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The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad


Hmmm, there’s something about this equivalency that just seems . . . off somehow:

What are they going to say after he’s gone, Howie? Are they going to say he was a kind man? That he was wise man? He had plans? He had wisdom?

By a remarkable coincidence, the syllabus I put together this summer for my class on legal interpretation was designed to talk this week about legitimation crises in presidential systems in general, and in America in particular. So today we read Juan Linz’s 1990 article on the perils of presidentialism, and Jack Balkin’s 2001 article on the future meaning of Bush v. Gore.

Keepin’ it relevant for the kids . . . who were all like five years old in 2000, so all “this” is sort of normal for them, as opposed to their increasingly decrepit instructor, who remembers a different world.

On a related note, we got an anodyne message from the administration this weekend about how it was a hard-fought election, and to keep in mind that while some people were very happy about the result others were disappointed, and we should be respectful of everybody’s feelings. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to be respectful of the feelings of people who sincerely feel that it’s OK for Republicans to try to steal elections, but I guess learning to do so is just part of celebrating diversity.

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