Thursday, April 22, 2004

Talking with a friend in the comedy business today. He told me about the show he was involved in, "fighting the forces of evil." Shorthand for the Bush adminsistration, capitalism, militarism, etc. This is my response:

I was wondering, what forces of evil are you battling? The ones that bring you air conditioning, automobiles, roads and cholesterol medicine? Or, the one that created the Internet? Or, are they all the same? You must feel very guilty, considering so many people sacrifice to maintain your wired lifestyle. I can understand why you feel guilty.

Oh, and it must be hard for you to do research, considering every major media outlet --- and University ----supports your viewpoint. It must be very hard to be part of the literary elite.

Don't you think there's a contradiction engendered there, that Anti-Americanism has become conventional wisdom? It's so banal. Now, it's anti-establishment to be a pro-military hawk and a capitalist.

Seriously, I would love to have this political discussion. Lefties are so easy to ridicule, because their passion is largely based on the melancholy engendered not by want but of plenty. It seems like such a faux issue.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Let Them Eat Hummus

The media want to know: why has no one lost their job over 9-11? You hear it asked over and over, especially in the prime talking heads hours on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, etcetera.

Their interest has been resurrected with the televised 9-11 committee hearings. Remember last week: Chris Matthews shamelessly playing softball with Jamie Gorelick? And, playing footsie with the 9-11 Widows? Shame on you Chris, you know these women are in a very vulnerable place.

The lack of firings must be very frustrating for the Democrats and the media-intellectuals. They’re the ones who went to the Robespierre/Marie Antoinette French School of Management, famous for slogans like: “off with their heads” and “let them eat cake.”

The call: “off with his head.” Has a certain ring to it. It’s a great way to appear passionate without actually being involved. It’s faux passion. It’s a way to get on with your life. Because, we all know that intellectual-elitists are a busy lot. They’ve got art openings and society galas and book signings to go to. (I’m sure you’ve noticed the industry they have set up on the book circuit. From Simon and Schuster to 60 Minutes to Nobu. It’s like a Democratic rhumba line.) The media-elite also have summerhouses that have to be opened on Martha’ Vineyard and in the Hamptons. We should fire somebody and be done with this whole mess. (Of course the guy they really want to fire is George Bush.) Democrats also like hummus for some reason, it’s a very liberal-media-elite food, probably because there’s very little value to it.

We have to assess blame to a person, they argue, because someone is to blame—9-11 can’t be the result of bureaucratic Chinese walls created by fiat (memo in this case), or the fact that we weren’t on a “war footing.” They don’t even consider this a war. Terrorism is a law-enforcement issue, they say.

But, Liberals love Bureaucracies, they believe in bureaucracies, they thrive in bureaucracies. That’s why they clamored for the 9-11 commission, because the bureaucracy must be able to heal itself to prove it’s viability. They have to believe in bureaucracies otherwise their plans to fix all of society’s ills will be demonstrated faulty.

I can understand Bush's reluctance to fire someone. It makes sense to build on and improve the team that’s already in place. Why train a new guy, when you have someone who knows where the bodies are buried? Someone who’s eager to redeem himself? That’s not to say that George Tenet may be the man standing when the current music stops playing.

But, to lop off a competent official for political reasons seems too opportunistic. It doesn't smack of the values most Republicans admire: trust, loyalty, patience, redemption, etcetera. Rather it tastes of political expedience.

Of course, people can differ on who should go and why. Many people have called for Tenet’s resignation. Perhaps now is the time. But, I respect Bush’s approach — ride heard on the current team and the ultimate decision will become self-evident. Sure it’s less sizzle, but it’s also less empty calories.