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Aleppo is the largest city in Syria

The cover story of the November 2015 issue of HARPER'S bears the title "Bombast Bursting in Air." It is editor emeritus Lewis Lapham's take on the Presidential election cycle thus far.

I'll quote only one brief bit, in which he is discussing Trump, in the period immediately after the first candidates' debate (in early August) on the Republican side.

The protectors of the Republican Party's virtue hoped that one of the other nine candidates would topple Trump from his catbird seat, if not the slow and steady Jeb Bush (self-style "joyful tortoise," mature and loving friend of the common man) then maybe Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, or Chris Christie, all of them rated by their touts as quick-witted, sharp-tongues, good at pretending that they care about something other than themselves, able to find Aleppo on a map. During the summer of 2015, the collective attempt at Trump removal failed because the mogul didn't take the proffered bait, declined to do so with a sense of humor than his fellow candidates lack both the nerve and the permission to engage. 

It is odd to see Rand Paul's name listed alongside Rubio, Christie, and Bush in this context. The latter three are all what Lapham presumes they are, fronts for the enduring Republican establishment. But Rand Paul (though neither as consistent as his father nor as flamboyant as Trump) is in his own way as much a disruptive force within the party as Trump is.

Still, I understand Lapham's point here, and it is well expressed. And I especially like the bit about finding Aleppo on a map. The meme of "finding such-and-such a place on a map" has seldom see as sharp an employment.

That's Lapham whose photo I've pasted in above, by the way.


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