Bush’s dispatching of three sons to the three big states where Republican conservatism was poised to flourish—Florida, Texas, and Colorado (the last for the forgotten son, Neil, in whom the greatest hopes were once placed, but whose attempts to get rich off his name crossed a line that his brothers somehow managed to avoid)—now seems as canny a move as some 17th-century monarch marrying his daughters off to various German princes. ~Mark Schmitt, The Washington Monthly

Canny it may have been, but surely the canny 17th century rulers would have been the German dukes and princes who married their daughters and sisters off to become queens of larger states.  When larger states did the reverse, it tended to get them bogged down in the misguided aspirations of their new in-laws: take, for example, the marriage of James I’s sister Elizabeth to the Winter King and the general headache that attachment caused Britain.  On the other hand, it was certainly canny of Catherine the Great’s father to marry her off to the heir to the throne of Russia in the 18th century; it certainly worked out nicely for Catherine.  I may have to start some kind of regular column on bad historical analogies; perhaps I will call it the Stephen Schwartz Awards. 

Separately, it may be of interest to readers that Mr. Schmitt is also reviewing Edsall’s Building Red America (note: not a how-to guide for old Henry Wallace fans), which I remarked on indirectly here and here, as well as Hamburger and Wallsten’s One Party Nation.