With all of my moving I’ve fallen behind on keeping up the process of vetting professors for the Power Line 100 roster, but this week’s correspondence with Stephen Knott about the passing of Bill (“Judge”) Clark prompted me to return to my list, and lo and behold, guess who has risen to the top of it. Stephen Knott!
He is not a stranger to Power Line readers, of course. Steve is professor of National Security Affairs at the United States Naval War College and author of Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, Secret and Sanctioned: Covert Operations and the American Presidency and At Reagan’s Side: Insiders’ Recollections from Sacramento to the White House. And Scott profiled Steve’s book defending George W. Bush last year when it came out in March. Need I even mention that he is a product of the fine political science department at Boston College, whose entire faculty (with one notable exception I won’t name) deserves inclusion in the Power Line 100? Or that he contributes to the nation’s best book review?
What also prompts todays notice is an article Steve has out today on the fine LibertyLaw site on the topic, “Republican Ideology and Its Failure in the War of 1812.” No, he doesn’t mean today’s GOP; he means Thomas Jefferson and his successors. A sample:
As for Madison himself – his conduct of the war should have led to his impeachment, once members of Congress dusted the ashes off their seats at Blodgett’s Hotel, the temporary home of the United States Congress and one of the few buildings left standing after the destruction of the nation’s capital. Madison’s performance as commander in chief makes Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush look like Sun Tzu. While most American presidents would claim that the best way to protect American interests was through policies grounded in “peace through strength,” the Madisonian understanding of national security was based on the principle of peace through unpreparedness, or speak boisterously and carry a small twig.
You can take Steve in here, arguing the proposition “W Was Right” at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, or you can see him starting at about the 22 minute mark of this video debating against the proposition that the war on terror has undermined the Constitution. Shame he hasn’t been able to convince his own mother, though.
And if you want to go in for more traditional fare, here’s Steve lecturing at Villanova about the constitutional legacy of Alexander Hamilton: