The point about Polk

This LA Times columnist makes some interesting points in comparing Polk to Bush, with a side glance at Lincoln.

As might be expected from a fan of Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Bush side of his analysis is based on pop stereotypes and the core comparison of Lincoln with Polk erroneously sets them up as contraries... to serve the purposes of a short essay, of course.

A deeper analysis would uncover a treasure trove of lessons Lincoln learned from Polk, especially in military organization and in the civilian management of professional soldiers.

Lincoln's Polkification of the Civil War (my term) had enormous consequences in losses and in efficiency trading off against gains in ardour and a certain broadening of participation.

The columnist is not far off in his assessment of Polk, however, and in the newspaper game one out of three ain't bad. Have a look.