Damn right. Damn right. Listen. We’ve been moving towards this for years. The president and Jackboot Johnny were arguing in 2003 in court that in matters of national security the judiciary has no right to “second guess” the executive branch. We’ve been halfway here for a long goddamn time and there’s nothing I’ve read over at Teh Stoopid Buffet that’s giving me any comfort in re: the NYT deciding that if the president says it’s legal then it is, which is making the way certain things got ignored over the years make a hell of a lot more sense to me. More after the holidays, and after this flu clears up. My head feels like it’s been stuffed with cotton and then hit with a hammer. And the caffeine withdrawal is fierce.
Point is, we’ve been getting here by increments. Shuttering charities, holding press conferences to sling wild accusations, ending trials with nary a conviction for terrorist plotting in sight. Men rotting in Guantanamo Bay, and man, I’m not saying if they’re guilty of something vile we ought to let them go. But I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer from anybody as to why, if people are clearly guilty of bad bad things, we can’t have them arrested and charged. Wingnutsphere, you two sensible Republicans still walking around out there albeit in heavy disguise, what the fuck, truly? Explain this to me.
It’s not just the spying. It’s the whole culture of this administration that says we’ll take shortcuts to get where we want, and fuck anything and anybody that gets in our way. When all you have is a blowtorch, everything looks like the Brooklyn Bridge.
And that’s the story of everything with these people, the one thing that ties Katrina and Plame and Iraq and 9/11 and every other major scandal of the last five years together. They have two speeds, this administraton: Carpet Bomb and Off. They hand whiskey and car keys to their friends and then cluck over the DUIs. They don’t know how to pay attention when they need to and they overreact to things they should just let go. It comes back, as always, to this: the grown-ups are not in charge here.
We need the grown-ups right now. That’s the other thing. This would all be a cocktail party joke and I could go back to glugging NyQuil in a futile attempt to get some sleep before baking and wrapping presents and none of it would be so infuriating except that unlike five years ago, we don’t have peace and prosperity to rely on to cushion our fall. We’ve got serious problems and I’d really sleep a whole lot better if I knew somebody in Washington was on the fucking ball already.
I was at a party last weekend, standing in a hot and cramped kitchen drinking buttered rum and talking to a guy who’d just got back from Iraq. He was swigging a beer and telling me stories about how his whole platoon was either dead or injured. There were a thousand questions I wanted to ask him and not a damn one of them didn’t make me sound like the biggest idiot in the world. This isn’t a game. We’ve got serious problems going on here and we need somebody in charge to advance some solutions, to pull us back from this brink. Order’s breaking down. Maybe that’s what’s got so many people scared about this spying thing. It’s a final symbol of what we’ve sensed was coming all along. We are flying off the rails at top speed and instead of calling for help, George the conductor is whistling a happy tune and opening the furnace to shove in more coal.