Democratic operative Lanny Davis was a friend of George W. Bush when the two attended Yale. In a worthwhile L.A. Times piece, Davis says he has always admired Bush and he recalls one moving incident, in particular, to explain why. That incident aside, Davis’ most vivid recollection of Bush is the way he achieved decent grades without ever seeming to study.
Davis concludes his piece by hoping that Bush’s stubbornness (the one major character flaw Davis says he detected at Yale) will not prevent him from pulling out of Iraq now that we know, by virtue of the absence of WMD, that we made a mistake going in. If Davis heard the president’s speech today, it should be clear to him that a quick pull-out is not in the cards. Not because of stubbornness, but because of the lessons the former anti-student has learned about history since his days at Yale. Whereas Davis learned his history in college from the conventional campus wisdom about Vietnam, Bush learned his post-graduation from Lincoln, Churchill, and Reagan. The two sets of lessons point in radically different directions. The one President Bush has learned precludes yielding to the forces of oppression in Iraq, regardless of the merits of our decision to intervene in the first instance.
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