In the popular political imagination we're familiar with the neocons as conniving militarists, masters of intrigue and cabals, graspers for the oil supplies of the world, and all the rest. But here we have them in what I suspect is the truest light: as college kid rubes who head out for a weekend in Vegas, get scammed out of their money by a two-bit hustler on the first night and then get played for fools by a couple hookers who leave them naked and handcuffed to their hotel beds.
She was thinkingfor, since she had been formed by literature, she could think in no other waythat all this had been described in Dickens,Tolstoy, Hugo, Dostoevsky, and a dozen others. All that noble and terrific indignation had done nothing, achieved nothing, the shout of anger from the nineteenth century might as well have been silentfor here came the file of prisoners, handcuffed two by two, and on their faces was that same immemorial look of patient, sardonic understanding.
Whoever in his public services is handcuffed and shackled by the vice of consistency will be a man not free to act as various questions come before him from time to time; he will be a statesman locked in a prison house, keys to which are in the keeping of days and events that are dead. Let me quote Emerson: 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen.'henry fountain ashurst