Tag: decorum

A Second Proper Presidential Farewell and Send-Off


President Trump has twice now given a formal farewell to a senior member of his administration. You will recall the White House farewell for Ambassador Nikki Haley. On Friday, President Trump held another side-by-side sit-down farewell and exit interview. This time it was Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon.

The Linda McMahon ceremony was held at Mar-a-Lago. As with Ambassador Haley, Administrator McMahon sat side-by-side with President Trump. Instead of two chairs, they both sat on a couch, the upholstery in both settings being similar.

The President praised Linda McMahon and indicated she was leaving her post to take up a role in “the reelection.” He then conducted a sort of exit interview in front of the cameras, starting out “I’d like to know what has been your highlight, and what are some of the great things you’ve done, just so they all know [gestured to the press camaras], so that we can put it right on the record [smiles into the press camaras].” Linda McMahon, like Nikki Haley, was warmly appreciative of the opportunity to serve and proud of her service.

Books as Christmas Gifts: Rush to Judgment


51NBH32lSOL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Some years ago, Stephen F. Knott, who now teaches at the Naval War College, published a fine study entitled Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth, in which he did for Hamilton what Merrill Peterson did long ago for Jefferson: he traced his posthumous reputation as it changed and changed again and again in response to the evolution of circumstances.

Three years ago, he did something similar with regard to George W. Bush in Rush to Judgment: George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and His Critics. Both books are first-rate, but here I am recommending the latter. For it has one great virtue.

Something happened of profound importance in the course of the Bush administration. Liberalism underwent a change in those years. I saw it in the academy. Suddenly it was virtually required that one display one’s conformity to right-thinking. Prior to the Bush years, it would have been considered rude and almost unprofessional for a scholar speaking on a subject (say, medieval Arab philosophy) completely unrelated to contemporary political issues to go out of his way to display his admiration or seething contempt for a political candidate or officeholder. Suddenly, every liberal in the land thought it appropriate, even necessary, to display partisan preference on any and all occasions. The rules of decorum has changed.