Don’t Know Much About History

I have a friend who once told his uncle that he was interested in history. The uncle responded by asking what period. Upon hearing that my friend enjoyed (if I remember correctly) WWII, Vietnam, etc the uncle replied that that wasn’t history–it was current events.

George Will takes the President to task for publicly failing to understand the difference:

Last month, Barack Obama was asked by an interviewer from Texas why he is so unpopular there. Obama replied: “Texas has always been a pretty Republican state, for, you know, historic reasons.” Well, yes, “always” — if you believe, as many baby boomers seem to, that the world began when they became more or less sentient. But, for the record:

Texas, one of the 11 states of the Confederacy, was, for historic reasons, part of the solidly Democratic South for almost a century after the Civil War. Deeply Protestant Texas voted for Republican Herbert Hoover against Al Smith, a Catholic New Yorker, for president in 1928, but it did not vote for a Republican presidential candidate again until Dwight Eisenhower carried the state in 1952 and 1956. It did not do so again until it picked Richard Nixon in 1972. Four years later, it embraced Jimmy Carter. Other than during Reconstruction, Texas did not elect a Republican senator until 1961 (John Tower) and did not elect a second one (Phil Gramm) until 1984, and there were not as many as three Texas Republicans in the U.S. House until 1968. Republicans were not a majority of the state’s congressional delegation until 2005.

Ouch. But that’s just the beginning of Will’s explication of the facts. Go and read.