Bench Memos

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A Bit of a Response to Matt Franck


I’m glad that I’ve eased Matt Franck’s mind a bit, but I hasten to offer this correction on a point he raised: My own piece had been written and put to bed before the news had come out that Joy Clement had been called by the White House around 1:30 on that improbable day. But I’m holding Matt to his promise to visit me in jail if the occasion should ever arise—and it won’t do for him to plead that he is busy visiting his other friends in jail.

Apart from that, though, I want to say how touched I was by the tone of Matt’s commentary. He was kind enough to register his respect and friendship before he went on to his criticism, but I want to assure my friends that I don’t take their disagreement with me as marking any want of respect. They needn’t apologize, and they should know that I wouldn’t feel diminished if I can be corrected by friends. I can imagine now the pieces to come: “Well, now that I know that Hadley Arkes will not feel diminished, I can let him have it …” As Betty Davis said, fasten your seat belts, this is going to be a bumpy ride.


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