January 28, 2010

America Boxed In

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, World Affairs Journal

AP Photo

In his keynote speech to the Republican convention, the chairman used most exalted words. After reviewing the record and achievements of the administration, he asked sonorously, "When have we rested more secure in friendship with all mankind?"

One of the tests English undergraduates have to endure is the "gobbet," an unidentified passage of literary or historical significance, whose date and author the examinee must guess. Maybe the arresting sentence just quoted will have stumped readers, but no one can possibly have dated that particular gobbet as 2008, or supposed that it was uttered by anyone at the last GOP convention in Minneapolis. John McCain and Sarah Palin, Lindsey Graham and Tom Ridge, could have said many other things. They might have boasted that the United States...

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TAGGED: Lindsey Graham, Minneapolis, Republican Party, chairman