HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

September 24, 2007
From the Editor

John Turner


Next week, I'll be home again, which I suppose will strike me as a novelty. I'm not sure whether it will make my brain worse, or better. But I'm hoping for the latter.

The end of summer has crept up on us more subtly than it seems normally to do. Still, we can't fool ourselves any longer that summer is still with us. It has gone the way of all the summers of the past and now we're moving into cooler times. I don't know how many people share this feeling, but I regard September as the beginning of the year rather than as the ninth month. That's doubtless the result of long years of schooling, but it's a thought I can't shake.

Being on the road means, for me at least, that I eat a lot of bad food. I try not to, but I can't seem to find a way to avoid it. When I was younger I thought it didn't really matter much what kind of food I ate, but now I'm beginning to be drawn to the old slogan, "You are what you eat." I don't believe it completely but I believe it more than I used to.

The political campaigns continue to churn along. I don't know whether we can stand them for another fourteen months or not. A feature different this season from any other I can remember is that one of the major parties -- the Republicans -- has a slate of candidates which doesn't include a single person you can't actually imagine being a serious contender for the presidency. Giuliani? Romney? Thompson? Are any of them conceivable? Yet, there's nobody else.

I thought Frank Rich's column in yesterday's New York Times about Larry Craig was quite good. The farther away we get from the revelation of Craig's confession, the more sad and ridiculous the whole incident appears. Obviously, he confessed out of panic, hoping to make the whole thing go away. It was a foolish act, but nothing he did was criminal, and if we had a decent system of justice in this country the entire incident would be washed away. I wish he would revolt and refuse to carry though with his announced resignation. I don't like his politics but I like even less the way he is being forced from office.

I've seen little reporting about Michael B. Mukasey, the nominee to be Attorney General. The first question that rises to my mind is why he would want the job. That almost seems to disqualify him, but otherwise he strikes me as being about as good as we could ever hope from the Bush administration.

Alan Greenspan's revelations in his memoir have been widely reviewed as being too little and too late. I think it's a fair judgment. Why do people think they can go along with stupidity when it's riding high and then, later, get credit for denouncing it? It's a strange proclivity.

Try to write us as often as you can. We always need items in our correspondence column. I'd like to have a full spate next week.


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