Saturday, August 28, 2004

Niall Ferguson has a typically engaging and thoughtful piece over at OpinionJounral. He posits that a Bush defeat might actually be good for conservatism.

You should read it, because it's Ferguson, and he's always a fine read. But his larger point is, while very clever, completely wrong.

The smartest thing Fred Barnes ever said to me is that if there's one Iron Law of Politics, it's this: Winning always beats losing. When you win, problems recede, divisions smooth over, and you control, at least a little bit, your own direction.

When you lose, problems are magnified, divisions become more pronounced, and--worst of all--you become even more susceptible to events outside your control.


Dean Barnett said...

You have Ferguson in a nut-shell: usually clever, usually wrong. Also, sometimes quite sloppy with facts that happen to be inconvenient to his thesis.

Is there any wonder that Harvard couldn't wait to give this man a Chair?

Tom said...

I rather enjoyed his comparison of the work habits of W and Ike. I think it was Ambrose who some three decades ago found the secret diary that showed Ike was a tad more than a golfing dilettante; quite a compliment for #43 if he's managed to pull the same thing off.