Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Concise Response to Stanley Fish: Absolutely Not!

Stanley Fish's latest effort in the New York Times bears the title "Do You Miss Him Yet," a reference to former President George W. Bush. My concise answer: Absolutely not!

Fish is apparently arguing that as the country moves away from the Bush presidency, it will embrace a more nuanced account of his time in office. Well, that is not a novel claim. In fact, I have made the same argument twice (see here and here), as have many other commentators. But, Fish, that moment has not arrived.

UPDATE: No More Mister Nice Blog has ripped Fish's "evidence" of a Bush revival to shreds.


Kansas City said...


You can't let go of Bush derangement. If is, of course, too soon for a complete or anywhere close to final view of the Bush presidency, but why is it too soon for a more "nuanced" view?

Fish states a conclusion that is entirely reasonable:

"And the judgment of history? Well, I’m not that foolish, but I will venture to say that it will be more nuanced than anything the professional Bush-haters — indistinguishable in temperament from the professional Obama-haters — are now able to imagine. He will not go to the top of the list, but neither will he be the figure of fun and derision he seemed destined to be only a year ago. You heard it here."

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

KC: Sometimes I wonder whether you even read anything. I linked two articles on here where I went after liberals for their Bush commentary -- yet you accuse me of "Bush derangement." Try again.

Also, I clearly stated agreement with Fish's view that history will judge Bush in more nuanced terms, and I cited TWO ARTICLES that state this as a general proposition. I do not mind debating you; I find it utterly annoying, however, to debate misrepresentations.

Kansas City said...


If you think your post was kind to Bush, it is further evidence of Bush derangement. Start by looking at your title: My Concise Response to Stanley Fish: Absolutely Not!

If you agree with Fish, you should say so, not answer "absolutely not." There is no reason why the time has not arrived for the start of a more nuanced view of President Bush.

ps - I read one of your links. It was where you disagreed that Bush was the worst president ever. I suppose that is more rational than many afflicted with Bush derangement, but not by much.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

You clearly are not reading. Fish's article is called "Do you miss him yet." No is my answer -- as is the answer for many others, including Republicans.

Second, I don't have to be "kind" to Bush in order to prove I am not "deranged." You think that kind and deranged are antonyms. Anyone with a knowledge of English would disagree.

Real Time Analytics