Wilson redivivus

April 17, 2006

President Bush’s champions are fond of nattering on about how “Wilsonian” he is. That was always laughable. Wilson tried to establish the League of Nations; Bush tries to eliminate the United Nations. Wilson presided over expansion of the franchise, and institution of a progressive income tax; Bush presides over voter suppression campaigns and shoving taxes onto the middle class. And so on.

But Wilson’s most famous folly was his tagging WW I as “the war to end all wars.” Now, Bush is contemplating first use of nuclear weapons, in order to prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. So in his most disastrous folly, he is likely to be an (updated) Wilsonian after all, remembered chiefly for launching “the nuclear war to end all nuclear wars.”

It worked so well the first time.


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