Friday, May 25, 2007

We are all Cassandras now

From spokes-Cassandra Hunter @ dKos:
For the love of God, do not shovel publicity crap about how anything is going to be different in September. You know, I know, the mailman knows, and the wastepaper basket down the hall knows that come September, a half-Friedman Unit away, precisely nothing will have changed. The "surge" will still be "surging", the Republicans will still be blustering about how any minute now they're going to start getting serious about oversight, but not quite yet, the administration will still be saying that with just six more months, real progress will be at hand, and a great number of Democrats will be cowering in abject terror of taking any position more forceful than a stern talking-to.

And in the intervening three months between then and now, somewhere around 300 more Americans will have been killed. While Congress and the president yet again declare a mulligan on the entire issue and decide to wait a few months, that's how the time is being bought, and that's how it's going to be paid for.

That's not OK, and it's not going to be OK.

It's OK to make halting progress forward. It's even OK to try, and sometimes fail. But it's not OK to announce political success in the face of legislative acquiescence. That makes you look like charlatans -- it makes you (quite properly) look like people who think so little of Americans, of your own constituents, that you honest-to-God expect them to believe any scripted horsecrap you might dish up.

No. No dice. That may have worked in previous decades, for other issues, but it doesn't work today, not for one of the most singularly most important and most watched issues facing the nation. You don't get to present a tactical meltdown, an utter collapse of courage, as a hard-won victory.

I say yet again: it's not OK. It's OK to admit defeat, it's OK to try and fail, it's OK to make a little progress; it's not OK to make next-to-none, then bluster about it.

There are no more second chances, and there haven't been for months. What needs to be done has been clear for years: we need an exit strategy, that one small niggling detail of the Iraq War that all the President's horses and all the President's men could not manage to come up with, before or during, the one small detail that the Iraq Study Group tried to ever so politely suggest, only to be dismissed with a petulant, wilting smirk, the one thing that Bush himself, as Commander in Chief, has proven incompetent to even elucidate, much less work towards.

There isn't a mulligan on this one. There is no September calendar date before which the ongoing American deaths will be satisfactory, and after which they won't be anymore. There is no magical milestone before which a desert quagmire with no vision of an achievable end is an acceptable proposition, and after which it is not. There is no milestone precisely because George W. Bush insists that there will never be a milestone. Ever. Only a constant stream of do-overs with someone else's kids, in service to a premise that, on its face, was never true to begin with.

While Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy (she warned the Trojans about the Trojan Horse, the death of Agamemnon, and her own demise), she was unable to do anything to forestall these tragedies. Her family believed she was mad, and according to some versions, kept her locked up. In versions where she was incarcerated, this was typically portrayed as driving her truly insane, although in versions where she was not, she is usually viewed as remaining simply misunderstood.
In case you were wondering.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked "gadfly" better.

Oh, you were talking about someone else? Never mind.

Actually, anyone who wants to know what the future looks like just needs to look up Bush's ass. Kinda like that, I think. No prescience required.


7:59 PM  

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