Better Clerisy Needed

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This was my plan for a blog post. I was going to observe that there are certain circumstances under which it might be a good thing indeed to have a "foreign policy clerisy." In particular, a bipartisan, yet also non-partisan, group of experts would be a useful thing to have on hand if, for example, both the President of the United States and a leading Republican candidate for President were to endorse a lunatic revisionist view of the Vietnam War. Members of this clerisy, Democrat and Republican alike, could set the country straight on the facts.

Then I was going to observe that the clerisy we have has done no such thing and has, in fact, stayed utterly silent on this small question that happens to rest at the center of the Bush administration's justification of its policies.

Then, being a responsible blogger, I sauntered over to the Brookings website to confirm my guess that there's be no commentary on this issue.

Well, I was half right. There's nothing new up on their site, but there is a July op-ed by Senior Fellow Peter Rodman endorsing the lunatic revisionist view. Who's Peter Rodman? Why he was an Assistant Secretary in the Don Rumsfeld Pentagon. Why the Brookings Institution would look at the past five years and think that it ought to reposition itself on foreign policy further to the right by handing out sinecures to veterans of the Rumsfeld Defense Department is something I couldn't really speculate on.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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