Majors, Deans, and Other Figures

by Jay Nordlinger

Today’s Impromptus touches on many subjects, including Trump, Russia, and the fate of conservatism. It begins as follows:

For Navy secretary, President Trump nominated a man named Philip Bilden. Major Garrett of CBS reported that two people had told him that Bilden would probably withdraw.

I thought of changing that, because, when you’re reading about the military, “Major” seems like a rank, not a first name. But I was too lazy. I did think of a story, to relate here on the Corner.

I will go from memory. Dean Rusk had been secretary of state. He was at a college, being led on a tour by a student. The student thought that he was a dean: a university dean. So he called the former secretary of state, all through the tour, “Dean.”

“Now, Dean, what we’re doing here is …”

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