 2005, Blogger jwer said…

    I'm with the Scot... while I am very impressed with the lofty careers of both, and while I am very impressed particularly with Colin Powell, who was a gunner at My Lai and was court martialed for refusing to fire on children, he certainly could've done something more aggressive than quit after the first term. Rice, no matter how strong and intelligent, which she clearly is, is still horribly misguided in supporting the worst President in history.

  • At January 18, 2005, Blogger jwer said…

    Ugh... lest it either pointed out that I am wrong or noted that I can't admit when I am, this from Wikipedia:

    Powell's successful career within the military has not been entirely free of controversy, however. During the Vietnam War, Powell, as deputy assistant chief of staff at the Americal (the 23rd Infantry Division) with the rank of Major, was charged with investigating a detailed letter by Tom Glen (a soldier from the 11th Light Infantry Brigade), which backed up rumored allegations of the My Lai massacre. Powell's response was largely seen as a cover-up; he wrote: "In direct refutation of this portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent." I take it back, he's NOT worthy of respect; he's merely capping off a career of more of the same; misplaced loyalty.

  • At January 18, 2005, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    I'm not disagreeing with either of you. In fact, I have serious questions regarding Condi's ability to be a manager. She's an intellectual and an academic, but she's a lousy manager. But - just because I disagree with their rather misguided loyalties, and yes, I think Colin should have pushed back a lot harder, I still respect them and their rather impressive achievements.

  • At January 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This really needs a couple of bottles of good wine and, in my case, a packet of Marlboro Reds to sort out.

    I want to get away from personalities in the first instance. What I am trying to get you to consider are the questions "How do we describe great gifts when they are misused?" Do they remain gifts or do they become curses? Do sterling qualities put to the service of bad ends remain qualities or do they become vices? For myself the answer to the first question has to be 'Curses' and to the second 'Vices'.

    Before we move on to Dr Rice and General Powell we need to get that sorted out. But given what I have just said I simply can't join in your celebration of their achievements. A less loyal general may have gone public about what the administration was doing, rather then meekly resign at term's end. A less intelligent, less dilligent NSA or, now, Secretary of State, might not have done such a good job in keeping the obvious errors, half truths and downright lies from causing so little damage.

    And it is not a question of saying that we might disagree about the ends. I can easily understand how a 'hawk' might think that Condoleeza Rice is just the business. But you and I agree that then ends she and Powell serve are bad ends and that being the case I do find it hard to see what you have to celebrate.



  • At January 18, 2005, Blogger jwer said…

    Campbell: while I mostly agree with you here, I don't know that I agree with the curses/vices thing... that sounds to me like ascribing morals to technology; technology is a neutral, amoral factor. It is not wrong to develop a doomsday device, merely to use it or threaten to do so.

    And I do respect both of them, although now that I've set myself straight, I respect Rice more. Still, though, neither of them is really living out King's dream; Powell basically ass-kissed his way up through the military, whereas Rice had two university professor parents to get her started. Not exactly the same as fighting your way out of the ghetto, and even if it were, they are both acting directly against the interests of American minorities every day.

  • At January 18, 2005, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    Jwer - thank you. That's what I was trying to say, but was having trouble doing it without denigrating Campbell's point of view, and that's certainly not what I was trying to achieve. You said it exactly right.

    I respect them both, and while you're right that they are not "typical" of King's dream - they do serve as role models (politics aside).

  • At January 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    UMMM! Make that 4 bottles of wine and two packs of ciggies!

    I fully understand what you both are saying about the people in question it is just that I think the basic premise, so neatly put by jwer, is just wrong.

    Moral qualities are not technology and anyway I have never bought into the 'I am but a scientist and I don't have to think about where my research is heading' schtick.

    This can get really heavy-philosophical but I think you two take a Platonic view that 'qualities' exist independently and are therefore bad or good of their very nature. So an honest, active, loyal rogue can be admired for having those qualities. I on the other hand take an Aristotelean view which would hold that what we call qualities are constructs we create out of our experience. We see actions taking place and designate one kind of behaviour 'loyalty' etc. But the upshot of this is, I think, that since qualities are behaviours in action then the nature of the action comes into play and we find ourselves able to say that the 'energy' of Dr King is entirely admirable while the 'energy' of Dr Rice is not. Ya dig?

    Now I have to go and have a little lie down - I am not used to this kind of thing at 9a.m.


  • At January 19, 2005, Blogger Broadsheet said…

    Aristotle -

    I agree with your philosophical argument, but not its application in this regard.

    Much love and warm regards, Plato

    PS Those cigs are bad for you!

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