The Sophomore (Generously)
“…an act…gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause – it is seen. The others unfold in succession – they are not seen: it is well for us, if they are foreseen.” (1) [Emphasis Added]
In recent days I have seen sporadic coverage and commentary on Edward Klein’s “The Amateur” (2) and, while the book itself is probably worth reading, the title strikes me as giving too much credit to the maturity of the subject. In the past, some may have more accurately labeled it as sophomoric (3) but the passage of another thousand days renders that somewhat overstated. As it happens, today’s news greets us (via Drudge (4)) with our chief clown entertaining his base with an all too cleverly timed pregnant pause accompanying his double entendre about his wife’s push-up technique (see also (5)) with all the sophistication of so many who have advanced beyond lowly freshman humor.
I wish my concerns today were just that frivolous.
I suspect that it is much earlier in childhood development that one grasps that there are secondary effects of one’s actions. That makes the immaturity of our current President (and those around him)…witnessed by the obvious pattern of security leakage touched on by Misters McCain (6) and Krauthammer (7)…that much more unbelievable and outrageous.
So, given the “it is well for us, if [the not immediately seen effects] are foreseen” wisdom quoted above that we should celebrate the straight talk from Mr. Donald Rumsfeld (8) regarding the easily foreseeable* fallout of this childish leaking:
“…if I were an Israeli leader, I think I’d have trouble coordinating with the United States government about something like that for fear it would be leaked.” … “And if you tried to coordinate with this administration, I would think that there is at least a reasonable chance that it would leak out. So I would anticipate that a responsible Israeli government, given the relationship, would very likely have to make a decision on their own, and proceed.”
Bastiat went on to say “…for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorourable, the ultimate consequences are fatal”. I suspect both Rumsfeld and Bastiat are correct…when the big events happen with respect to Iran’s nuclear ambitions the White House will be out of the loop and that is not good for anyone in the civilized world.
And when that happens, I reserve a special damnation for the authors of the 2007 NIE (9).
Proud Redstate Member since April 2006…?
* Using mature adult reasoning, of course.
(1) “That which is Seen, and that which is Not Seen” by Frederic Bastiat, 1850, http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html