What Passes for Accomplishment



Look. I know tomorrow’s going to be filled with TV dumbassery, with therapy-masquerading-as-news, with tributes and speeches and music and moments of silence and moments of noise and moments of anger and all thisstuff, totally forgotten in all of it is that that hole in the ground, where Bush shoved some flowers today, is indicative of nothing so much as how much work we have left to do. And make no mistake, governing is a job, it’s work.

We all sort of forgot that right after 9/11, when all our talking heads at once went on and on and on about Bush as Mourner In Chief, Bush’s role in comforting the nation, and Congress gathered on the steps to sing. We were all about showing our unity, and while in the first couple of weeks that was understandable as everybody was still a little nuts and clearly some comfort was in order, five years on? With Freedom Fries as our most famous moment of resolution? Should we really be concentrating on theater?


Governing is a job. Government had a job to do, after 9/11, and that job was to bring those who attacked us to justice, and prevent further attacks.

Bush lays a wreath down for the cameras. On the front page of the Chicago Tribune this morning, the headline was “we move on, but remember.” Here’s a headline: WHERE’S OSAMA?


Governing is a job. Is the job done? By the way, pardon me for disturbing the carefully choreographed and poll-tested We Love America fanvid, but somebody’s out there who sent anthrax through the mail, walking around, and so is the guy responsible for the event that occasions this annual uptick in the sales of flags and bunting, so while I’m as down for a good concert of Kenny Chesney as the next girl, pardon me if I think somebody other than our national news outlets, much less our president, ought to handle whether or not we feel okay.

Once Osama’s either behind bars or swinging from something, or buried alive, or some other horrible punishment due the evil fucker, then we can talk about how we’re all dealing, and how the president’s taking it, and he can calm the nation and reassure the nation and tuck the nation into bed with a glass of warm milk and a story from a board book with fuzzy covers.


Until then, maybe our TV brothers and sisters could refrain from suggesting that participation in symbolic gestures constitutes any kind of fulfillment of George W. Bush’s job requirements, because it’s just embarrassing.


A.