|Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky, potrait of Anna and Varvara Gagarin, 1802.|
Shorter Ross Douthat, "The Method to Obama's Middle East Mess", March 29 2015:
Guess what, Bush was wrong. Cheney was right. If you keep trying to stop killing people, somebody could get hurt. The only way to ensure world peace is perpetual war.The Bush would be the George W. Bush of ca. 2006, who suddenly realized that allowing Cheney and Rumsfeld to run the government was making him unpopular and staged a bit of a palace coup, with the help of George H.W. Bush's CIA director Robert Gates and, no doubt, other veterans of the brief reign of George I, and the Monsignor is stepping out to take a position against the coup and for the not-so-ancien régime.
No, he doesn't say that. Indeed, he doesn't mention Bush or Cheney at all. But after a good deal of work, much too tedious to report, trying to figure out what he is talking about in this piece, I've decided that's all he can mean, with a column devoted to attacking the concept of "offshore balancing", something that has only been mentioned, as far as I can determine, three times in the history of the New York Times (each time by Ross Douthat, starting last July), as if it were at the center of an ongoing controversy.