Streetwise Professor

December 10, 2006

Beryl Sprinkel, Call Your Office

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 4:41 am

James Baker has been mentioned in this blog once before, as the target of Beryl Sprinkel’s priceless remark about flying monkeys and a certain body orifice. Baker is an extremely unlikable figure. Some of the adjectives that come to mind: arrogant; smug; cynical; amoral; fixer. Nor would I consider him a great thinker. He seems to spout conventional wisdom–when he hasn’t lapsed into banality. His policies as Secretary of State and Reagan staffer–notably his support for keeping together the USSR (he was the architect of the “chicken Kiev” speech and fought against Reagan’s call to Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”) and for letting Saddam survive after Gulf War I–and as Secretary of the Treasury–especially his desire to close the markets during the 87 crash–suggest a fetish for stasis and a dislike of spontaneous change.

The Iraq Study Group that Baker chaired only reinforces my disdain for Baker as a person, and as an intellect. I hope that when Baker next meets Bush, some brave soul will reprise Beryl Sprinkel’s role and say: “We’ll negotiate with Iran and Syria and sell out Israel when monkeys fly out of my ass.” And while I’m fantasizing, Bush will channel Alan Greenspan, and reply: “I go with the monkeys.”

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