“The American people deserved better last night,” Reid said in a statement. “They deserved a chance to reclaim that sense of unity, purpose and patriotism that swept through our country five years ago.”
“The president should be ashamed of using a national day of mourning to commandeer the airwaves to give a speech that was designed not to unite the country and commemorate the fallen but to seek support for a war in Iraq that he has admitted had nothing to do with 9/11,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass., said in a statement. “There will be time to debate this president’s policies in Iraq. September 11th is not that time.”
“Partisanship would have been the one casualty the American people would have accepted following 9/11, but it remains the one thing the president refuses to give up,” Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the Democratic effort to win control of the House, said after the president’s speech.
Seriously, enough of this stuff. We’ve been calling for the chair, the table, the whole damn dinette set for years. It’s past time our elected officials stopped pretending that if they’re above the fray somebody will notice their noble example and follow suit because virtue looks like so much fun.
It’s the Chicago Driver Syndrome. A lane’s closed two miles up ahead on the freeway. Everybody else in the nation will get over as soon as they can. Chicago drivers? Hells no, we stay in the closing lane as long as we can because eventually everybody else will get over and then we’ll have the lane all to ourselves and we can jump to the front of the long line of cars sitting there and get where we’re going just a little bit faster. Assholish? Absolutely. Rude? Absolutely. When I first moved here, I thought, wow, those people are dicks. Surely, if I lead by example by moving over, it will guilt them into behaving decently.
And then I realized (just to throw another metaphor in here) you can’t play football today by the rules that existed in 1912, not in the NFL anyway, and if I wanted that parking space waiting at the end of the Ike, if that was my goal, I was gonna have to do what was necessary to get it. Now I look at those people whizzing by and think, Jesus, hurry up, wouldja, so I can get around this SUV. Clearly, I’m going to hell, but so are you, and I’ll get there first.
So, elected officials, decide what’s more fun, feeling good about yourself or going 90 miles an hour down the electoral freeway and beating the Republicans to the last spot in the cheap parking garage near the place that makes the cappuccino that’s better than sex. Because sitting there on the freeway, watching as Republicans go flying by, well, that’s getting us nowhere, and fast.