The Wise Men vs the wise guys

Jon Meacham delightfully compared the Wise Men of the old foreign policy establishment (Lovett, Acheson, Boland, Harriman, etc.) who gave us this post-war world with all its warts like the Viet Nam war plus all the stability and prosperity that globalization has brought to the wise guys of the Mafia movies. My dad always said the Mafiosi, who he knew well, were just lazy; that’s why they turned to crime, to deals (as in The Art of) and wound up using extortion and murder to support a velvet Elvis picture life-style.
This was on full display as the Republican counsel foundered on the shoals of Ambassador Taylor’s incredulity at “not outlandish.” The counsel obviously knew nothing about diplomacy, so how do you respond to someone who knows nothing but insists on speaking as if he does?

The look on the ambassador’s face told it all: “I am speaking to people who believe diplomacy is a matter of making deals. It’s just funny and a bit sad.” That is who Trump surrounds himself with: people like himself, who have no standards, morals, principles, or firm beliefs – it’s all just grab and run, like a little street thief who thinks he’s a mobster. Giuliani thinks he is a free-wheeling

Nov. 25, 2019 I just saw the advertisement for a new Mafia movie – DeNiro, Keitel, Pacino and Pesci – and wondered if maybe Scorsese had Trump in mind. It turns out the movie was projected in 2014.

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