In his essay on today's New York Times op-ed page, scholar François Furstenberg makes a comparison between the "with-us-or-for-them" rhetoric of the Bush administration and the avec-nous-ou-contre-la-révolution parlance of the pro-war faction that emerged from among the winners of the French Revolution. (As we say in Jersey, pardon my French.)

The piece caught my eye because j'adore anything about the Enlightenment, even if it is a bit passé these days, what with chaos theory and waterboarding and people talking about inertia as if it's a bad thing. Among the so-last-era relics of the Enlightenment, the U.S. Constitution did warrant a mention or two in last night's Democratic debate. Alas, they came only from the mouth of Dennis Kucinich, the Clown Prince of Peace.

(Note to DK: Keep your UFO sightings to yourself. I'm sure Thomas Jefferson saw a thing or two in the sky in his day, but not even in his own, secret self-made version of the Bible did he mention it.)

--Adele M. Stan

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