In Which Jim Fallows Earns My Undying Admiration and Respect

Re. the constant use of the term “Team of Rivals” as applied to an Obama cabinet:

Nothing against Doris Kearns Goodwin, who in prehistoric times was my professor in a college course on the American presidency. And nothing against her application of the concept to the composition of Lincoln’s wartime cabinet and the political challenge of holding Union factions together before and during war. (For somebody who does challenge that application, go here.)

But this is not the Civil War, Obama is not Lincoln — and even if he were and all circumstances were identical in every way, out of simple self-respect you’d think people would get embarrassed about using the catch phrase they’d heard a million times for the million-and-first. To me, listening to this unvaried refrain is like hearing “bitchin’ !” among my fellow teenagers in the late 1960s or “groovy! ” after that.


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