Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds 

Our favorite moment from last night's debates proved conclusively that the President is, in the Keatsian sense, a Man of Achievement:
BUSH: And I saw a unique threat in Saddam Hussein - as did my opponent - because we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. And the unique threat was that he could give weapons of mass destruction to an organization like Al Qaeda, and the harm they inflicted on us with airplanes would be multiplied greatly by weapons of mass destruction. And that was a serious, serious threat. So I tried diplomacy, went to the United Nations. But as we learned in the same report I quoted, Saddam Hussein was gaming the oil-for-food program to get rid of sanctions. He was trying to get rid of sanctions for a reason. He wanted to restart his weapons programs.
And, no more than two minutes later:
BUSH: Remember the last debate? My opponent said that America must pass a global test before we used force to protect ourselves. That's the kind of mindset that says sanctions were working. That's the kind of mindset that said let's keep it at the United Nations and hope things go well. Saddam Hussein was a threat because he could have given weapons of mass destruction to terrorist enemies. Sanctions were not working.
Could you pehaps tell us again why he was scheming to get the sanctions lifted . . . ?

". . . several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature which Shakespeare possessed so enormously — I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason . . . . with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration." -- John Keats

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