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Soar With The Pigs

 I can’t believe it’s already Thursday! I’ve been working on a paper for the last 3 days on two styles of presidential governing.  One is a prerogative style of executive power, described by a political scientist named Dick Pious.  It is a style based solely on the rights given to the president under the constitution, which sometimes can fail miserably.  An example of this style is Nixon’s insistance on executive privilege,  which in the end, kicked him out of office.

The other kind, described by a famous political scientist named Richard Neustadt, who says that the framers of the constitution didn’t give the presidency enough power under the constitution to live up to the demands of the office, (ya know, they fought so hard to rid themselves of the control of a king, and they didn’t want another one).  This forces the president to use charm and persuasive techniques to work deals with Congress and department heads.  The point of my assignment was to advise Bush on which style he should use during his last two years in office.  Since the bully tactic didn’t work for Nixon (who faced a democratic Congress finally) it probably won’t work for W. Bush either – that he would be wise to listen to and make deals with the democratic leaders, such has Nancy Pelosi, who has a prerogative style  of governing herself, and might he a Major force to recon with.  We shall see. 

Anwyway, that’s what I’ve been up to.  These sort of assignments is one reason I love Columbia. But I’ve been waiting all week to be able to sit down with my tattered copy of Shark Hunt to pick a quote for you..  In this passage, Hunter was in Cozumel to cover a great fishing expedition, and was at a bar thinking back to Colorado:

     From somewhere deep in my memory, I heard a snatch of some half-remembered  conversation between a construction worker and a bartender at a bar in Colorado.  The construction man was explaining why he shouldn’t have another drink: “You can’t wallow with the pigs at night and then soar with the eagles in the morning,” he said.
     I thought briefly on this, then shrugged it off.  My own situation was totally different, I felt.  In about three hours, I was supposed to be down on the docks with my camera and tape recorder to spend another day on one of those goddamn boats.

     No, I thought, that geek in Colorado had it all wrong.  The real problem is how to wallow with the eagles at night and then soar with the pigs in the morning.

–Hunter S. Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt


 That is a style of humor that you don’t see from Hunter’s writing that often, which makes it even better.


Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson   



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