Read Frank Rich in today’s New York Times: “We are a people in clinical depression…”

I’m beginning to understand the occupational hazards of bearing bad news….

It’s called “Kill the messenger….”

Today Frank Rich’s NYT piece surveys the contradictions of our nation’s relationship with Pakistan. He touches on other unhappy events, including the very depressing fact that two Democrat senators –Feinstein and Schumer– talked themselves and each other into supporting Judge “The Repugnance of Waterboarding” Mukasey for Attorney General. That really was depressing.

Two weeks ago Rich told us that WE THE PEOPLE are ultimately responsible –for the Iraq War, for the Iran War coming, for our political ineptitude, for our several look-the-other-way denials.

Is it any surprise that he ends today’s piece with the following statement:
“We are a people in CLINICAL DEPRESSION. Americans know that the ideals that once set our nation apart from the world have been vandalized, and no matter which party they belong to, they do not see a restoration anytime soon.” (My added emphasis.)

Yes, we are lining up –some of us; the rest are still at the mall– for THE BIG ELECTION. A year to run. My guy against your guy. My team against your team. You can feel the rising passions.
Unfortunately, it all seems to be something of a joke; it all seems not to mean too much. It’s an illusion that anything will change –I mean, of course, change for the better. Things can certainly get worse –a LOT worse.
(For example: You like the price of gas now? ($3.42 for premium at my local station –NO, I’m a BIKE man; I have never owned or driven a car in my life. Just wait. Everytime the BRING IT ON boys Bush-Cheney open their mouths about bombing Iran, up goes the price at the pump. This is how our Republicans put up your taxes.
I won’t go on about this –it is depressing. Except to remind you that Rudy Giuliani top foreign policy man, Norman Podhoretz, wants him to BOMB IRAN just as soon as it is LOGISTICALLY POSSIBLE. (That might mean that Rudy will bomb Iran before the election.

Isn’t there anything to be done? I’ve been thinking, yet again, about how poisonous, toxic, our way of doing politics is –partisan, polarized, Red team, Blue team. Don’t we have ANYONE who can rise above this? Anyone with the wisdom and determination to find a way through? (Politics was once considered as The Art of the Possible. Remember?)

Well, that thought must have been at play in my head recently because just a few days ago I found myself thinking –and not for the first time– that our current Mayor here in New York, Mayor Bloomberg, –competent, realist, tries-to-be-a-decent-human-being Mike Bloomberg– would do an infinitely better job than all of the R&B field. (Yes, I do support Hillary; yes I think Obama has a lot of the qualities that would stand us in good stead; yes, the rest of the Dem field has desirable attributes, and Joe Biden has the best answer for Iraq.)

And if you waterboarded me about the Republican field, you might get me to say –after a lot of squirming and casting about “Alright; stop, stop. Mitt…Mitt would do least harm”. But you could probably get me to say anything if you pull that old Repugno-Torquemada number on me.

Who was it said: “Isn’t there anybody here who can play this game?”
Casey Stengel, was it?


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