This slays me:
To criticize the White House--if the criticism is serious, well-grounded and well-meant--is helpful, and part of a long and good tradition. But allowing philosophical estrangement to leave you wishing the administration ill is to give in to the destructive spirit of the age. That too has a tradition, but not a good one. Five years ago this September history took a dark turn, and though we can forget it in the day to day, we're all in this together.
Just who is this supposed to fool? The hunting of Bill Clinton wasn't "giving in to the destructive spirit of the age" (and if it had been, I can name at least one professional Catholic sennightly columnist who danced with the Devil through two terms). It was a concerted and well-financed effort to ensnare a president from the other side. And I don't recall Let's Pull Together, America Is Under Attack! being much of a rallying cry after the first World Trade Center attack, or the bombing of the Murrah Building, or the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
So, no, Peg, as always in this destructive modern age, we're not in the same boat. Your boat sank in the desert some time ago. And no, I'm not mixing my metaphors. That's where you steered it.
With the appointment of Tony Snow the first round of staff changes seems ended, and the desired effect is achieved: a new start, with new people.
The sense of newness will last for a while because the reporters who tell us the news need a storyline. They need, as they say, a narrative. The narrative they will go with now is: "Staff Changes Being Felt Throughout White House / May Signal Policy Changes."
The next story line will either be "Staff Changes Fail to Stop Listless Drift" or "Shakeups Yielded New Dynamism".
So the story now is change, and the story a few months from now is the change that change wrought.
This is a time of opportunity. White House staffers can work to help create the future headline they want.
Ah yes, the calm confidence of the Christian holding four aces *, and who imagines that's the hand she'll ever be dealt over and over.
Look, I know that for the two-three thousand people nationally who Give a Shit, the excitement of Tony Snow's appointment must equal the day it was announced that Larry Bird would be returning to Indiana to coach the Pacers. But there aren't any new flags flying on my block this morning, even though the doofus on Channel 8 news last night reported that the new Press Secretary was "a familiar face". (Familiar to whom? The 1% of the population that watches FAUX News?) No, America isn't waiting for George W. Bush to reinvent himself. It's waiting for him to get the fuck out of town without screwing things up any more than he already has. Kinda funny how the Republican blatherocracy loses sight of the "real America" when it's had enough of them.
That president you've fawned over all these years is done. Unrestrained Republicanism is not just a total failure, it has managed to do what a group of insane religious criminals--or Nazi Germany, for that matter--could not: bring America to her knees in just four years.
This is where we parted company over twenty-five years ago, Peg, not that it would ever have worked out between us: the phony politics of phony feel-good headlines. It was unfortunate that Reagan got 'em, and it was really unfortunate, for all of us, that Bush II did. You imagine now that Commander Codpiece can jump through that open window of opportunity and soar back to his accustomed heights. Take a look. He's that broken rag doll down on the sidewalk, Peg. He's been there for some time, and it'll take much more than the next thousand days to pick up all the glass.
* Mark Twain