Will's Coffee House

John Dryden, Dramatist, Critic, Poet Laureate, and my ancestor, frequented a coffee house called Will's almost daily, where he would hold forth on sundry subjects with great wit and aplomb. Same deal here, only without the wit or aplomb.

Location: Large Midwestern City, Midwestern State, United States

I am a stranger in a sane land...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Reports of My Death...

...have been greatly exaggerated." Mark Twain, of course. And I think it's apt at this moment to recall those words as people of all hues of the political spectrum predict dire consequences to the Bush adminstration for the viciously insensitive clusterf*** that their work in New Orleans has been thus far. (I should also include those towns in surrounding areas that have been substantially MORE obliterated by Katrina.) Look, folks, as much as I'd like to join in the chorus of "Ding Dong The Witch Is Gonna Be Dead For SURE This Time"--I just can't. I just don't see it happening.

Is Bush utterly unfit to the task of leading the nation at this point? Of course--9/11 was a cakewalk, really--I mean, how hard is it to rally a nation against a vicious bad-guy who just killed a whole bunch of innocent people? Not too tricky, getting a good buzz from the crowd on that. But here--Ha Ha! No bad guy! No evil, dusky-skinned foreigner to blame! No one at ALL to blame--unless you want to blame God, and somehow, I don't see Georgie-boy doing that. So there's no "easy" way to get the people turned away from their shock and horror and riled up into a nice, soothing righteous indignation salted briskly with race-hatred. Nope, this time, S**t Just Happened. Period. And so, poor George. He can't go out and revel in his blood-lust--he has to fake giving a s*** about these poor (literally and figurative) black people. And, as I said before, he doesn't. And it shows. And nevermind all the other details--the repeated early warning about the levees, the inability of FEMA to find its butt with both hands and a flashlight, the woeful lack of any kind of organized response from Homeland Security--oh, why go on? In a just and fair world, the disaster of Katrina would have destroyed the administration that, by its criminally callous actions, made sure that the woes of the many were ten times trebled.

But that ain't gonna happen, folks. You know why? 'Cause we ain't got the memory, and we ain't got the attention span. No heads will roll, because a month from now, the TV cameras will be pointing another way, and we'll all forget to care. Our moral indifference--our comfort at our inert and prone state as spiritual beings--will save George and his buddies. We won't care. You won't, and I won't. And don't think they don't know it. Hell, what really could happen to George? Um, can anyone think of any way that he could realistically be impeached? I thought not. Barring that, what's he got to fear? And if he's untouchable, so's his whole cabinet. The GOP has a lock on both houses and the Court--and however pissed the McCains of the Senate might be right now, they ain't gonna actually take political action against George. So what'll happen? His polls numbers will slip a bit more. So what? He can still do whatever he wants in Iraq. He can still sit in his office and draw duckies until another vacation-time rolls around and he's off to clear brush. He can still be the kind of president he's always wanted to be: a do-nothing with a war to notch on his belt. All he's got to do is wait for the media to get bored. Which, if their past behavior is anything to go by, should be just as soon as they stop getting good footage of rat-eaten corpses. Trust me on this: Bush will survive, and thrive.

And the next guy? He'll be even worse. Because Bush has proved what we always feared: that when the conscience of the country dies--and ours has--there is no bottom to corruption, sloth, and vicious greed. It simply goes down and down and down and nobody ever cares quite enough to say stop. Ain't gonna happen. Mark it on your calendars, folks. We've begun to live in the fall of the American empire. And the Visigoths of Islam and Asia are pissed. I do not envy our grandchildren.

On a side-note, is it just me, or must every girl named Katrina be having the worst month of her life right now? Poor things. Damn Weather Service (with apologies to a good friend of mine who works for them.)


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