Con and Con-er

It’s a format newspaper opinion pages have used for years: one topic; two points of view side-by-side — pro and con. Should Clinton be impeached? Should the U.S. go to war in Iraq? Should Alito be confirmed?
The Outlook section of today’s Washington Post has side-by-side pieces about Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, but no clash. In one piece presidetial historian Robert Dallek opines, “It’s Time for Him to Go.” In the other, Vietnam war historian Stanley Karnow wonders whether Rumsfeld is “Worse Than McNamara?”
I’d analyze the arguments Dallek and Karnow make in support of their anti-Rumsfeld views, except they don’t make any. These pieces are just two old-timers rambling on about how things used to be in the days of Cordell Hull, General MacArthur, and Robert McNamara (Karnow prefers him to Rumsfeld because McNamara said he was sorry — big surprise). Not that I have anything against old guys rambling on about the past.
But the Post isn’t interested in arguments — it’s interested in barking. Let’s hope this is a case of “the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.”


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