I have not been blogging much this past week. In part, this is because I start teaching again on Monday and I have also been re-reading Book I of the Treatise to prepare for my YouTube Hume lectures, which begin February 6th. But the real reason is that I am bummed out by the news [save for the astonishing fact that Bernie seems to be surging slightly.]
I have now listened to uncounted hours of commentary on the killing of Suleimani and its aftermath. Glib TV personalities and deep thinking experts, some of whom could even find Iran and Iraq on an unmarked map of the Middle East, and not a single one of them has so much as alluded to the fact that in 1953 the United States overthrew a secular democratic Iranian president because he nationalized the country’s oil resources. I was reflecting that they probably imagine that is too long ago for Iranians to remember. It is, after all, 67 years now. And then I recalled that last year, the UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor lost her job because she countenanced the removal of a famous campus statue of a southern Civil War soldier. That war ended 155 years ago, and it is still fresh in the memories of many whom I am saddened to call neighbors. As Faulkner observed, the past is never dead. It is not even past.
And then there is the Senate impeachment trial, probably starting right after Martin Luther King Day. Everyone is atwitter about Susan Collins saying she is working with a “very small” group of Republican Senators to call witnesses. I will make a prediction [this is not mine; I read it on line but forget who said it]: It takes four Republicans plus all the Democrats to call a witness. Susan Collins will report, sadly, that she was only able to find two beside herself. Having cleared this with McConnell first, she will make a big deal of her efforts, avoid a primary challenge, and then run for yet another term as an open minded bi-partisan.
God I hate her.