Saturday, November 23, 2013

President Nixon: Alone in the White House 9

On page 287 of President Nixon: Alone in the White House, Richard Reeves states:

"If that deficit spending would entice more private spending, by both corporations and consumers, then the Republican president was now ready to buy into the pump-priming theories of John Maynard Keynes, the British economist, patron saint of liberal economists and big-spending politicians.  But that did not change the fact that most of the men around him were still conservatives who had always seen inflation as the true devil."

When I read this, I thought about the West Wing episodes, "Memorial Day" (from Season 5) and "NSF Thurmont" (from Season 6).  In these episodes, President Jed Bartlett and his Chief-of-Staff, Leo McGarry, are on different pages on how to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In Bartlett's earlier days in the White House, Leo was his mentor when it came to foreign policy, for President Bartlett was not as experienced in that field.  By the end of Season 5, however, President Bartlett had his own ideas about the Middle East, and Leo recognized that it may have come to the point where President Bartlett might not value his counsel, for the two of them were on different pages.

This reportedly occurs in real life, too.  President George W. Bush supposedly relied on Vice-President Dick Cheney's counsel on foreign policy in the early days of his Administration, but it got to the point where the two of them diverged.  Cheney supported strikes on Syria, for example, whereas President Bush did not.  I've even read talk that Bush was briefly considering replacing Cheney with Senator Bill Frist!  On certain issues, Bush and Cheney were on different pages.

I read an article recently about how Christians become apostates (non-Christians).  One factor that the author mentioned is that the Christians surround themselves with non-believers, such as atheists or non-Christian Jews.  That may be a contributing factor, but I think that there are many cases in which it's the other way around: that a person becomes uncomfortable with the Christian faith, due to intellectual doubts or other factors, and that person then finds that he or she does not quite fit into the Christian community anymore.  That person then seeks out people who are on the same page.

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