The Duck of Minerva

The Politics of Eulogies

9 February 2006

I’m a couple of days late, but please allow me to followup Bill’s post about the King funeral controversy and the excellent discussion in the comment thread.

I did some data-mining of and found President Bush’s eulogy of Ronald Reagan, at the National Cathedral on June 11, 2004. Notice any self-serving political rhetoric here?

The clarity and intensity of Ronald Reagan’s convictions led to speaking engagements around the country, and a new following he did not seek or expect. He often began his speeches by saying, “I’m going to talk about controversial things.” And then he spoke of communist rulers as slavemasters, of a government in Washington that had far overstepped its proper limits, of a time for choosing that was drawing near….Ronald Reagan believed in the power of truth in the conduct of world affairs. When he saw evil camped across the horizon, he called that evil by its name.

Remind you of anything, say from January 2002?

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic….We’ve come to know truths that we will never question: evil is real, and it must be opposed.

Any similarity is probably just my imagination.

Note: there has been some fine commentary in blogtopia by Professor Bainbridge and Amy Sullivan.

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