Jonathan Rauch discusses James Bowman's Honor: A History, focussing on how the concept of honor can be used to understand terrorism and the politics of the Middle East.
Two year ago I posted a very critical response to something that Bowman wrote in response to the NEA study Reading at Risk. Since then I've regarded him as little more than a right-wing hack. But Rauch's article clearly indicates that Bowman's book is worth reading, and since I respect Rauch, I should relent and give Bowman a second chance.
If you've ever been of the opinion that the GOP considers its evangelical supporters little more than dupes to be manipulated for electoral purposes, then you should look at this article by Peter Wallsten of the L.A. Times.
According to Mr. Wallsten, a former White House official named David Kuo, who worked for the faith-based initiatives program, claims in his new book which is entitled Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction that Bush's advisors ridiculed evangelicals, calling them "nuts" and "goofy" in private while embracing them in public.
I was out of town at the end of September and the beginning of October, and so my blogging slowed down for a while. I've been catching up the past few days, and I came across something that should interest those of you who are hoping for good things for the Democrats in November.
Ordinarily, Foley's transgressions wouldn't be the news that they've become (although, obviously, they would still be a big story). How they reflect on the GOP leadership, especially in the House of Representatives, has been driving much of the media coverage. This all makes sense, given what Begala discusses in his post. A party can't pose as moral paragons and then avoid paying the price for failing, in such a spectacular fashion, to live up to their own self-image.
Furthermore, just think what the loyal minions toiling away in right-wing whoredom would be writing if the culprit had been a Democrat. So it's dishonest of Republican pundits to complain about the attention being devoted to the scandal, as Jonathan Chait recently pointed out in this column, which you can also find here.