Topic: "Vandals at the Gates"(2)
One of the greatest Icons, not to be confused with Neocons, in the American South was the legendary football coach at the University of Alabama, Paul "Bear" Bryant. Frodo's favorite story about Bryant has to do with the two banquets held to honor the collegiate careers of quarterbacks Joe Willie Namath and Kenny Stabler. For the uninitiated, Namath was the Alabama quarterback for four years, and Stabler took over the helm afterwards.
At the banquet held to honor Namath after his final game at Alabama, Bryant said that Namath was the greatest quarterback in the history of the University of Alabama. The following year, after Stabler had amassed statistical accomplishments which dwarfed the performances of the now-sainted Namath, Bryant acknowledged Stabler as the "greatest quarterback in the last five years" at the University of Alabama.
Frodo recalls that story because of the testimonial offered by the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney (appropriately known as "Dick"), in behalf of out-going Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld. Cheney referred to Rumsfeld as the "greatest Secretary of Defense in the history of the United States." This morning, Cheney was there to administer the oath of office to, presumably, the "best Secretary of Defense during this Administration," Robert Gates.
Frodo watched Tom Friedman on "Meet the Press" this past Sunday and, as the story goes, actually kissed the TV when Friedman spoke his mind. Friedman said that if all that were true, then "George W. Bush is a fool, or Dick Cheney is a liar." Friedman noted that Bush had fired Rumsfeld at one of the most intense periods in our national history. If, indeed, he was the best SOD ever, then Bush must be a fool. On the other hand, if he weren't the best ever, then Cheney lied.
Tom, push both buttons. These are not mutually exclusive states of being. Frodo wants to carry the current parlance even further by asserting that not only is this the "worst Presidential Administration" in our national experience, it is, in Frodo's opinion, the worst administered government produced in the Western World since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
Good luck Mr. Gates, and don't take any wooden nickels.