Comments: Do It My Way

What's really weird is that I wasn't even remotely polite. Here's a sample:

Your ignorance of the basics of historical study and documentation, not to mention causality and argumentation, does not mean that historians have not set limits, guidelines, and methods of great power to work.
Your ideas are worthless, your grasp of history sophomoric, and your rhetoric disengenous.

I said I was "honest" not that I was "nice."

On the whole, I agree with you, but there's a theatrical realism which both politicians and teachers have to maintain, which can become habitual.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at September 8, 2009 08:53 PM

Okay, yes, you did say, "honest."

I guess I was making assumptions based on the fact that you're nice to me. :) (And, we both know I'm a little wacko sometimes, especially when I get to ranting.)

Please expand on the "theatrical realism" idea?

Posted by Anne at September 9, 2009 12:26 PM

There's nothing much to it: We have to pretend to be nice sometimes, when it's not deserved, to try to keep our audiences' minds open. It's easy to lose a whole classroom by disrespecting a student, even one who is patently, blazingly wrong. Politicians are very careful to present themselves as being against other politicians, but not against voters of any stripe. It's a forced moderation, that comes from the realization that our constituency isn't really under our control and that we need their collusion to get anything done.

(p.s. You've never gone that far off the rails. Ranting and unreasonable expectations of reality are one thing: this was sustained, bull-headed unreality.)

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at September 10, 2009 04:47 PM

You wait over a month to post and finally do in order to tell us Republicans are the problem?
Would that be the Republican in the White House that's keeping us from having single-payer health care?
Or maybe it's the Republicans who control the Senate?
Or maybe it's the Republicans who control the House?
Your critiques, so slow in coming, are circa 2004.
Time moved on.

Posted by Ed at September 11, 2009 08:50 AM

Thanks, Jonathan. The theatrical realism thing is interesting. (It kind of leads me back to a years-ago rant about how politicians should stand for more than just getting elected, but whatever, and a teacher is in a very different position.)

"...unreasonable expectations of reality....

Wincing. I'd reather think of them as "unrealized" expectations, okay?

I know it make take another ten thousand years, but I like to imagine there will come a day when rational thought and behavior prevail.

Posted by Anne at September 11, 2009 01:26 PM

Ed - Republicans still have power, because Democrats are granting them power.

If Republicans take office by a1% majority, they throw jubilant parties, prate endlessly about their "mandate," and ride roughshod over the other 49% of the country.

If Democrats were to take office by a 75% majority, they'd still be trying to reach across the aisle on everything, looking for compromises everyone could live with.

Democrats try to govern for everyone and they accomplish less than they might because of that.

Republicans assume they are everyone and do any darned thing they want.

The post seemed to be getting long and I cut it down ruthlessly. Looking at it now, I see that this idea got sort of lost on the cutting room floor.

Also? 2004 is not precisely prehistoric. I can see someone dissing me if I pretended today's Republican Party was the same one that existed in 1974, but four years ago? That's not even history. It's current events.

Posted by Anne at September 11, 2009 01:37 PM